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Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone

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"This movie is an insult to both Dinotopia and creator, James Gurney. While the animation is good for a home video release and some of the background images are that bad either, though they don't live up to the beautiful illustrations by Gurney himself, pretty much everything else about this movie was completely horrible, it's worse than any of the Land Before Time sequels and that's saying a lot."
Hewy Toonmore

Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone
A more accurate title would be Dinotopia: Quest for a Better Movie.
Genre: Animation
Directed By: Davis Doi
Produced By: Jonathan Dern
H. Daniel Gross
Robert A. Halmi
Larry Levinson
Michael Moran
Paul Sabella
Steven Squillante
Robert Winthrop
Written By: Sean Roche
Based On: Dinotopia by James Gurney
Starring: Alyssa Milano
Jamie Kennedy
Kathy Griffin
Wayne Knight
Michael Clarke Duncan
Malcolm McDowell
George Segal
Diedrich Bader
Tara Strong
Gregg Berger
Alec Medlock
Cinematography: Color
Distributed By: Goodtimes Entertainment
Release Date: 17 May, 2005
Runtime: 75 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Franchise: Dinotopia

Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone is a 2005 American animated film directed by Davis Doi. Based on the Dinotopia series, this is the first related animated adaption of the book. After the Hallmark Entertainment live-action television series adaptation ended, Hallmark made this movie, though a lot of elements were changed from the original book.


An orphan boy named Kex Bradley attempts to escape his orphanage by boarding a cargo ship only for it to be caught in a thunderstorm and leaving Kex stranded in the ocean on a stray lifeboat. Kex wakes up to find that he has washed ashore on Dinotopia, where he meets 26, Mara, and the other residents of the island. They soon learn that the evil Ogthar has escaped his prison on the island with the use of a powerful artifact and must stop his plans of taking over their home.

Why It's a Bad Quest

  1. For the big elephant In the room, it deviates heavily from the original book series. Some of the changes include who Stinktooth and Ogthar are, Sunstones were portrayed as being gigantic stones that can trap radio waves and satellite signals, and giving the strutters digital screens. The majority Dinosaurs can talk like humans in this adaptation when convenient, whereas in the original book series, only a select few could.
  2. Additionally, some dinosaurs can talk just like humans, including Spazz despite being hatched midway through the film, whereas other baby and adult dinosaurs can't talk at all.
  3. On the subject of strutters, the strutters lose the ability to function in this movie when Ogthar blows off the Tyrannosaurus Strutter, whereas in the book they can still function after losing their head.
  4. Spazz can become more annoying than the Minions at points, especially with his voice and high energy, along with his constant shouting.
  5. The movie can't seemingly decide who is the hero in this movie. At the start, you are lead to believe it is Kex given how he wants to explore the world, but later on it appears that 26 is the main hero with her disposing of the ruby sunstone.
  6. The people who imprisoned Ogthar in the sarcophagus, and burying the sunstone where nobody would find it is an okay setup until you consider that when 26 goes up to the volcano to destroy the Ruby Sunstone raises a question of why they didn't put it in the volcano in the first place?
  7. The movie also suffers from cliché characters:
    • Kex is the "person who is tired of their old life and wants to explore new things" cliché.
    • Spazz is the "annoying sidekick who ends up helping" cliché.
    • Ogthar is the "villain that wants to take over the land" cliché.
    • Rhoga and Thudd are the "stupid henchmen who get easily beaten" cliché.
  8. The skateboard tricks Kex does feels like it is just put in their for marketing purposes and product placements.
  9. The movie feels a little too short at 75 minutes to be considered a movie.
  10. Stupid, unoriginal jokes from farting, and other toilet humor placed in all sorts of the movie.
  11. After 26 helps Stinktooth, there is a fight that feels very artificial and leaves as soon as it arrives.
  12. False Advertising: The poster seems to portray Stinktooth as the movie's "main villain", but it's really Ogthar who's the true main villain.
  13. There a few signs of scientific inaccuracies with some of the dinosaurs that can be seen throughout the film:
    • The Dilophosaurus character named Spazz is given a neck frill like that of a frilled lizard, which is how the Dilophosaurus in Jurassic Park was incorrectly portrayed.
    • An Iguanodon was given the ability to shed it's skin, though this dinosaur (or any dinosaur for that matter) could not shed it's skin in real life.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The film at least does include elements from the books, such as skyback riders, strutters, Waterfall City, and has Kex be introduced to the island from a shipwreck just like Arthur and Will.
  2. The actors do a good job voicing the characters for the most part, especially Malcolm Mcdowell as Ogthar and Deidrich Bader as John respectively.
  3. The music and animation are very well done for a home video release, and the idea of an animated Dinotopia film is not bad in concept. Additionally, "I'll take you there" in the credits by Windy Wagner is an extremely pleasant song to hear.
  4. When the Sunstones are dying out, the line about them trapping radio waves and tv signals and creating a shield over Dinotopia, while not consistent with how they were portrayed in the books, at least is a good explanation of why Dinotopia hasn't been discovered by radar or something like that.
  5. It's non-canon to both the Hallmark Entertainment live-action series adaptation and the books.


  • According to the 2nd Book Issue of Dinotopia: The World Beneath, Stinktooth is a Giganotosaurus.
  • As of so far, this is the only piece of Dinotopia media that's been animated.
  • This movie still uses "sauro-partners" (a human and a dinosaur that have known each other for a long time) from the live-action series.


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