Based on the children's books by author/illustrator James Gurney, the three-part, six-hour ABC miniseries Dinotopia got under way when a pair of teenaged half brothers, Karl and David Scott, took over the controls of their father Frank's (Stuart Wilson) private plane. Not surprisingly, the boys crashed the plane into the ocean, whereupon they were washed on the shore of an unchartered continent. While searching for their missing dad, Karl and David wandered into Waterfall City, the capitol of Dinotopia, a hidden civilization where human beings and dinosaurs peacefully coexisted. In fact, some of the dinosaurs, notably a neurotic Stenonychosaurus named Zippo, possessed human intelligence and spoke perfect English. Among the many rules in Dinotopia was the edict that, once an outsider arrived, he or she was never allowed to leave. As Karl and David prepared to take their rightful places in their new surroundings, both boys developed a strong bond with young Marion (Katie Carr), who was on the verge of becoming a "matriarch" of the Dinotopian society. Unfortunately, the incursion of vicious carnivores, not to mention an unanticipated human villain, threatened to destroy Dinotopia and everyone living on the island. Decked out with special effects courtesy of Jim Henson's Creature Shop and the British FrameStore CFC, Dinotopia was designed as the pilot for a proposed weekly ABC adventure series. Co-produced by Disney Television and Hallmark Entertainment, the miniseries premiered as an episode of the Wonderful World of Disney anthology on May 12, 2002.
by Hal Erickson synopsis