The DNA of Jurassic Park

We spent a day at Frontier Developments in Cambridge and played Jurassic World: Evolution!

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Velociraptor (Film Universe)
There are three distinct variations of Velociraptor which were cloned by InGen, not counting sexual dimorphism seen within each individual version. However, despite the surface level variations, each sub-species remains relatively similiar in terms of physical attributes. Each species is roughly 6 feet tall…

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The Lost World: Jurassic Park turns 20!

Everybody’s favourite sequel to Jurassic Park has turned twenty! 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park was released in theaters exactly twenty years ago today, four years after Jurassic Park. The sequel was directed by Steven Spielberg and penned by David Koepp, and was loosely based on Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name.

Over the years the sequel has gained some critical reviews, mainly focusing on how different it is to the book and due to the final scene, which brought the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the mainland. However, there is also a lot of love for it. For me it’s as enjoyable and thrilling as Jurassic Park; I love how distinctively different the aesthetic is to the first film, how gritty, dirty and dark the cinematography is compared to Dean Cundey’s, but how the film managed to retain the same themes and values from the first.

In a way, it’s a perfect sequel – it holds the beliefs of the original and maintains a familiar setting, but builds a darker and scarier tone.

The animatronics, the visual effects, the characters, the vehicles, the Goldblum, the lighting… everything about this movie is Jurassic Park.

What will you be doing to celebrate The Lost World’s 20th anniversary? If you’re in the UK and near to London, the Prince Charles Cinema is showing the first two films back to back in a 35mm print – this is worth checking out! There is also a screening of the first three films at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, animation director Randal M. Dutra recently spoke with vfxblog about his work on the film, and reflected on the early days of visual effects within the film industry.

Randal worked for Tippett Studio on Jurassic Park and was heavily involved in the stop-motion technology that Phil Tippett pioneered. After the success of Jurassic Park he moved to ILM as an Animation Director, and discusses his work on the film in detail. Worth the read! Thanks to Ian for sending this our way.

Let us know if and why you love this sequel in the comments section below – just follow the screams.


11 thoughts on “The Lost World: Jurassic Park turns 20!

  1. Whelp…time to break out the old PS1 game in celebration. I like to play it and beat the whole game once every summer since I dug it up 4 years ago. This seems like a more fitting day than ever to get started

  2. Thrill-wise (don’t even know whether this term can be written, but I hope you understand), the sequel that made me leave the theater most stricken was Jurassic World. As a sixteen-year-old boy, I remember leaving the theater pretty much gutted that the first sequel didn’t go back to Nublar. I hadn’t read the books yet and had no idea a second island existed, so, to me, having no news of Nublar was a huge let down in 1997. H-u-g-e. And then, after I read the book (curiously, I read the second book before the first one), I became even more disappointed that they changed the story so much. I know the plot of the book wouldn’t have held a whole movie, but I believe lots of scenes would’ve looked fantastic on the big screen, such as the chase scene on the motorcycle and their escape from the raptors at the end of the book – very Jurassic Parkey. Anyway, my preference goes as follows: Jurassic Park (obviously); Jurassic World; The Lost World; Jurassic Park III (far, far away from the previous films). I know lots of people will disagree with my preference, but taste is taste, even if it’s a bad one.

  3. I loved the lost world but I agree. Jurassic world was a better follow up sequel but honestly I was a bit let down.

    I remember leaving the theater after seeing Jurassic world and I told my friend I gave it a 7 out 10. He was shocked as he thought it was a 10 but I don’t think he’s seen the original to understand my concerns.
    I loved the idea of the theme park back open. It’s something I always wanted to see back in a Jurassic movie but I was totally bored with the idea of trained raptors. To me that was a waste of screen time and honestly the whole story was predictable.

  4. It’s literally the worst sequel remove the nostalgia goggles. JP3 is mercifully short, JW is somewhat competent about what sort of film it wants to be, and neither ruin a much better book.

  5. Ah yes, happy 20 to my favorite of the JP sequels. It is a bit sad to see how underrated it is, even in the Jurassic Park Fan community, but I will always love it the most because to me it is the only JP sequel that feels like a Jurassic Park movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love the other two films, but TLW has that Spielberg stamp that no other director has been able to replicate.

  6. I think of Lost World and JP3 as spin offs rather than actual sequels. As such I can forgive a lot of it’s failings as a Jurassic park follow up.
    I love the nostalgia I have for Lost World but as a movie it’s uh… It’s a bit… Look, it should have been way better.

  7. I remember entering the theatre when the Isla Sorna legend had come and gone, thinking that they were still going to Nublar. I remember hoping to see some iconic Nublar showpiece in JP2, like the Explorers, the torn fence, the gates, the building.

    I was around 11 years old and seeing the building made me think it’s the same Visitor’s centre, though I wondered why it looked much smaller and different than in the first film.

    I enjoyed the heck out of the San Diego scene, becuase the streets outside the theatre, here in Kolkata, were very similar looking with trams, busses and Taxis.

    I remember the reel jamming just when the T-Rex was entering the narrow residential alley; having a tree tickle its neck. Many inside hurled expletives at the projectionist. It was at least a 10 minute blank screen, before they restored the reels.

    As I exited the theatre with my parents, my brother and my uncle in tow, I was begging them to take me back for another show. Of course they tried calming me with restaurant food instead. I also remember having visions of the T-Rex walking the evening streets , looking at cars, busses and people. The movie had scarred me a wee bit but that’s ok.

    I wish they’d re-release the film in 4K laser. But it’s highly doubtful that’ll happen anytime soon, if at all.

  8. I love Jurassic Park. It was the movie that showed me the magic of cinema and for that reason and more it remains my favourite movie of all time. Sadly, The Lost World was a real disappointment. I had waited desperately for Crichton’s book to take me back to that world and I read it in 1 day on the day it, hit the shelves. The book was awesome and a really brilliant way to expand the mythology. Darker in tone and in spirit it drove the possibilities forward and I just couldn’t wait to see it on screen. That was until I saw it on screen! The opening scene has so much promise with the clever cut to Ian Malcolm next to a poster. Hammond was completely wasted in the movie really meanwhile for me Julian Moore just didn’t work at all as Malcolm’s GF. The greatest bit and the only worthy bit of the film are the hunt pieces at the beginning (Ingen going after animals), T-Rex chasing them to the water fall and of cause the Raptors in the long grass. The end however, is just awful! Taking the Rex to resemble a Godzilla movie was just a bad idea. The other thing that is annoying is the whole parenthood theme of the movie. The stunt daughter – when she kicks that Raptor in the head later in the movie its cringe worthy and the whole thing with the baby T-rex so damned annoying. The scene where one character is sliced in half by the 2 Rex’s though is incredible. So there you go the LW was a mixed bag that never hit the mark but had some incredible pieces ruined by the rest.

    1. Yeah, especially in the JP fan community. I’ve noticed that most people who dislike this movie in the community are ones who were fans of the original before this movie came out. Strange how the initial disappointment is still prevalent after 20 years, this was always my favorite of the movies as a kid and while I think the original is objectively better this film is still incredibly fun and I think a worthy sequel. I will never understand the appeal of Nublar though, Sorna always seemed more interesting and JW being set on the original island always felt like fan service to me.

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