Twenty years ago, Jurassic Park was first released to theaters and I was a kid crazy about dinosaurs. However, heeding a warning from my aunt who said it was “too scary for kids,” my parents did not take me to see it. I remember this being a very big deal to me; there was some begging, pleading, bargaining and crying over the fact that I wasn’t allowed to see Jurassic Park. My parents don’t recall any of this injustice. Anyway, this weekend, I plan to heal one of the biggest movie disappointments of my childhood and go bananas seeing Jurassic Park re-released in 3D. I am so excited!
Over the past twenty years, Jurassic Park has become one of my favorite films. It has two main elements I loved as a kid: adventure and dinosaurs. As I got older, some of the more complicated themes came to light in new ways. All the technology holding Jurassic Park together is no match for the unbridled fury of nature. My mind melted when I first figured that out, since then I have held the utmost respect for nature. The effects blew me away as a kid and they still hold up today. And I will dare to say that this is one of John Williams’ greatest compositions, I could listen to the soundtrack all day (sometimes I do).
I don’t think I can pick one favorite scene from the film. The t-rex attack is a wonderful bit of terror, the raptors hunting the kids in the kitchen is a brilliant moment of modern suspense and the dilophosaurus attack (the fanned, spitting one for non-dino-nerds) is a great surprise packed with sweet revenge. But the scene where we first see dinosaurs packs a different kind of raw emotion, I can’t help but get caught up in it.
In the scene where Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler see their first dinosaurs, I cry every time. As a kid, it was a moment of wonder and excitement, and it still is, but it just hits me in a much more emotional spot now. Seeing those creatures is an impossible dream, and yet for them, there they are, living breathing and doing all the things they only theorized they would. I can’t even imagine how I would react to really seeing dinosaurs, or anything else I know is impossible. And that music, it moves perfectly with our wondrous dinosaurs. Did I mention how much I love dinosaurs?
Of course, the movie isn’t all happy times with the gentle giants. Some of the scenes are pretty intense and could scare little ones. Especially when the t-rex attacks the car with the children inside. And the dilophosaurus scene is known for tricking kids into a false sense of security.
But when you really look at Jurassic Park, there is very little gore. The most violent moment is when the t-rex eats Martin Ferrero’s character off the toilet, and it’s not bloody. In fact, thinking about a man being eaten by a dinosaur off a toilet is kinda funny, in a very dark way. Same thing in how we discover what happened to Samuel L. Jackson’s character. All the big dino-attack moments are either with no blood, off camera or obscured behind something.
So parents, make your decision wisely. If Jurassic Park only comes to theaters once every twenty years, you may end up raising a jaded dino/film fan if you don’t take your kids to see it now. I love my parents for trying to protect me, but please, that horse head in The Godfather did more damage than Jurassic Park could. And dad would call me into the room just in time for it, every time he found it on tv before I was six. Jurassic Park feels like it was made with children in mind and I would highly recommend kids see it before the age of ten.
At the Oscars, Jurassic Park was only recognized for three technical awards. The film won best sound, sound effects and visual effects. Today, it is in the top 250 on IMDB, one of the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die and considered a classic that everyone is more than familiar with.
This evening, I plan to do what I wanted to do 20 years ago: sit my butt in a theater and hold on for a wild dino-filled adventure. Sure, I’ve seen Jurassic Park over a hundred times by now, there will be no surprises. That’s not the point. There is still a seven year old kid inside me who needs to be in that theater and can’t wait to see Jurassic Park on the big screen.
“They’re moving in herds. They do move in herds.”