Camp Cretaceous debuts on Netflix September 18. The Jurassic spinoff is the first animated series set inside the world of the long running franchise. i09 spoke with the animated show runners, Kreamer and Aaron Hammersley.
“When Steven gave the okay for the project, when he gave the final sign-off, his marching orders were, ‘Don’t do the kiddy version,’” showrunner Scott Kreamer told io9. “‘It needs to feel like it’s Jurassic Park. It needs to feel like it’s Jurassic World.’ And we went for it.”
More on their motivation for the project:
Kreamer and Hammersley joined the project after it had already been greenlit, and once they were onboard the pair resolved to make a kids show that didn’t play it safe (something Spielberg wanted too). They yearned to make a kids show that would give younger audiences the freedom to experience and understand danger, like the Jurassic movies do. The showrunners took inspiration from films where kids face actual peril—oftentimes without an adult, gadget, or superpower to help them out. Not-so-coincidentally, this ended up being a lot of classic Spielberg works, including E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies, and obviously the original Jurassic Park.
“I think that you couldn’t really do a Jurassic story without having those elements of putting people in real danger. Because otherwise, if you don’t have that, it’s not going to feel like a Jurassic Park or Jurassic World film. So to us, it was it was really just kind of keep in line with the world that they’ve already created,” Hammersley said.
Camp Cretaceous earns its place in the “actual peril” category, as well as its PG rating. While Kreamer and Hammersley insisted the series never display blood or gore onscreen, there are still times where things get intense. Sometimes, the teens even watch other people be eaten by dinosaurs.—it may not be bloody, but it is violent, and that can be a lot to handle. Hammersley said it was about letting young characters be in peril instead of always making things feel safe—and trusting the audience to understand what all of that means.
You can learn more about the project by clicking here.