We learned yesterday the official title of the new addition to the Jurassic Park franchise, ‘Jurassic World.’ With the announcement of this, feelings of nostalgia flowed back into my brain of how amazing Jurassic Park was as a child. From the awe experienced as the theme song plays and they soar across the island entering the theme park for the first time, to the horror as my heart pounded in time with the vibrations in the water as the T-rex approached. Jurassic Park feels like it defines a major part of my 90’s childhood.
Here are some of the parts I remember best about experiencing Jurassic Park in the 90’s, which shaped my youth.
1. Wanting to become an Archaeologist.
Jurassic park made archaeology look like the best job in the world. I couldn’t help thinking maybe if I became an archaeologist, a crazy man with a magical dinosaur theme park might seek me out too. Not only was Jurassic Park a part of this, I feel like the archeological-bug was everywhere in the 90s. In elementary school we took field trips to see old dino excavation sites, and I’ll never forget this ‘Reading Rainbow’ episode where they read “Digging Up Dinosaurs,” and then talked to a real archaeologist who explained how cool his job was.
Now that I think about it, I can’t seem to find the appeal in dusting off old bones in the desert. For one sand my get in my contacts, but on the other hand I might be really tan..
2. Dinosaur Animatronics
Jurassic Park’s use of Animatronics was mind-baffling. To this day I believe they are the most realistic looking monsters in any film. Spielberg pulled out all the stops on this one. They created life-size dinos for the movie, and the T-Rex itself weighed around 9,000 pounds. They also used a new type of technology called Go-Motion which captured the movement of models and miniatures in a computer for a smoother range of motions. The 3rd type of tech used to create the dinosaurs was the long-lived CGI animation which is predominant in most films these days. Why can’t everyone mix it up like Spielberg did? Everything looked so realistic.
When I was little we went to a dinosaur animatronic exhibit, and screamed as they moved and roared around us. This sort of thing much like the film filled me with fear and awe. If you ride the Dinosaur ride at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, or the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios, this feeling returns in full.
Even though the ginormous animatronic T-Rex steals the show, my favorite are the raptors which had real people inside of them. I watched a Japanese prank video the other day which had Raptor costumes chasing people down a hall and realized that my new life goal is to own one of those bad-boys.
3. Impressive Knowledge of Dinosaur Species
Now this might be the kind of thing which is only impressive to a relatively nerdy man, but it helps that I actually do like nerds. Being able to spout words like Brontosaurus, Plesiosaur, and Iguanodon might not be note-worthy in many circles, but I don’t care to associate with those people anyway. I did go on a hike with a guy to the top of a mountain in Arkansas once, and told him “I really feel like some Pterodactyls should be flying around this view,” to which he replied, “marry me.” So this theory of impressiveness has been tested.
Here is a simple dinosaur species chart so that you too can impress the men. (This might not work on women.)
I leave you with this bad @$$ Jurassic Park Ultimate Trailer we made, so that you can reminisce on the dino-mazingness of the original films, as well as this concept video which was released today and is supposedly a pitch video for the new film. It’s very rough, but at least you can get a sneak peek.