Any kid who grew up in the 90s will give you a different list of the best movies of that decade. Some will say Titanic, others will say GoodFellas or The Silence of the Lambs…some might even throw out Toy Story…but chances are Jurassic Park will be the movie mentioned on everyone’s list.
With more money and awards than a T-Rex could eat in one sitting, Jurassic Park has joined the ranks of outstanding movies that never fail to entertain. It’s spurred 5 sequels, with a 6th due out in 2021, and won three Academy Awards for sound editing, mixing and visual effects. Numbers don’t lie, yo. THIS MOVIE IS DA BOMB.
Based on Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel of the same name (which is awesome if you haven’t read it), Jurassic Park has become a bit of a cult classic, setting the bar for computer animation and animatronics, as well as inspiring handfuls of students to give up that business degree and focus on studying paleontology.
Jurassic Park recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate this monumental movie than with these 25 fun facts about Jurassic Park?!
So grab some snacks…
get in some comfy clothes and – most importantly –
25 Fun Facts about Jurassic Park
When director Steven Spielberg and Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton were working on a little TV screenplay (which would eventually become ER), Spielberg asked Crichton about his next writing project. Crichton told him about Jurassic Park and Spielberg was so excited about it that he approached Universal directly to buy the film rights. Spielberg was storyboarding scenes before the screenplay was even written.
Spielberg’s other pet project, Schindler’s List, was also in the works at the time, and Universal wouldn’t let Schindler’s List continue without making Jurassic Park first…so Super Spielberg actually ended up releasing both movies in 1993. Quite the feat!
To get a better idea of how dinosaurs moved, special effects crew members built raptor suits…and got into them.
Richard Attenborough (John Hammond) is the brother of the voice of Planet Earth narrator, David Attenborough.
For the most realistic and fact-forward portrayal of dinos, Spielberg had paleontologists serve as consultants on the film, giving feedback on movement, skin texture and teeth.
The sound of the T Rex roar was reportedly a composite of tiger, alligator and baby elephant sounds.
The “bark” of the velociraptors was made by using the sounds of mating tortoises. HOT.
After Jurassic Park was released, researchers took a deeper dive into the sight and smell capabilities of the T Rex. Turns out the T Rex probably had excellent vision in addition to fabulous olfactory glands.
Since both Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List were running pretty much at the same time, Spielberg had to quickly shift gears once JP wrapped so he could finish SL. He handed the post-production responsibilities over to his friend, George Lucas, who was given a “special thanks” credit in the final Jurassic Park film.
Due to the near constant rain, some of the robotic dinos would malfunction on set, causing them to “come to life”. The crew would be eating lunch and the massive T Rex would turn itself on, terrifying the crew.
The T Rex robot was actually quite dangerous in real life. It weighed about 12,000 pounds and had to use flashing lights to announce when it was about to come on.
Perhaps the scariest scene in Jurassic Park was when the T Rex breaks through the glass in the roof of the car. The reaction from the kids is pretty genuine, as the glass was not supposed to break. Spielberg liked the shot so much that he kept it in the film.
Ariana Richards (Lex) won her role in the film after her audition (a blood-curdling scream) woke a sleeping Kate Capshaw and sent her into a tizzy to see if her children were okay.
In this scene in the control room, you can see Jaws playing on the computer:
Having Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) distract the T Rex with a light so Grant could save the kids in the car was totally Goldblum’s idea. What a hero!
The helicopter scene where Grant ties two seatbelts together (two latches and no latch plate) foreshadows a later scene where the dinosaurs are suddenly able to breed, despite the fact that they were all originally female.
In 2005, paleontologist Dr. Mary Schweitzer discovered red blood cells and soft tissue in the fossilized bones of a T Rex, meaning dinosaur cloning may someday become a reality.
There are only 15 minutes of dinosaurs in the first Jurassic Park film.
In its initial release, Jurassic Park earned $357 million domestically and $914 million worldwide. It held the record for highest grossing movie of all time until 1997, when it was beat out by Titanic.
The Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios cost about 2x more to make than the film did.
Michael Crichton has said that his views on science and genetic engineering are largely expressed by Ian Malcolm. Spielberg saw many parallels to himself in the character of John Hammond. Both Malcolm and Hammond wear black and white, respectively, throughout the film, to better showcase their opposing views.
There’s no evidence to suggest that the screaming dilophosaurus was venomous…or had a frill to distract victims. Recent illustrations of the dinosaur have adopted those qualities thanks in part to Jurassic Park. Spielberg: 1. Science: 0.
Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern began a romantic relationship after meeting on set. They actually got engaged after Jurassic Park, but split up about 2 years later. Love…UH…finds a way.
Not surprisingly, the movie and the book generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of paleontology has had a record increase in students. Ross would be so happy!
During filming and rehearsal, this is what the scary T Rex looked like:
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