As a life-long dino/"Jurassic Park" fan who's been very disappointed by ALL the sequel movies, I didn't expect to like "Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous" very much, let alone feel all the feels that I felt.* Even after S1-2, I downplayed how much like CC b/c I didn't wanna get my hopes too high, let alone expect S3 to go as far as it does. In this journal entry, I list in no particular order my favorite aspects of CC in general & S3 in particular (Spoiler Alert). I hope that at least some of you will get something out of it.
The main characters in general & Yaz/Sammy in particular:
-In reference to "in general", see "Netflix: The 5 Most Likable Characters In Camp Cretaceous" ( https://screenrant.com/jurassic-world-camp-cretaceous-good-bad-characters/ ). Even Kenji & Brooklynn, who started out as 2 of the least likable main characters, have grown on me throughout CC (More on that below).
-In reference to "in particular", I love Yaz/Sammy's dynamic. Not only is it super cute, but it reminds me of Harley/Ivy's dynamic in the "Harley Quinn" show (I.e. 1 girl is more bubbly/extroverted, the other is more bitter/introverted, & together, they bring out the best in each other; This clip is a good example of what I mean; I especially like how Yaz saying "'Cause that would've SUCKED" in S3Ep10 reminds me of Ivy saying "Those guys are such DICKS": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2iByV7wCOs ).
-Major props to the animators & voice actors for S3Ep6: In reference to voice actors, the way Yaz says "Hey Sammy" makes me tear up every time; In fact, that scene in particular & S3Ep6 in general reminds me of Adora saving Catra in "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao0ogPKzdcg ); In reference to animators, I like how they re-animated the flashbacks to show more of Yaz's POV & how she really feels about Sammy; More specifically, the "Can't hear you in my shell!" flashback shows that Yaz had been "secretly longing for [Sammy's] companionship" all along.
-S3Ep7 shows that Yaz was willing to go WAY outside her usual comfort zone specifically b/c she thought it would help Sammy feel better. That + S3Ep6 is WAY beyond what she's willingly gone through for any of the other characters. To quote a line from "Hey, Hey It's Knishmas", "that was love power, I tell ya -- love power!"
-No, it's not just my autism goggles. To quote psychologist & family therapist Elizabeth Harrington ( https://askdougandchris.com/long-distance/signs-a-woman-is-sexually-attracted-to-you/ ), "the truth is, you only need a few signs from below to ensure she’s attracted to you". There are multiple examples of almost every sign throughout CC, especially in S3.
-In reference to "multiple examples", see "oh my love, side to side | yaz/sammy" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjs_FC1m8u0 ). Nialies set the best Yaz/Sammy moments to the perfect song to show you how much the Yaz/Sammy ship has developed throughout CC.
-In addition to the Yaz/Sammy ship, 4 of the 6 main characters are POC, 3 of the 6 main characters are strong females, & all 3 of these are treated as normal (E.g. Quoting Brooklynn to Sammy: "Let me guess! You have a secret crush. Is it Darius? Kenji? Yaz?"). Hooray for casual representation!
-It's also worth mentioning that Darius' interactions w/Blue in S3Ep4 & 8 remind me of Hiccup's initial interactions w/Toothless & Hookfang in "How to Train Your Dragon" ( https://kingofthewilderwest.tumblr.com/post/145162979570/hey-ya-i-love-your-write-ups-but-havent ).
Dr. Henry Wu: In the JW movies, Wu is basically a "full-on Bond villain" ( https://www.joblo.com/movie-news/we-interview-bryce-dallas-howard-bd-wong-more-for-jurassic-world-305 ). In CC in general & S3 in particular, he's MUCH more nuanced, more like a "Legend of Korra" villain; In fact, his interactions w/Brooklynn in S3Ep10 remind me of Zaheer's interactions w/Korra in LoK S3Ep9 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRJ980kaVqM ) & S4Ep9 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l3O6ErtXRU&t=1390s ).
-To quote RickRaptor105, "If all you care about are dinosaurs chasing people, you will love [Fallen Kingdom]...but a problem is Jurassic Park used to be about much more than that. The first movie had great characters with great interactions and actual ethical discussions. If you remove Jurassic Park's heart and intelligence, you get Jurassic Park 3. If you add additional stupidity, you get [Fallen Kingdom]". CC is the only JP sequel I can honestly describe as having "great characters with great interactions and actual ethical discussions", especially in S3.
-In reference to "ethical discussions", I especially like those btwn Darius/Mitch throughout S2 (which remind me of "'There's no sport in that': trophy hunters and the masters of the universe": https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/27/theres-no-sport-in-that-trophy-hunters-and-the-masters-of-the-universe ) & Darius/Kenji/Brooklynn throughout S3: On the 1 hand, to quote Azurajae ( https://cc-mr-vip.tumblr.com/post/651823175815053312/season-3-initial-thoughts ), "Kenji was [pragmatically] right, they shouldn’t be risking their lives over a stinkin’ laptop. It’s not they’re responsibility, they’re just kids"; On the other hand, to quote Brooklynn in Ep8-9, "life [is] worth protecting...[&]...we're the only idiots on this messed-up island who seem to care about keeping people safe"; The resulting tension makes for an intriguing lead-in to S4.
The animals in general & the Scorpius in particular:
-1 of my favorite things about JP is that it "takes time to show dinosaurs being dinosaurs: hatching from eggs, wandering the plains, growing ill, and so on. When the killing starts, that makes sense too. They’re animals. And animals have to eat" ( https://www.vulture.com/2018/06/how-jurassic-park-changed-the-way-movies-looked-at-dinosaurs.html ). Furthermore, "our knowledge of dinosaur appearance [& behavior] has changed drastically [since 1993]...So when a new [JP movie] comes along, we might hope that it will be like the first one. Up-to-date, challenging people’s old notions, and leaving a fresh impression of what the word ‘dinosaur’ actually means. Not perfect...but an authentically enthusiastic look at what we know about these strange animals" ( https://johnconway.art/log/why_dinosaur_nerds_are_mad_at_jurassic_world ), especially since Wu & his team brag about how "the days of filling in the gaps of a dinosaur's genome with frog DNA are over...[b/c]...we're approaching 100% genome accuracy in dozens of species" in JW promotional videos ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxigP1as9SI ). After all, "we can communicate ideas about fossil species as real animals far more effectively if we show them as real animals as well" ( http://www.poppalaeo.com/blogposts/2019/6/19/mark-witton-depicting-prehistoric-animals-as-monsters-how-why-and-so-what ). The JW movies have so far failed to live up to their potential, but CC has made up for A LOT of this failure.**
-For the record, I don't like it when filmmakers tell you to watch certain shows in order to understand their seemingly-inconsistent/nonsensical movies: At best, it comes off as lazy; At worst, it's confusing for more casual fans. In this case, it reminds me of Maul's seemingly-mysterious "Solo" cameo ( https://screenrant.com/star-wars-clone-wars-season-7-memes-hilarious/ ), but worse b/c at least "Star Wars" fans had a chance to see Maul in "The Clone Wars" before "Solo". That said, I think CC does an admirable job of explaining the seemingly-inconsistent/nonsensical appearance & behavior of the JW movie animals.
-In reference to appearance, this is especially true for the JW Stegosaurus (which "ought more correctly to be restored with its tail held high – you know, like it was already in the 1997 movie...in which movie, I should add, it was also shown with a beak": https://mesozoic.mikelaraman.com/2018/06/08/how-accurate-are-the-dinosaurs-of-jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom/ ) & Ankylosaurus, both of which look especially ridiculous when galloping in "Fallen Kingdom": To quote Darius in S3Ep8, "all the dinosaurs have other animals' DNA built into their genetic code, like tree frogs"; This is only just barely touched upon in JW ("Tree frogs can modulate their infrared output. We used strands from their DNA to adapt [the Indominus] to a tropical climate": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaVcjYbO3B0 ), but reiterated & expanded upon throughout CC, beginning in S1Ep2 ("Dr. Wu, what's that?...Tree frog DNA"); In this case, the need to adapt the JW Stegosaurus ( https://www.deviantart.com/taliesaurus/art/JW-QUESTION-Adaptations-to-the-modern-world-844668687 ), Ankylosaurus ( https://www.deviantart.com/taliesaurus/art/ASSETS-MEET-ANCESTORS-BUMPY-meets-her-Ancestor-880216468 ), & other dinos to a grassland environment is introduced & reinforced throughout CC, beginning in S1Ep3 ("Park personnel are moving a group of dinosaurs to fresh grazing lands across the island").
-It's also worth mentioning that, despite being based on the same designs, CC's CG animals look MUCH more natural/aesthetically pleasing than their JW movie counterparts, similar to the difference btwn "Planet Dinosaur" & "Walking With Dinosaurs" (I.e. The former's CG animals "actually look like they belong to the environment": https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-50-top-10-best-and-worst-dinosaur-documentaries/ ). This is especially apparent in Blue, who looks MUCH more sleek/smooth/vibrant in CC (like the monitor lizard she was genetically spliced w/: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCDX5hui1M8 ) than in "Fallen Kingdom" (which is tinted blue & makes her look bumpy/warty like a toad).
-In reference to behavior, this is especially true for the Carnotaurus, Baryonyx, & Allosaurus, all of which seemingly "fill [the role of] enraged, unstoppable movie monster with a thirst for human blood": In S1Ep2, it's said that the Carnotaurus & other dinos got quarantined for being "too aggro"; Presumably, those other dinos include the Baryonyx (which is seen being quarantined in S2Ep2) & Allosaurus; If so, not only does that explain why they aren't seen in JW, but also why they're so "super-persistent" (like the JP Velociraptor, which were quarantined, but unlike Rexy, who was on exhibit: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuperPersistentPredator ). On a related note, I like the creative choice to make the Monolophosaurus like land piranhas (I.e. "They’re less inclined towards members of their own species and can become aggressive when debates arise over territory and mates": https://fishcareguide.com/the-9-most-aggressive-freshwater-fish/ ).
-To quote RickRaptor105, "I miss the times when Jurassic Park movies showed you how fascinating real dinosaurs were instead of just constantly reinventing raptor designs" like those of the Indomious & Indoraptor (which are "so uninspired" that "artist Brian Engh launched the #BuildaBetterFakeTheropod Twitter campaign" in response: https://markwitton-com.blogspot.com/2015/07/where-next-for-jurassic-park-movies.html ). In contrast, to quote Azurajae, the Scorpius "probably had the most terrifying design I had ever seen for a hybrid dinosaur. It felt way more threatening than both the Indominus and Indoraptor, probably [b/c of its] very odd hodgepodge of a design. I also love the twist of it being extremely unstable and causing other dinosaurs to lash out after being poisoned."
*In reference to "ALL the sequel movies," the following reviews sum up why:
-"Why Lost World Wasn’t As Good As Jurassic Park: What Went Wrong" ( https://screenrant.com/jurassic-park-lost-world-bad-problems-reason-explained/ )
-"Marc's Jurassic World review: not your father's de-extinction theme park" (which I previously mentioned in "SD: The Jurassic World movie and challenge": https://www.deviantart.com/jd-man/journal/SD-The-Jurassic-World-movie-and-challenge-541332172 )
-"How Jurassic World Should Have Ended" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXGCyjJh48I )
-"HISHE Dubs - Jurassic World (Comedy Recap)" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUouUdYWh6g )
-"How Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Should Have Ended" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiaXHny9KD0 )
-"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Marc's review" (which I previously mentioned in "SD: The Jurassic World 2 movie and challenge": https://www.deviantart.com/jd-man/journal/SD-The-Jurassic-World-2-movie-and-challenge-770593457 )
-"JURASSIC WORST: FAILING KINGDOM - Rick Raptor Reviews" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5G0OdV8sY0 ). My only nit-pick is that the life reconstruction at 8:17 & 15:04 doesn't represent a "raptor", but a generic "juvenile coelurosaur" (Notice the lack of retractable sickle claws?: https://chasmosaurs.blogspot.com/2017/01/this-mesozoic-month-december-2016.html ). For an especially good example of accurate young & adult Deinonychus (which is the "raptor" the JP/JW Velociraptor are based on), see the cover of "National Geographic Magazine (October, 2020) Reimagining Dinosaurs" ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08JTRWH3C ).
**In reference to the JW movies, that's putting it nicely. Svensen's "love letter"/"middle finger" analogy is more accurate. In fact, it reminds me of what the Nostalgia Critic said about "Independence Day" ( https://thatguywiththeglasses.fandom.com/wiki/Independence_Day ): "So many people keep telling me, "Oh, it's a popcorn movie! Can't you just have fun?" Well, let me tell you something; a water slide is fun...All the slipping and sliding, it's just great. But if someone took you off the waterslide, shook you, gave you a noogie and then spat in your face and put you back on the water slide, you'd be like... "That wasn't fun; that was weird and annoying."" That's basically JW. More specifically, JW has A LOT of simultaneous pandering to & mockery of JP fans (I.e. 1 moment it shows something from JP &/or plays the JP score for nostalgic feels, the next it shows the obvious character stand-in for JP fans getting s*** on for LOLs).
-I like how real the CG water looks.
-I like how the main characters are constantly lamp-shading the incompetence & cheapness of JW ("You can wait for the negligent babysitters, but I'm with Darius...there's no way I survived a dinosaur attack...just to be taken out by cheap camp debris"). To quote Mr. Robustus ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os0gI0TDx0U ), "Spared every expense!"