Over the past two years, viewers have been treated to a whole new extension of the Jurassic universe, in the form of the Netflix series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. The animated series recently debuted its fourth season on the streaming platform, and it took its ragtag group of campers into some wildly new territory. In Season 4, finally escaping Isla Nublar, the campers find themselves in grave danger when shipwrecked on a mysterious island. As the group begins to uncover the strange secrets of this new land, they must hatch a plan to not only save themselves, but also protect the dinosaurs from the sinister forces at work.
In celebration of Camp Cretaceous’ Season 4 debut, ComicBook.com chatted with executive producer and showrunner Scott Kreamer about the newest batch of episodes. We spoke about the season’s “jump the shark” moments, the series’ first romance, the hype for Jurassic World: Dominion, and so much more!
What can you tease, if anything, about where the story could go from here?
I don’t want to get too spoilery with it. We know how Kenji has described his father, but we don’t really know who his dad is. So, finding out more about that and delving into the relationship. Like everything else, we really put our kids through it each and every season, each and every episode. Seeing how they react and seeing how they come together — or don’t come together — to make it through the adventure. That’s the whole thing. And we’ll have to see where it goes.
The cliffhanger ending for the season, that is such a surprising and epic note to end on. What can you say about that decision Having Kenji face his dad and have this heel turn is definitely surprising.
I think, for some time, we’ve always known that we were coming towards Kenji’s dad. There’s been enough references to him, as well as Kenji’s relationship with him, that just made it feel surprising — but if you really look at all the clues leading up to it, maybe not as surprising. Those are my favorite kind of things in shows, and movies, and books, of “Oh, I should have seen that coming.” It’s been really exciting.
For doing so much of the show without any other characters but our six, it’s been really fun to finally tee up Kenji’s dad coming back into the fold and what that means for Kenji, as far as the Kenji who we met in Episode One, and now the Kenji who we know now.
You mentioned the movies. The Prologue for Jurassic World: Dominion came out a couple of weeks ago. People are reinvigorating their love in the Jurassic world, and your show has been a huge part of that. What has it been like to just see this continued audience response from people who are Jurassic fans, and are really embracing your show?
It’s really beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. You take on a show like this, and you just expect the internet to be lying in wait to say why it sucks, and ‘This is bad!’ and everything. So, for the fans to really embrace our show the way they have, it’s really beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. And then my kids and I watched Prologue, probably, four times over the weekend. I was emailing with Colin a bit about it. It’s so great. I’m excited, so I’m really glad that everybody else is excited, too.The Prologue for Jurassic World: Dominion came out a couple of weeks ago
Are there any sequences this season that are your favorite? Something where you’re like, “I cannot believe we pulled this off.”
Well, I would’ve loved to hold onto the Mosasaurus stuff, but we had to show something in the trailer. But I cannot tell you how difficult that was with all the water interaction stuff, on a TV schedule, and a TV budget. The way our teams came together, from the writing, to the boarding of it, to the effects, to the animation. Everybody, really. That was a really difficult episode to do. Anytime you throw that much water at an episode, it’s really difficult.
The other thing that comes to mind is the sandstorm that our effects team was able to do in the desert. Anytime we can make these shows feel like they have something approaching the scope of the movies, it’s really gratifying. And I think the entire team really stepped up.
Speaking to character moments, I really love Sammy’s arc over the course of this season. It feels like all of the stuff with Mantah Corp has been percolating in the background, and then we really get to see her guilt, and her starting to deal with the consequences of all of that.
I love all these characters, and I think everybody on the crew does. And seeing Sammy, how she has started, and really the inner strength that has come through out of it. Initially it was like, “Okay. Well, she’s the spy. She’s got Brooklyn’s phone.” But when you really get into it, Sammy went against her parents’ wishes to come and do something selfless and come to Jurassic World, inspire Mantah Corp to help her family. Just seeing how Sammy has evolved, and that inner strength has come through, and everything she’s meant to Yaz especially, it’s been really great. And again, Raini Rodriguez does such a wonderful job at showcasing the strength, but also the insecurity and the heart of this character.
This season introduces romance to the group of kids, in a way that is really adorable and endearing to watch. It feels like a natural progression for the show, but it also feels surprising. I was wondering if you could speak to that decision.
We kind of stumbled upon that storyline, I think, when we were breaking Season 2. We talked about it, and it just felt like it was too soon to hold on to this. And I’ll be honest, there was initially some resistance to doing this. It’s a kid show and it’s not necessarily something you would do in Jurassic. But it felt, like you said, it’s a natural progression. If you’ve got six kids on an island for six months, feelings are going to develop. And we wanted to approach it in a way that felt organic to the show, and made sense with our characters.
This season takes very interesting approaches to Jurassic lore, with robot dinosaurs and hybrids and all of that. Did you have any moments where it was like, “This feels like we’re jumping the shark, but we’re going to make it work”? Were there any moments in the writer’s room where it was just like, “I can’t believe we’re expanding the universe in this way”?
Oh, absolutely. I’ve lost sleep over this season and this new approach. But again, we want to broaden the world. We have to broaden the threats. And I will be honest, at first when we were starting to talk about the BRADs, and the original approach was too sci-fi. I was even talking to [producer and Jurassic World director] Colin [Trevorrow] about it. Yeah, there was definitely some concern.
And then, as we’re writing this stuff, Boston Dynamic put out a new video of what their robots can do. And it’s like, “Hey, you know what? This isn’t so crazy.” This isn’t as crazy as we maybe thought it was at the time. So hopefully, the fans will get on board with it.
Dr. Turner is an interesting addition to the season, because it almost feels surreal for this show to have an adult character who is an ally of the children, and isn’t an antagonist in some sort of way. How did you approach her character?
Kirby Howell-Baptiste, we were so excited to get to work with her. She was an inspiration for the character before we ever approached her to be on the show, so that worked out wonderfully.
It’s tricky. We want to broaden the world, and again, this is not a show about adults rescuing kids. So, it was sort of a balancing act, giving them an ally who wasn’t going to have all the answers and they could turn to to solve all their problems. But we wanted somebody fun, somebody quirky, but somebody that the kids could actually find an ally in, as opposed to normally battling against every adult that we’ve thrown at them.
The tonal balance of the season is really interesting, because the questions that the kids are asking and the things that they are discovering are dark, when you really think about them, but the series still feels so lighthearted. What was it like trying to find that balance?
It’s been that way since we started this show, where suddenly we’re doing a kid’s cartoon where people actually die. So, this balance is nothing new, but I sort of equate it to how the Harry Potter books and films went along. They did get darker as the kids get older, and as their audience got older. So, that balance is always in this show. It’s always tricky, but luckily we have some really smart writers, smart artists, and really terrific voice actors as well, who manage to find the heart and the release of tension in some of these really darker things.
ComicBook.com: Just starting off with this new status quo for the season: the kids are off the island, it’s this new territory. What was you guys’ approach to that, especially as you’re carving out a new corner of the Jurassic canon?
Scott Kreamer: It’s all that. We’ve been three seasons on a jungle island running from dinosaurs, and we really wanted to shake things up. At the end of the day, this show always begins and ends with these characters, so we wanted to push that. Push the characters. Push these relationships. Just really do some more exploration into what it would be like for, all of a sudden, the kids to be thrown into an entirely new world where they don’t have any answers, just lots and lots of questions. And allowing our audience to discover those answers along with our kids.
from Ultimate Comic Blog