OPINION: “So, how do you know the Kirbys?” – Jurassic Park III Revisited

Allow me to share a memory with you.

It is just after 7:00 PM on a weekday. Huddled behind a computer screen in my parental home’s small study, I’m listening to the clicking and humming sounds of the desktop computer dialing up.

The internet comes to life and I frantically get to work: My parents have allotted me thirty minutes of internet time each night, no more, as dialing up makes it impossible to receive or make phone calls.

These are exciting times: production of the third Jurassic Park film is in full swing, images taken at the set and published to promote the film find their way online. As it is early 2000, the Internet is not yet mainstream, but it is getting a foothold in most households and schools, enabling users to communicate more easily with people all over the planet.

My number one, and only, priority online at this time is Jurassic Park III. For these thirty minutes I am sitting behind the computer with my fingers crossed, hoping the images and discussions on fan forums will load as quickly as possible, saving as much material as I can. Once offline again, I can write down my own thoughts and share them the following night. It is the first time I am able to follow a film’s production in real-time.

As with the original Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), most of the cast and crew attached to the film are unknown to me. But it is now possible to read up on their bodies of work, to find out about the films they have acted in, or produced, or scored the music for.

Details of the third film’s story itself are scarce: there will be redesigned Velociraptors (at one point they are presented as “feathered”), and a new threat, the Spinosaurus. A highlight; pictures of the absolutely massive Pteranodon aviary’s river and ravine set find their way online. While there is no sign of the winged beasts themselves, it’s safe to say I am impressed and most excited for all that is to grace the silver screen a few months on.

Jurassic Park III

Those days of having to dial-up feel as if a lifetime ago.

We now know how the story ended. Jurassic Park III was met with mixed reviews, both professionally and by fans. Seventeen years on, bitter battles are still being fought about that greatest point of contention – the Spinosaurus killing the Tyrannosaurus rex.

In the weeks, months and years following Jurassic Park III’s release, stories about a troubled production surfaced, revealing the filmmakers dealt with far larger problems than two fictionalized, beefed up top-predators duking it out.

The biggest issue the film’s production ran into was the original script being thrown out weeks before filming would commence, forcing the writers to quickly come up with the current story – going as far as whole pages being written on the spot.

This might have been a nightmare for the cast and crew, at times not knowing in the morning what they would be filming that very afternoon; in retrospect it may have been a blessing in disguise for fans. One version of the script saw Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler (Sam Neill and Laura Dern) in the process of separation.

Keeping a notorious scene from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) in mind, one has to ask: do these writers and filmmakers derive a devilish delight from upsetting fans? Will they stop at nothing to shock devoted audiences?

Luckily, director Joe Johnston felt the story they originally had in mind did not work, thus sparing us from having to actually witness the first film’s most beloved characters going through a divorce. Now, we just get a glimpse of what could have been before all hopes and dreams about seeing Alan and Ellie together are crushed by the revelation Ellie (now Degler – Sattler) has a new man in her life.

It is here the story picks up and continues Alan Grant’s arch, which started eight years before in Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park III’s story does seem deceivingly simple on the surface. Struggling to generate funds for his research, Dr. Grant is invited by wealthy couple Paul and Amanda Kirby (William H. Macy and Téa Leoni) to serve as a guide for their flight over Isla Sorna. Partially pressured into joining them by his assistant Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola) he reluctantly agrees; believing the money the Kirbys offer to compensate his efforts can keep his dig site open and counting on the promise it is only a fly-over, Alan and Billy accompany the Kirbys and the small crew hired by them.

Once the group reaches Isla Sorna, it turns out the Kirbys have an ulterior motive and do intend to land on the island. They are looking for their missing son, Eric (Trevor Morgan), and Amanda’s missing boyfriend Ben Hildebrand (Mark Harelik). As with every Jurassic Park film, it does not take long for events to take a nasty turn and disaster to strike. The plane is destroyed and the survivors get split up, forced to not just fight for survival; they must attempt to find one another again as well. And, hopefully, Eric.

It comes as no surprise the film has a happy ending, seeing the Kirbys reunited with their son, and a rescue mission, orchestrated by Ellie’s husband Mark (Taylor Nichols), on its way to pick up the survivors.

Jurassic Park III revisited

I must confess I’ve never been the third film’s greatest champion myself. Though I’ve always found it an enjoyable film to pass a bit of time with and appreciated what it has to offer, it never felt as adequately made as The Lost World: Jurassic Park. It did not seem to add much to the larger Jurassic Park story, feeling more as if a spin-off rather than a true sequel.

Recently, I stumbled upon the satirical trailer Screen Junkies created for Jurassic Park III. I deeply enjoy the spoof material the crew at Screen Junkies creates for the blockbuster films we all cherish. They unashamedly make fun of the more ridiculous aspects of these films, but they do so in good spirits and with a proportionate dose of healthy humor.

I laughed at everything their Honest Trailer presented; after all, doesn’t Jurassic Park III deserve a bit of a verbal beating every now and then?

Seeing that parody trailer, I felt the urge to give Jurassic Park III a new chance. At first, my idea was to go through it scene by scene and write a funny, but a little scathing, review. Instead, I ended up watching it four times in a single week, falling in love: despite its obvious shortcomings and the troubled production process that could have resulted in a disastrous film, it is charming. It has a genuine heart and soul, ensuring the film succeeds more than it fails, at times reaching highs rivaling events from the second film. It sports some impressive set pieces and marvelous animatronics.

Watching it those four times, I realized it would be utterly unfair to write another damning review of the third Jurassic Park film. It’s easy to ridicule the film for what it does wrong, or is thought to mess up when it comes to the Jurassic Park mythology.

It’s perhaps harder to see or appreciate everything it does right, being, if nothing else, a solid adventure film. This is testament of the skills of the scriptwriters: Alexander Payne, Peter Buchman, Jim Taylor and, not credited, John August, created a story which is simple but with compelling, even complex characters.

After years of being the underdog of the franchise, it simply doesn’t deserve the treatment I was originally about to give it. After all, isn’t the underdog often a quiet, unknown and unsung hero?

The dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III

Paleontologist David Hone wrote the following about the clash of titans in his book The Tyrannosaur Chronicles (2016):

“We know so much about the animals in this group – their anatomy, evolution, behaviour and general biology – but it’s almost impossible to say very much over the chorus of statements about how cool they are or questions as to whether they would win in a fight with Spinosaurus.”

It’s the first that comes to mind when thinking of Jurassic Park III: the infamous fight between a Tyrannosaurus rex and the Spinosaurus. Much to both the bemusement and chagrin of paleontologists, the discussion seems far from over. If the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom concept art is to be believed, we came close to a rematch between the two behemoths – and a revival of the debate. In all fairness, a follow-up battle has been looming from the moment Jurassic Park III roared into movie theatres and on home release.

Personally, the dethroning of the Tyrannosaurus as the largest carnivorous dinosaur in the franchise never bothered me. The Spinosaurus was a welcome change, not in the least because of its unique physical traits; the sail on its back and the crocodilian jaws, the large arms and three-fingered hands make it impossible to confuse the animal with any of the other carnivorous dinosaurs in the franchise.

Being able to swim, the Spinosaurus offered new, exciting possibilities, this new trait fully utilized in one of the most impressive scenes in the history of Jurassic Park films. The Spinosaurus destroying the barge and thrashing through the river is an absolute highlight not just in the film, but technically too – rain, as has been well documented, was always a concern when it came to the animatronic dinosaurs in the first two films. This time, the dinosaur had to be able to withstand much more than just rain, being placed in the studio’s artificial lake for this final confrontation, facing not just water but fire as well.

The outcome is a small miracle; the impressive work of the Stan Winston Studio crew and the finest digital effects created by the ILM team combined created a heart-stopping sequence.

When it comes to the (re-)design of the dinosaurs, the new “V.2” Velociraptors are an absolute highlight. More intelligent than we’ve experienced them before, the animals interact and socialize with one another, consciously plotting against the humans. There are distinct differences between the males and females – and a matriarch clearly in charge of the pack. The animals are not just portrayed as murderous beasts; they seem to be thoughtful, considerate and even capable of compassion towards their own kind.

The Pteranodons were given an overhaul too. Largely scrapped from The Lost World: Jurassic Park in favor of the San Diego climax, the flying reptiles only featured in the closing scene of that film, reigning the skies above Isla Sorna with an almost regal appearance.

The rulers of the sky were given quite a different look for Jurassic Park III; a little smaller, more vicious and, ironically, with teeth. (Pteranodon means “winged and toothless”.)

That’s not to say they are less impressive. The aviary scenes in which they appear are some of the most thrilling in the film, creating a clear and unique identity that sets Jurassic Park III apart from the other films in the franchise.

Other dinosaurs fulfilled less prominent parts. The Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Compsognathus make brief returns, appearing in the fly-over scene, on the riverbank and, in the case of Compsognathus, not just around the overturned water truck Eric hides in, but during the fight between the Tyrannosaurus and Spinosaurus as well. Keen observers can spot a small flock of Compsognathus fleeing the scene as the island’s rulers battle in the jungle.

New dinosaurs making small appearances are the Corythosaurus, living in a herd with its more famous cousin Parasaurolophus, a pair of male Ankylosaurus lumbering through the forests and along the riverbank, and a single Ceratosaurus deciding against eating Grant and the Kirbys after they retrieved the lost satellite phone from the Spinosaur’s excrements.

Even now, seventeen years on, many of the animatronic and visual effects remain at the top of their game, comfortably rivaling more recent work. Naturally some of it has aged, which comes with the territory and ever changing technology; as a whole, and with the practical and CGI effects combined, the visuals are still solid as a rock, immersing us in that strange, resurrected prehistoric world on Isla Sorna.

The characters of Jurassic Park III

The visual effects are only half of the success of these films. As with Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the true secret of Jurassic Park III’s replay value lies with the characters.

That might not be too obvious at first. The characters in Jurassic Park III are some of the heavier criticized elements of the film. As with the other two films though, the success of a Jurassic Park film stems from the fact it is about quite ordinary, relatable people being thrust into extraordinary and unexpected circumstances. In this case, trying to survive amongst cloned dinosaurs living freely on a tropical island.

Much like The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III follows a template laid out by the original film. There are elements used in all three films: the main characters are oblivious to or ignorant about the dinosaurs until coming eye to eye with the animals. There is at least one sequence in which a mode of transportation is destroyed by a top predator. And main characters make predictions or observations which come to fruition during the course of the film, for example Alan Grant describing the theorized hunting methods of Velociraptors: Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) is killed verbatim by the end of Jurassic Park.

While Jurassic Park III does roughly follow the story and character templates as presented in the previous two films, it just as easily deviates from it. The destruction of the aircraft happens quite early on. The main characters’ first true encounter with a dinosaur (not counting the fly-by) is with a large predator. The deaths all take place within the first forty minutes of the film. And unlike its predecessors, the end of the third film does not finish with an exciting climax or big battle between two dinosaur species or dinosaurs confronting the arriving marines.

Either by choice or out of necessity, Jurassic Park III dares to be a little different from what came before, just like its characters.

“This was a stupid decision but I did it with the best intentions.”

Well established in the Jurassic Park films are supporting characters possessing a set of skills they can and will use sometime during the film. From Lex’s (Ariana Richards) knowledge of complex computer systems to Kelly’s (Vanessa Lee Chester) gymnastic skills, the supporting characters are given a moment to shine and save other characters with their wit and knowledge.

Billy Brennan is no exception. En route to Isla Sorna, Billy reveals to Grant his old bag’s strap once saved him from a mishap while hang-gliding in New Zealand. “Survival of the most idiotic,” Grant grumpily remarks before closing his eyes for a nap.

The information about Billy’s misadventure proves valuable when the survivors of the plane crash find the parasail Eric and Ben used. Grant asks Billy, half in jest, if he would be able to fly with it, before suggesting taking it with them to draw the attention of planes that might pass over the island.

As expected (and revealed in the trailers), Billy instead uses the parasail to traverse the aviary’s narrow canyon, attempting to rescue Eric from the Pteranodons’ hungry chicks.

Eric is saved, but Billy falls prey to the adult Pteranodons, eventually giving up and sacrificing himself to allow the others a chance of escape.

Here, the script proves unpredictable, diverging one final time from that template we know and have come to expect; Billy has survived and was found by the navy before the Kirby-family and Grant are picked up. Grant and Billy are reunited on the navy’s helicopter.

It is a chance for Grant to make amends after scolding Billy for stealing two Velociraptor eggs from nests they encountered before the group was separated. Through the course of the film we learn Grant and Billy have a mutual respect for one another. As disaster strikes they must try to survive by utilizing all their knowledge and experience, unwillingly becoming the leaders of the small group.

The friendship between the seasoned paleontologist and the boyishly enthusiastic student takes a punch when Grant discovers the theft.

After Billy has disappeared and the remaining survivors are floating down the river on the barge, we find Grant lost in thought, mourning the loss of his apprentice. Billy, young, curious and driven by a hunger to succeed, might have been more than just a student to Grant; he was not only part of the next generation of scientists, but possibly a reflection of Grant in his younger years as well.

During this brief meditative moment we learn Grant truly appreciated Billy’s company and enthusiasm, his student’s love for the animals he studied resurfacing within himself when the barge passes the dinosaurs on the riverbank. A peaceful scene far removed from the carnage the survivors endured.

“You never can tell about people, can you?”

Grief and mourning are not luxuries awarded to mercenaries Cooper (John Diehl) and Nash (Bruce Young). They only play brief parts, and there is hardly anything in it for them that constitutes as “character development”. They truly are along for the ride as dinosaur-fodder.

Despite their modest appearances, there is a significant shift in their characters. As Cooper, Nash and booking agent Udesky (Michael Jeter) set out to secure the area, they do so with great confidence. Believing it will indeed be a walk in the park, as Udesky assured Paul Kirby over the phone earlier in the film, they seem to expect finding Eric and Ben within a few hours.

It is not long after they have entered the jungle surrounding the abandoned airfield the tables are turned; whatever horrors they faced changed them from experienced combatants into terrified, trembling men trying nothing else but to escape. Nash and Udesky reach the plane safely. Cooper is left behind.

It’s most notably Nash who’s clearly shaken. That fine moment of absolute terror comes across best when he says with a trembling voice, “give me a hand here, Udesky,” trying to get his seatbelt on while firing up the aircraft; it’s spoken with the utmost fear of whatever roams the jungle outside, while still composing himself to ensure the plane takes off safely and in the proper manner. But the way he speaks and the look on his face are all telling. He has one objective: to get the aircraft off the ground and away from the dinosaur they encountered, protecting his employers and their guests.

The acting in this scene is, if nothing else, absolutely solid. With the smallest of hand gestures, facial expressions and verbal commands, Nash and Udesky truly set the moment. It is clear they are not equipped to deal with the monster that lies in wait.

Despite Nash’s and Udesky’s best efforts to make an escape, the plane is downed as the Spinosaurus scoops up Cooper from the runway right in front of the aircraft, forcing Nash to pull up too early. With the fuel cut off the plane crashes, ending up in a tree.

It is here Nash perishes in the jaws of the Spinosaurus. The third film doesn’t hold back when it comes to the few death scenes; Nash is being killed in a particularly gruesome fashion, first ripped out of the aircraft’s fuselage, then thrown to the ground and stepped upon. It is all shown in its horrifying glory. The presumed ripping off of his head does happen off-screen, but the suggestion is enough to leave a lasting impression.

With Cooper and Nash gone, only Udesky remains. Having returned to the airplane’s wreck the five survivors try to salvage as much as they can; we are given a brief shot of Udesky amidst the wreckage, holding up a damaged rifle. He throws it aside as it turns out it is beyond repair. It’s a subtle way of letting the audience know why the group doesn’t have any weapons left.

It is Udesky who provides the more natural comic relief. “If we split up, I’m going with you guys,” he tells Billy as Amanda and Paul argue nearby during their trek through the jungle.

Much like Cooper and Nash, Udesky is given little chance to develop beyond being a hired hand. He does get an opportunity to showcase a bit of his talents, succeeding in getting Amanda’s video camera to play the recording made two months before, the footage lending a little more credibility to the idea Ben and Eric might still be alive.

Eventually, Udesky is killed by Velociraptors. Like Nash’s death, his is exceptionally gruesome, a Velociraptor delivering the final blow by planting one of its sickle-claws right into Udesky’s spine.

“Does anyone have a question that does not relate to Jurassic Park?”

As one pair of Velociraptors kills Udesky, Alan Grant, now separated from the rest of the group, studies another. The animals are communicating with each other, snarling and grunting, clearly looking for someone – or something.

Despite his previous experience with the animals on Isla Nublar, Grant can’t help but observe from his vantage point. His curiosity getting the better of him for a moment, he wants to learn more about the creatures that nearly cost him his life years before.

In The Lost World: Jurassic Park John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) tries to sell a journey to Isla Sorna as possible vindication to Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). Malcolm flat out refuses, only changing his mind when he learns his girlfriend, paleontologist Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore), has traveled to the island on her own to get a head start.

Grant agreeing to travel to the island after he labeled InGen’s creations “theme park monsters” during his lecture earlier in the film with the only motivator being a financial compensation was met with ridicule by fans, considered a lazy solution to get Alan Grant back into the film.

While I do agree it’s not the most elegant of solutions, it’s not entirely out of bounds either. Paleontology is a branch of science relying heavily on donations. Flying over the island and serving as tour guides is easy money for Grant and Billy, enough to fund their dig site and secure the continuation of their research.

The criticism of the money offered being enough to have Grant change his mind is often accompanied by the complaint Grant doesn’t really have any character development to speak of. We first meet him when he is sitting in the garden with Ellie’s son. He’s still not truly accustomed to being around children, and he again ends up trying to survive on a dinosaur-infested island, including having a kid in tow.

As we are taught early on, Grant publicly expresses nothing but disdain for InGen and their tampering with DNA. But privately, he can’t help passionately discuss the vocal abilities of the Velociraptors with Ellie; she’s one of the few other people having had such a close encounter with the animals, understanding Grant better than most.

Velociraptor vocal abilities become a recurring theme when Grant tries to have Ellie’s pet parrot Jack speak his name. “He used to know me,” he says, pulling away from the bird’s cage slightly disappointed when his attempts prove unsuccessful; the endeavor of trying to make the parrot speak transpires into the nightmare of the Velociraptor saying “Alan” on the empty aircraft.

By the end of the film, Grant uses the cast of the resonating chamber to imitate a Raptor’s cry for help, hoping the familiar sound created by the intruding humans will confuse the Velociraptors enough to prevent them from attacking.

Grant’s character does undergo a change, though it happens quite early on in the film. Once the group reaches the island, an almost lost passion is reignited within Grant while spotting living dinosaurs for the first time in eight years. “My god, I’d forgotten,” he says to Billy as they watch herds of animals pass below them.

The joyful moment is brief: the plane lands on the island. Cooper knocks out Grant as he tries to make his way towards the cockpit, objecting to the aircraft setting down. From that moment on, contempt for his hosts and a fascination with the animals they encounter take tumultuous turns during the journey across the island.

It’s hard to say if, by the end of the film and having survived the dinosaurs once more, Grant has undergone significant, lasting change. An exchange between him and Eric on how both would like to return to the island in years to come was left out of the film. Could it be Grant is never truly able to let go? Would he possibly contemplate one last adventure, properly prepared, to face the animals that are both his livelihood and haunt his dreams?

“I think I can manage the next two minutes without you.”

It’s equally impossible to tell if Eric Kirby would really consider a future return to Isla Sorna after his harrowing misadventure. Having adapted to life on the island and camping out in an old water truck, there is a nice reversal of roles when Eric rescues Grant from the Velociraptors. Much like Grant, the audience is quite astonished the boy has lasted this long. Unfortunately, we learn little about how Eric survived, other than him staying in the vicinity of the old laboratory, hoping a rescue mission would start searching for him in that area.

Neither do we learn how the more unfortunate Ben Hildebrand perished right after ending up on the island, still trapped in the parasail’s harness.

With this, Eric’s story might well be the most intriguing and adventurous, but the film never takes a moment to explore how Eric spent his time collecting the items stocked in the truck, evading dinosaurs and observing them, ironically making him the least interesting character of the entire film, while at the same time being the reason the entire expedition has been mounted in the first place.

Grant does inquire how Eric endured those eight weeks, but Eric remains quite tight-lipped on this; the conversation then shifts to issues Alan Grant and Eric Kirby have in common – being alive on Isla Sorna and a shared aversion for Ian Malcolm and his theories on Chaos.

“Paul Kirby, Kirby Enterprises.”

Surprisingly, Alan Grant and Paul Kirby have something in common as well. Their fragile professional relationship strained once Grant realizes he has been taken to the island under false pretences, it is interesting to see both have former partners who are now in relationships with other, presumably more successful, men.

In a twist of fate, Paul is unable to save Ben Hildebrand for Amanda, while Mark Degler is the one who, informed by Ellie, eventually intervenes and ensures the navy rescues Billy, Grant and the Kirbys.

While they have this in common, Alan Grant and Paul Kirby differ from one another like night from day. Grant is educated, capable and rugged, whereas Paul comes across as not very proactive, clumsy and even incompetent. Having you wonder if you’d trust him installing a bathroom or a kitchen in your home to begin with.

However, Paul Kirby does possess a poker face and guts. He not only manages ensnaring Billy Brennan and Dr. Grant with the promise of financial support for their dig site, he succeeds in enlisting the mercenaries and chartering a private plane to get them to Isla Sorna: Paul improvises his way through the entire ordeal, finding himself capable of much more than just being a dull salesman.

An ordeal not even his fault to begin with. After all, it was his ex-wife’s new boyfriend who took their son to Isla Sorna. Paul has graciously set aside whatever differences he and Amanda have to help her not just finding their son, but rescuing Ben as well – and he is convinced they will bring both back home safely.

He does so selflessly and in the process nearly loses his own life, trying to distract the Spinosaurus by climbing a gigantic construction crane, giving Grant, Eric and Amanda a fighting chance. Paul Kirby becomes the true, unacknowledged hero of Jurassic Park III.

Paul isn’t entirely blameless, having conspired with his ex-wife to bring Dr. Grant with them by carefully hiding the true nature of their trip. Yet, I can’t help feel for the poor guy. It’s not his fault his son was lost. He perseveres and remains endlessly optimistic, believing they will succeed and the outcome of their expedition will be positive.

Once the Kirbys and Grant make it to the barge Paul takes the lead, starting to plan ahead, trying to think of ways to attract the attention of passing planes or ships once they have reached the coast.

By the end of the film, having found their son and having lived through the experience together as a family, we can briefly see Paul and Amanda hold hands as the navy lands on the beach. Is it possible they have truly reconciled and might try to build a life together again?

“Dr. Grant, you have no idea how important it is to us that you come along. It would make all the difference.”

While Paul is the man wielding the pen and checkbook, Amanda’s invitation is heartfelt and sincere. Minutes before, Grant and Billy joining the Kirbys at the diner, she seemed nervous. After her husband explains they love the outdoors, she interjects they have two seats reserved on the first commercial flight to the Moon; the claim comes off as fabricated.

But convincing Dr. Grant to join them she partially speaks the truth; it truly would make a difference. His expertise is needed to survive. It’s hard to say if Amanda’s personal request or Paul’s offer of a sizeable compensation for his trouble is what eventually convinces Grant; it is clear her entire demeanor changes between the two statements, trying to persuade Grant to join their expedition, the true reason for his desired presence kept well hidden.

As one of the less popular characters in the Jurassic Park franchise, Amanda Kirby is the odd one out: the other leading ladies, Ellie Sattler and Sarah Harding, are both scientists, coming with experience, knowledge and predefined skills. In fact, the children aside, all characters in the previous two films were present on the islands in a professional capacity, either invited by Hammond or as employees of InGen. For the first, and so far only, time in the franchise the lead characters truly are civilians who are entirely out of their depth.

On the surface, this may make Amanda seem a little dull and uninteresting; it also makes her slightly unpredictable.

There lays a more complex character beyond the seemingly clueless, bullhorn-carrying woman. Leoni gives one hell of a performance when it comes to playing the guilt-ridden mother. Once the game is up and Grant and Billy know the true story, the mask falls away and she shows great versatility.

From her disbelief when they are ordered back on the plane by Udesky and Nash to evacuate (will they give up the search?), to the moment they find the abandoned camera and she learns Ben has died, leaving Eric stranded entirely on his own – hope, grief and despair take quick turns. Leoni communicates all these emotions through subtle facial expressions and body language.

Amanda Kirby is, if nothing else, a desperate mother trying to save both her son and partner, no matter the cost.

While Amanda and Paul might be underestimating the dangers they face on the island because their focus is on the safe return of Eric and Ben, they both learn quickly.

Locked behind the laboratory’s cage’s gate with Billy, Amanda thinks fast and takes charge, her action temporarily trapping the Velociraptor hunting them and ensuring the group can make a dash for the jungle. She again takes the lead at the end of the film, having Grant hand her the eggs so she can push them towards the anticipating Velociraptors.

It is true she utters quite a few screams and the bullhorn scene draws as many laughs as it does eye rolls; from the character’s perspective she’s doing what seems both reasonable and out of utter despair.

Amanda Kirby not being experienced and unprepared for what they may find makes it a little easier to understand her plight when she, still clinging to the life jacket Eric wore, is confronted with Ben’s remains. While the reveal of the skeleton, practically falling on top of her, is played for audience laughs, it is a deeply traumatizing moment for Amanda.

Even though she witnessed the death of Nash and possibly saw what happened to Cooper as well, this is the first time she is bluntly confronted with the truth: people die on Isla Sorna, no matter hired hands or loved ones. Despite Paul’s assurances and optimism it could very well be Eric did not make it either.

Site… B-movie?

There is a strange duality to the criticism leveled at Jurassic Park III. While it is regularly considered a lesser work than The Lost World: Jurassic Park, you are at the same time often expected to think of Jurassic Park III as a more entertaining and better film than the first sequel.

As film is a form of art and art is usually not easily judged objectively, it is difficult to say where the third film truly should be placed.

Working against Jurassic Park III are the facts The Lost World: Jurassic Park was adapted from the accompanying novel (though the film’s story was radically changed), had Steven Spielberg at its helm and was the first, highly anticipated sequel to hit sensation Jurassic Park.

A second sequel, no matter how good, would most likely never be able to live up to the original, and perhaps not even its more recent predecessor. With Steven Spielberg taking a backseat as executive producer, the absence of Michael Crichton and David Koepp as writers of the script, and John Williams having other engagements preventing him from writing and composing the third film’s score, some of the magic seems at first sight lost.

However, other people taking over did offer a chance of exploring a different side of the franchise and taking risks with it, introducing some elements and scenes more recent blockbusters might not even have dared commit to paper. One of those being the, at first glance, rather underwhelming finale of the film.

The Kirbys reunited, with Grant having found Eric very much alive and the final hurdle overcome by returning the stolen eggs to the Velociraptors, the survivors find themselves on a beach where a mysterious man in a nice looking suit (Frank Clem) stands alone as if he has simply taken a small break during a leisurely stroll.

Raising a bullhorn to call out for Dr. Grant it quickly becomes apparent this man is not alone at all; he is joined by the navy landing on the beach, the armed forces ready to find Dr. Grant and his party.

The brief history of the Jurassic Park films and film logic itself dictate we should be rewarded with a final battle between man and beast. Originally, several confrontations were considered for the end of the film; ranging from Grant luring the Velociraptors to the river to battle the Spinosaurus (with the Velociraptors eventually killing the Spinosaurus), to Pteranodons attacking the navy’s helicopters, the ideas were nothing short of spectacular.

Instead, having Grant and the Kirbys plainly walk up to them, the troops pack up as quickly as they came. While this may be a disappointing end to the film for fans and viewers who had expected an all-out battle between the navy and the local wildlife, the quiet and quick retreat is a rather realistic approach to the situation. With the mission accomplished there is no reason to engage in a conflict with the island’s rulers and risking the lives of the troops sent to retrieve the survivors.

Against all odds, Grant and Billy are reunited. Having been found by the navy just before Grant and the Kirbys arrived at the beach, Billy is wounded but alive. It’s a surprising step off the beaten path for the film, having a character presumed dead return later on, very much alive – rumor has it Alessandro Nivola himself negotiated his character would survive, giving Billy Brennan a chance to return in a sequel.

With the survivors safely on board the helicopter, the troops leave Isla Sorna behind. Both the characters and audiences are given one last good look at some of the Pteranodons, now free and taking to the skies. No longer monstrous and terrifying but majestic and graciously gliding past the helicopters, they are leaving their former home and prison behind. With both Billy’s survival and the Pteranodons’ escape leaving room for a sequel, the animals’ destination remains unknown once the credits roll.

Jurassic Park III leaves quite a few practical questions unresolved. The film doesn’t always adhere to information established by the previous films, actual science or even simple logic.

Though Jurassic Park III does not concern itself too much with scientific explanations or consciously adding much to the mythology, it does take us to some locations not seen before; the laboratory and the aviary. Both locations were first introduced in the novels by Michael Crichton, albeit in slightly different forms.

When it does momentarily explore science, it is well explained within the movies’ universe and serves a purpose. The film continues Grant’s research on Velociraptor behavior and communication. It gives Alan and Ellie a private moment to reminisce on their shared experience, exchanging observations they made back on Isla Nublar and more recently through the study of dinosaur fossils.

What it lacks in science, it compensates for with human drama. While the pace is fast and the film is short, clocking in under just an hour and a half without the credits, the small principal cast allows us to get to know the characters and their motivations a little better than we do in some of the other films.

As a result of that small cast, he film offers its characters moments to reflect on loss, or to express the fear of loss; to grieve and to reconcile. Given the nature of the film, many of the characters’ responses to the situations they find themselves in feel grounded in reality without the actors’ performances being too over the top.

The only film in the franchise not featuring a human antagonist, the tension instead relies on conflict within the group and the characters’ different objectives: Grant refuses to believe Eric could still be alive and wants to push for the coast; the Kirbys don’t want to leave the island without their son; and Billy risks his friendship with Grant by stealing the Velociraptor eggs, endangering everyone as it turns out the Velociraptors are actively hunting them.

All these elements combined create a film that may not be perfect, but make for an adventure film with at its heart two desperate people who will do anything to find their loved ones; and is that not the one element all Jurassic Park films have in common – well written, relatable human characters with a strong desire not just to survive, but to save those they love and care for?

Jurassic Park III’s legacy

Having fully immersed myself in the world of Jurassic Park III for weeks on end, re-watching the film and a plethora of documentaries, making-of material, studying film stills, conceptual artwork, and listening to Don Davis’ soundtrack on repeat, one question remains: what is Jurassic Park III’s true legacy? It seems easy to dismiss Jurassic Park III as just a spin-off, good for a bit of entertainment during a rainy Sunday afternoon, as quickly forgotten as the adventure is enjoyed.

A little uncomfortably wedged between four larger and financially more successful films, the third movie is often blamed for putting the Jurassic Park franchise in the proverbial coma. On the surface it indeed seems to have had little to no influence on what would be to come fourteen years later.

Surprisingly, Jurassic Park III quite literally left a sizeable mark on the films that were to follow: Jurassic World (2015) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Whereas both Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park were mainly dominated by the Velociraptors and, in particular, the Tyrannosaurs, the third film’s creators soon realized the Tyrannosaurs’ reign over the islands and theme park was about to come to an end.

Having been the star dinosaurs of the first two films, the Tyrannosaurs would hardly present an element of surprise in any future films. Despite their historic and contemporary popularity, there were not a whole lot of options left to sweep audiences off of their feet with.

Originally, Baryonyx was considered as the new main threat to both the human characters and Isla Sorna’s wildlife. The filmmakers eventually settled for Spinosaurus aegypticus, a dinosaur larger than Tyrannosaurus rex and easily distinguishable from the other predatory dinosaurs seen before in the franchise.

Having done the unfathomable by killing the Tyrannosaurus rex, the act establishing the Spinosaurus as Isla Sorna’s heir to the throne, and the final shot of the Spinosaurus fleeing the river as Grant succeeds in lighting the gasoline floating on the surface of the river, left the possibility of the animal returning in a future sequel wide open.

The return of the Spinosaurus did not become a reality. Jurassic World introduced a new threat that was bigger and more dangerous than both Tyrannosaurus rex and Spinosaurus. This new creature, named Indominus rex, was a fictional animal, made out of the DNA of different dinosaurs. Not only larger than its predecessors, it was capable of camouflaging itself in the jungle, becoming virtually invisible to humans and animals passing by it. This trait certainly gave it an edge over the Tyrannosaurus rex and Spinosaurus.

Jurassic Park III saw the Velociraptors return to their former glory; while an extensive sequence with the animals chasing survivors through the abandoned InGen worker village and laboratory had been planned for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, their screen time was cut considerably in favor of the Tyrannosaurus rex escaping from the cargo ship and terrorizing San Diego.

Looking quite different from their kin in the previous films, the third film’s Velociraptors were given far more time on film, chasing the survivors not just through the old laboratory, but open fields and jungle as well.

It’s this pack of Velociraptors in Jurassic Park III that paved the way for Blue and her siblings; displaying intelligence and highly developed communicative skills, the capability to set traps, the ability to restrain themselves from killing and reconsidering options when Grant tries to distract them with the cast of the resonating chamber opened up new opportunities not yet explored before.

The influence of sequels

Why are the Spinosaurus and Velociraptors from Jurassic Park III of such importance? How did they influence the new films? To answer these questions, we have to take into consideration a rumor that started during Jurassic World’s production.

The rumor was quite simple: Jurassic World was to be the true sequel to Jurassic Park, deleting the other two films from the franchise’s canon.

Director Colin Trevorrow himself quickly dispelled this rumor, assuring worried fans this was never his intention and the first two sequels would remain part of the canon. They simply would have limited influence on the new films.

Had the rumor been true, could Jurassic World directly following Jurassic Park have worked, and would Jurassic World have existed in its current form? I argue it would not have on both counts.

Had Jurassic World truly been the one and only follow-up to Jurassic Park, Indominus rex would most likely not have been brought to life; the jump from an animal that actually lived once, Tyrannosaurus rex, to an entirely fictionalized creature would simply have been too great, especially considering the absolute wealth of real dinosaurs known from the fossil record left unexplored by the films.

As it stands, the Indominus rex is the very product of the previous films going bigger and bolder with each new entry. Spinosaurus truly is the evolutionary step between Jurassic Park’s Tyrannosaurus rex and Jurassic World’s Indominus; the latter animal’s creation catering to a very clear desire of film audiences. They want it bigger, louder, more dangerous and with more teeth.

The same very much goes for the intelligence displayed by the Velociraptors in Jurassic World. Having been raised in captivity by human handlers, the Velociraptors are capable of following verbal and non-verbal commands. They are eventually set free to hunt down the Indominus rex, believed to be under control just enough to do so safely – and out of sheer desperation, every other option exhausted.

Going from Jurassic Park, where the Velociraptors lived in a heavily fortified and well-guarded pen, straight to Jurassic World, in which they interact far more closely with their human caregivers, would have been too large a step to be believable within the films’ universe.

Herein lies Jurassic Park III’s true inheritance the future films are indebted to, the film naturally bridging the two trilogies: introducing a menagerie of more dangerous and more intelligent dinosaurs than we had seen before, Jurassic Park III cleared the path for those far more outrageous avenues explored in both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

In defense of the underdog

For now leaving Isla Sorna behind with Dr. Grant and his companions having made it safely off the island, how do I feel about the film as it recently celebrated its seventeenth anniversary?

I have certainly found a new appreciation for it. Despite a tumultuous production time and the looming deadline, Joe Johnston and his team delivered a film that’s tight, action packed and entertaining. It doesn’t waste much time on explaining in detail what we are seeing when the unwilling explorers find the laboratory or the giant barrier standing in the way of a true reunion between Eric and his parents; while possibly a missed opportunity to expand the mythology, it retains a slight air of mystery as well – and it’s this mystery that infuses the entire film. Much like the travelers, we see only those parts of the island they explore. None of them have an idea of what they might run into, there is no one telling them beforehand what they should expect or might possibly stumble upon.

In short, the film leaves a lot to the imagination while at the same time rewarding its viewers with some of the finest animatronics, visual effects and set pieces the franchise has to offer.

For a long time, Jurassic Park III was my third favorite film in the franchise, after Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

The second and third film traded places on that personal list recently. The Lost World: Jurassic Park undeniably is the bigger, more ambitious film with higher stakes for its characters and dinosaurs, serving as a renewed warning on the unpredictability of tampering with genetic material and the short-sighted belief nature can be controlled and molded to our own specifications and desires.

Jurassic Park III is a continuation and result of both Dr. Malcolm having breached his NDA by revealing InGen successfully resurrected dinosaurs and the film’s spectacular finale. The secret now out, it shows us how thrill seekers, tourists and adventurers might attempt to get to Isla Sorna to catch a glimpse of the dinosaurs.

As a film it is smaller than its predecessor, at times more claustrophobic and a little simplified. At its core there are big ideas and action sequences the other two films did not get around to incorporating; these are not simply rejected elements not deemed good enough for the original films – at the time those first two films were made some of these scenes, such as the river attack, were technically too challenging to be executed in a believable and satisfying manner.

As such the film should not just be measured by its financial gains or records broken. It should be measured, too, with an understanding of the effort put into the project, the awareness of a difficult job fulfilled under tremendous odds against the endeavor.

To me, the films traded places (not by a large margin, I greatly appreciate both) because, despite all the troubles it faced, it works. It tells the endearing story of two estranged people who try to find their son, willing to do anything to succeed, even if that means inadvertently taking everyone else down with them in their attempt.

It sounds like a dreadful concept for a Jurassic Park movie but the film pulls it off with a fresh spark and flair; while short, it manages to be more than just an endless rollercoaster ride – it gives both its characters and the audience a bit of room to breathe and reflect at various points throughout the movie.

Appealing too is the aforementioned mystery. The characters have no true guide across the island; they are not even in possession of a map. While The Lost World: Jurassic Park gave alcoholic Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) the benefit of the doubt because he had knowledge of the village and operations building (and the way leading to it), the characters in Jurassic Park III are entirely left to their own devices. They truly represent the audience; they are unprepared and inexperienced when it comes to dealing with the new dinosaurs and trying to find their way around and off the island.

It’s this mystery and these new characters that ultimately won me over again. Paul and Amanda Kirby, Udesky, Billy Brennan and, of course, Dr. Alan Grant returning, form an odd bunch to go tramping around Isla Sorna with; the story, the performances, the characters’ different motivations and objectives, the astounding visual effects, locations and sets make for an achievement that is nothing short of sensational, an adventure I now keep returning to – Amanda Kirby’s request having become the invitation I can never decline.

Acknowledgements

There are several people I would like to thank for their help, both directly and indirectly, in the writing of this article. Without them, it would have been a far lesser work.

First of all, Justin. Two years ago, Justin graciously let me publish an article called “From Jurassic Park to Jurassic World: the influence of sequels” on his personal Jurassic Park fan blog. Parts of that article formed the basis for the conclusion of this renewed visit.

You can find Justin’s blog here.

Daniel for his encouragement, offering to proofread and our discussions on The Meg (2018). Entirely unrelated to Jurassic Park, our ongoing conversation on both the book and film about the Megalodon is a joy.

Last, but absolutely not least, John. John’s continuous help and tireless encouragement have proven invaluable; not only did he proofread the entire article several times, he created the new background for the logo accompanying this article and helped find several of the images used.

Our discussions helped me gain a better understanding of the Jurassic Park films in general, and Jurassic Park III in particular.

John passionately writes about Jurassic Park, games, music, books, comics and Tomb Raider on his own personal blog, which can be found here.

As we so often affectionally joke about the Kirbys: “still the best.”

 

Pictures courtesy of Universal Studios, Amblin Entertainment and Ed Verreaux

Get Papo Velociraptors from Dan’s Dinosaurs!

Looking for new places to buy dinosaur toys? Check out Dan’s Dinosaurs!

Dan’s Dinosaurs started in 2009 as a small business specializing in paleontological collectibles. Dan started the company for dinosaur enthusiasts (like us!) with the goal of having a store that carried all dinosaur products in one place. If you live near Mayfield, Kentucky, you can go check out the brick and mortar storefront in person! Be sure to say hi to Dan for us!

They carry a wide range of educational products, high-end models, and fossil replicas. They currently sell well known brands such as: Safari Ltd, Papo, CollectA, Favorite, and Sideshow Collectibles. Many independent artists and other business owners also sell their work through the store and site. They sell and ship both locally and internationally.

We received a Papo Velociraptor (2016 version). This version of Papo’s popular raptor figure is 6″ by 4″ and has paint that is similar in style to Delta and Charlie in Jurassic World. All of the Papo raptors have a similar sculpt, complete with an articulated jaw and yes, they have sickle claws. This figure has more detail and texture than the recent Hasbro and Mattel raptors, and I think the Papo raptors would make excellent additions to collections. Also, Dan is great to work with, and the shipping was very fast. The figure came in good packaging and was undamaged. Dan’s Dinosaurs is an excellent resource for finding dinosaurs to add to your collection!

If you see something that you have to have, make sure enter “Jurassic Outpost” in the “How did you hear about us?” field during checkout to receive a free bonus gift with your order!

Source: Dan’s Dinosaurs

Comprehensive Visual Guide to Every Jurassic World & Park Dinosaur

The Jurassic Park franchise is home to numerous different dinosaurs species, existing both on screen or simply by name references. The following is a researched canonical guide to the dinosaurs confirmed to exist within the film universe, attempting to identify them by their various species and subspecies, while providing any additional supplementing information such as sex, or film appearance.

Some dinosaurs in the Jurassic franchise showcase prominent sexual dimorphism, creating a visual variation between the males and females of the same species. This guide indicates (m), (f), or (m/f) depending on the sex shown for the animal. If there is no evidence of variation, it is assumed both look the same and there will be no labeling of the animals sex.

Further, some dinosaurs look distinctly different from film to film. These are assumed to be different cloning variations creating distinct subspecies, and are indicated with v#’s once past their initial debut. Single version dinosaurs are not marked with a v# – the distinction is only marked from v#2 and beyond.

Of note, this list includes “prototype genome” dinosaurs. These are the taxidermy dinosaurs on display at Benjamin Lockwood’s estate as seen in Fallen Kingdom. Not much is known about these animals other than they were created in the early years of Jurassic Park, and likely were incomplete genetically, causing failed life cycles and continued research.

Finally, some dinosaurs are mentioned by name only, (such as being listed on park brochures or DNA vials). While some of these dinosaurs later appeared in other films, many did not. Dinosaurs without visual representation will utilize visual information such as toys in place of canonical designs. With that in mind, only dinosaur species mentioned in the films and direct film materials will be acknowledged, and this does not pull from species listed within viral or behind the scenes materials only.

To finalize information in this list, behind the scenes materials were referenced for existing on screen dinosaurs, as were interviews with the filmmakers discussing them. The troves of information available as well as treating the films as a field research assignment is what identified dinosaur sex, subspecies determination, and more.

This guide is only to provide basic information for identifying the species, and does not include the in depth animal profiles which will be available at a later time.

Velociraptor V.1 (m/f)

  • Carnivore – Dromaeosaur
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park, The Lost World
  • Status: Unknown
  • Range: Isla Nublar and Sorna
  • Females present in a semi-uniform color, males with more distinct tiger striping.
  • Velociraptor V.2 (m/f)

  • Carnivore – Dromaeosaur
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park 3
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Sorna
  • Females are a more uniform beige and charcoal color with yellow eyes, red surrounding the socket, males darker with milky lateral stripes, quills on their head, red crests and eyes, and blue surrounding the eye
  • Velociraptor I.B.R.I.S. (V.1.5) (f)

  • Carnivore – Dromaeosaur
  • Status: Survived by Blue only
  • Range: Isla Nublar
  • The ‘raptor squad’ raised by Owen Grady, these custom engineered raptors were designed to obey command. Blue, Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Subject V-2 are the only known examples of this subspecies. Learn more here.
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex (m/f)

  • Carnivore – Tyrannosaurid
  • Status: At least one surviving female known (“Rexy/Roberta”)
  • Range: Isla Nublar and Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • Females present in variations of brown coloration; males have more robust skulls and green colored skin.
  • Teratophoneus

  • Carnivore – Tyrannosaurid
  • Status: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (skeletons only)
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Dilophosaurus

  • Carnivore – Dilophosaurid
  • Status: Unknown
  • Range: Isla Nublar and Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park, The Lost World (dino display), Jurassic World (Hologram), Fallen Kingdom (sound)
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Compsognathus

  • Carnivore – Compsognathid
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Sorna and Nublar
  • Seen in: The Lost World, Jurassic Park 3, Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism however subtle variation of color between individuals has been observed
  • Spinosaurus

  • Carnivore – Spinosaurid
  • Status: Unknown/disputed
  • Range: Isla Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park 3
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Note: it’s reported the skeleton on main street belongs to the one seen in JP3, however the skull structure is entirely different
  • Ceratosaurus

  • Carnivore – Ceratosaurid
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Range: Isla Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park 3
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Allosaurus

  • Carnivore – Allosaurid
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Baryonyx

  • Carnivore – Spinosaurid
  • Status: Survived Sibo Eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom, mentioned to have existed prior by name only in Jurassic Park and JP3
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Suchomimus

  • Carnivore – Spinosaurid
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park 3 and Jurassic World by name only
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Carnotaurus

  • Carnivore – Abelisaurid
  • Status: Survived Sibo Eruption
  • Known Range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Metriacanthosaurus

  • Carnivore – Metriacanthosaurid
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park & Jurassic World by name only
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Herrerasaurus

  • Carnivore – Herrerasaurid
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park by name only
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Segisaurus

  • Carnivore – Coelophysid
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park by name only
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Proceratosaurus

  • Carnivore – Tyrannosaurid
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park by name only
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Dimorphodon

  • Carnivore – Pterosaur
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic World
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Pteranodon V.1 (“Geosternbergia”)

  • Omnivore/unknown – Pterosaur
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Sorna
  • Seen in: The Lost World
  • Note: Aviary mentioned in Jurassic Park with Pteranodons – potentially existed on Isla Nublar
  • Sexual dimorphism disputed; possible Geosternbergia crest variation (only seen on early unused production materials and Roland Tembos dino guide). The animal seen in the film features a more typical Pteranodon crest which muddies the exact genus it belongs to or if the other flatter crest is canonical.
  • Pteranodon V.2 (m/f)

  • Carnivore – Pterosaur
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park 3
  • Females are brown and tan, males are dark blue with yellow crests – males were designed but cut from film
  • Pterandon V.3

  • Carnivore – Pterosaur
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • Alternate crest color variants exist (norm being red), potential sexual dimorphism
  • Mosasaurus (f)

  • Carnivore – Mosasaur
  • Status: Escaped Isla Nublar, alive
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism, one animal only
  • Indominus Rex (hybrid) (f)

  • Carnivore – N/A
  • Status: extinct
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom (skeleton only)
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Indoraptor (hybrid) (m)

  • Carnivore – N/A
  • Status: extinct
  • Known range: Lockwood Manor California
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Concavenator (Prototype)

  • Carnivore – Allosaurid
  • Status: Unknown/prototype genome
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (taxidermy display)
  • No known sexual dimorphism, no known final genome
  • Mononykus (Prototype)

  • Carnivore – Maniraptora
  • Status: Unknown/prototype genome
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (taxidermy display)
  • No known sexual dimorphism, no known final genome
  • Note: this is the only known true feathered Jurassic Park dinosaur
  • Dilophosaurus (Prototype)

  • Carnivore – Dilophosaurid
  • Status: Unknown/prototype genome
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (taxidermy display)
  • No known sexual dimorphism, led to at least one final genome
  • Velociraptor (Prototype)

  • Carnivore – Dromaeosaur
  • Status: Unknown/prototype genome
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (taxidermy display)
  • No known sexual dimorphism, led to at least three different final genomes
  • Note: Appears to be direct decedent to V1 Raptors, share similarities to males minus stripes and skewing more orange
  • Dimetrodon (Prototype)

  • Carnivore – Synapsid
  • Status: Unknown/prototype genome
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (taxidermy display)
  • No known sexual dimorphism, no known final genome
  • Brachiosaurus V.1 (m/f)

  • Herbivore – Sauropod
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park, Fallen Kingdom
  • Subjects seen in Fallen Kingdom are smaller and stumpier, presenting subtle iridescent green skin around the face and neck. This is believed to be distinctive of male sexual dimorphism.
  • Brachiosaurus V.2 (m/f)

  • Herbivore – Sauropod
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park 3
  • Males and females are both variations of green, but males present notable red patches of skin on their face and atop their skull
  • Mamenchisaurus

  • Herbivore – Sauropod
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Known range: Isla Sorna
  • Seen in: The Lost World
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Apatosaurus

  • Herbivore – Sauropod
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Dreadnoughtus

  • Herbivore – Sauropod
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (DNA vials only – sold to Russians)
  • No known sexual dimorphism nor any evidence of living specimens
  • Gallimimus

  • Herbivore – Ornithomimosaur
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar and Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Parasaurolophus (m/f)

  • Herbivore – Hadrosaur
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar and Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • Males are light brown colors with lateral stripes; females feature similar patterns but green in coloration
  • Edmontosaurus

  • Herbivore – Hadrosaur
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Known range: Isla Sorna & Nublar
  • Seen in: The Lost World (skeleton only), Jurassic World (name only)
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Corythosaurus

  • Herbivore – Hadrosaur
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Known range: Isla Sorna
  • Seen in: The Lost World (name only), Jurassic Park 3
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Triceratops (m/f)

  • Herbivore – Ceratopsian
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar and Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • Females are a tortoiseshell coloration of greys and slight brown and have more prominent large rounded scutes and scales over their body; males are more solid greys and brown with subtle variations of blue on the face. Adult Triceratops presenting light vertical stripes on their back has been observed on Isla Sorna.
  • Sinoceratops

  • Herbivore – Ceratopsian
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual Dimorphism
  • Microceratus

  • Herbivore – Ceratopsian
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Nublar & Sorna
  • Seen in: Jurassic World (name only)
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Ankylosaurus (m/f)

  • Herbivore – Ankylosaur
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Seen in: Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • Males features red on face, darker armor, and distinct body shape; females are more uniform grey and brown colors
  • Peloroplites

  • Herbivore – Ankylosaur
  • Status: Unknown/reported extinct
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (skeletons only)
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Stegosaurus V.1

  • Herbivore – Stegosaurid
  • Status: Unknown
  • Known range: Isla Sorna, possibly Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: The Lost World, Jurassic Park 3, mentioned in Jurassic Park by name only
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Stegosaurus V.2

  • Herbivore – Stegosaurid
  • Status: Survived Sibo erupton
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Pachycephalosaurus

  • Herbivore – Pachycephalosaurid
  • Status: unknown
  • Known range: Isla Sorna and Nublar
  • Seen in: The Lost World, Jurassic World
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Stygimoloch

  • Herbivore – Pachycephalosaurid
  • Status: Survived Sibo eruption
  • Known range: Isla Nublar
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Stegoceratops (hybrid)

  • Herbivore – N/A
  • Status: disputed
  • Known range: Isla Nublar/disputed
  • Seen in: Jurassic World (computer display only – actual existence disputed)
  • No known sexual dimorphism
  • Diplodocus (Protoype)

  • Herbivore – Sauropod
  • Status: Unknown/prototype genome
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (taxidermy display)
  • No known sexual dimorphism, no known final genome
  • Note: specimens on display appear to be juveniles
  • Dracorex (prototype)

  • Herbivore – Pachycephalosaurid
  • Status: Unknown/prototype genome
  • Known range: Unknown
  • Seen in: Fallen Kingdom (taxidermy display)
  • No known sexual dimorphism, no known final genome
  • Note: videogame design not indicative of film design
  • Canon Deep Dive: The Three Subspecies of Velociraptor in Jurassic World and Where to Find Them

    Velociraptor is a species that needs no introduction to Jurassic fans, its identity seared into our imaginations as the ultimate apex predator birthed from InGens labs. However, as prominent as the species of dinosaur is in the Jurassic Park films, it is often shrouded in mystery, and defined by complex behavioral traits.

    During the Hammond era at least one distinct subspecies of Velociraptor was created, and went on to thrive on Isla Nublar & Sorna after the fall of the park. In the Masrani era, a new Velociraptor program was spawned, and it eventually gave birth to many animals, though only four have been featured in the films. The distinctive V.2 subspecies of Velociraptor as seen in Jurassic Park 3’s origin remains undetermined, and could have been created in either era.

    The aim of this article is to take an in-universe look at and identify the many subspecies of Jurassic World Velociraptor, and even attempt to discern what’s left living post the Sibo eruption.

    About


    V.2 male and female Velociraptors

    The Velociraptor of fossil record was a species of dinosauria that lived roughly 75 to 71 million years ago during the latter part of the Cretaceous Period, in and around Mongolia. It was one the first species to be revived by InGen in 1986 through their De-extinction process [Note: Masrani Global initially reported it was the first – their records later changed to say Triceratops was]. They were planned to be exhibited at Jurassic Park before its abandonment but were later revived for Project I.B.R.I.S. as part of a research program to test their intelligence for real-world applications.

    It’s theorized due to drastic physical differences, InGen’s Velociraptor is misidentified, and cloned not from its namesake but rather Deinonychus or Utahraptor.

    There are three distinct variations of Velociraptor which were cloned by InGen, not counting the sexual dimorphism seen within each individual version. However, despite the surface level variations, each sub-species remains relatively similar in terms of physical attributes. Each species is roughly 6 feet tall, 13 feet long and weigh over 350llbs. They’re each covered in taut, leathery skin not unlike that of a Komodo Dragons, with degrees and variation seen between subset and sexes.

    Notably, they feature a 6 inch retractable sickle “killing claw” on the inner toes of each foot, which is one of the animals most signature deadly weapons. While the skull structure varies between each subset, they all feature a pronounced orbital socket with distinct antorbital fenestra ridges. Much like many modern reptiles, these animals mouths were lined with a strong lip structure.


    V.1 female Velociraptor

    Agile and remarkably strong, Velociraptors are incredible jumpers and can reach speeds of up to 50-60mph in the open.

    However, the Velociraptor’s most remarkable attribute is their intelligence and social structure. Purportedly the second most intelligent species on the planet (after mankind), Velociraptor intelligence surpasses that of Chimpanzees and Dolphins. While incredibly aggressive, they are also very social animals with a complex pack dynamic. Like an inverse of a pride of lions, Velociraptors are typically observed with one or a few females leading the pack, with males making up the majority of the population.

    Velociraptors typically stay near their nest, and venture out further to hunt – though they have been observed leaving their territory if they still perceive previous intruders as a threat. Velociraptors are particularly defensive of their nests and eggs. The position of ‘Alpha’ within the pack is a very important part of their dynamic, and is typically respected. However, the animals have been known to fight amongst themselves to earn that spot – and those fights can often prove deadly.

    Each of the three raptor variations seemingly share the same ‘language’, displaying a complex and unique series of screeches, barks, growls and hisses. Further communication methods include general body language, and the tapping of their killing claws.

    Velociraptor Version 1.0

    This subset of Velociraptor is not only the first version of raptor cloned by InGen, but also one of the first ever successful dinosaur species brought back via ‘De-extinction’ in 1986. Version 1.0 is known to exist natively with breeding populations on both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna.

    Both the males and females have piercing, veiny eyes with vertical pupils and nearly identical physical builds. The largest difference between each sex is colour of their skin and eyes.

  • Female
  • All dinosaurs created for Jurassic Park by InGen were intended to be female, and as such these were the Velociraptor [initially] housed within Isla Nublar.

    The female Velocirapors sport green eyes, with skin that is primarily a muted orangeish brown, with darker brown horizontal speckling and splotching overtop. Their underbelly is a lighter beige color, which transitions to the darker hues the higher it goes up the body.

    The females have very little distinct striping or spotting, and can appear rather uniform in color, resembling gunmetal green until closer, well lit inspection.

    Female V.1 Velociraptors can also be found on Isla Sorna, but they are fewer in each pack than male.

  • Male
  • Natural born male V.1 raptors sport bright yellow eyes with skin more vibrant orange than their female counterparts, and a beige underbelly with less dark splotching overall. They’re easily distinguished from the female packmates as they are covered in vertical dark brown stripes, not entirely unlike that seen in Bengal Tigers.

    When a sex change occurs within the dinosaur population, it remains unclear if their physical coloration changes to match. As Velociraptors were breeding in Jurassic Park, but only the female attributes were observed, it stands to reason only those born male sport the coloration listed above.

    Like their female counterparts, the male v.1 raptors can be found on Sorna, making up the majority of the pack.

    Version 2.0

    The second distinct subset of Velociraptor cloned by InGen, its creation date remains shrouded in mystery. First and only observed on Isla Sorna in 2001, it is wholly possible this subset of raptor was not bred until after Masrani Global took ownership of InGen in 1998. Without further information solidifying this subspecies origins, it remains undetermined.

    The male and female v.2 raptors are much more distinct from one another than their V.1 counterparts, with physical variation ranging from skull shape to colors. Both are made distinct from their v.1 cousins with a more narrow skull, and more pronounced ridge running from the eye socket and tapering prior to the nares, raised above the antorbital fenestra.

  • Female
  • The female V.2 raptors feature bright yellow eyes, with small round pupils. The eye socket is surrounded with a splash of vivid blood red skin, only seen elsewhere around their toes. Their skin is a semi-uniform cream color, with irregular charcoal brown covering its back from skull to tail, following the spine. From the spine there are occasional roughly defined vertical stripes, only slightly extending downward. From their ribs and hips below, small irregular horizontal striping occurs in blotchy patterns, also in the charcoal brown color.

    The females are the clearly alphas of their packs, with only one observed in Jurassic Park 3 commanding a pack of males in their effort to retrieve stolen eggs. They seem to be more cunning than their male counterparts, and more reserved with their actions than their V.1 cousins, less prone to violent outbursts.

  • Male
  • The male V.2 are immediately distinguished by their darker colors, horizontal milky stripe on either side running from skull to tail, striking red eyes with round pupils, and quill like proto-feathers protruding from the rear of their skull. Their skin is primarly a muted fleshy purple, molted with charcoal grey splotching of a similar tone. Their eye sockets are surrounded by vibrant blue skin, and the antorbital fenestra ridge highlighted by a brighter red color – this red can also be seen atop their skull, and around their fingers. Their underbelly is a yellow cream color that is occasionally interjected by the darker grey splotches.

    The males of the pack are often the front line offense, following the command of the alpha female to track down intruders and/or hunt prey. They’re more prone to impulsive outbursts, but have not been observed infighting like their V.1 cousins. Incredibly social, these animals are intelligent and cunning predators that will protect their pack at great lengths.

    The male V.2 raptors are the only Jurassic dinosaurs observed sporting proto-feathers, other than the two hybrids Indominus Rex and Indoraptor.

    I.B.R.I.S. (V1.5)

    I.B.R.S. Velociraptors are in reality the third acknowledged subset of Velociraptor created by InGen 2012. Based upon the V.1 genome (thus V.1.5 labeling), these raptors were custom crafted by Dr. Henry WU for the Integrated Behavioral Raptor Intelligence Study program run by Owen Grady. Each v.1.5 Velociraptor has been programmed with unique, customized DNA.

    Very similar in build and looks to the v.1.0 Velociraptors, v.1.5 are most easily identified by their unique color schemes. Further, they have thicker, more flexible rubbery skin, featuring more visible fleshy tones. Their eyes are yellow-orange with vertical pupils much like v.1.0, however are more translucent and do not have the noteworthy visible vein structures seen in their counterparts.

    While roughly the same size and shape as their v.1.0 predecessors, they are notably stockier with other various differences. There are 4 different V.1.5 raptors, each with their own genetic, physical, and behavioral discrepancies.

    All of the ‘raptor squad’ V.1.5 raptors were bred female, and were born at similar times.

  • Blue
  • Blue is a uniquely modified V.1.5 Velociraptor, infused with DNA from a Black-Throated African Monitor Lizard. She was bred as part of InGen’s Project I.B.R.I.S. and is the sole surviving member, following the Jurassic World incident in December 2015. Blue is the largest and stockiest raptor of the I.B.R.I.S. pack, easily identified by her scute covered face and striking blue stripe.

    Blue’s face is similar in shape to V.1.0 raptors, but is wider with a over sloping rear orbital socket crest and a small ridge running down the top middle of her skull. Her nasal cavities are more forward facing and pronounced due to the additional width of her skull. Her unique scute coverage is most pronounced on her orbital ridge, lower jaw hinge, top rear of the skull, and run down the back and sides of her neck. Her body shape is very close to that of the V.1.0 raptors, but stockier with a less pronounced muscle and skeletal structure.

    Blue’s color consists mainly of greys and desaturated fleshy tones, with inconsistent splotches of darker greys highlighting the top of her scales. Her most notable color feature is her asymmetrical lateral stripe which starts at each eye, and runs down the the sides of her body. The stripes are almost black dark blue color, which have a iridescent sheen that gives off a lighter blue appearance. Each stripe is highlighted with white at its edges, making it stand out even more.

    Blue is the Alpha of her pack, and was a uniquely thoughtful and empathetic animal since birth. These traits allowed her to not only take command of the pack of her peers, but to work with Owen, trusting him, and extending her familial circle to include him. These unique traits are hardwired into her DNA and are not currently present in any other Velociraptor, living or dead.

  • Charlie (deceased)
  • Charlie is a uniquely modified V.1.5 Velociraptor, infused with DNA from a Green Iguana. She was bred as part of InGen’s Project I.B.R.I.S. and was the first ‘Raptor Squad’ casualty during the Jurassic World incident in December 2015.

    Charlie is a slimmer member of the raptor pack, identifiable by her light green color with dark green vertical stripes.

    Charlies’s skull structure is most similar to Delta featuring the raised ridge on her snout, but is slightly wider like her other V.1.5 sisters. Her nasal cavities are more forward facing and pronounced due to the additional width of her skull. Like her peers, her body shape is very close to that of the V.1.0 raptors, but slightly stockier with a less pronounced muscle and skeletal structure.

    Charlie’s color mainly consists of hues of light grass and asparagus greens with a cream underbelly, and dark vertical stripes. The stripes are a dark jade green with thin light cream highlights, starting at the base of the skull and neck, running the length of her body and tail.

    The youngest member of the raptor pack, Charlie was the final V.1.5 I.B.R.I.S. raptor born sometime after 2012. Charlie is the least seasoned of the pack, and youthfully inconsistent and unpredictable with her actions. However, Charlie was deeply loyal to Blue, constantly looked to her for leadership, and has been known to even give up her food for her. As such, Charlie also looks to Owen for guidance, but is confused over his place in the pack.

    Charlie, often chipper and overly enthusiastic, would accidentally smack other members of the pack with her tail causing frustration amongst her peers.

  • Delta (deceased)
  • Delta is a uniquely modified V.1.5 Velociraptor, infused with the most Avian DNA out of the pack. She was bred as part of InGen’s Project I.B.R.I.S. and was the second ‘Raptor Squad’ casualty during the Jurassic World incident in December 2015.

    Delta is identifiable by her darker green color, and pronounced antorbital fenestra ridges not unlike those seen in V.2.0 males.

    Her skull structure is similar to V.1.0 raptors, but is slightly wider and with more defined crests between her nasal cavities and eye sockets akin to V2 Raptors. Her nostrils are more forward facing and pronounced due to the additional width of her skull. Like her peers, her body shape is very close to that of the V.1.0 raptors, though more lean than Blue.

    Deltas’s color is darker than Charlies, mainly consisting of mostly jade and some rainforest green hues leading to a fern green underbelly. Her skin is darkest on the top of her body, and sides of her arms and legs. Unlike Charlie, she does not have any prominent striping, but has distinguished teal coloration around her eyes.

    There were some reports that Delta had unique eyes, with Gecko like pupils – however, evidence suggests otherwise as her eyes look the same as her packmates.

    The second eldest member of the raptor pack, Delta was born sometime after 2012. Always loyal to Blue, she often led coordinated attacks pushing prey into ambushes. Delta was incredibly intelligent, with thoughtful birdlike behavior and quick movements. While loyal to her Alpha, she was a proficient hunter and capable of strong independent decision making.

  • Echo (deceased)
  • Echo was a V.1.5 Velociraptor who’s unique DNA attributes were not cataloged. She was bred as part of InGen’s Project I.B.R.I.S. and was the final ‘Raptor Squad’ casualty during the Jurassic World incident in December 2015.

    Echo is similar in build to Charlie, and shares the most similarities to V.1.0 raptors out of the pack.

    Echo’s skull structure is most similar to the V.1.0 raptors, but is slightly wider like her other V.1.5 sisters. Her nostrils are more forward facing and pronounced due to the additional width of her skull. Like her peers, her body shape is very close to that of the V.1.0 raptors, yet less defined.

    Her fleshy pink facial scar retained from fighting with Blue gives her a unique sneer, earning the nickname ‘Elvis’ from paddock workers.

    Echo appears orangeish brown in color, with a cream underbelly, and dark vertical stripes similar to Charlies. Her stripes are a dark blue and black in coloration, with an iridescent blue sheen. Less defined than Charlies stripes, hers are met with dark splotching abroad, blending more naturally with the orange hue below.

    The second youngest member of the raptor pack, Echo was bred into the V.1.5 I.B.R.I.S. program sometime after 2012. Echo is the least obedient of the pack, and can often act selfishly despite her acceptance of Blue’s leadership. She often will not wait for commands, and attack, hunt and eat food when the opportunity presents itself.

    Her stubborn independence, and reluctance to follow leadership led to her challenging Blue for command of the pack. Blue did not kill echo, but did leave her with permanent scars across her face. After that, Echo no longer challenged leadership but still acted in her own interest at times.

  • Rejected specimens
  • The I.B.R.I.S. project saw many attempts at breeding raptors prior to success, and while InGen successfully created unique Velociraptors, the subjects were rejected from the program due to aberrant and aggressive behavior.

    One such animal was subject V-2, and early V.1.5 raptor who was rejected due to her aggressive behavior, as evidenced by her scars on her mouth. Her look is near identical to that of female V.1 raptors, only with slight color variation including vibrant light blue skin interweaving more prominent padding. It’s been presumed V-2 was euthanized, however that seems to go against Owen Grady and Masrani’s ethical code, and it’s possible she was relocated on Nublar, Sorna, or somewhere else entirely.

    Hunting

    Velociraptors are pack hunters, and often work to surround and ambush their prey, taking them by surprise. Numerous hunting patterns have been observed, from the coordinated ambush in the long grass as seen during the 1997 Sorna incident, to the distract and flanking maneuver executed to kill Robert Muldoon on Isla Nublar in 93.

    Velociraptors rely on their quick, quiet, and athletic maneuverability to get close to their prey before pouncing, gripping their preys face or neck with their mouth, and latching on to their chest and belly with their talons, tearing with their deadly sickle claws. Once Velociraptors have their prey in their sights, they will stop at nothing to hunt them down (even losing their organized hunting patterns), tracking them over treacherous terrain, and following them into hard to navigate structure when needed.

    null

    The eating habits of Velociraptor once making a successful kill have not been observed, though it’s likely they share the meals with numerous members of the pack by established hierarchy. Carcasses of prey and remains of uneaten food have not been observed by Velociraptor nests, suggesting they feed on the field, not bringing the meals back to their territory as not to attract other predatorial animals to where their young are situated. As such, adult Velociraptors may even regurgitate food like modern birds to feed their babies, though this remains entirely speculative.

    Nests and Breeding

    Velociraptors are territorial animals, who establish nests rarely left out of sight. As they congregate in large packs, their nests often contain numerous broods of young from multiple parents, arranged on the ground in circular clutches. The entire pack is dedicated to caring for the young, as led by the alpha females.

    Both V.1 and V.2 Velociraptors have been observed with nests in the wild on Nublar and Sorna respectively. Dr. Alan Grant made the discovery that the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park were capable of changing sex and breeding when he discovered the semi-recently hatched Velociraptor nest at the foot of large trees on Nublar. These distinct oval shaped eggs were surrounded by the the unique two toed pad prints caused by the raptors walking with their killing claw raised.

    The V.2 egg nests are slightly more defined, housed in raised rounded mud mounds, surround by soft foliage such as grass. Multiple clutches were kept near one another, and while the nest was left alone long enough for humans to encroach on its territory and steal two eggs, raptors clearly observed the theft and took great pains to safely return the eggs home once tracked down.

    The mating patterns of Velociraptor have yet to be observed, though there is likely some form of hierarchy which determines which males can mate with whom, as observed in many modern animals. This is further evidenced by the males sporting more vibrant colors, likely to attract their mates, while the females sport more practical colors for camouflage.

    Whether or not crossbreeding can occur between the different subspecies has yet to be determined, though it stands to reason that their DNA is close enough to allow mating between the clans. Whether or not this has actually occurred, or what these naturally occurring hybrid animals would look like remains unknown. As Isla Sorna has not been seen since 2001, nor its wild dinosaur populations, it is very possible a new version of raptor now exists from the two subspecies fighting, interacting and even mating over time.


    Raptor tribes collide in this fan art by Raph Lomotan

    Survivors?

    The status of the Velociraptors post the 2018 Mt. Sibo eruptions remains uncertain. Reports released by the Dinosaur Protection Group suggest Isla Sorna is abandoned, without any animals left on the island. I however remain unconvinced by the veracity of that report, as similar reports released by the DPG had easily refutable discrepancies. This seems to be the case of shoddy record keeping by Ingen, and even more likely, the company being misleading about their assets for liability purposes.

    It seems entirely unlikely that no dinosaurs remain on Isla Sorna, even if their populations had been effected by relocation, poaching, and famine. Further, it is entirely possible animals were illegally relocated off island prior to the Lockwood incident of Nublar, including members of the various wild raptor populations.

    Finally, while Blue was the last remaining Velociraptor on Isla Nublar belonging to the I.B.R.I.S. tribe, it was never confirmed she was the only raptor on that island. As we know wild raptors were breeding on the island during and after the fall of Jurassic Park, it is very possible remnants persisted in the restricted zone even after Jurassic World was constructed. When the volcanic eruption of Mt. Sibo caused cataclysmic damage to Nublar in 2018, that damage seemed to be reserved for the northern half of the island. While the living conditions may be dire, it is entirely possible populations of dinosaur persisted on Nublar post that new extinction level event.

    Blue may be the only known Velociraptor persisting at this time, roaming Northern California, but it’s likely she has other packmates waiting to be discovered elsewhere in the world.

    After all, life finds a way.


    Jurassic World Alive App Is Here!

    There’s a dinosaur in our backyard…
     

    Jurassic World Alive is a new app that is sure to grab every dino lover’s attention. In the app, you are a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG), and you are on a mission to save the dinosaurs. Much like Pokemon Go, you explore your surroundings in search of dinosaurs. Once you track down a dinosaur, you pilot a drone and collect DNA samples from them. You can create normal dinosaurs, or pretend you’re Henry Wu and make some hybrids! After assembling a team of dinosaurs, you then head over to the battle area and face off against other players. Prizes for winning include (but aren’t limited to): coins, DNA samples, and darts for DNA collecting.

    The app is now available for Android on Google Play, and for iOS in the App Store. Start hunting those dinos!

     
    As mentioned above, this game is similar to Pokemon Go in a lot of ways. The game uses your location for placement of dinosaurs and supply drops, and it has warnings about being safe while playing (thanks, Owen!). The drone/firing the darts can take a little getting used to, but the controls seem very responsive. All the dinosaurs in the game have profiles that detail their battle stats, which you need to pay attention to once you step into the battle area. They start you out in the Fallen Kingdom arena, and there are different battle arenas that unlock as you win more battles! Battles get more exciting as you level up you dinos (by gathering more DNA), and mixing up your team combinations. Unlike Pokemon Go, supply drops are not always at landmarks, and they appear more frequently in suburban/rural areas.

    Jurassic World: Alive also has a fun AR feature, allowing you to bring the dinosaurs you’ve captured to life in the real world via your phones camera. This creates a fun photo and video opportunity many fans are already taking advantage of!

    Have you played Jurassic World Alive yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

    Jurassic Park’s New 4K Blu-Ray Release is Scanned from the ORIGINAL Camera Negative

    With 2018 marking the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, Universal Pictures are ensuring fans don’t go without this year! It was recently revealed that all four Jurassic Park movies would be receiving the 4K treatment, with the release of a new Blu-Ray collection this May.

    An exciting announcement none the less, but many were left wondering how exactly the film will be transferred to 4K – for lack of a better word. There were a few concerns that the films would be upscaled from the HD prints/versions, meaning they would not be true 4K.

    Luckily for us however, it sounds like the Jurassic Park 4K release will be true 4K, having been scanned from the original camera negatives!

    Universal Pictures confirmed this with us, detailing the process:

    4K Restoration conducted by Universal Pictures with restoration services provided by NBCUniversal StudioPost
    ARRI scan at 4K resolution from the original camera negative
    4K workflow with High Dynamic Range color correction

    This is great news for fans and movie buffs alike – never before will Jurassic Park have been watched at this quality, but better yet, the transfer will likely be closest to the original colour that was played in theatres back in 1993, closer than any release we’ve had before!

    It’s important to note that due to way film-making and the technology behind it evolves, not every movie in this franchise will be archived by the studio in the same format, meaning the transfer for each movie could differ.

    But one thing is for certain: this release will allow you to watch the Jurassic Park franchise like never before!

    Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any new bonus features attached to this release. The press release states:

    Available for the first time ever in 4K Ultra HD featuring newly remastered versions of the films, the collection also includes Blu-ray and Digital via the all-new MOVIES ANYWHERE app. This special anniversary collection features premium book-style packaging and is packed with hours of bonus content including deleted scenes, storyboards, revealing interviews and behind-the-scenes featurettes that make this a must own film for everyone’s library.

    Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-rayTM version, all in stunning 4K resolution.

    And in regards to bonus features:

    BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:
    • Return to Jurassic Park: 6-Part Documentary – This six-part documentary features interviews with the many of the cast members from all three films, the filmmakers and Steven Spielberg.
    • Welcome to Jurassic World – An in-depth take on the creation, look and feel of Jurassic World. Director Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg discuss how the idea of the film came together and how the casting was decided with actors’ commentary on their roles and filming locations.
    • Dinosaurs Roam Once Again – Behind the scenes look at the making of Jurassic World’s visual effects, how the dinosaurs came to life, and actors filmed scenes.
    • Jurassic World: All-Access Pass – Chris Pratt and Director Colin Trevorrow discuss key moments in the film, supported by behind-the-scenes footage and VFX breakdowns.
    • Deleted Scenes
    • And Over Forty Additional Bonus Featurettes from All Four Films!

    The Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection releases May 22nd and will retail at $79.98 (although it is currently $49.96 on Amazon!). This will be an 8-disc collection with each 4K film on their own disc, and the bonus features on another.

    How excited are you to see Jurassic Park like never before? Let us know in the comments section below, and be sure to stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for more!

    OPINION: The Jurassic Myth

    To make an unpopular observation is to dispel a beloved myth.

    Initially, I felt reluctant to write this piece. Not so much because I’m concerned about its reception. Had I been a few years younger I possibly would have worried and questioned my very own loyalty to the Jurassic Park franchise and its creators.

    No, I doubted my desire to pen all of this down because I’ve written several articles on Jurassic Park and Jurassic World through the years. Could this one add any new insights? Would it not be a useless exercise, partly revisiting already existing material?

    Jurassic Park has been part of over half my life. I grew up with it, watched it countless times – I would not dare venture a guess as to the number of combined viewings through the years. I’ve played with the toys endlessly, read the books over and over again. My love for these films, flaws included, is deeply rooted; not a day goes by I do not, in some capacity, think of it, or look at material from these films or their merchandise. I can only assume I am preaching to the choir, my experience being hardly unique.

    However, love and loyalty for this franchise (or any product, artist or franchise, for that matter) do not constitute unwavering devotion, no matter how dreadful the material is or has become. Rather, I believe being a fan is daring to be critical; to scrutinize, reconsider and demand (or perhaps more accurate, to hope for) respectful treatment of a property we so dearly love, not blindly accepting everything presented to us.

    Having mulled it over in my mind continuously for weeks on end, I was close to considering it a pointless endeavour. Yet, I could not entirely let go, feeling the desire to explore the origins of the park, the foundations lain out in the two novels and original three films once more – and possibly for the last time.

    But where to begin when you want to write about film canon and storytelling?

    Canon remains a hotly debated issue. Not just within Jurassic Park’s fan communities. Every film franchise and TV-series sooner or later has to deal with the implications of its own storytelling and, possibly unfitting, additions finding their way in through sequels. In some cases, Terminator for example, it includes the consideration of excising events from previously made films to make way for new interpretations. The ALIEN franchise has a loyal fan base that considers the third and fourth films non-existent. Furthermore, ALIEN’s prequels have brought significant changes to the origins of the infamous titular creature(s), not necessarily for the better.

    Perhaps the Jurassic Park saga is not so badly off in comparison. Yet, I can’t help be intrigued by the phenomenon of canon and how easily it can be messed up. It’s the one issue I keep returning to most in my mind. After all, the entire franchise stands or falls with its respective storytelling.

    My continuing fascination for the subject stems from a dissatisfaction with the lack of attention for the finer details of the franchise as it progresses; the sequels were, and are, created based on previous success, contemporary popularity and demand, not necessarily the established story. This in itself isn’t entirely odd. The original wasn’t made with a sequel strongly in mind, and the original’s sequel was not created in that spirit either. Jurassic Park is a “make it up as you go along”-franchise. It’s not alone in that department; most film sequels are conceived that way.

    For Jurassic Park, a film that deals with specific, limited locations, it can cause trouble when future authors are not absolutely informed about every nail and rivet, each miniscule, seemingly insignificant detail. After all, contrary to popular belief, the Jurassic Park universe isn’t one of endless possibilities; because of the chosen locations (remote islands) and the subject at its very core (recreated dinosaurs), stories run the risk of becoming either repetitive or, trying to introduce new and exciting elements, bordering on the ridiculous.

    Anyone taking on the task of writing a sequel in this series must have more than just a basic understanding of the park’s history and its very conception to make new entries into the franchise work.

    “Only slightly dead.” From paper to celluloid: adaptation

    Looking at the Jurassic Park films, what should we consider canon? And, for that matter, what is canon, exactly?

    Meriam Webster offers the following definition: “a body of principles, rules, standards or norms.”

    That’s quite clear. The story mandates an adherence to previously established details. Deviate, and the illusion crumbles, exposing inconsistencies and errors.

    To keep it simple: canon to the films is everything that happens within the films. Anything outside of it (novels, cut scenes, novelizations of the films’ stories, board- and videogames, merchandise, apps and viral websites) is not to be included.

    Yet, deviate is exactly what Michael Crichton himself did when he wrote The Lost World; mathematician Ian Malcolm had died by the end of the novel Jurassic Park, but lived in the film version. Working on the book’s sequel, Crichton resurrected Malcolm, given how popular the character had become. About this magic return from death, Crichton said:

    “Malcolm came back because I needed him. I could do without the others, but not him because he is the ‘ironic commentator’ on the action. He keeps telling us why it will go bad. And I had to have him back again.”

    You can see the irony in my quest of untangling Jurassic Park’s initial canon. Crichton himself, the founding father of the Jurassic Park universe, unashamedly had a previously deceased character return alive and well to propel the story forward. Malcolm’s return was a surprise to readers of the original book but presented in the novel without much pomp and circumstance, it was largely accepted.

    With Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) surviving the events that took place in the first film, The Lost World’s film adaptation had no such hurdle to overcome. It did utilize the new location Michael Crichton invented for the sequel, the abandoned research facility located on Isla Sorna.

    Let us briefly examine three key scenes from The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III. While there is no real need for a lengthy deconstruction of either scene, it proves worthwhile to take a look at those moments from the original trilogy that became the groundwork of Isla Nublar’s fate.

    What both films clearly radiate is the notion that Isla Nublar is no longer of interest to anyone. The public, through the course of these two films, has become aware of the island and its unfortunate history, the dinosaurs having either been killed or died off; in The Lost World: Jurassic Park this becomes clear throughout the dialogue between John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) and Ian Malcolm. Hammond simply confesses to Malcolm there is another island where dinosaurs roam freely (“thank God for Site B,”) and Malcolm finds himself unpleasantly surprised by this notion. Neither man worries about Isla Nublar, it’s hardly brought up.

    At the end of The Lost World: Jurassic Park Hammond snatches his “likeable showman”-opportunity and argues in favour of the protection of Isla Sorna and the surviving dinosaurs that inhabit the island.

    Jurassic Park III reintroduces us to Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who is beleaguered with questions about his experience on Isla Nublar as he attempts to lecture about paleontology. Two persisting students question if he truly has no interest in traveling to Isla Sorna the moment different governing bodies have decided how to properly approach the island, enabling scientists to conduct research on location. Grant denies interest, professing to the desire of staying as far away from the island as possible.

    These three scenes hold the keys to that fine detail; Isla Nublar is not considered a mythical location, spoken of in revered, hushed tones. No, it’s a monumental financial headache for InGen, and unceremoniously cast aside by John Hammond.

    Isla Nublar is completely written out of the films for the next fifteen years.

    “Something unexpected has evolved”: complications

    After The Lost World: Jurassic Park, different screenwriters wrote each new entry in the franchise, causing a parade of annoying irregularities. Some are relatively minor, for example Isla Sorna looking different in Jurassic Park III: while mainly covered with temperate forests in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III sees dinosaurs and humans placed in tropical jungles.

    Other errors are slightly more troubling. These vary from design variations in the same species of animals throughout the films; the once free roaming Pteranodons being magically locked up in a gigantic aviary in the third film; to Kauai’s Na’Pali coastal mountain range first seen in The Lost World: Jurassic Park as part of Isla Sorna accidentally being reused in Jurassic World as Isla Nublar’s coastline.

    There are, of course, counterarguments for these discrepancies. First of all, not all errors, such as the location mix-up, can be blamed on the writers. The change in appearance in both animals and surroundings isn’t unheard of through the course of the films. The animals looking different, sometimes radically, can be chalked up to creative decisions in design and renewed insights; the island looking different could simply mean the two films each took place on different parts of it.

    The same coastline used for both Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar might have been an oversight, considering the time that passed between the two respective films. Admittedly, it’s a location-scouting mistake most viewers probably won’t even notice.

    These errors can be overcome, turning a blind eye. However, two elements both introduced in Jurassic World are inexcusable, and cause the film to run into deep trouble. The first is the surprise reintroduction of the original Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park in Jurassic World. The previous sequels taught us dinosaurs no longer inhabited Isla Nublar. Without even a modicum of explaining, the original Tyrannosaurus returns, as the deus ex machina she was in the original film’s finale.

    Given what we know about Isla Nublar’s history, the Tyrannosaurus should not be there – yet she is still alive, albeit looking very different. This is not just due to old age; the shape of her head, especially the lower jaw, has entirely changed. Rumor has it the film originally would present us with a random Tyrannosaurus rex. Was this redesign a last-minute decision, a rush of nostalgia to please fans? We may never know.

    Most unforgivable, though, and certainly to be blamed on the writing; the revelation John Hammond apparently supported Jurassic World’s construction before his death, completely undoing the emotional and spiritual journey the character made over the course of the original two films. This sudden change of heart is not entirely impossible, but without properly addressing it, the film falls flat and does Hammond’s character the greatest of disservices; making it appear he had a nefarious motive, the creation of a park on Isla Nublar at any and all cost, selfishly seeing his dream come true in the end.

    All these moments display what could either be remarkable carelessness, a lack of knowledge or performance under pressure. We know the latter certainly applied to Jurassic Park III’s production process. But the others? Colin Trevorrow has professed to being a fan of the original work multiple times, and clearly voiced his devotion to create the best work possible. Yet, these errors and inconsistencies did not require a microscope to be found. And these inconsistencies are not just discussed by fans who spend much time going over the material, dissecting every frame; the discrepancies are out there, front and center, questioned by film audiences in general. If they can pick up on those, why not the director of the film himself? Were these elements truly errors? Did the filmmakers simply not pay enough attention, or did they possibly not care enough to gain a better understanding of this fictional world they were adding to? It makes Jurassic World operate in the same cinematic universe as Jurassic Park, but without properly addressing some of these issues it does so on its fringes.

    This is the myth; we have been told the new trilogy (the Jurassic Park films are the first trilogy, the Jurassic World films the second) has been planned out beforehand. This does not seem entirely true.

    I do believe a beginning (Jurassic World), middle (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and an end (Jurassic World III) were planned in broad strokes, but the writers of the script didn’t bother with the finer details established by the original films, instead introducing what was deemed necessary or even just cool.

    With every new entry into the franchise the stories run the risk of becoming more complicated and asking for a greater suspension of disbelief. I believe it’s not impossible to write stories that fit the overarching canon and still be surprising and uncontrived, but this ordains a deep understanding of the source material; perhaps it presents authors with a creative challenge, but what else are professional writers for?

    If we have to suspend disbelief and accept the dinosaurs as a reality, the details of the entire world they occupy have to be absolutely correct.

    Both Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World, at one point or another, failed in this regard.

    That’s not to say I am not appreciative of the work by both Joe Johnston and Colin Trevorrow on the Jurassic Park franchise. Though their films are not perfect, they offer entertainment and even bring new elements into the saga that will inspire, and be discussed by fans, for years to come. Both men and their crews did outstanding work in their own ways, and they both come across as men with sympathetic personalities and a genuine love for the original film.

    Colin Trevorrow especially engages actively with fans, mainly through Twitter. This is commendable. He made himself available to the Jurassic Park community and teased or even outright shared material from Jurassic World’s set when he could during the production process.

    Whenever Colin Trevorrow tweets something related to Jurassic World, fans are excited. After all, after a draught of nearly fifteen years, the franchise was brought back full-force, with Trevorrow at its helm this time.

    Yet, his pleasant online persona and accessibility certainly do not make him exempt from fair criticism; a tweet proclaiming he considers several Jurassic World games being created “soft canon” was received with much enthusiasm by fans. But what is soft canon? What does it mean in regards to the franchise’s narrative?

    The truth is, it has no definitive meaning, if any at all. It was Trevorrow’s personal opinion, having been asked a question about the games. Which of course is fine, as we all have an opinion. But his words weigh heavier in the fan community than someone else’s (mine, for example) because he once occupied the director’s chair and still serves as a writer for, and producer on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Colin Trevorrow, despite these impressive credentials, maybe should not be seen by us as the Messiah and his words not taken as absolute gospel.

    I feel his choice of words on this specific matter diffuses the understanding of the material. Canon should be that; it either is or is not. Anything else should be relegated to an alternative universe where it’s free for all and anything goes.

    Am I advocating against sequels, or directors expressing their own thoughts on the material? I’m certainly not opposed to films that follow up on an original work, expanding stories and fictional universes: I would never want to discourage anyone from expressing their opinions, insights and experiences. Above all else I would not dare argue in favor of discouraging Colin Trevorrow to share his personal opinion. His input and thoughts are highly valuable, and I truly appreciate his work on JurassicWorld and his activity and engagement with fans on Twitter and in the real world.

    Though not a steward of the franchise, I do maintain the position not enough care and attention went, and possibly goes, into the understanding of these important details, the focus instead shifted towards pleasing audiences with films that entertain from start to finish, offering a fast-paced ride – but giving the public less to think about in the end.

     Jurassic Park did something remarkable. It presented its complicated science with a wonderful simplicity, making us believe this world we were introduced to was utterly real.

    It’s a trick that from the outset could essentially only be performed once, considering the film hinged on the revelation of futuristic technology being successfully able in aiding resurrecting extinct animals.

    Once this technology was introduced and the original film ended, that novelty, the excitement, the wonder and magic faded away more with every sequel, little by little falling apart and replaced with more spectacle and grander effects. But with a little less heart put into each new entry, slowly trading in genuine, inquisitive scientists for dull, anonymous military bravado.

    Packed to the rafters with shots eerily reminiscent of the original film, Jurassic World became a lesser version of a grander work, at times feeling more as if truly a reboot rather than a sequel, a film that seems to have sidelined its two predecessors; and, more importantly, their content and lessons. As with the Tyrannosaurus, Jurassic World never directly addresses the issue of the state of the island(s). The individual islands are simply “shoved aside” from film to film, as if one or the other doesn’t matter anymore, then dragged back in to fulfill a filmmaker’s needs. Rather than Jurassic, it becomes Convenient Park, with the authors introducing elements they need to create a string of “cool looking” scenes and shots, instead of creatively building and expanding on the original material that came before.

    In the end, it’s the film studio that approves the finished film scripts. If those in charge feel a script is good enough and sign off on it, the authors and directors might not even be aware of the irregularities. Who, then, should we consider responsible?

    Conclusion: the myth undone

    Originally, I started writing out of a deep desire to approach the subject of Isla Nublar’s origins and ultimate fate without much speculation, without the inclusion or consideration of “secondary” material, even going so far as to exclude Crichton’s own work, except for the respectful acknowledgement that his two novels are the very foundations of this franchise.

    As my collection of notes on the matter expanded, my focus shifted. I found my original subject interesting, but as I explored further it lead to something more substantial; the complex art of telling a story that follows up on existing material.

    With the mountain of hardly legible notes growing over several weeks, I could not help feel weariness, a fatigue – a regular disinterest in my own never-ending thoughts and musings, if you will. To be a fan, I suppose, is to question your own sanity every now and then; I’ve often asked myself why I feel such passion for these films and their fictional world, why I keep returning to them despite knowing them by heart. And sometimes, wanting to just cast it all aside and be done with it.

    Yet, I always drift back into that world, returning to what I love and know, undeniably finding a familiar comfort in this fiction that shaped the way we perceive (accurate or not) dinosaurs on film, and the history of the people and companies that occupy its exotic landscapes.

    This may sound awfully vague. Or perhaps not. It’s fascinating to examine my own attitude towards these stories and to realize this fictional world has its roots firmly planted in scientific reality. While it’s not possible yet (if ever) to resurrect dinosaurs, de-extinction itself is bringing the return of animals such as mammoths, far younger than the reptilian rulers, within reach. Is this why I love these films so much? Because they operate on the brink of reality, offering us a glimpse of technology to come? The far-off prospect of possibly coming eye to eye with animals brought back from extinction?

    I certainly do not entertain the (rather vain) thought my word on the matter is final. But writing did lead me to reach and understand the most important personal question above all others: if the filmmakers and studios don’t care all that much about consistency throughout these films, why should I? Is it not better to let go, to be done with it and simply enjoy the films, no matter what craziness or irregularities they bring to the franchise?

    Admittedly, as a fan with a passion bordering on religious, I’m undeniably susceptible to over-thinking these matters. This is possibly the most important lesson I learned as I progressed. I have undone my own myth: the once unshakable belief that these stories can and should be told without nearly unavoidable discrepancies finding a way in, either by accident or on purpose.

    Maybe it truly is time to let go of the well-intended but foolish notion of wanting to protect a legacy that can’t possibly be saved by me alone – and, in the end, most likely does not need saving at all.

    What are your thoughts on the franchise’s history, its storytelling, canon and being a devoted fan?

    First Look at Classic Jurassic Park Toys Coming from Mattel!

    The Mattel Jurassic World toys do not hit shelves until April 16th, however that hasn’t stopped some early items from slipping through the cracks!

    While the majority of this years toy line was revealed at New York Toy Fair, that did not included exclusive assortments. One of the most anticipated lines is the ‘Jurassic World: Legacy Collection‘, which are toys based upon the first three Jurassic Park films! This line will be highly sought out by collectors, and it is exclusive to Target in the United States (availability worldwide may vary).

    Only one item has shown up in stores so far: the Extreme Chompin’ Tyrannosaurus Rex – however the back of its packaging reveals Robert Muldoon and Alan Grant from Jurassic Park, both packed with a Compsognathus from The Lost Wolrd! Also from The Lost World is the male juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the Pachycephalosaurus.

    The Jurassic World Facts App has revealed other dinosaurs coming to the Legacy Collection this year as well: from Jurassic Park 3 there is a male Velociraptor, Pteranodon, and a large Spinosaurus (the exact size of the toy is unknown). Additionally, from The Lost World there is the male tiger striped Velociraptor. It remains unclear if there will be dinosaurs from the first Jurassic Park (other than the large T. rex), but the line also includes Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm.

    Check out the rest of the pictures below, and stay tuned for more toy announcements in the future, as both Walmart and Toys R Us* have exclusive toys.

    *The fate of the Toys R Us toys currently remains unknown, as the company is closing every store in the US.

    Huge thanks to shrieker_fan on the JP Toys forums for sharing!

    All Four Jurassic Park Films Releasing in 4K this May! (Updated)

    Hold on to your butts, and get ready to see Jurassic Park like never before.

    Revealed on Amazon, all four Jurassic Park films (yes, that means Jurassic World) will be released in 4K on May 22nd, 2018 in celebration of the first Jurassic’s 25th Anniversary. For the first time ever, the Jurassic franchise has been remastered in 4K (also known as Ultra-HD), featuring a far higher resolution and ‘High Dynamic Range (HDR) for Brighter, Deeper, More Lifelike Color’.

    Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection [4K Blu-ray]

    Available to pre-order now the ‘Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection’ ($79.98) set features a total of 8-discs, with each 4k film on their own discs, and the special features on another. As they have likely gone back to the source material for these remasters, the transfers will likely be entirely new, and have a different more authentic look akin to the theatrical run of each film. Since running the article, the Amazon listing has been updated with pictures – the cover is very nice, and would be near perfect if it weren’t for that incredibly ugly looking logo (also, the head being replaced with the Jurassic World rex doesn’t look right).

    There’s a small chance these sets will also include some collectible material – recently a 4-film Blu-Ray set (not 4K) for the 25th Anniversary went on sale on Amazon UK (pictured above), and includes concept art from the upcoming sequel, Fallen Kingdom. Much like the 4K set, it will be released this May. However, since the listing has updated with imagery, it seems unlikely this set also includes the concept art – but time will tell!

    Are you excited for the 4K release of Jurassic Park – and will you buy a 4K TV just for these films if you don’t have one already? I know I’m considering it. Sound off in the comments below!

    As always, stay tuned – as soon as images of the 4K transfers become available, we will be sure to run another article. Thanks to Jeremy Conrad for the heads up!

    Source: Amazon.com (via Bill Hunt)

    Opinion: Jurassic Park 3’s Importance to the Franchise

    I was eight years old when Jurassic Park III was released.

    I can vividly remember jumping in the car with my mom and dad and heading to the theater. It was hard to believe they had made a 3rd movie. Dinosaurs and the Jurassic franchise were my thing. My sister had Disney princesses, my brother had NASCAR —I had dinosaurs. I loved JP 3. I still do. For a long time after the movie’s release, it was by far my favorite of the three in the franchise. I can remember opening a huge (but very light) box on Christmas morning in 2001 to find that silver VHS. I couldn’t have been happier.

    Over the years I began to love each of the three films equally, because I love the individual personalities that they bring to the screen. Jurassic Park brings wonder and awe of these amazing animals. The Lost World brings a feeling of wilderness and safari while exploring the dinosaur universe. Then Jurassic Park III came along and delivered a type of big-action, jungle vibe that was altogether different from the first two. I’m not saying that any of these three films are perfect. There are flaws in them as there are in every movie. However, they are darn good and entertaining. The question still stands — was Jurassic Park III a good stand-alone movie and solid addition to this franchise at the time? Maybe not. What is awesome, however, is that with the addition of a new trilogy and backstory, fans may want to take another look at it and its newfound place in the Jurassic universe.

    Once I became more in touch with the internet as I got older, I realized something that both surprised and bothered me. There was some serious hate (and still is) being thrown JP 3’s way. I couldn’t believe it and had no idea why. Once I dug further, I realized it came from two main sources — Spinosaurs killing a T-rex (not even our beloved Rexy,) and the Kirbys.

    The fight between the Spinosaurus and T-rex is something that will live in Jurassic infamy for fans. At that point in paleontology, Spino was considered the biggest and most ferocious animal to walk the Earth. I don’t think everyone properly understood at the time, but the T-rex in JP 3 is young. This information comes from the Wiki information of the Jurassic franchise, as well as the dinosaur size charts for the films. This rex was more than likely an inexperienced fighter as well. This fight could have absolutely been handled better by the screenwriters. But to hate the movie over a fight? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    Dr. Grant said that Spinosaurus “wasn’t on InGen’s list,” and it made him wonder what else they were up to. Flash forward 14 years to Jurassic World — we can now venture a guess as to what InGen may have been dabbling in at that time. When Grant said that in JP 3, no one had any idea that the franchise was going to carry on, and the movie ended with hardly any other mention of InGen. We now know the origin of Spinosaurus, thanks to the Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG). Spino was one of several secret experiments by InGen, which began after Masrani acquired them in the late 90’s. DPG gave extra meaning to JP 3 by explaining where its main antagonist came from. No longer do we need to be confused as to why this beast seemingly fell from the sky.

    Dr. Grant also gives a chilling warning in JP3 that now seems to foreshadow Jurassic World. He tells Billy “some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions.” In Jurassic World, Vic Hoskins makes me believe that he has good intentions, even though his end game is more than likely making big money from his Indoraptor idea. In the end he loses his life, but before that, a large part of his concern is saving the lives of soldiers via militarized raptors. Grant’s words can really resonate with you when you see clips of the Indominus and Indoraptor wreaking havoc. In fact, I would get chills if they inserted his quote into the Fallen Kingdom trailer.

    If the new Jurassic World trilogy did not exist now, would you care whatsoever about what InGen was up to back in the early 2000’s? Or care to wonder where Spinosaurus came from? Most likely not. If you look back at the movie now and listen to the confusion in Grant’s voice, it’s interesting to think (and now know) what Masrani’s acquired InGen team was working on somewhere in the world.

    Jurassic fans should be happy with how much raptor intelligence was explored in the third film. We learned about their communication, their ability to set traps and their fierce loyalty to keeping their young in their possession. Jurassic Park let us know the preliminary information on these animals, but JP 3 really dove in. For this reason, it allowed me to be able to buy into the fact that they can be trained. Raptors are supposed to be brilliantly smart creatures. If dolphins, gorillas and whales can be trained, why couldn’t raptors? This is especially true when they come in contact with their alpha from birth, just like Owen. I totally bought into the idea that raptors could be trained, and a large part of that reason was because of how smart they were portrayed to be in JP 3.

    In the movie, the Kirbys may have been slightly annoying, but at the end of the day they’re supposed to be parents scared to death that their son is dead. Amanda also did something that had a roundabout effect on what is going on in the Jurassic universe today. When escaping from the Pteranodon enclosure, she doesn’t take the time to fully shut the door. This allows the Pteranodons to escape their cage and flee from the island. It is now a known fact that those Pteranodons ended up in Canada. Who was tasked with the job of corralling them up? Vic Hoskins. And because of the excellent job and manner in which he presented his team in Canada, he was hired by Simon Masrani. A few years later, with his job at InGen, Hoskins would be plotting with Henry Wu to make an ultimate weapon of war — the Indoraptor.

    It’s my theory that Hoskins and Wu worked to come up with something like the Indominus. They made it. They wanted it to escape. And when it did, Hoskins knew that he could exploit Owen’s raptors’ intelligence and tracking ability to hunt it. Then after their success, he could really push the idea of a shrunken Indominus without the T-rex DNA to use for war.

    So now go back to Amanda running from the Pteranodon enclosure. If she stops to shut that door properly, does any of this ever take place? I think that’s a fair question. Would there be hybrid dinosaurs? Probably. In the late 1990’s, Wu was successfully creating hybrid plants. I think it would have only been a matter of time before he went to hybrid dinosaurs. However, would he have been corrupted in the way he was after Hoskins got to him? Hard to say for certain.

    Is Jurassic Park III perfect? No. But, I find it highly entertaining, with great-looking dinos and fantastic graphics. Standing as a third and potentially final installment of the franchise, I would say this movie is lackluster. However, being the middle piece of the puzzle that fills in some gaps gives it meaning and value. When you watch this movie today, you can relate it to the future of the Jurassic franchise much better than you could have for the last 17 years. Today, its dialogue and premise makes sense and should be appreciated more for what it is.

    What are your thoughts on what Jurassic Park 3 adds to the franchise? Sound off in the comments below!