Camp Cretaceous team on how season 3 fills in gaps between Jurassic World movies
How the animated Netflix series connects to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Warning: Spoilers from Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 3 are discussed in this article.
When you're stranded on a tropical island dodging ravenous man-eating dinosaurs, it's difficult to keep track of time. But time, indeed, has passed since the kids of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, the animated spin-off series to the Jurassic World movies, first arrived on Isla Nublar for their summer camp experience that turned into a nightmare.
In fact, it's been six months. Season 1 showed what happened on the other side of the island during the events of 2015's Jurassic World, and now season 3, streaming on Netflix, has reached the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom part of the timeline.
Camp Cretaceous showrunner Scott Kreamer and executive producer Colin Trevorrow, who laid the groundwork for the current Jurassic World film trilogy, spoke with EW about how the show's new season fills in the gaps between the events of the movies.
"I think it helps the audience mark the passage of time with these kids," Trevorrow says of season 3. "They're on this island and, at a certain point, it seems as if they've been there for this indeterminate amount of time. To make clear, first of all, what the timeline was at the beginning of Fallen Kingdom — it was about six months after the fall of Jurassic World — for kids who've grown up on it, it's cool to allow them to connect to these touchstones in the story and recognize that the story we're telling is part of the larger story. It's not just some cartoon show for kids. We take it seriously, I'll admit it."
The opening scene of 2018's Fallen Kingdom, as you might remember, sees a group of mercenaries trying to recover Indominus Rex bones on Isla Nublar after the hybrid broke free from its theme park cage and ravaged the island. The mission hit a couple of snags in the form of the Mosasaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Camp Cretaceous season 3 recreates pieces of this sequence in animated form to show what was going on elsewhere on the island during that time, as shown in the clip above.
Darius (Paul-Mikel Williams) and Brooklyn (Jenna Ortega) were racing to get away from the T. Rex when the creature heard the sounds of Jack (the guy who gets swallowed whole by the Mosasaurus in the movie) racing to get to the chopper. It's the event that sets the stage for Fallen Kingdom, which sees businessman Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) trying to sell dinosaurs on the black market as weapons to the highest bidders. Camp Cretaceous offers up a bit more perspective on this.
Dr. Wu returns
Dr. Henry Wu, the chief scientist of InGen, the bioengineering company behind the Jurassic World theme park, touched down on Isla Nublar in the penultimate episode of season 3. Mills had sent him and those mercenaries to acquire a sample of the Indominus Rex to make another hybrid dinosaur, which ends up being the Indoraptor monstrosity featured in Fallen Kingdom.
Actor Greg Chun voiced Dr. Wu in Camp Cretaceous, though Kreamer says they first went to B.D. Wong, who plays the character in the live-action movies. Mills, too, is referenced directly by Wu.
"He really is the thread that runs throughout everything," Kreamer says of Wu. "The fact that we know from Fallen Kingdom that [opening sequence] mission is to get the Indominus sample, it felt like a great way to thread him even more into our part of the mythology."
Wong will return as Dr. Wu in Jurassic World: Dominion, directed by Trevorrow as the final installment of the new Jurassic trilogy. The filmmaker remarks with hindsight how thrilled he was over the choice to "take this character who was only in Jurassic Park [the 1993 movie] for about three minutes and turn him into the thread that runs through the entire [franchise]."
According to Trevorrow, "there are connections that we're making for sure" between Dominion, now scheduled for a 2022 release in theaters, and Camp Cretaceous. "When you see Dominion, it will be clear that it takes place on the same timeline and in the same world as our show."
The Scorpius Rex
Wu's involvement in season 3 also gave credence to a pretty ghastly but logical conclusion that comes to light: the Indominus Rex and the Indoraptor were not his first attempts to create a hybrid dinosaur.
As the kids learn first through video diaries found in a secret facility on Isla Nublar, Wu tried to create something called the Scorpius Rex, made by fusing together different animal parts, including Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptor. The dino has infrared vision perfect for tracking its prey and poisonous stingers — the latter stemming from scorpionfish DNA. Wu's creation was far too volatile. He was tasked with destroying it, but he couldn't. Instead, he froze it permanently — that is until the building housing the cryogenic status tube lost power during the events of Camp Cretaceous season 2.
Darius, Brooklyn, Yaz (Kausar Mohammad), Ben (Sean Giambrone), Kenji (Ryan Potter), and Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) faced not one, but two Scorpius Rexes in season 3, after deducing the dino must've been made with frog DNA which would allow it to replicate.
"We wanted it to feel like a failed medical experiment," Kreamer explains. "Our design team just put a lot of time into figuring out what features should be exaggerated. We definitely wanted it to feel as the same phylum as the Indominus and the Indoraptor."
Trevorrow initially thought the Scorpius Rex design was "the ugliest thing ever," so much so that he "was a little against [the concept] at first."
"[The producers] rightly explained, 'Well, that's sort of the point, man.' It's the idea that we are messing with nature to the point that we have things that are genetic malfunctions," he says. "It's some dark stuff."
Another familiar face from the movies makes a comeback in season 3 for a significant role.
Blue, the favorite raptor of raptor whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), came in to first scare the kids as they continued to roam Isla Nublar, but then save them in the knick of time from the Scorpius Rexes.
Blue was spotted in season 1 when some of the campers accidentally found themselves in the raptor cages, but she returned in season 3 to show what the dino has been up to in between the fall of the theme park in the first movie and the dinosaur rescue mission of the second movie.
This clever girl made a home for herself in the old visitor's center at the original Jurassic Park attraction. At first, she hunts the kids after they stray into her territory, but she becomes more friendly after Darius rescues her from underneath a toppled car.
In the final battle against the Scorpius Rexes, Blue jumps in to save the day as the hybrid creatures are crushed (hopefully to death) by falling rubble.
Leaving the island
Knowing that season 3 of the show would line up with Fallen Kingdom in the timeline of the Jurassic franchise meant that, yes, the kids would finally be leaving the island.
In Fallen Kingdom, Isla Nublar is destroyed by an erupting volcano. Owen teams up with Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), now a dino rights activist, to save as many dinosaurs as possible before their home is swallowed by molten lava. This, of course, leads them to be double-crossed by Eli, who's looking to snatch the creatures to sell in an underground auction.
In any case, Kreamer and the writers determined this would be the season to finally get the kids off the island. They repair the yacht once owned by those nefarious big game hunters in season 2 and set sail. However, they are carrying something potentially vicious on board.
"It's clear that there's plenty more story to tell," Kreamer says. "It can go in a lot of different ways, but it does certainly seem that our kids, while escaping some peril... I don't think they're on their way to Club Med."
One possibility for the story moving forward could be the reintroduction of Isla Sorna, the second island owned by InGen where they cloned dinosaurs and bred them until they were ready to be transplanted onto Isla Nublar. How tragic would it be for the kids to finally leave their hellscape only to land on another one?
A different possibility might involve a certain drone spotted in the third episode of season 3. We see the bot zipping through the trees in pursuit of the Scorpius Rex before the creature swats it down. The drone doesn't seem to belong to Dr. Wu or his men. The scientist expressed surprise when he heard the Scorpius Rex had been loosed on the island. So, who does this drone belong to?
"Boy, it makes you wonder, doesn't it?" Kreamer says, playing coy. "I'll say this: For anyone who has been tracking the speed with which these seasons have been made available, that would only suggest that there's a larger plan afoot. The writers have done some really excellent work in mapping out the story that we want to be able to tell, if we're able to tell all of it. There are a lot of seeds that have been planted."
Season 4 of Camp Cretaceous has not been announced, and Kreamer insists he doesn't know if they'll get to make more seasons. However, animation takes time to make, so chances are they could be working on more episodes as we speak and just aren't saying. After all, Netflix announced season 3 in March, just two months before its May premiere.
While Kreamer would be happy making as many seasons as they get green lights for, he says there was a definitive ending in mind when he first set out to make the show, and he's not quite there yet.
"We do have a beginning, middle, and an end for it," Trevorrow affirms. "I certainly wouldn't want anyone to think that we don't have a plan. We do, and there is an ending in sight. Scott and the writers have plotted out a pretty exciting way forward."