30 Coolest Jurassic Park Facts
Trivia 65 million years in the making.
Set-pieces that were cut from the original Jurassic Park include one in which the T. rex terrorizes a river ride, and a scene involving a pterodactyl, which was cut for budget reasons. Both of these were incorporated into Jurassic park III.
There was also a planned scene in which young Lex rides a baby triceratops. This was cut and the model dinosaur was later used in The Lost World: Jurassic Park .
Setting a bad example
One of the scariest dinosaurs seen in the first film is the all-frills, all-spills Dilophosaurus. And yet, it’s most memorable features were all made up one way or the other.
Michael Crichton, author of the original novel, invented the dino’s deadly venom-spitting ability, and Spielberg added the terrifying rattling neck-frill. In real life, the Dilophosaurus didn’t have either of these traits. And yet everyone who grew up watching the film now thinks differently. Tsk.
While the film has long been praised for advancing computer-animated graphics in order to resurrect all manner of extinct creatures, making the dinos walk and roar weren’t the only things on ILM’s to-do list.
In the scene where Lex falls through the ceiling, the stunt double for actress Ariana Richards accidentally looked directly at the camera, and so ILM had to CGI-paste Richards’ face over hers to cover up the error.
Black and white
It’s no coincidence that Ian Malcolm wears black throughout most of the film, while Hammond wears mostly white. This is to represent the fact that the two are diametrically opposed idealistically.
During production of the film, Spielberg identified himself as Hammond – the dreamer – and author Michael Crichton as Malcolm – the voice of reason.
For all of the resurrected dinos and extreme action sequences, one of the more ridiculous moments in the film comes when Lex recognises the park’s UNIX system.
Instantly dating the film with an ancient computer software program that looks entirely fake, the UNIX system seen in the film is actually a real 3D file management browser called Fsn (‘fusion’). No one has ever found a practical use for it (probably).
Everyone knows that ILM worked wonders with the CGI effects, while Stan Winston’s studio made good with the realistic animatronics, but did you know that the dinosaurs were brought to life in another – much more B-movie – way?
Some of the shots of the velociraptors in the climactic kitchen scene were actually achieved by animators wearing rubber suits. In Jurassic Park III, the animators had specially-made ‘raptor pants’ to wear for shots of the dinos’ legs.
We would give anything to own a pair.
Sadly, for all the film’s monster blockbuster entertainment, there always has to be someone to come along and ruin the fun. In this case, it’s the scientists who have since proven inaccuracies of many of the dinosaur depictions seen.
For example, velociraptors were actually the size of turkeys, with many palaeontologists believing that they were actually covered in feathers. They wouldn’t be nearly as scary though, right?
Despite the aforementioned corrections that scientists have made about the dino assumptions in Jurassic Park , it seems that this won’t affect how they are portrayed in Jurassic World .
Director Colin Trevorrow is quoted as saying that there will be no feathered dinosaurs in Jurassic Park 4 . He has also tweeted a pic of Kauai in Hawaii along with the word “Nublar”, the island from the previous films.
Other things that have been teased about the sequel include consultant Jack Horner saying that there will be a brand new dinosaur cast as the villain of the film, and Trevorrow clarifying where the film sits in the franchise: “Reboot is a strong word. This is a new sci-fi terror adventure set 22 years after the horrific events of Jurassic Park ”.
Weathering the storm
During the filming of Jurassic Park , the film’s central location – the Hawaiian island of Kauai – was hit by Hurricane Iniki. Thankfully, it didn’t cause too much damage. In fact, for some people, it barely disturbed sleep.
Richard Attenborough awoke the next day, having slept all the way through it. When Spielberg met this with disbelief, Attenborough said: “Dear boy, I survived the blitz!”
Skimping on the goods
If there was ever proof needed that less is more when it comes to showing all your cards in a blockbuster movie, this is it.
Despite having a running time of 127 minutes, Jurassic Park only actually contains roughly 15 minutes of actual dinosaur footage. Anyone cheeky enough to ask for their money back?
Oh, what could have been.
During casting of Jurassic Park , William Hurt turned down the role of Alan Grant without even reading the script. Harrison Ford also turned the role down, while Richard Dreyfuss, Tom Sizemore and Dylan McDermott were all also considered.
Sean Connery was first sought for the role of Hammond, and Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robin Wright-Penn, Teri Hatcher, Julianne Moore, Helen Hunt, Elizabeth Hurley and Juliette Binoche all tested for the role of Ellie Sattler.
Aaaand Christina Ricci auditioned to play Lex. And, most amazingly of all, Jim Carrey auditioned for the part of Ian Malcolm, and according to casting director Janet Hirshenson, he performed really well..
For all of the film’s sophistication in advancing computer effects, there is a glaring rookie mistake of an error in the film when it comes to depicting real-world technology.
When Nedry communicates with the dock via webcam, it is actually just a Quicktime video playing on screen. You can even see the time bar moving along the bottom of the screen as it plays. D’oh!
If you thought the T. rex looked scary on screen, apparently things weren’t all that different during filming either. Thanks to the rain, the animatronic T. rex would frequently short circuit and ‘come alive’ of its own accord.
Producer Kathleen Kennedy has said: “We’d be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden a T. rex would come alive. At first we didn’t know what was happening, and then we realized it was the rain. You’d hear people start screaming.”
Enjoy the ride
In 1996, Jurassic Park: The Ride opened at Universal Studios Hollywood and went on to become a hugely successful theme park attraction that has got many, many people soaking wet with its massive final splashdown.
Cast members Jeff Goldblum, Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello all attended the launch, as did Steven Spielberg – who surprised everyone by proving to be a bit of a wimp and asking to exit the ride just before it’s big 84-foot drop.
Did you enjoy the clear spark between Ellie Satler and Dr Ian Malcolm as the latter spouted chaos theory philosophy to flirt outrageously with Alan Grant’s wife?
Well, it seems there was a reason that the two seemed so well suited – Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern actually got engaged after Jurassic Park , and stayed engaged for two years before eventually splitting up.
The extreme danger depicted in Jurassic Park wasn’t just contained to the big screen. Sam Neill managed to injure himself during filming with… um… a flare.
According to Neill, during the scene in which Grant uses the flare to distract the T. rex: “It dropped some burning phosphorous on me and got under my watch and took a chunk of my arm out.” Still better than a dinosaur taking a chunk of your arm out though, eh?
Ian Malcolm’s line about being extinct is actually stolen from animator Phil Tippett (he of “You had one job, Phil” Internet meme fame).
After all his work developing stop-motion techniques for the film, Spielberg had to break the news to him that he was going to use digital effects instead, to which Phil replied “I think we’re extinct”.
The lovable exposition-providing cartoon character was originally conceived out of an off-the-cuff sarcastic comment.
According to screenwriter David Koepp, he and Spielberg were struggling with ways to explain the science behind the concept. He says: “One of us said, ‘What are we supposed to do? Have a little animated character called Mr. DNA?’ And the other one said, ‘Yes! That’s exactly what we’re going to do!'”
Steven Spielberg actually makes an appearance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, but you’ll be forgiven for having not spotted it. This has to be one of the most subtle cameos on record…
During the CNN broadcast about the dinosaurs’ return, if you look really closely, you can see Jeff Goldblum in the reflection of the TV. And sitting next to him? Mr Spielberg, eating popcorn.You have to REALLY want to see it to spot him.
Joseph Mazzello, who plays young Tim in the movie, originally auditioned for Hook. Spielberg turned him away then for being too young, but was still impressed and told him “Don’t worry, Joey. I’m going to get you in a movie this summer”.
And his casting as Tim actually led Spielberg to reverse the ages of the children. In Crichton’s novel, Tim is the older sibling, but Spielberg felt that he couldn’t have a girl so young put in mortal peril, so he made Lex the older sister to Tim.
The film’s most iconic shot – the glass of water vibrating at every step of the thunderous T. rex – actually first came to Spielberg when he saw his rearview mirror shake while listening to Earth, Wind & Fire in the car.
It proved problematic to recreate, but FX expert Michael Lantieri eventually made the rippling effect happen by strumming a guitar string, that was attached under the dashboard beneath the glass.
Want to know how all those wonderful roars and growls were created? The T. rex was a combination of an elephant trumpeting and, hilariously, penguin mating sounds, as well as dog, tiger and alligator noises.
The Dilophosaurus was given a voice made up of howler monkeys, hawks, swans and rattlesnakes, while the Velociraptor squeal is a combo of elephant seal pups, walruses and dolphin squeaks.
And when the T-Rex catches a Galliminus in its mouth and shakes it? What you’re hearing there is a dog with a chew toy.
Jurassic Park is indirectly responsible for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace .
After completing principal photography on Jurassic Park , Spielberg left the post-production process early in order to start making Schindler’s List , and he left George Lucas in charge of overseeing the film’s digital effects. And it was while doing this that Lucas saw the improvements that had been made in CGI and decided that he could make his long-mooted Star Wars prequels.
Sick as a Triceratops
So, why exactly was that Triceratops so ill?
We don’t get an answer for Trikey’s sickness in the movie but Michael Crichton’s novel and screenplay (in which it was actually a Stegosaurus) supplies an answer.
It is explained that the dino lacks suitable teeth for chewing and so, like birds, would swallow rocks and use them to grind food in its digestive tract. After six weeks, the rocks would become too smooth to be useful, and the animal would regurgitate them. When finding new rocks to use, the Triceratops also swallowed toxic berries
Since the film’s release there have been several Jurassic Park console games, for many different platforms. Subtitles for these games include The Chaos Continues, Trespasser, Chaos Island, Warpath, Scan Command, Survival, Operation Genesis, Dino Defender, Dinosaur Battles and Danger Zone !
All of which sound awesome.
Here’s a rare case of the source material dictating a real-life actor to be cast in the eventual movie adaptation…
In Michael Crichton’s original novel, he specifically mentions that the Jurassic Park audio tour is narrated by Golden Globe-winning actor Richard Kiley.
So, of course, Spielberg hired Kiley to provide the voiceover in the park vehicles.
If you thought that the young kids Lex and Tim were particularly convincing during the T-Rex’s attack on their car, there’s a reason.
When the monster dinosaur comes through the roof of the Explorer, the glass wasn’t meant to break, so the children’s screams were very real.
Originally, Jurassic Park was going to end just with Grant saving the kids from the raptors. He was going to shoot one dead and then use a mechanical T. rex skeleton in the foyer to kill the other.
However, Spielberg realised that he needed one last triumphant return for the T. rex and so changed the ending to include him in. Maybe this late change explains the long-debated question of how the T-Rex seems to appear out of nowhere?
The Indy connection
In incredible movie-crossover trivia, the helicopter pilot who rescued the cast and crew when Hurricane Iniki hit the filming location is one Fred Sorenson.
Sorenson has a film credit of his own to his name. He plays Jock, the seaplane pilot who rescues Indiana Jones at the start of Raiders Of The Lost Ark .
The Jurassic Park 4 that nearly happened
The new sequel, Jurassic World , very nearly ended up as a very different film.
Before production was dropped and the idea shelved many years ago, a script was written for Jurassic Park 4 that involved genetically altered dinosaurs being bred for war and trained to carry weapons for battle.
There is no part of this that we don’t want to see.
Original article source: www.gamesradar.com (2014)