Significant ways in which Jurassic Park the movie differed from Jurassic Park the book:

1) In the movie, the lawyer gets gobbled up while hiding in an outhouse. In the book, he is somewhat of a hero, seemingly preventing a last-minute dinosaur infestation of the mainland.

2) In the movie, the old guy (Hammond) lives to escape. In the book, he is killed by Compys (Compsognathi) after breaking his leg. These dinosaurs did not appear in the movie at all.

3) In the movie, the suave chaos theorist played by the box-office draw survives and goes on to star in the sequel. In the book he dies, dies dies!

In short: everyone who dies in the movie lives in the book and vice versa.

A 1993 movie directed by Steven Spielberg, based on a novel of the same name, written by Michael Crichton.

It is the story of a mid-life scientist, Dr. Alan Grant, played by Sam Neil. Dr. Grant is an archeologist digging out dinosaurs somewhere in Montana.

While he knows all about dinosaurs, he is less adept in human relationships. Namely, he hates children.

His girlfriend, Dr. Ellie Sattler, a paleobiologist played by Laura Dern, loves children and wants to have her own (fathered by Alan). But he says children stink.

When an unfortunate child makes the mistake of talking to Alan, Alan scares the daylights out of the boy by describing in living color how dinosaurs would eat him alive.

Beside children, Alan also hates computers.

Promised the financing of three more years of his Montana digging, Alan and his girlfriend go to examine a theme park, which turns out to have live dinosaurs brought back to life by geneticists. The park's name is Jurassic Park.

Much to his chagrin, Alan finds himself in the company of two children, a boy (Tim, played by Joseph Mazzello) and a girl (Lex, played by Ariana Richards). The boy gets on his nerves right away: Tim has read Alan's book on dinosaurs and disagrees with many things written in it.

In reality, little Tim really likes Alan and his work, but he is questioning him and comes out as quite an annoying brat, at least as viewed through Alan's eyes. Tim wants to take the tour of the Park in the same car as Alan, but Alan spares no guile to get rid of him: The children end up riding in a car with a "blood-sucking lawyer", while Alan rides in an adult-scientists-only vehicle.

Alas, the ride turns out disastrous, compliments of a disgruntled computer programmer Dennis Nedry (note the last name can easily be made into Nerdy) played by Wayne Knight. In order to solve his financial problems, Dennis steals dinosaur embryos. To get them to his evil customers safely, Dennis creates a diversion by turning off many essential parts of the system running the Park. As he gets eaten by a pretty but vicious dinosaur, he never gets back to restore the full functionality of the system.

In desperation, the people in control room reboot the system. Doing that, however, turns off electricity to everything in the park (except the computer apparently, since it does show a prompt).

This now sets the stage for Alan's conversion. Without the protection of electric fences, a T Rex is able to escape and comes to the two cars. The blood-sucking lawyer, thinking only of himself, runs away from the car and hides in the bathroom, leaving the children completely defenseless and on their own (he is later punished by being eaten alive).

It turns out that Alan knows more than how to dig out dinosaurs. He knows such things as that they cannot see you if you do not move. Alas, the children do not know it, and keep making all the wrong moves. They become easy prey.

Children or not, they are about to be eaten. Alan steps out of the car with a flashing flare in his hand. Risking his own life, he saves the children from the T Rex (who then eats the blood-sucking lawyer instead).

Alas, the car falls off an artificial cliff and lands in a tree. With Tim inside. Alan climbs the tree and rescues Tim. He then spends the night alone with the children in the middle of Jurassic Park surrounded by dinosaurs, some friendly, some vicious. It is Alan's task now to protect the children. He stays awake all night to let them sleep in safety.

In the morning, he takes the children out of the dinosaur area. They climb an electric fence which is still disconnected. But, his girlfriend (who is in the control room area) turns the electricity on just as Alan and Lex (Tim's sister) get off the fence. Tim is thrust off the fence electrocuted.

Alan tries to bring Tim back to life, doing CPR, including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Finally, he succeeds.

Alan brings the children to the safety of the visitor's center and leaves them there convinced that dinosaurs could not open door. He was wrong. Finally, he came back and rescued them again.

All of them now in the control center, they are being attacked one more time, and this time Alan is losing the battle: A dinosaur keeps opening the door, while Alan is losing strength in keeping the dino from getting in.

This time Alan is saved by:

  • a child

  • a computer

Tim's sister Lex takes just one look at the computer and sees a graphic interface. Instantly, she recognizes it as Unix, a system that is very easy to use: All she has to do is find the right file. She tries several files, while Alan is fighting the dinosaur at the door. Then she finds the right file, executes it by clicking the mouse over its icon, and the door locks.

They all are saved by a computer and by a child.

The story ends with them all leaving the island in a helicopter: The children sitting in Alan's lap, their sleepy heads leaning against his chest. A former child hater has turned into a child protector.

CGI had existed for over four years prior to the release, in 1993, of Jurassic Park, the tale of a theme park that is thrown into chaos when its prehistoric attractions escape threatening the lives of its inhabitants.

Such effects, however, had previously been featured on screen for only a few moments at a time, and had always been used in such a way as to complement the story rather than drawing attention to itself. Steven Spielberg's blockbuster changed this as, in the form of killer dinosaurs, and digital effects took centre stage for the first time.

Spielberg had hired renowned model-maker Stan Winston during early pre-production, as his original plan had been to use only puppets. Indeed, before the invention of CGI there had been little alternative when creating the fantastical than to use models, stop motion plasticine or, when making a Godzilla movie: a man in a suit. None of these options are particularly effective when trying to convince the audience that these are living, breathing Dinosaurs that they’re watching. It was fortunate, then, that Industrial Light and Magic came to the director's rescue, upon demonstrating what was possible with CG trickery: (a T-rex crashing through some trees, a herd of smaller dinosaurs running in a field) he became convinced this technology should be used in his film.

“Looks like we’re out of the job,” muttered Stan Winston.

“Don’t you mean extinct?” replied Spielberg.

Of course, they can create Triceratops or a Brontosaurus for a BBC documentary nowadays but in 1993 the sight of a Tyrannosaurus pursuing a jeep and its terrified passengers through the jungle was nothing less than gob smacking. Indeed, for a film that is now over nine years old it has aged exceptionally well, the CGI looking no more dated than those seen in more recent blockbusters.

Jurassic Park would be criticised upon release with the plot and characters accused of being merely functional, that the special effects were the story. The movie, admittedly, doesn’t really work on any level other than providing expensive thrills. I imagine much of its success (it duked it out with Star Wars as the highest-grossing movie of all time until Titanic came along) was down to the jaw-dropping visuals rather than the story, and that it wouldn’t make anything like that impact on the box office, were it released today. That aside Jurassic Park was revolutionary at the time and the first digital technological milestone of the 1990s would ensure that movies would never be the same again.

Let it be said that I have nothing against the film-makers of JP, or even Michael Crichton as I am a big fan of his books (I have all of them). But as someone who works at a dinosaur museum, I feel I am obligated to point out it's utter bull-shit.

  1. Only the Sauropods(brachiosaurus, etc) are from the jurassic period.
  2. Velociraptors were NOT 6 feet tall, they grew to a maximum of 50cm tall at the hips (their hightest body point). But do not fret, raptors still grew to cool sizes, Utahraptor grew to 2.5 - 3 METRES tall (much more impressive), and Megaraptor grew to a possible 6 metres (HOLY SHIT).
  3. Dilophosaurus was not a small, cute lizard, it was a 7-foot monster of a carnivore. Also, there is no evidence for a frill, or for poison(no birds are poisonous).
  4. One of the more important ones, T-rex doesn't run unless it ABSOLUTELY has to. Its arms cannot stop his neck breaking if he trips over. Why risk dying like Genghis Khan when you can scavenge or ambush? It cannot chase down a Jeep, as its top speed was only about 30 MPH. His senses were EXCELLENT, His frontal lobe(sight centre) is proportionately ENORMOUS, and he has these special spiral shaped bones in his nasal cavity (meaning he had a kick-arse sense of smell, able to distinguish species at great distance).

Fun movie, but they fucked up the science.

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