Sunday, 22 March 2015

Jurassic Park Film Review

Jurassic Park

 Jurassic Park, which was released into cinemas in 1993, it is a film directed by Steven Spielberg in which a dinosaur “safari” park with real dinosaurs turns lethal as the safety mechanisms break down and ancient nature is unleashed into the modern world. It is an adventure action film in which two archaeologists, Alan and Ellie, get invited to the dinosaur amusement park “Jurassic Park” and in a small group embark onto the first safari tour. All is well until a thunderstorm arrives and all the separation fences electricity gets cut off – leaving the cast trapped in the middle of park, which leads to having to run for their lives from threatening T-rex and velociraptors that hunt in packs. All the while, Alan, a man who claims to hate children looks after the 2 child cast members as best he can while the granddad sits helpless.

Figure 1. Kissed Good Morning By A Dinosaur (1993)

 One of the interesting things in Jurassic Park seems to be the CGI supporting the story, but not being relied on in terms of creating a good story, as Richards states: “Twenty years on, Spielberg’s dinosaur disaster endures as a blueprint for the modern effects blockbuster. It takes something that couldn’t otherwise be realised (a dinosaur park), fills it full of characters with wit and depth (even the little kid is funny) and puts them through the wringer for two hours, only using CG when it serves the story rather than to obscure the lack of one.” (Richards, N.A.:2) This illustrates, that as a CGI supplemented film Jurassic Park has been a fore rider, and unlike many of its successors it has strong storytelling, which is likely key to an excellent film. This is demonstrated throughout the film, even though the Dinosaur Park itself is such a wonder to behold the audience is always worrying for the cast of characters which have all got well written deep plots and storylines.

 Toto also agrees that Jurassic Park provides excellent first time viewed CG animated dinosaurs, which seem real and do not rely on stop motion anymore, which is a milestone in cinematic history. He states: ““Jurassic Park” marked the moment when Hollywood could create a perfectly convincing dinosaur. No more stop-motion theatrics or other tinny effects. Spielberg makes that movie magic count, delivering scene after scene of “can you top this” theatrics?” (Toto, 2015:2) Illustrating Spielberg’s attitude towards his own film in trying to amaze the audience by never seen before technology, which one could wonder at the time in cinemas would have captured the imaginations of audiences everywhere.

 As no human knows what dinosaurs really sound like, the sound team had to get creative trying to envision the sounds the dinosaurs might make and some of them went to extreme lengths: “The intelligent raptors (Velociraptors) appear to have their own simple language, and it turns out that it's the language of love. "It's somewhat embarrassing, but when the raptors bark at each other to communicate, it's a tortoise having sex," said Rydstrom. "It's a mating tortoise! I recorded that at Marine World … the people there said, 'Would you like to record these two tortoises that are mating?' It sounded like a joke, because tortoises mating can take a long time. You've got to have plenty of time to sit around and watch and record them."” (Buchanan, 2013:2) Rydstrom took the time it takes to record tortoises having intercourse and, according to Buchanan, used them to create language-like sounds for the velociraptors, the most intelligent seeming species in Jurassic Park that has managed to open doors and seemingly have a hunting system comparable to wolves living in the wild. The sound itself of the raptors talking is a low sound almost clicking, it almost feels like they are whispering, giving them an aura of dark intelligence which is in sharp contrast to their screams. A sound that is instantly responsible and to the audiences perhaps primeval self a sound that symbolises terror and danger.

Figure 2. Velociraptors Hunting (1993)

 Arguably sound is also the key to bringing the dinosaur star of the movie to life. The T-Rex, a dinosaur of near legendary status, in sharp contrast the raptors it has a deep bellowing roar, portraying power and danger. Whilst not as high pitched as the raptors it gives the impression all on its own of a giant being of immense strength and character. You could close your eyes and hear the sound now and can almost see the final scene of the T-Rex roaring as the party flee the island.

 As Jurassic Park is science fiction that is presented as facts, a lot of the science has to be explained on screen for the audience to understand the occurring’s, for example when the children are inside the kitchen with a shut door between them and a deadly velociraptor, Alan mentions that the kids will be safe unless the raptors learn how to open doors – which the raptor achieves in the next cut.
Also, at the beginning of the movie the playfulness and venomous spit of another little dinosaur is explained in detail, later the fleeing villain of the story runs into this creature and seems too mesmerised by the peacock like fan that surrounds the head and is easily caught by the venom it spits and is killed moments later.

Figure 3. I’m Coming To Get You (1993)

 Overall, Jurassic Park is an action film that, laying the path for CG, the use of new CG techniques, attention for detail and truly amazing sound track truly bring the dead back to life. You can completely believe from the deep storyline, look and feel of the dinosaurs and truly perfect sounds they make that all-though this movie is science fiction – anything is possible. A truly inspirational film.

Illustration List:
Figure 1. Spielberg, S. (1993) Kissed Good Morning By A Dinosaur [Jurassic Park Still] available from: (accessed on 9/3/2015)
Figure 2. Spielberg, S. (1993) Velociraptors Hunting [Jurassic Park Still] available from: (accessed on 9/3/2015)
Figure 3. Spielberg, S. (1993) I’m Coming To Get You [Jurassic Park Still] available from: (accessed on 9/3/2015)

Buchanan, Kyle. (2013) available from: (accessed on 9/3/2015)

Richards, Olly. (N.A.) available from: (accessed: 9/3/15)

Toto, Christian. (2015) available from: (accessed: 9/3/15)


  1. What a lovely review Mailin :) Good discussion around the use of sound.
    Just one bit to pick say 'which the raptor archives in the next cut.' - I assume you mean 'achieves' :)

    1. Hi Jackie!
      Thanks, I really enjoyed the sounds very much in this film!
      About the word archive, I think word bugged on me because it insisted on archive instead of achieve so I went with it :s