by Hans ten Cate
Monday, 13 May 2002

Hallmark Entertainment, the producer of Dinotopia, is also reportedly developing Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits 2 (see previous Daily Llama article)

He "flew" in sort of under the radar, but Terry Jones was featured in a small cameo in ABC's Dinotopia, the most expensive television film ever made.

The six-hour mini-series is currently playing on ABC television in America. The story begins when Frank Scott, a wealthy American, crashes his plane into the Caribbean. He appears to perish, but his two teenaged sons, Karl and David, survive, only to find themselves castaways on Dinotopia, a fantastic lost continent where humans and dinosaurs peacefully co- exist. Karl and David are constantly at odds, even as they struggle to adjust to life in their strange new world.

Terry Jones provides the voice of the Postal Bird, a CGI animated bird that flies around Dinotopia serving as the land's primary source of long distance telecommunication.

Dinotopia was shot at London's Pinewood Studios, home to the James Bond films, and holds the record as the largest production at Pinewood to date. The miniseries occupied nine sound stages at the peak of production. The set for "Waterfall City," the magnificent capital of Dinotopia, which resembles Manhattan sitting atop Niagara Falls, was the largest built anywhere in Europe and occupied two and a half acres on the Pinewood backlot.

Much of the film was augmented with computer special effects, including all of the dinosaurs and Terry's talking bird. This would make the second computerized parrot Terry has voiced since Douglas Adams' "Starship Titanic" computer game.

Dinotopia aired in three two-hour episdoes, Sunday, May 12 through Tuesday, May 14. No word on when the DVD will be released, but I have to imagine at $80 million, this production cannot afford to leave this six-hour title off the shelves for too long this year.