Jurassic Park (1993)
Frequently Asked Questions
Paleontologist Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are invited by billionaire philanthropist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to tour, and hopefully endorse, Jurassic Park, an amusement park he has developed on Isla Nublar, an island off the west coast of Costa Rica, featuring living dinosaurs cloned from prehistoric DNA. Joined by chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Hammond's lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), and Hammond's grandchildren Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello), the six of them set out in two electrified Ford Explorers for a tour of the park. Meanwhile, the park complex's computer expert, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight), has disabled the park's security system so that he can make his escape with some stolen dinosaur embryos, enabling the dinosaurs to escape from their electrified enclosures.
Jurassic Park is based on a 1990 novel of the same title by American author Michael Crichton. Crichton also wrote the first draft of the screenplay, which was later rewritten by American screenwriter David Koepp. The popularity of the movie resulted in three sequels: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (1997), Jurassic Park III (2001) (2001) and Jurassic World (2015) (2015).
Isla Nublar is a fictional island, although Costa Rica is a real country in Central America (see map) bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Caribbean Sea on the east. Isla Nublar, if it were real, would be located 120 miles off Costa Rica's west coast, somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. However, most of the film was actually shot in Hawaii and California.
Scientists used ancient mosquitoes that had fed upon dinosaurs and then became trapped and preserved in the resin of coniferous trees (amber). From the mosquitoes, they extracted the preserved remains of blood. From the blood, they extracted the dinosaur DNA. Any gaps in the DNA sequence were filled in with frog DNA. The resulting embryo clones were subsequently treated so as to produce only females so that there would be no natural breeding. The animals hatched normally, were nurtured on Isla Nublar, and some were then transferred to the 'park' seen in this film.
When Gennaro arrives on the raft one of the guys says "[I bet] 1000 pesos he falls". Then somebody tells Juanito they found something. Finally Juanito takes the amber containing the mosquito and says "How beautiful you are...will be". After that, he says "Luz, más luz... muchachos échenme luz!" or in English "Light, more light... guys, give me some light!"
Though we never find out in the film, the novel offers the answer. The Triceratops (in the novel, it was a Stegosaurus) digests food like vegetables or fruit by swallowing small stones (called "gizzard stones") that crush and mash the food in the stomach. The stones it eats are too close to the poisonous West Indian Lilac berries. Therefore, when it replaces the stones every six weeks or so, it simultaneously picks up fallen berries and is poisoned again. This is suggested in the scene where Dr. Sattler crouches down by the lilac berry bush, picks up some small stones, and plays with them in the air for a second. She fails to find berries in the animal's excrement because the berries are regurgitated along with the stones.
No. While it is unclear whether he soiled his underwear upon experiencing the T-Rex knocking the toilet down around him, it is clear that he only ran to the toilet to hide from the dinosaur. In several shots, you can see that he is still wearing his khaki shorts when the T-Rex finds and eats him. A scene similar to this appeared in the book, though the unfortunate victim was Ed Regis, who does not appear in the film. Ed Regis is present during the main road attack in the book, and like Gennaro, he abandons the children upon seeing the T-Rex. The book makes clear that Regis wets himself. The film shows a toilet nearby the road instead, which Gennaro runs to.
Some viewers have assumed that the car tumbles over the other side of the track (the opposite side of the 'road' from where the T.Rex approached) but this is not true. It does show some minor flaws but, overall, it explains this scene not to be a total goof.
Earlier in the film, Hammond mentions that "they clocked the T. rex going 32 miles per hour," so the car could easily outrun it. Computer simulations using the T. rex's skeletal structure have found that it probably only ran at a maximum of 11-18 mph and that its legs, in ratio to the rest of its body, were not large enough to propel it beyond 25 mph. It was Ian's leaning back in terror that stopped the car from accelerating at first, resulting in the close shave before the getaway. When Ian leans back, he knocks the gear shift lever loose which put the Jeep in neutral. You can hear Muldoon shouting "GET OFF THE STICK! BLOODY MOVE!!!" to Ian.
Lysine is an amino acid, one of the 'building blocks' of protein. Specifically, it is one of nine 'essential' amino acids that cannot be manufactured by the body and must be consumed in food. Sources of lysine include eggs, meat, soy, milk, Parmesan cheese, fish, and most grains and legumes. The lysine contingency plan called for withholding lysine from the dinosaurs' diets in order to kill them, if necessary. It was included in the construction of the animals' DNA so they could only survive with the diets provided in the park, i.e., they could not survive off the island. However, death by lack of lysine would take a long time, several weeks and even longer for the meat eaters since digestion of meat produces lysine. Hammond was against using the plan for the obvious reason...he didn't want to kill off all the dinosaurs, lose his investment, and be forced to start all over again. It might also be said that he felt a small compassion for his creations (which is why he screamed at Grant over the phone when he heard him shooting at the Raptors). While he certainly felt an attachment to the animals a more plausible explanation of his decision can be ascertained by his exclamation to John Arnold that 'people are dying!' Arnold was adamant he didn't want to be responsible for rebooting the park systems as they may not have come back on at all and seemed more in favour of Muldoon's suggestion to use the lysine contingency. However this would have taken too long to come into effect whereas 'theoretically' rebooting the system would have given them almost immediate control.
Alan, Ellie, Lex, and Tim evade the Velociraptors thanks to the intervention of a T. rex. They run outside of the demolished visitor's center to find a car awaiting them. Both Alan and Hammond agree not to endorse the park. They are escorted to a helicopter. In the final scene, Ellie, Ian, Hammond, Alan, Lex, and Tim are shown flying away. Lex and Tim are resting on Alan's shoulders, and Ellie looks on approvingly. Grant looks out of the window and sees birds flying in the sky and smiles, not aware that Nedry's stolen canister of dinosaur embryos is still out there.
The Visitor's Center was still under construction. A large open space was present for the T. rex to enter, right behind the white canvas from which the second raptor appeared in the finale. Supposedly, the T. rex followed this raptor in.
Michael Crichton's method is a concept that may one day be possible but, at present, we cannot create something even close to the original animal. The ethical and religious issues alone are enough to stop the development of one anyway. Crichton was fully aware of this when writing the story, but he needed a way for dinosaurs to exist in modern day. So, he created a plot device using cloning. In the book, however, it was explained that these were not exact replicas of their prehistoric ancestors but "Dr. Henry Wu's creations" made from fragments of DNA available, and corrected and changed according to the needs of the client, Mr. Hammond. The animals replicated in this way would have represented a truly towering achievement in the biological sciences -- the manufacture of fully synthetic organisms with structures based on theoretical models as opposed to truly observed biology. That the dinosaurs thus manufactured display the characteristics of natural organisms, including responding to environmental pressures (such as the all-female population, and lysinergic biochemical pathway degradation) increases the magnitude of the achievement. To put it simply, these are manufactured creatures made to look and act as real dinosaurs would have, but they are not 100% clones. Although scientists have been able to create totally synthetic life and, at least theoretically, if you used the DNA of a bird (the current believed closest relative to the dinosaurs) to fill in the gaps, you could create a dinosaur-like animal. This also explains how the dinosaurs were able to spontaneously change sex, whereas real dinosaurs presumably wouldn't have this ability. It may also explain the ferocity of some dinosaurs that in real life may not have been quite as hostile such as the Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III. For more details on the cloning check here.
While the film follows the plot relatively close, the book and film have several differences. Almost every character is somewhat different in the book than the film. For example:
In the book Gennaro is a young, muscular man and is a fairly likeable character. Also, in the book, he lives. Near the end of the book, after the main characters part company with Hammond, Gennaro becomes a sort of scapegoat and is blamed by Grant for the dangers they are facing. In the second book (The Lost World) it is mentioned that he died of dysentary on a business trip in between the timeline of the two stories. There is another character named Ed Regis who works on the island and goes on the tour with the others, as Gennaro stayed with Ellie to look after the sick Stegosaurus in the book. In the film Gennaro is combined with many of Ed Regis' traits and is killed in a very similar way to Regis.
Muldoon is pretty much the same in both the book and the film, only he is described as being South-African and might have a drinking problem, whereas in the film he is British. In the book he is wounded but lives. In the film he dies.
Nedry is exactly the same, almost down to the last detail. He dies in the same way in both the film and the book, though the book is more graphic (he's disemboweled and his head is ripped off). In the film, he is portrayed as being solely motivated by greed. In the book, it's made clear that Hammond mislead him about the programming job he was given. It was far more time consuming and complicated for the pay he was getting. He planned to quit, but Hammond threatened him with a lawsuit and would make sure Nedry could never get a high-level job again if he tried to leave. So his motivations were more about fair compensation as well as settling a score against Hammond. Also, in the book he was planning to shut down the security system, deliver the embryos to some people on a boat, then return to the control room and reset everything to normal and nobody would be the wiser, but was killed before he could return to reset everything. In the film it is unclear whether he was deliberately sabotaging the park and was planning to escape on the boat, or if he was going to return to the control room. Though him stating he had an "18 minute window" suggests he was planning to return. He also left the raptor fence on, likely because it was a separate facility and not directly connected to the gate he needed to open and didn't want to risk them escaping.
Dr. Harding has a brief appearance in the movie as the veterinarian looking after the sick Triceratops, but then leaves on the boat heading to the mainland. In the book, he stays on the Island throughout the whole ordeal. He is wounded by a Raptor, but lives.
Dr. Henry Wu has a much more significant role in the book than in the film. In the book he explains in great detail how the dinosaurs are cloned, etc. He too stays on the island throughout the ordeal and is killed by Raptors near the end of the book. In the film he declares that he is leaving on a boat, meaning he survives the film and returns in Jurassic World
In the film Ray Arnold is the lead computer engineer. In the book his name is John Arnold (it was changed most likely due to the fact that there was a character named John Hammond, and having two Johns in the film might be confusing, though some sources name him as "John Raymond Arnold"). His traits are very similar in both the book and the film. In the book, he is also a US Navy veteran. In the film he goes missing and Ellie finds his severed arm. In the book, the reader follows him into the maintenance shed, where he's gutted by a raptor.
Ian Malcolm is described in the same way in both the book and the film, except in the book he is 'a balding man'. In the film he is witty and also provides the comic relief. In the book he is still humourous and witty at times, but mostly he's much more serious, philosophical and at times condescending. He and John Hammond absolutely loathe each other in the book, whereas in the film, Hammond only seems annoyed by Malcolm, as Malcolm never passes up an opportunity to get on Hammond's nerves. In the book he panics, runs out of the car and gets bitten by the Rex, which in turn breaks his leg in several places. In the film, he nobly distracts the Rex with a flare in order for Grant to rescue the kids. He is sent flying into the bathroom hut on the snout of the Rex, breaking his leg. In the book he dies from his injury, but he is resurrected for the second book by saying "I only appeared dead, but the surgeons did excellent work to revive me."
Alan Grant is very casual in the book. He wears tattered jeans, sneakers, and has a beard. In the film he is much more clean-cut, wearing collared shirts and khaki pants, and is clean-shaven. Also, in the book he likes kids, whereas in the film he initially hates kids, but grows to enjoy their company as the film progresses. Near the end of the book, having survived the trek through the jungle, he becomes hostile towards Gennaro in Hammond's absence and blames him for the circumstances they and the rest of the survivors are facing.
In the book, Tim is eleven years old and the eldest of the children, while he is two years younger in the film. Lex is only seven and doesn't provide much to the plot in the book whereas, in the film, she is twelve years old and plays an equal role to her screen brother. Tim is the one who is good with computers and helps activate the park security systems in the book while also aware he has to protect his sister. Lex becomes the computer expert in the film, while Tim is the dinosaur expert.
John Hammond is very different in the book. He is arrogant, deceptive, disrespectful and rude, and described as almost dwarf-like in his appearance. He recognises the consequences of his experiments but disregards them in the name of profit. He also tries to blame all the faults of the park on his employees, dismissing the park's failure on the supposed incompetence of Wu, Arnold, Nedry, Harding and Muldoon. In the film he is still eccentric but he is very friendly, honest and generous, and does not appear to fully grasp the reality of what he's done until the end of the film; at one point in the movie he criticizes Gennaro's idea of the park as a playground for the rich, which is essentially what the Hammond in the book is trying to create. In the book he refuses to leave the island with Grant and instead ventures off into the park by himself, where he injures himself falling down a cliff and is summarily eaten by chicken-like dinosaurs called Procompsognathus (which appear in the second and briefly in the third film). In the film he survives, and makes an appearance in later films.
Ellie Sattler is described as being 23, tanned, and is noticed more by the male characters. In the film she is dating Grant and is rather reserved. In the book she is Grant's student and is engaged to someone else.
Lewis Dodgson gets a bit more mention in the book and its sequel, The Lost World. His role in both the book and the film are pretty much the same: he meets Nedry and pays him off, then isn't seen again. However, a bit more background on his character is given in the book. In the second book, The Lost World, he is the main antagonist and is killed at the end. In the films he pays off Nedry and is never seen again.
At one point in the novel, Alan, Lex, and Tim ride a boat down a river, one of the rides yet to be completed. While on the boat they are chased by the swimming T-Rex and enter a large birdcage with Cearadactylus. Both events were eventually used in Jurassic Park III, though the T-Rex is replaced with a Spinosaurus.
In the book, at one point Lex, Tim and Grant are behind a waterfall and the T-Rex attempts to attack them. Though the opening was too small for the Rex to get his head in. This idea was used in the second film, The Lost World
The beginning of the book has a wounded worker being airlifted to a local hospital in Costa Rica; before dying he mutters, "Raptor". In the film we see this worker being attacked by the Raptor (though not too graphically), but it is only mentioned later on that he died.
Shortly after the worker died, the book follows a family on vacation on the main land of Costa Rica. When on the beach, their young daughter is attacked by these chicken-like lizards, which turned out to be Procompsognathus. It begs the question as to how these small dinosaurs had gotten off the island. In the film, this scene never happens, though it did in the sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park (albeit on Isla Sorna as opposed to Costa Rica).
At the end of the book, Isla Nublar gets napalmed, completely wiping out every living thing on the island. Hence the need for a site B in the second book. In the film, no such thing is said to have happened. A deleted scene in the The Lost World mentions that the "original facility was destroyed", referencing the sequence in the book where this happens. Though because it was deleted, it isn't considered canon. Also, Jurassic World takes place on Isla Nublar. So it's likely that the original facility being destroyed may have been due to a hurricane or some other natural element. The visitor's appears in Jurassic World briefly, still intact, but decimated and over-grown with plant life, in the restricted zone of the island.
In the book, the facility isn't manned by a skeleton crew of three due to an incoming storm. There are dozens of people still working on the island, including general labourers who are working to finish construction on the island and several are killed when the raptors get loose.
In the book, the Velociraptors are described as having a snout like a crocodile and they are only about 4 feet tall (though one is described as being 6 feet tall). Still larger than their real life counterparts which were about 1 and a half to 2 feet tall. In the film, they are about 6 feet tall and share more physical traits with the larger Utahraptor.
Due to the fact that according to both the novel and movie, these "dinosaurs" are actually just human-engineered mutants, most of these inaccuracies can be explained in-universe as being just the results of the geneticist's tampering. The closest the films have come to acknowledging this is in Jurassic Park III (2001) when Grant says "What Hammond, and Ingen, did at Jurassic Park was to create genetically-engineered theme park monsters, nothing more; nothing less." -- the novel at least made it clear that the clones are just approximations, and not real dinosaurs. However in Jurassic World, Dr. Wu mentions that his creations are not real dinosaurs and simply what people expect to see. That the real animals would look quite different.
This topic has became one of the most frequently discussed among paleontology enthusiasts, mostly because of how much our understanding of these creatures has progressed, and because there are many fans of Jurassic Park who refuse to accept that the dinosaurs in the movie are in several aspects inaccurate. Further, since to many moviegoers these films provide the sole source of information about dinosaurs, arguments about the topic occur frequently when a more knowledgeable person points out their ignorance. These inaccuracies aren't all mistakes. While some dinosaurs were indeed changed to make them better movie monsters (especially the raptors), most are the result of the relatively limited knowledge we possessed back when the movie was made. It should be noted that paleontology is an ever-advancing field of science, and as such, our image of these animals is always changing. A general overview on these paleontologic inaccuracies:
* The Tyrannosaurus is in fact one of the most accurate to appear in any popular media, including documentaries. However the shape of the head is too blocky and a bit wide, while the eyebrow ridges are far too pronounced (the animal in reality possessed only smaller "bumps" in front of the eyes). The arms appear to be just a tad too long and articulated, and the hands are able to twits. In reality, the wrists were fixed into a nearly immobile position, facing each other, but this is a relatively new discovery. As is the one made about the creature's hide: fossilized skin impressions show the animal had a heterogeneous, goosebumps-like skin texture on parts of its body, as opposed to scales, and this is evidence that, at least early in its life, T. rex was feathered. Further, it belongs to the coelurosaurian dinosaurs, whose defining features include having fuzz or feathers -- modern birds and raptors also belong to this group. Scales were present on its throat-sac and on various parts of its body, though, like the underside of its tail. In the film, Dr. Grant states that its vision was based on movement, however we have no way of knowing this. We do know its eyes were very developed and that T. rex had great binocular vision, so it probably had no trouble seeing anything. Unlike the movie, the original Jurassic Park novel mentions that the inefficiency of the beast's eyes was actually due to gene-modification, and not a natural handicap.
* The Triceratops is also highly accurate, though we now know that its front feet had five toes instead of four, three of which were long and clawed, with the other two ending in stubs. These were also quite slender, and the back legs even resembled the legs of birds. In the movie, they are more elephantine. Also, a spectacular fossil find, an imprint of the skin of Triceratops, tells us that the scales on its belly were large and rectangular, while (most amazingly) the back of the creature may have had porcupine-like quills protruding from it.
* The Velociraptors in the movie became so embedded into public mind that a lot of people find it hard to accept that the real animals looked almost nothing like them. The raptors here are actually based on Deinonychus, a wolf-sized American dromaeosaur, rather than the Asian and turkey-sized Velociraptor. The book points this out, the movie does not. Even so, the anatomy of these "Deinonychus" is wrong in nearly every aspect. They are too big -- shown to be able to look a human right in the eye, however true Deinonychus would only come up to our waist or chest. This is because the legs of raptors were surprisingly short. Despite what the movie tells us, they (or at least the more advanced raptors, such as Deinonychus, Velociraptor and the gigantic Utahraptor) were bad runners, and likely ambushed their prey. Their claws weren't suited for slashing, as their inner rim was more rounded than sharp, better suited for climbing and puncturing than making cuts. The tail of raptors is shown as relatively short and bendy in the movies, but they were really much longer and quite stiff (the animals belonged to a dinosaur group called tetanurae, meaning "stiff tails"). They were flexible to a degree, but incapable of flailing around. The skull of the movie-raptors is blocky and stout, and doesn't match that of any known dromaeosaur. Their arms, or rather wings, are almost human-like. In reality, they were unable to rotate their wrists, meaning their hands were permanently stuck in a "clapping" position. They would thus have been unable to open doors. They also didn't hold their wings in front of their bodies. Paleontologists believe they held them at their sides and to the back. This made them more aerodynamic, and kept their feathers from touching the ground.
Most famously, raptors were feathered. Fossilized feathers show these were the same as the pennaceous feathers of modern birds, and not the type of primitive "fuzz" that a lot of other dinosaurs (for instance T. rex) had. Their arms were lined with long, sturdy feathers, the type birds use for flying -- many smaller raptors were indeed capable of using them to glide through the air, although not being able to lift them above their shoulder-line, they couldn't flap their wings. The wing-feathers extended from their middle digits, not from their wrists as many erroneous reconstructions show, which would have made the hands even less dexterous. Essentially, they had "wings with claws" rather than "arms with feathers". Raptors were covered head-to tail in feathers, and possessed fans on the end of their tail. Only the tip of their snout and their feet had scales, although some even had feathers sprouting from their toes.
There are a number of theories regarding their hunting strategy. The famous Fighting Dinosaurs fossil, in which a Velociraptor and Protoceratops were found locked in combat at the time of their death, shows the raptor sticking its claw into the herbivore's neck, which many see as proof that raptors used their claws this way -- others claim that the animal was trying to push itself away from the Protoceratops, and that the raptor wasn't the real attacker in this scenario. Another theory says that they would have gone for smaller prey, and then clawed it to death while standing upright over it, using their wings to balance themselves and to keep other raptors away by forming a "shield" around their meal. It is unlikely that they used their teeth or wing claws for killing. There is no evidence to suggest raptors were pack hunters. This theory was based on several Deinonychus skeletons that have been discovered together with the skeleton of a herbivorous dinosaur, but recent studies indicate that these weren't found together because they formed a pack when alive, but because they came to feed off the carcass, and subsequently fought over it, during which many Deinonychus were killed -- their remains also show signs of scavenging, meaning they could have eaten each other. Also, while raptors were probably smart for dinosaurs, they likely lacked the necessary intelligence needed for coordinated assaults. However there exists a fossil trackway that shows a bunch of these animals walking in a group, so the question of whether they were social or not has yet to be cleared. Furthermore, different types of raptors had different jaws -- velociraptorines had relatively weaker jaws than dromaeosaurines, which suggest that they relied primarily on their claws while hunting, which would have been more useful for bringing down larger prey. Thus some scientists still believe that the pack hunting theory holds water.
* The Dilophosaurus is another animal whose appearance the movie famously changed. For starters, it's far too small -- true Dilophosaurus were about 6 m long, and as tall as a person (described in the book but not the film). The one in the movie could be just a juvenile, though (as Nedry says "I thought you were one of your big brothers. You're not so bad." implying that it was in fact a juvenile, yet just as deadly). The iconic frill was, however, only made up by Steven Spielberg, and its venom-spitting ability is also artistic license, used to demonstrate what little fossils actually tell us about dinosaurs. Accordingly, neither of these traits have any scientific basis, nor do they make logical sense: if a carnivore attempted to attack another animal in this theatrical manner, the prey would have plenty of time to just run away. The shape of the animal's head is also wrong: it's short, stout and compact, whereas the jaws of Dilophosaurus were famously thin and long, and the upper jaw had a small notch at the tip, which the movie version lacks entirely. Likewise, the palms should be facing each other, and the animal had four fingers, not three.
* Brachiosaurus is shown chewing by moving its jaw from side to side, which is a motion the skull was incapable of doing. Further, its teeth were only meant for stripping off branches, while the stones the animal swallowed did the grinding. Brachiosaurs were the sauropods least capable of rearing up on their hind legs, especially as their backs sloped toward their rear, and because their hind legs were shorter than their front ones. On their front feet, they only had one claw, while the other four fingers were reduced to mere stumps. Sauropods were famously believed to have had their nostrils placed high up on their foreheads. But the latest studied show that they had fleshy tubes running down their face, and the nostrils were located on their noses. It is worth noting that the Brachiosaurus here (as well as in just about any popular media) was based on fossils that have since been reclassified to a related genus, Giraffatitan, which was for almost a century regarded as a species of Brachiosaurus. We now see them as different genera, and the build of Brachiosaurus would had been slightly different -- its torso would have been more tubular, for example, and the "bulge" on its forehead would have been less pronounced.
Gallimimus should be fuzzy, with the arms being lined with sturdy wing feathers, and their palms should be facing inward.
Yes. The series was to have been a direct sequel to "The Lost World: Jurassic Park", itself a sequel to this film, and was to be the premise of the Chaos Effect line of toys, depicting scientists cross-breeding dinosaurs that are decreasing in their population, five years after the second film. It went pretty far into production, even including creature designs and meetings with Steven Spielberg himself, but the project never took off. The toys were too far into production to be withdrawn and were ultimately released to mixed reactions. Rumors presist that producers are still considering making this show, but it is highly unlikely.
There are 2 cuts with a length of 11.12 seconds. No cursing has been removed, even though it has been done in the "Back to the Future" films. The big pile of dinosaur droppings is still called "one big pile of shit" even though that could have been easily cut out. This is probably due to the fact that the UK channels rarely change their masters. The two cuts remove two of the more graphic sequences, those being Gennaro's death and Arnold's arm.