Jurassic Park turns 30: discover 30 fascinating facts about this timeless classic

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking film “Jurassic Park,” it’s time to take a nostalgic trip back to Isla Nublar. Released in 1993, this movie revolutionized cinema with its groundbreaking special effects, captivating storytelling, and iconic performances. The film, based on Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel, not only sparked our imagination but also our fascination with the prehistoric world of dinosaurs. To commemorate this milestone, here are 30 fascinating facts about Jurassic Park that even the most die-hard fans might not know.

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“Jurassic Park” was the first film ever to use DTS digital surround sound in theaters.

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Steven Spielberg decided to take a screenwriting approach that emphasized adventure and thrills over the novel’s more technical aspects, so the film became a mix of horror, adventure, and scientific speculation​.

The DNA animation in the film was not scientifically accurate, but Steven Spielberg insisted it was necessary to make the science more accessible to the audience.

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The character of Ian Malcolm was almost cut from the final script. However, Spielberg decided to keep him because he liked the “chaos theory” idea.

In the original novel, the character Hammond is portrayed as a dark, eccentric tycoon obsessed with genetic engineering, biotechnology, and chaos theory, but in the film, his character was made more light-hearted and grandfatherly.

“Jurassic Park” became the highest-grossing film of all time upon its release, earning over $900 million worldwide.

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Spielberg was so impressed with the special effects in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” that he hired its creators to work on “Jurassic Park.” Stan Winston and his team, which created the exoskeleton from The Terminator, built and operated the live-action dinosaur robots.

The iconic logo on the poster was adapted from designer Chip Kidd’s T. rex skeleton drawing that was used for the original novel.

Despite the title, most of the dinosaurs featured in the movie are from the Cretaceous period, not the Jurassic period.

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The animatronic T-Rex had to be operated by Stan Winston and his team of 14 puppeteers.

The computer-generated dinosaurs were initially only supposed to be used in wide shots, but they were so impressive that they ended up being used for close-ups and medium shots as well. The most challenging scene to film was the one with the raptors in the kitchen due to its complexity and the use of both animatronics and CGI​.

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The Dilophosaurus roar was created by combining howler monkeys, hawk screeches, rattlesnake hisses, and swan calls.

The iconic scene where a glass of water vibrates due to the T-Rex’s footsteps was inspired by Spielberg listening to Earth, Wind & Fire at full volume in his car.

Richard Attenborough, who plays InGen CEO John Hammond, was on a 14-year hiatus from acting when Spielberg approached him about taking a role in Jurassic Park.

Steven Spielberg found out about Jurassic Park while working on another Michael Crichton project. He managed to secure the rights to the book before it was published, and was so determined to make the movie that he fast-tracked the production process​.

The film was originally going to use stop-motion animation for the dinosaurs before Spielberg saw the potential of CGI.

“Jurassic Park” was the first film to have a website.

Jeff Goldblum (who played Ian Malcolm) and Laura Dern (who played Dr. Ellie Sattler) were dating during filming. See them gushing over each other in the clip below:

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Spielberg was so confident in “Jurassic Park” that he began pre-production on “Schindler’s List” before “Jurassic Park” was released.

Spielberg and his crew wrapped Jurassic Park on November 30, 1992—12 days ahead of schedule!

The mosquito trapped in amber, which is central to the film’s plot, was actually a piece of jewelry.

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The movie’s iconic line, “Life finds a way,” was ad-libbed by Jeff Goldblum and Spielberg liked it so much that he kept it in the film.

The phrase “objects in mirror are closer than they appear” became iconic after being featured in the T-Rex chase scene.

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“Jurassic Park” and the book it’s based on have sparked such interest in dinosaurs that the study of paleontology has seen a significant increase in students since the film’s release.

The animatronic T-Rex used in the film was known to malfunction in the rain. This caused it to come alive unexpectedly, sometimes while the crew was eating lunch, leading to quite a few scares on set.

The infamous roar of the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the film was a composite mix of several animal sounds, including a dog, penguin, tiger, alligator, and a baby elephant. The elephant’s high-pitched squeal was key to the iconic T-Rex roar.

The guests’ encounter with the sick Triceratops ends without any clear explanation as to why the animal is sick. In Michael Crichton’s original novel and the screenplay, however, there’s an explanation: the animal would swallow rocks to aid in digestion and when swallowing new rocks, it would also ingest toxic berries​.

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Producer Gerald R. Molen played a cameo role as Dr. Gerry Harding, the character who was out on the field with the sick Triceratops.

When Hurricane Iniki hit during filming, the cast and crew were moved into the hotel ballroom for safety. Sir Richard Attenborough, however, slept through the entire event in his hotel room, jokingly citing his experience of surviving the blitz as the reason.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Jurassic Park” in 2023, Universal Studios is offering fans immersive experiences, exclusive merchandise, and screenings of the film. This includes themed rides and a new Jurassic Park Tribute Store, providing fans with a walking history lesson and opportunities for photo ops that recreate iconic scenes from the first film.

“Jurassic Park” revolutionized cinema with its cutting-edge use of practical effects and CGI technology. Over the last 30 years, the film has remained a timeless masterpiece, capturing the hearts of multiple generations of fans. With a total of five sequels, an array of video games, and a sea of merchandise, “Jurassic Park” remains a pivotal part of pop culture, even 30 years after its release.

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