SINGAPORE – You might think that in a cartoon series in which beasts of awe-inspiring size are a key attraction, the aim would be to make them as fantastic as possible.
But for Colin Trevorrow, executive producer of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, wants the opposite.
The American film-maker wants the cartoon creatures to not look cartoonish.
"We're a franchise grounded in science, real science, and if we let go of that, we'd give up something that makes us unique," says Trevorrow, 43, to journalists from South-east Asia on Monday Sept 14 in a virtual press conference from his home in London.
The animated series, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, will premiere on Sept 18 on Netflix. In the series, six teenagers are in the camp of the title when the dinosaur breakout of the 2015 film occurs. Unless they use their wits, the teens will not make it to safety.
The series and the films share a common universe, with stories that will become more intertwined over time, he says.
In the films, even when fictional animals appear, such as the terrifying man-made hybrids Indoraptor (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, 2018) and Indominus rex (Jurassic World, 2015), they look to be within the realm of possibility, he says.
When the science is real, it serves to heighten another classic element of the franchise – the sense of terror. The fear factor will not be watered down for the series, he says.
"Adults and children are in real danger in the show. Death is unexpected and unearned," he says.
In most films, death comes as punishment for the villain, but dinosaurs are animals and "animals are not conscious of that so good people are in as much danger as bad people", he says.
Facing fear might be something children need, he adds.
"We might be making horror movies for children, but being a kid is a scary thing. I think it's good to have kids get their fears out of their system in a cathartic way by seeing the children in the show triumph over danger."
He is familiar with the Jurassic franchise, having directed Jurassic World, the franchise's fourth movie, and was a writer on the follow-up, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. He is both a writer and director on the next film in the series, Jurassic World: Dominion, to be released in 2021.