Editorial: Jurassic Park Four Proves Featherless, Not Plot-less

Guest post by Cherie N. of Digitalpros.org. Jurassic Park defined an era. Spielberg’s prehistoric world has echoed in our imaginations for more than 20 years, and JP4 has us reeling in anticipation. When the first JP film came out in 1993, CGI took our breath away, and the plot was so convincing it almost seemed feasible in the real world (or the world we all wished we could experience.) Adrenaline met fantasy that’s dripping with character development. That’s difficult task to master when a T-Rex is chasing you around a deserted island.

As the franchise expanded, we met some new characters and colossal new dinosaurs. The T-rex met his match; the Allosaurous and a bevy of other terrible lizards ran amok on the deserted island. We learned that curiosity kills more than the cat and it’s probably best not to hide a prehistoric back up island from the world. Visions of grandeur can quickly turn sour, especially when it comes to long-extinct species. Spielberg has a way of connecting us with our fantasies and our emotions, whether it’s through dinosaurs, aliens or historical atrocities.

The Spielberg Effect

The Goonies made us nostalgic over the amazing adventures we lived (or wish we had) during our coming-of-age years. Indiana Jones made us want to explore the world in every rich historical context we didn’t know existed. Super 8 not only appealed to our inquisitive childhood nature and quest for extraterrestrial life, but it also sent a generation scrambling for lost memories and turn our 8mm to DVD. Although Spielberg passed the directorial torch to Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed), staying on as producer ensures that magical storytelling will remain on the forefront.

CGI Milestones, Big Footprints to Fill

Jurassic Park brought the world some of the best CGI it had seen to date. Even the harshest skeptics found themselves entranced by the notion of trailblazing through a meadow full of Apatosaurus in a branded Wrangler. Although production used a combination of CGI and robotics, the blending of the two wows audiences to this day. Only time will tell if the next installation lives up to its predecessors.

Above: Some early insights to the tyrannical task of resurrecting dinosaurs

What’s Next?

When we left Isla Sorna for the last time in 2001, only a few cheesy lines from the delightful Tea Leoni gave us solace. Although the plot of the next installment is shrouded in secrecy, some burning questions still had to be answered. Director Colin Trevorrow confirmed to IMC that this fourth installment will stay stylistically true to the first three, and that our beloved dinosaurs will not feature historically accurate feathers, which, from a film making perspective makes sense — as consistency is key in holding a franchise together. Mark Norell, curator at the National Museum of history remarked that velociraptors probably would have looked like strange birds. Even if that is accurate, die-hard Jurassic Park fans do not want to see our favorite dino-villains bobbing around like strange birds. Sci-fi movies are exponentially better when fear and awe-based alterations are kept in place.

Jurassic Park Vis set to hit theaters June 13, 2014. Are you excited to see it?