Cons first: There's actually only one, and that's the acting being rather weak, although not as bad or cringe-worthy as reviewers had me believe. That takes out 1 point off my note, but certainly doesn't make Dinosaur Island yet another "worst film ever." In fact, I found the kid heroes quite adorable, which is a rarity for me, cinema-wise.
Now for the good bits: The story-telling goes old fashion children adventure, following a duo of spirited smart kids with a positive attitude. It works on kid movie logic, as it should, so as to concentrate on laughs, thrills, and mostly on delivering a sense of wonder and mystery. There's the mandatory adorable animal pet, which is truly adorable; and extremely smart, way too much if you watch it in a cynical mood, but that would be your problem.
My favourite bit is the fauna & flora couple. It's diverse, colourful, and a real joy to watch, apart for a pair of creepy-crawly critters that are efficiently yucky. The expected T-Rex is there, updated to its current scientific status, and I have to say that it looks surprisingly scary with its flashy red and blue feathers. Then the writer went crazy with the plants. Some of them look like they were extracted from Lovecraft's mind. Fortunately, the bright colours dampen the horror. They might still be scary enough for children, but they end up mostly bizarre and mysterious.
Let's mention that all this vivid life is watched under a blue sky. Hollywood it ain't, hence the makers felt no need to hide CGI imperfections in 90 minutes of darkness. Quite the opposite. CGI are the way to go for lower budgets. They'll never look as good as animatronics, but the latter are much more demanding. Dinosaur Island's end credits read like a family project. Several families in fact. They proudly show their baby in full daylight, and I'm glad they do.
Dinosaur Island is Jules Verne done right. I watched it with eyes wide open and a permanent smile. I found all the ingredients that make children dream of adventure and paradise islands: prehistoric beasts (instead of mosquitoes), fantastic tree houses, not so dangerous tribes, crystal caves (who wouldn't love to discover some, like in Mexican Naica?) and, above all, the mixing of gorgeous scenery and modern wrecks. This marriage shall be the glue and the trademark of this nice piece of entertainment.
Review by Voyou Nobodysbusiness from the Internet Movie Database.