Edit: Ok the silly fools at Maxis sent us to the wrong plugin. The correct instructions for Maya is:
There's a lot of confusion about how to load the creatures into Maya. Hopefully this will clear up some of it.
1. First, make sure you are using the correct plug-in. This plug-in is meant to work with Maya 2009. Download and install this plugin: http://sourceforge.net/projects/colladamaya/files/COLLADAMaya%201.4.1%20plug-ins/ColladaMaya_FREE_3.05C.exe/ColladaMaya_FREE_3.05C.exe/download
2. Now make sure the plug-in is LOADED. To load the plug-in go to Window -> Settings/Preferences -> Plug-in Manager – Check “Loaded” and “Auto Load” next to COLLADA.
3. When you go to import the .dae file, look at the "File type" drop-down list and make sure that you pick the plug-in, it should say "COLLADA import". NOTE: If you skip this step Maya will default to its native collada importer which is not as robust as this plugin.
4. Make the joint sizes smaller - Go to Display -> Animation -> Joint Size and make it something around 0.04
5. Use the 4, 5, and 6 keys to toggle between wireframe, textured, etc.
6. If you have a nice graphics card you can click on the "Render" menu inside the 3D window and select "High Quality Rendering"
Good luck everyone and please let me know if you get it working!
-MaxisEditorDan (Dan Moskowitz)
Captain Smash in Maya 2009 Finally: