20 Lesser-known Facts About the Jurassic Park Movies

by Shivam Khandelwal3 months ago0 comments
Picture 20 Lesser-known Facts About the Jurassic Park Movies

The 1993 dino-hit completely revolutionized the visuals and animations of the world of filmmaking. Animating realistic dinosaurs at that time was a remarkable achievement for the Jurassic Park team. After more than 25 years, the legacy of the franchise will still continue in the new Jurassic World Dominion movie. Here is a list of 20 interesting things you probably didn’t know about the Jurassic Park movies. 

1 In Jurassic Park, the character of Ian Malcolm played by Jeff Goldblum was nearly written out of the script.

Ian Malcolm
Ian Malcolm. Media credit: Universal Pictures

Imagining the Jurassic Park sequels without the eccentricity of the brilliant mathematician Ian Malcolm is difficult. Playing Malcolm was Goldblum’s one of the best performances but he had to fight for it.

The director had straightforwardly told him that he would no longer be needed. Goldblum had to convince him how important the character is for the movie. Eventually, everything went out well and the mathematician stayed in the film. (source)

2 The team was originally going to use stop-motion instead of CGI or Computer-Generated Imagery. However, two CGI artists worked on T-Rex secretly and after finishing, they quietly uploaded the video on Kathleen Kennedy, the producer’s computer. After watching the video the producer, the director, and the rest of the team were convinced to use CGI.

The director Stephen Speilberg had already decided to use the visual effects of Phil Tippett’s stop-motion models for the film. The one CGI testing video completely replaced the stop-motion visuals.

There is a huge quality difference between the two kinds of production. CGI is a lot more convincing and realistic than stop-motion animation. (source)

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3 In the original Jurassic Park movie, the dinosaurs are just 15 minutes on the screen.

Jurassic Park T-rex
Jurassic Park T-rex scene. Media credit: Universal Pictures

Even if the movie is all about the dinosaurs, the animated creatures have just 15 minutes of screen time. This also means that only 11% of the movie is dedicated to the dinosaurs scene.

From these 15 minutes, nine are Stan Winston’s animatronics and the rest of the six are by Industrial Light & Magic CGI. (source)

4 For making just one frame of rain-soaked T-Rex required six long hours of work. It took the team an entire year to make four minutes of CGI for Jurassic Park.

Rain-soaked T-Rex
Media credit: Universal Pictures

Understanding how the CGI works and was used to make T-Rex is not a complicated task. Without getting into the technicalities, computer-generated graphics are like multiple hand-drawn drawings or photographs that together create an illusion of movement.

It is just that the series of drawings are made on a computer. The real process is indeed lengthy.

In the Jurassic Park movie, the animators took up an hour to include dinosaurs in live actions scenes. Every individual frame took from two to four hours to render. And making the rain-soaked T-Rex required the longest, six hours. (1, 2)

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5 The main gate of Jurassic Park was initially designed to look like something else, but the director wanted it to look more like the movie King Kong’s gate. Dr. Malcolm’s line about King Kong is therefore an easter egg.

Jurassic Park's Gate
Jurassic Park’s Gate. Media credit: Universal Pictures
King Kong’s gate
King Kong’s gate. Media credit: RKO Radio Pictures
Malcolm’s statement
Malcolm’s statement. Media credit: Universal Pictures

The statement by Malcolm is important not only because it’s a reference to the 1933 movie King Kong, but also because the movie was the director’s biggest inspiration to create Jurassic Park.

Both the movies are made with groundbreaking special effects. Jurassic Park created a next-level standard for CGI and King Kong came up with incredible stop-motion monsters. (source)

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6 During the filming of Jurassic Park, Hurricane Iniki hit Hawaii and destroyed the sets. The director and the cast had to flee to their hotel basement.

Hurricane Iniki
Hurricane Iniki. Image credit: NOAA

The movie’s filming was on the role on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The place was suitable since the island is naturally rainy, and the weather gave them footage for later scenes in the film.

In the movie, a tropical storm is used as a cover to cut power to the park. Since the filming happened to coincide with the hurricane, the team didn’t need to go an extra mile for the weather assistance. The cast was completely safe in their hotel during the hurricane but the sets were completely ruined and blown away. This resulted in the film’s delay.

The final day of the on-location shooting on the island was 11 September 1992. (source)

7 The two dinosaur names, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus were misspelled in the Jurassic Park movie in 1993.

Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus
Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are misspelled. Media credit: Universal Pictures

The scientists in Jurassic Park were skilled geneticists, still, they misspelled Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus. The spellings could be seen on the cryogenic storage containers.

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8 According to an interview with Joseph Mazzello, In Jurassic Park, behind every self-piloting car, there is a single crew member crouched in the back seat of the Ford Explorer who is piloting it. To help them drive, the crew had attached cameras in front of the apparently self-piloting cars.

Jurassic Park Ford Explorer
Jurassic Park Ford Explorer. Media credit: Universal Pictures

The novel lacked the idea of self-driving cars. In the novel, the visitors were riding along in Toyota Land Cruisers. However, on the screen, the director added his creativity and used customized Ford Explorers.

The self-driving cars during the film’s production are driven by drivers stuffed in the trunk; they’re in the cargo area which is hidden from the view. (source)

9 The insect trapped in amber which made the cloning of dinosaurs possible in the Jurassic Park movie is actually an elephant mosquito. The elephant mosquito is the only mosquito that doesn’t suck blood therefore cloning isn’t really possible. They used the exact wrong species.

Elephant mosquito
Elephant mosquito. Media credit: Universal Pictures

Any entomologist watching the movie would notice the glaring mistake of using an elephant mosquito. It is shown in the movie that the scientists collect dinosaur blood from the gut of a prehistoric mosquito which was preserved in amber.

Mosquitos did buzz around during the dinosaur world and feed on their blood. However, the species picked by Jurassic Park, Toxorhynchites rutilus is the only one that doesn’t suck blood. It is also the largest species of mosquitos that scientists know of. The revival of dinosaurs couldn’t have been possible anyway because DNA doesn’t stay intact for 80 million years. The mosquito that large in the movie wouldn’t have left any blood inside it. (source)

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10 There is a visible blunder in the Jurassic Park first movie. In the scene where a raptor opens the door to the kitchen, we can see an operator gripping his tail.

Raptor kitchen scene
Raptor kitchen scene. Media credit: Universal Pictures

It’s a surprise that the mistake wasn’t noticed by anyone until it was revealed by a fan after 27 years of the movie’s release.

When we have a close inspection of the iconic raptor’s scene, we can see a hand appearing that pushes the dinosaur’s tail right when the shot pans out of the velociraptor. The mistake is pretty tough to spot and very well hidden in the movie. The hand is difficult to notice as it is zoomed out. (source)

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