I’ve finally returned from my college sabbatical! It’s been quite an interesting month. While I’m not yet taking any of the paleontology classes that I came here for and won’t be able to do so until my junior year, I’m still having a wonderful time; my biology class is basically all about evolution, and my other classes are challenging but fun. Those who follow my Twitter have seen that I’ve made friends with several local ducks and geese, one of whom is a swan goose who looks and acts exactly like a modern-day raptor. Aside from school, I had a fantastic time at Anime Weekend Atlanta this weekend! Jurassic Park was decently represented:
But my college misadventures and terrible wigs aren’t what I’ve returned to talk about. The much-awaited Lego Jurassic World short film, Indominus Escape, came out today! Well, part one came out today! I guess they just really like building that hype. The JW fandom isn’t as big as it was a year ago, and I can’t imagine that people who played the game would get majorly excited about a short movie series, so Lego probably wants to milk as much excitement as they possibly can from this tiny demographic.
The first full minute of this is just Masrani and Claire in a helicopter, playing around (well, at least Masrani is) and generally just chilling out like a couple of teenage friends, one of whom has just gotten his driver’s license. They’re so much more like actual friends instead of a boss and his worker, and though it doesn’t necessarily go with their characters in the movie, it’s just so adorable to watch. This whole thing is basically set in a universe where there’s no angst or danger and everyone just gets to have fun; I feel like all of us have wanted to see that in some way or another.
It probably goes without saying, since this is a funny little skit for kids, that absolutely none of this is serious or an addition to canon. It’s like a Pixar short: a collection of references to the movies (various scenes from JW, like the helicopter ride and raptor training, happen just briefly enough for you to remember the movie scene, and lines from the movie are crammed in whenever possible) strung together by a lighthearted plot and a lot of jokes. There’s no interesting background information to be found here, and the characters are made a lot happier and larger-than-life for the sake of comedy. (For instance, Owen actually smiles and seems cheerful more than once.) So I’m not deeply analyzing this– I’m just enjoying the ride, which is the point of this whole thing.
Obligatory shot. Also, I’m curious as to why the water here isn’t made of bricks. It wasn’t like this in the full-length Lego movie. Keep your universes consistent, people.
I know this is supposed to be the Cretaceous Cruise (or is it? There are a couple of shots of herbivores wandering around, and they don’t appear to be fenced in. Maybe this is the restricted zone) but it reminds me so much of the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride at Universal, where the first thing you see when your boat sails in is two sauropods hanging out in the water on either side of you.
So Masrani (whose voice actor could’ve tried just a little harder to actually sound like Irrfan Khan instead of King Julien) drops Claire off at the helipad, and unaware of where he’s going, ends up heading for the aviary:
And pushes it forward. I’m actually taking a physics class right now that deals with the equations for when objects push other objects forward, and I can say expertly that a single helicopter being driven by a man listening to house music probably couldn’t push forward an entire aviary that fast. The friction would be too high, the point of contact would never work… I demand scientific accuracy from my Lego movies, and this does not provide.
Masrani takes off, destroying some of the glass and releasing the pteranodons:
And then begins falling to his possible death. End scene.
We cut to Owen, who’s just chilling in the raptor pen– I want to joke that the raptors are his best friends and he hangs out alone with them a lot, but this version of Owen is happy and well-adjusted– when the “new guy” deal is rehashed, this time with an ACU for some reason.
Once again, the new guy falls into the pen and Owen has to do his iconic raptor-training pose. This time it’s treated as an everyday thing that he does, as opposed to how high the stakes were when he entered the pen in the movie. The dinosaurs are barely even feared in this, and it’s mostly treated as an annoyance when they attack– they’re just a bunch of buddies.
I’ve referred to trained dinosaurs as being dog-like in basically all of my stories. How many tropes from your fanfics have shown up in official videos?
As a man gets nearly ripped to shreds in the background (no big deal) Owen picks up a phone call from Masrani, who is incredibly causal for someone who might be about to get spattered all over the ground. There’s a hilarious undertone that this is the kind of thing that happens to him on a daily basis. Neither of them seem worried in the slightest, and Simon says that Claire “usually knows what to do about these things”. I love imagining that Simon does all kinds of ridiculously deadly stuff all the time, and his employees always have to come save him with a resigned sigh. Maybe they all have a rotating schedule for who has to save his butt on which days of the week, and Claire writes “Masrani patrol” on her itinerary every Tuesday.
Owen summons his amazingly-colored pteranodon Tango, who I’m assuming isn’t the only ptero he’s trained because he rides the others as well (that sure would’ve been a useful skill to have during the Main Street attack) and rides off on a rescue mission.
Masrani gets a far less bloody version of the Zara treatment, getting tossed around, bitten and grabbed by talons like a fleshy football. As lighthearted as this is, the references it makes are pretty damn dark.
After a short action sequence where Owen makes a dive and saves Masrani at the last minute, they crash through this billboard. Since in the movie, the fact that Owen was training raptors was pretty secretive, this video either plays really fast and loose with canon or just really, really wants to cash in on the “Chris Pratt training raptors! Totally epic, dude!” hype that accompanied the first couple of JW trailers. The fact that he’s “legendary” probably means that Owen actually gets some publicity and recognition for his hard work with the Raptor Squad, and that he’s well-known for using his dinosaurs in rescue missions, as he mentioned earlier. I guess that explains why he’s so much happier here.
Finally, Simon, ever the drama queen, calls a vet unit ambulance despite the fact that the worst damage that his brick body attained was his hair piece falling off. He explains to Claire that since the aviary is busted (couldn’t they just dig up the instruction manual and rebuild it right away?) they’ll need a new attraction to keep people’s interest from drifting away from the only f***ing dinosaur theme park in the world. With a dramatic cry of “Fix it, Claaaaaaire!” (I get the feeling she hears that a lot) that’s the end of this installment.
With the pacing of the story, I’m expecting this to come out to 3 or 4 installments, so I have my work cut out for me in writing about it. But I’m actually looking forward to it, because despite the shoehorned movie references, this is genuinely fun and enjoyable. I can’t wait to see more Lego Jurassic World!