Season 3 of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous arrived on Netflix over the weekend, providing audiences another glimpse at what to expect from the fan-favorite animated series. The DreamWorks Animation Television production shines a light on a previously-untold story between the events of Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and viewers have been relishing in seeing how that harrowing impacts its ensemble of characters. One standout member of that series' ensemble has been Sammy (voiced by Raini Rodriguez), a girl from Texas who was revealed to have unexpected ties to a shady scientific organization known as Mantah Corp.
Season 3 is chock-full of major character moments for Sammy, as well as unexpected shifts in her relationships with a lot of the fellow campers. In celebration of the release of Season 3 of Camp Cretaceous, ComicBook.com got a chance to chat with Rodriguez about all of those meaningful twists and turns. Along the way, we spoke about the fan response to the series amid the COVID-19 pandemic, what could be in store in a potential fourth season, and more!
ComicBook.com: I love that, even though there are so many dire moments and situations, there are also a lot of happier moments and a lot of really cool character moments in Camp Cretaceous Season 3. What was it like as an actor to play that and explore that, after two seasons of kind of constant peril?
Raini Rodriguez: I think it's something really special — first of all, just for character development alone, to just sort of watch these kids continue to live life in front of us. Yeah, they're in the middle of a jungle and trying to get off this crazy island with dinosaurs trying to eat them every day, but then it's something really special to have a moment between two characters, where you are reminded that they are kids and they have lives outside of Isla Nublar and Camp Cretaceous. They have people back home who loved them and miss them and they have quirks about themselves and hobbies that they do.
I feel like season three really gets to touch upon that, in between the friendships that they develop and more partnering between each other. Sammy gets to have beautiful moments with Yaz and she gets to have some really fun moments with Kenji, which we don't really get to see quite often. So it's really exciting. It's also great to give myself a break from recording in my booth from the constant heavy breathing, hyperventilating as if I'm running from a dinosaur. It was also really nice to get to have fun conversations with friends and showcase that on the show.prevnext
I did want to speak about Sammy and Yaz's relationship, because I feel like it has really grown and been really fun to watch across the show. What was it like to explore that in this season?
I think it's really special. Like I said, these kids come from so many different backgrounds and they're sort of thrown on the island together where it's like, "Work together or perish." It's that sort of thing where you guys have no choice but to stick together. And with Sammy, of course, she wants everybody to think of each other as family. She is #CampFam for life. She is the mother and the nurturer of the group, she wants everybody to get together. In Season 1, when she meets Yaz and she was very quiet and shy, Sammy didn't quite understand what that was. And then of course we find out that Sammy had Brooklyn's phone the whole time and things like that.
And I think, once they sort of mended that relationship and felt like together they can work better as friends and move forward and things like that, I think it's really special. And I love the moments that Kausar [Mohammed] and I got to have while we were recording together as well. It shows just in that short amount of time that we've been there how close Sammy and Yasmina have come to rely on each other, and how they need each other to keep going forward. They're the yin to each other's yang. They're so opposite, but they bring out the best in each other.
I think something happens this season that makes Sammy remember why she's at Camp Cretaceous, which is for her family back home but also having to worry about protecting her newfound camp family. Especially Yasmina, that's like her best friend. And same for Yasmina, she has that thing where she's very quiet and introverted, but when it comes to Sammy, she's willing to do it all. I think it's a really special relationship to get to showcase and I hope the fans really respond to it well, too.prevnext
What would you say surprised you the most working on Season 3?
Just how scarier it is. There are a lot more jump scares in this season. There are a lot more things that definitely tie us more into the Jurassic universe, and also the things that we get to make up ourselves as well. We're in an unfamiliar timeline in between the Jurassic World movies, so we sort of get to fill in the blanks of what goes on in between. I love introducing new things that the audience has never seen before. Especially if you're a big fan of the movies in the nineties and then today, we get a chance to introduce things that you guys have never seen, like never-before-seen threats and new things on the island that we get to discover. I love getting to showcase that, because we get to leave a small little part of our world into the Jurassic world and I think that's really, really exciting.
Plus, like I said, the jump scares and the new threats that we have, it takes Season 3 to a whole other level. It's still family-friendly. Everyone can still watch it together, but it just takes it to a whole other level.prevnext
What has it been like to see the response to the series thus far? It feels like, especially having it come out entirely during the pandemic, it seems like fans have really latched on to the cinematic aspect of it.
Oh, I'm so incredibly blessed to be a part of this franchise. The fans have just welcomed us with open arms. And I get it, sometimes there's a little bit where you're unsure of this new show coming in and sort of planting a flag in this Jurassic universe. There's skepticism that you might feel, like, "Oh, it might be a kid show." Or "Oh, it's cartoons, and how much can it truly be like a Jurassic film?" I feel like we do a fantastic job of fitting right into the flow of things. I mean, like I said, especially Season 3, we have these fun jump scares and these fun, new things that we get to introduce. Our characters go through so many things and character development, and the animation is beautiful.
I love reading all the tweets, and the DMs I get, and the Instagram comments. I love seeing the fan art. I know people are writing like their own stories. I just love that so much. It makes me so excited, because when you're recording this and you don't know when people are going to see it, it's one thing. But then to get to watch it and share it during the pandemic — which I know was a tough time for everybody, and I had so many people reaching out to me like, "Oh, it's bringing my family together. I've binged all the episodes the whole weekend, now I'm doing it again." I love that type of stuff.
I think, as an actor, every project you ever do, you really hope that people can feel the love and the commitment that you put into the project, and you hope they can feel that. And it's really special to be in something that already has such a huge following, and to know that I put so much love and respect into it, because of coming into this amazing franchise, and then the fans themselves have also sent us back so much love and respect too. So it's a big love fest, this Jurassic franchise. It's just a big love fest with the fans.prevnext
What do you hope fans take away from Season 3, in particular?
Honestly, all the hard work and fun that everybody has put into it. Our animators are just phenomenal. They're just phenomenal. The people at Dreamworks — I mean, they know how to draw. Let's just put that out there. Getting to voice Sammy, to me, is just such a small part compared to how much our writers and our storytellers and our directors and our storyboard artists, how much work they get to put into it. So many things go into making an animated show — special effects, and coloring, and the artistry. I mean, it's beautiful.
And I hope fans get to take away the love letters we continue writing to them and the Jurassic franchise. We get to put so many Easter eggs and teasers in this season, and I love doing that for the fans because I know they enjoy it as well. I hope they take away all the hard work and love that we put into it. And just the fact that our characters themselves, in so far past three seasons, we've been trying to grow and get off this dang island. I just hope they [still] come along for the adventure with us.prevnext
The season ends on a very interesting note, which kind of changes the game for all of the characters. What can you tease, if anything, about how that affects Sammy and her long-term future? As you mentioned, there's still a lot of this stuff with her family that's kind of unresolved at the moment.
I think that's just kind of what it leaves — more questions than answers for Sammy. Without giving too much away, she definitely knows what's at stake for herself. She was not going to Camp Cretaceous just to go to camp. She was going for a purpose and a reason to protect her family. And now that that's being brought to light again, she's going to do everything in her power to protect her family and her newfound camp family. I feel like it leaves her with more questions than answers, but — if anything — more determination than ever to get it right. That's all I'll say, because I don't want to give too much away.