So it wasn’t Ancient Futures after all! They pulled an Ebb Tide on us! Ladies and gentlemen, our very first JW sequel poster:
I’m pretty meh on the title– I liked Ancient Futures more, it evokes the theme of dinosaurs being used as modern technology better than this does– but if the movie is as dark and despondent as we’ve been led to believe so far that it is, this title fits that mood. The logo went the same way as The Lost World did, taking a familiar image and just cracking it up a bit; Bayona has said many times that he’ll go in a new direction with the series, but could this mirroring of the original trilogy be a sign of his intent to stay true to the franchise’s roots? That choice also nicely hints at the ruins of what was Jurassic World, which it’s been confirmed that we’ll see, so that’s exciting. I really love the embers flying up, too, like we’re watching Jurassic World burning to the ground so that a new era can begin. I know I’m reading too much into a simple teaser poster, but it’s really effectively done.
And, of course, the tagline and most-quoted line from the first movie (aside from “you were so preoccupied with whether or not you could…”, and although I love those lines and the character who said them, I really hope he doesn’t say them again in this new movie, because we already have enough people reciting them in hopes of sounding smart)– Life Finds A Way. So… is this a Jurassic World teaser, or just a somewhat subtle way of getting us hyped up for Ian Malcolm: The Motion Picture? Did the production team witness the Internet explosion when Goldblum’s return was announced, and did they decide that their best move was to put all the PR on Malcolm? Will we have to wait for Trevorrow and co. to give us only little peeks at Malcolm bit by bit and week by week, like we had to with the Indominus Rex? Or, more accurately, will a picture of Malcolm’s full costume and smug smirk be leaked to the fandom via a seemingly inconsequential piece of merchandise, causing a riot within the fandom that I still find utterly hilarious years afterward? We’ll have to wait for answers to all of that, but for now, we have a very cool poster, a director who obviously had a lot of fun taking a sledgehammer to the JW logo, and a lot of Malcolm to be excited about. Maybe there’ll even be a dinosaur or two in Ian’s new movie.
The incredible people at Reel News Hawaii brought us these photos of practical-effect dinosaurs; the beasts are stationary, not animatronics, but they’re beautifully detailed and probably headed off to a really nasty fate in the movie. My first thought when I saw that trike in the transport truck was that it was going off to be experimented on somewhere. That’s not necessarily true, but it’d go with the animal-rights theme of the movie if it were. The animal might also be getting transported off of Isla Nublar in the wake of the Jurassic World Incident, or it could even just be going down the highway next to someone’s car on the mainland– what an awesome way that would be to establish how ingrained dinosaurs have become into society in this universe. The stego looks a lot freer and happier, so maybe he’s just wandering around Nublar with his herd and has no intention of being brought to San Francisco to work in a factory.
Come to think of it, I’m pretty interested in what happened to the animals in JW after the Incident. Obviously the place didn’t get firebombed like in the first novel, and since the cloning technology for dinosaurs still exists and it’d be pretty hard to round up all of JW’s exhibits and domesticate them, it would make little sense for all of the dinosaurs we saw in the last movie to be in the army and having makeup tested on them in this movie. The logical answer is that the island and all its inhabitants were just left to do their own thing, like Hammond would’ve wanted– but then what need would there be to return to Nublar, as this movie will? And if that truck really is taking that triceratops off the island, then why? I’m also excited to see what the environment of Nublar is like if the dinosaurs there were allowed to live on their own. Specifically, in the second novel, all the dinosaurs were artificially created and kept in enclosures, and when the park holding them was abandoned, the ecosystem became extremely unhealthy and doomed to failure; will the same thing happen on Nublar? It’d be an intelligent but bleak reference to Crichton’s work if the former Jurassic World collapsed just like Isla Sorna did, and “intelligent but bleak” seems like exactly the vibe Fallen Kingdom is going for.
Reel News Hawaii also published set photos, both of a beaten-up Owen (considering the amount of pyrotechnics that are being used during filming, it’s not at all surprising that he seems to be a bit charred)…
and of our first peek at Claire!
Wow, she’s a lot more practical in this one, wearing jeans and an army jacket, and boots! Actual running shoes! Good for you, Claire! She also appears to be riding in a fairly undamaged Gyrosphere; I can already see that this will probably be a bittersweet moment in the movie, the park’s former operations manager riding through the ruins of the park she used to work so hard to maintain. Hopefully the slow pace of the Gyrosphere will also give us a chance to get a more scenic and thorough look at the ruins of the park and the state of the island’s ecosystem. Honestly, besides Goldblum and the return of my beloved Rexy, seeing the ruins of Jurassic World is the part of Fallen Kingdom that I’m the most excited for. The plot seems exciting, of course, but I am all about those abandoned theme parks.
And finally, speaking of ruining Jurassic World, take a gander at this:
Jurassic Outpost assures that this has no relation to the new movie, but dinosaurs in the military in JW2 has been confirmed, so there might be a bit of commonality between the two. Remember after the announcement that trained raptors would be in Jurassic World, when everyone went ballistic about the idea of dinosaurs being used as trained soldiers? Well, take a glimpse into the hellscape of an alternate reality where that actually happened. Yeah, dinosaurs in robot suits are cool in principle, but in a classic adult franchise like JP, seeing things like that badly-photoshopped underwear decal on the big screen would just come off as ridiculous. If this is the merchandise line that we get between now and Mattel’s classic JP line, then eh, I guess it’s a pretty solid way to garner some money to fund good CGI, and kids will probably eat it up. Even I might buy a toy of that raptor with arctic armor if one gets made. It had just better stay away from the movies, and away from that poor triceratops in the truck. The poor thing looks like it’s been through more than enough already.
I’d like to take a moment to sincerely thank you, my readers, for sticking with this blog even through my unannounced, two-month hiatuses. Your support gives me a reason to keep writing, and I truly appreciate every one of you. Also, there’s only about a week left in Jurassic June, so create some art and show your JP appreciation! I have an ongoing photography project that I’ve been posting to my various accounts, but I’ll share all of it on here at the end of the month.
Important notice: from today onwards, every Jurassic World 2 news-centered post that I write will most likely contain at least one spoiler, or speculation that could be considered spoilers. If avoiding spoilers for this movie is a concern for you, go no further.
Boy, have I been neglecting Jurassic World 2 news. Part of it is that it’s been coming in small bits that wouldn’t warrant entire posts, and part of it is that college is doing its absolute best to kill me with work. In any case, here’s one big update on what we know about JW2 so far.
As you may have seen from last night’s post and/or my participation on Twitter in what I’ve come to call the Blumpocalypse, the casting that I’m most excited for is that Jeff Goldblum will be returning to the movie to reprise his role as Ian Malcolm! I’ll get to that in a little bit. Some others who have been cast in the movie are Daniella Pineda from The Detour, Ted Levine from Silence of the Lambs, Rafe Spall from Prometheus, Toby Jones from the Captain America series and Geraldine Chaplin from Nashville; I sincerely hope Geraldine isn’t there to play Ian’s love interest or wife (especially since she’s a very capable actress and deserves a better role than that) but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Another casting is James Cromwell, who will be playing “Benjamin Lockwood”, who apparently was Hammond’s business partner and helped him develop the dinosaur-cloning technology. That’s pretty intriguing and shows us that, despite the production team’s insistence that this movie will go in a different direction and won’t be like the rest of the movies, not taking place on an island etc. (which isn’t entirely true– despite the overall tone of the movie, filming is taking place in Hawaii and Rexy will definitely make another appearance, so I think it’s safe to say we’ll see Nublar at some point) they’re really looking to connect this movie with the first JP by bringing back an original-trilogy character and someone connected to another original-trilogy character. Whether that’s because the theme of this movie has a lot to do with that of the first movie or if it’s just because of the movie’s goal of “reintroducing the franchise to a new generation” as well as drawing in audiences with nostalgia, it’ll be a delicate thing to pull off. Hopefully it’ll come across as a “ties to the original trilogy without exploiting it” type of thing, like The Force Awakens, instead of just blatant cashing in on nostalgia. Trevorrow and Spielberg pulled that off wonderfully in the first movie, so I definitely trust them to do it with this one.
And speaking of the movie’s theme, here’s a very interesting quote from Trevorrow:
“The dinosaurs will be a parable of the treatment animals receive today: the abuse, medical experimentation, pets, having wild animals in zoos like prisons, the use the military has made of them, animals as weapons. The second part will be a very different, more complex movie that will explore new paths. For that reason, it was clear that it needed to be Bayona who would direct it, in order to have it grow and evolve with his very personal vision.”
So we’ll definitely have a plot centering around dinosaurs on the mainland, at least for the first half of the movie! I have to say, I really wish they would focus more on world-building, showing what a society with dinosaurs in it would look like and how it would be different from the world today– showing its dark sides, of course, but also adding a touch of the magic and excitement that came with the part of Jurassic World where Zach and Grey explored the park and showed what it was generally like there. I’m sure the part of the movie being discussed here won’t just be a PETA (PETD? Ethical treatment of dinosaurs?) montage of dinosaurs suffering, it’ll be much more nuanced than that. And animal abuse and exploitation are most definitely issues that movies should address, and that a huge movie like this has the power to spur some real change with. It’s a noble goal and I have no doubt that Trevorrow, Bayona and his team will create a thoughtful movie that addresses the often-overlooked side effects of the idea of cloning dinosaurs (something particularly relevant now that de-extincting animals is being seriously looked into). I just personally don’t want to see my beloved dinosaurs being hurt and exploited, that’s all. I’m sure they’ll eat some people and get their revenge.
Now let’s take a look at some pictures of the film’s sets! The one we’ve seen the most of has been what I previously thought was a museum, but which Jurassic Outpost refers to as a mansion, most likely Benjamin Lockwood’s. We saw it already in this photo:
Cromwell refers to it as “a football field sized set with real recreations of dinosaurs”, and obviously a lot of work has gone into it. Lockwood obviously cares a lot about dinosaurs (has he just been sitting there for 24 years, collecting dinosaurs and pondering the philosophy of the various dinosaur-related incidents? Considering most if not all of what happened was Hammond’s fault, I sure hope he isn’t too guilty about helping develop that cloning technology) and it seems likely that he’ll help do something about the rampant dino exploitation and abuse that’s probably happening all over the world. I think the photo above is from a scene where Lucy goes to draw Lockwood out of seclusion and get him to help with whatever dinosaur-rights cause she’s involved in, or whatever new disaster has just unfolded. In any case, we’ll be seeing a lot of this expensive-looking mansion set. Here’s another couple of peeks at it:
Jurassic Outpost speculates that the dinosaur in the first image is a Metriacanthosaurus. At first glance I thought it was just a life-sized statue that was a part of Lockwood’s collection, but it’s also entirely possible that it’s our first look at the movie’s animatronics! It seems really unlikely to me that they’d painstakingly construct such a beautiful set and then not have at least one big dinosaur rampage through it, so maybe we’ll see Metriacanthosaurus and possibly a friend or two run around the mansion and knock down Lockwood’s precious collectibles. That or he keeps a giant carnivorous dinosaur as a pet, which honestly wouldn’t surprise me– every single person reading this would absolutely do the same thing if they were rich and lived in this universe. The second picture, captioned “Background tease” on Twitter, is also intriguing and could depict either life-sized statues or a couple of dinosaurs throwing hands (claws?) in the mansion. If it’s a storyboard involving a scene with animatronics, this is a major spoiler and likely shows an Indominus vs. Spinosaurus battle which, in my opinion, is kind of a cheesy thing to do unless it’s the climax of the movie and a lot of good context has led up to it. With all the talk of how different this sequel will be from the rest of the movies, I think it deserves a better ending than just “here’s two big dinosaurs, let’s watch them fight”, which Jurassic World pulled off with style but which has the potential to turn very B-movie very fast. Again, I trust the production team not to do anything stupid, and I also sincerely doubt they’d just throw up a huge spoiler like that, especially so early in production. I’m sure we’ll see more and more of the mansion set in the coming months, so we’ll see whether the animals in those pictures are “real” dinos or just oversized collectible figures.
It’s too early in its construction to tell for sure what the structure is, but my personal guess is that it’ll be used to hold and/or capture Rexy. That’s just my idea, though, and I’m really excited for the Queen of Nublar’s return, so I’m kinda seeing what I want to see. Another interesting set piece is a transport truck outside London with a dino-sized cage on top of it:
Again, according to my own wishful thinking, this might be a vehicle that carries Rexy to the mainland, or some other dinosaur around for a company or something. There’s not too much else that can be inferred from a transport truck, but I’m sure it’ll be part of an interesting scene.
Last but certainly not least, we have the first footage from the film’s set! Two clips have emerged, both involving a helicopter ride at night. The first one shows the helicopter taking off:
And the second shows the journey’s abrupt and rather unpleasant end, as it hangs precariously from a branch during a thunderstorm:
The first place everyone’s mind went to when they saw this was that Henry Wu’s helicopter ride from the end of Jurassic World didn’t go as planned. It’s also entirely possible that this isn’t the case, because for companies and the military to get a hold of dinosaur cloning technology and the necessary genomes for it, somebody had to have delivered them the materials for it, and the only people who we saw headed off the island with that material was Henry Wu and his team. Also, the helicopter is seen here taking off from a distinctly non-Nublar location, so it might have nothing to do with Wu at all. Although it could be argued that Wu might deserve to get his helicopter crashed and then be picked off by a dinosaur because of his conspiracy with Hoskins and subsequent role in creating the environment that allowed all of that dinosaur abuse to happen, it doesn’t seem to me like that’s what’ll happen to him.
Those two bits of footage, the set photos, and whatever the production team and cast decide to grace us with on social media are all the concrete details we have so far on the movie. Aside from waiting for details to come from the studio bit by bit, the only other way we have to find out more about the movie is fan investigation by people who happen to be near the many filming locations. Of course, Universal Pictures doesn’t want leaks, and we should respect that by not covertly going near sets and taking whatever photos or videos we can. To be clear, I am absolutely not endorsing that Jurassic Park fans near Langley Business Center in Slough, England, Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, Kaui in Hawaii, or Pinewood Studios in England should find their way near sets and wait with a cell phone camera for even a tiny detail that would benefit the fandom greatly. Indeed, it would be a terrible tragedy if someone in one of those places answered a casting call for extras and reported what they saw and heard, especially to me as a scoop for my blog. I sure would hate to go against Universal’s wishes by encouraging people to go out and find out whatever they can about this movie we’re anticipating so much, so don’t do it, guys.
Now that I’ve discussed all the other news, a word about the speculation that’s kept me awake and hyperactive for almost 12 hours now: the return of Ian Malcolm. I and many others have wanted this to happen for a long time, but I never thought it would actually happen. The dream came true last night, though, so it’s time to kick off more than a year of anticipation by making some predictions about Ian’s role in the new movie. I think we can take it as a matter of fact that Ian’s probably opposed to this whole “dinosaurs on the mainland” thing; at the very least I think he’ll be there as one of the people who’s seen plenty of disasters or problems like the one that’ll likely unfold in the movie, and who can provide advice and warnings– again, like Han Solo in Force Awakens. (I will be quite upset if he dies, but hopefully he won’t and it’s too early to worry about that anyway.) It’s also possible that he’ll be a dinosaur rights activist, either having done it ever since the animals started being used in industry or spurred into it by other characters. (I’ve wanted to write a story about him being a DRA for a while now, and maybe this will be my encouragement to do it.) I really hope they don’t just have him there as a grumpy old man who delivers dire warnings to the characters before withdrawing back into whatever mental state he’s in after all that the Jurassic World incident and subsequent stuff put him through. Probably nobody could pay him enough to be involved in whatever part of the plot involves going back to Nublar, so most of what he does will likely involve the mainland and the dinos on it, and hopefully he won’t get attacked by any more dinosaurs while he’s there– the poor guy’s been through enough. Personally, I hope we get to see the details of how he’s doing these days, whether he got his tenure back or retired, and whether he used the cash he’s probably swimming in from book sales and public appearances to buy a mansion. More than anything, I really just want this movie to show Ian having a happy life, even if only at the beginning. I genuinely care about him a lot, and after all he’s been through, he deserves some peace. I’m not saying he’ll necessarily get it, but I hope he does.
I sincerely think that at least part of the reason that this movie is bringing Ian back is because he’s related to one of the new characters, most likely as one of their fathers. I’ve said before that Justice Smith looks a lot like a young Ian, and Daniela Pineda looks about the right age to have been a child in 1993. Having an old-trilogy character’s kid be a protagonist in the sequel is a pretty kid-movie thing to do, but it would certainly fit in with the theme of tying this movie to the first one with characters, as well as in reviving Jurassic Park for a new generation. It would also fill the classic Jurassic Park requirement of having some kind of dysfunctional family dynamic in the movie if Ian and one of his estranged kids were on an adventure together (again). The idea is just speculation at this point, but it seems pretty likely to me. A lot of people in the fandom think that Lowery is Ian’s kid because of his echoing of Ian’s philosophy and his similar looks, but since Jake Johnson has been confirmed not to be in this movie, that probably won’t be confirmed aside from a passing mention if it’s true at all. It’s also possible that Lucy is his daughter or granddaughter, but I’m starting to wonder if she has some kind of relation to Hammond or Lockwood. In casting calls for the part, her exact age was very important, so I’m thinking that she was born at a very certain time on the movies’ timeline, possibly meaning she has to do with another important character. I kind of doubt that Ian would let any kid of his have anything to do with Lockwood or dinosaurs, though, so unless she’s as rebellious and curious as Kelly, I think she probably isn’t a Malcolm.
As you may be able to tell, I’m really, really hyped for JW2 and the return of the chaotician I love so dearly. It looks like I’ll be updating more often as news rolls in, so stick around for more news about The Ian Malcolm Movie (And A Couple Dinosaurs Too)!
A lot of cool attractions have come about based on Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, from the amazing different Universal parks with their robotic baby triceratops and pterodactyl coasters, to the recent Jurassic World The Exhibition, which still has yet to come near me no matter how many sacrifices and prayer circles I’ve made. Now, not affiliated with Universal but still promising to be amazing, there’s a new Jurassic World-based attraction coming to the UK and it’s… well, unique. Soon, people will get the chance to actually be eaten by one of the dinosaurs we love so much.
Starting June 24th, a new theme park will open (if you can even call it a theme park) called Dinosaurs in the Wild, which promises to make you feel just like the prey of the dinosaurs you’ve grown to love in the Jurassic World movies, plus a few others. Filled with giant state-of-the-art animatronics in an enormous indoor environment that was engineered to look as much like a Cretaceous forest as possible, it’s a really cool-sounding attraction with a really weird twist. Visitors get in off-road vehicles and get a tour around the area, just like if they were on a safari after being transported back in time. And I’m fine with that part, but immediately afterwards, they dump you to fend for yourself in the middle of a large clearing. And you have the choice to run for the woods or stay where you are and let your fate decide itself, but eventually, one of the robotic dinosaurs will hunt you down and proceed to eat you. The attraction’s website assures us that the experience of being chowed down will be “strange but not painful”– apparently instead of being chewed, you’ll just be swallowed and pass through the animatronic’s gullet, followed by being deposited straight into the gift shop. Definitely not my cup of tea, and frankly if getting swallowed by a giant robot of any kind is the sort of thing that you’d be interested in taking a trip to the UK and forking over money for, I’m pretty worried about you.
The rest of the place seems amazing, though. These people have a serious dedication to accuracy– well, mostly. Here’s one of the featured dinosaurs that you have the chance to be an entree for:
Even the kids in the first JP movie know that sauropods don’t eat people, guys. (Plus, with that long neck, won’t it take hours to go through the thing’s body?) Other than that glaring oversight, I’m in awe. Look at the feathers! Look at the detailed scales! Here’s another one of their attractions:
I would scream in both joy and terror if I got to see one of those walking around. The accurate feather placement! The fact that it isn’t shrink-wrapped! The colors! I mean, I wouldn’t want it eating me or anything, but I do appreciate it in an aesthetic way.
So why exactly would so much work go into such a weird attraction with a strange target audience? Jill Bryant, Dinosaurs in the Wild’s producer, explains it all on the website. “Universal basically has a lock on recreating the magical environment of the Jurassic Park movies, and we wanted to create something that couldn’t be experienced anywhere else in the world,” she says. “Initially, we were going to create a dinosaur theme park which drew inspiration from the movies, but which focused more on education and current paleontological theory. But whenever we discussed the idea with anyone other than the production team, their first response was to joke about, “oh, when will the dinos break out and eat everybody?” And at first that was tiring, but then it gave me an idea.
“The other Jurassic Park-based attractions in the world just focus on one aspect of the classic film series, which is the part about the awe and wonder of it all. With Dinosaurs In The Wild, we wanted to give people an experience that replicated the more thrilling parts of the movies they loved, the action sequences that got their heart racing. Everyone remembers sitting on the edge of their seat the first time they watched Jurassic Park and saw Alan Grant staring a T. rex in the face, and Ellie Sattler being stalked by Velociraptors. Now people of all ages– although we don’t recommend this attraction for children under ten– will get the chance to be hunted by the greatest predators to ever walk the earth. You could hide in the forest and be thrillingly hunted down by a pack of raptors, or Deinonychus as they are in this attraction. You could climb a tree and see how long it takes the roving alamosaurs to find you. Or you could just stay in the field, exploring the painstakingly recreated Cretaceous scenery, and wait until a scientifically accurate tyrannosaur tracks you down. There’s a million ways to experience Dinosaurs In The Wild, and I’m very excited to share them with you this June.”
Well, that makes some sense, I will admit. I haven’t been to Jurassic World: The Exhibition, but I bet everyone there wonders when the giant Rexy robot will duck down and grab someone in its chompers, and I bet a lot of guests are genuinely curious about what would happen if it did. And, other than the getting-eaten part, it really does seem like a genuinely cool place to visit. If the eating part weren’t mandatory– and the website assures me that it is– I’d go just for the chance to walk around a prehistoric forest and hang out with big feathery T. rexes. No, scratch that, I would go for the chance to join a raptor pack for as long as they’d let me. I would run around with a gang of Deinonychus just as I’ve dreamed of for so long, and people and animatronics alike would shiver at the mention of my pack. Maybe I could help my raptor friends track down some fellow guests, and afterwards I’d pet their heads and tell them they’re good dinosaurs, and we’d hang out in their nest area and do whatever it is raptors do in their down time. Yeah, honestly now that I think about it, I might not mind getting eaten as long as I get to do that.
Dinosaurs in the Wild will have two three-month runs, at Birmingham and then Manchester, from June to August and then October to January. The website is unclear about how much it will cost; it only says “you’ll give an arm and a leg– literally”. I would definitely go if I got the chance– is anyone with me?
Author’s note: if you’d like to learn more about becoming a dino’s meal at Dinosaurs in the Wild, I should probably inform you that you just got April Fooled!The attraction is real and sounds really awesome, but fortunately it’s more like a real Jurassic World and doesn’t involve getting eaten by anything. (Hopefully.) Here’s the attraction’s website, and if you happen to live near where it’ll take place or plan to take a trip there, please consider taking me with you. Please. Please.
Well, the hype has officially begun– filming for Jurassic World 2 has begun in England, in the Langley Business Centre:
Considering the story of the movie will likely take place mostly on the mainland, this set could be used for way more scenarios than just someone’s house before they leave for Isla Nublar, so we don’t really have a definite answer for what exactly the Business Centre will have to do with the plot; it looks too small to be a dino-cloning facility or anything, but who knows? That’s the only real JW news we’ve gotten this week (besides more casting and a couple of character names) except of course for this:
That was posted by Colin Trevorrow on Twitter with the caption “Walking in giant footsteps. #JW2” and I’d venture to guess that the little girl pictured is Lucy (although, since she hasn’t even been cast yet as far as we know, it’s probably just a Lucy stand-in). Whether this scene actually appears in the movie or not (remember that photo of the East Dock sign that he tweeted early in JW’s filming?) it’s a gorgeous photo and got me very, very excited for what’s to come.
Since that’s about all the news there is to report on, I thought I’d do something fun this time, so here’s an informative blog post from a different Raptor Dash in a slightly different time in a different universe– one that has a lot more dinosaurs in it.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the exciting and adorable world of InGen Pygmy Triceratops™ ownership! Whether you’re only considering adopting one of these little Cretaceous cuties or you’re already a proud owner who’s looking for some tips, I’m glad you’ve decided to look to me for advice (instead of an unapproved third-party source). Although my blog may receive a small amount of funding from the InGen Corporation, you can count on me to impartially show you the ins and outs of how to properly care for the unique pet that’s now a part of your life.
The InGen Corporation is devoted to satisfying all of the companies and people that benefit from its services, and after the regrettable Jurassic World Incident, it made a concentrated effort to use its amazing genetic technology to improve the world around us. In addition to the giant ceratopsians that plow the fields that grow your food, the docile stegosaurs you see in zoos, the velociraptors that serve as the next step in the United States’ military technologies and more, InGen also developed something much more domestic and certainly much cuter– a line of pet miniature dinosaurs that never get big, can never be dangerous and never stop being precious! Pygmy Iguanadons™, Pygmy Ankylosaurs™, Pygmy Stegoceratops™ and Pygmy Paralophosaurs™ are available for purchase at any pet store near you, but my favorites of the line are the Pygmy Triceratops™; I love them so much that I adopted three, and today they’re happy to help me show you how to take proper care of your new little trike! Let’s meet the gang!
On the far left is Jasper, a sweet little girl with a shy side who loves to cuddle and take long naps. Then there’s Sahara– as you can tell, she’s the playful one! Finally there’s Orion, who’s the strong and silent type but still gets excited enough to chase a butterfly every once in a while! It’s highly advisable to adopt at least two at a time, as Triceratops have always been herding animals and will get lonely if they’re left alone at home for too long; two isn’t small enough to form your own cute little herd, though, so the more the merrier. These three are all babies, so they’re tiny and cute as buttons, but I won’t have to worry about them taking up too much space in my dorm room when they get older: the full size of a Pygmy Triceratops™ is about a foot and a half tall (0.5 m) and less than three feet long (1 m). They’ll always have plenty of room to run and play!
It’s very important to only feed your Pygmy Triceratops™ with certified InGen Health Blend Baby Triceratops Chow™. This special food was engineered specifically for the genetically-engineered bodies of little Pygmy Triceratops™and provides them with all the nutrients they need in their diet. Look how eager Orion is for dinner time! You can choose to feed them separate meals like you would a cat or dog, but Triceratops were grazing herbivores back in Cretaceous times, and their modern reincarnations still have traces of that instinct. Therefore it might make your little pets happy if you purchased a small trough or spread the food out among several paper plates throughout the house, allowing your Pygmy Triceratops™ to munch whenever they please. Remember to feed them about half to three-quarters of a cup of food per day– you don’t want them getting too chubby!
If your trike’s been good and deserves a special treat, give them some Ingen Pygmy Triceratops YumYum Pellets™! Made from sweet-tasting fruit, your little ones will love them! Just make sure you give them out equally– you can see how eager my babies are to get at them.
The only thing Pygmy Triceratops™ love more than treat time is playtime! They’re not the most active animals– pick up a Pygmy Paralophosaur™ if you want a dino that’ll run and play with you every day– but they certainly love to hug and bat around their stuffed animals. Jasper and Orion love their stuffed penguin because of how soft (and easy to chew) it is, and Sahara is enamored with the stuffed triceratops that my friend Alex bought me when she visited Jurassic World a few years ago. As you can see, their favorite place to play is on the carpet, probably because its texture reminds them of grass; I would recommend putting down rugs or carpets throughout your home, or keeping your trikes in a carpeted “safe room”if you’re worried about them wandering around and causing trouble when you’re not home.
Since this is only the first generation of InGen Pygmy Dinosaurs™, there are still a few teeny little “bugs” that need to be worked out. In the Pygmy Triceratops’™ case, it’s that their herding instinct may be just a bit too strong. As you can see, Sahara is very attached to this stuffed trike and refuses to let it go when play time is over. Judging by the way she clings to it, she probably thinks it’s another member of her herd, or perhaps even her mother. The next iteration of Pygmy Dinosaurs™ most likely won’t have issues like this, but until then, consider giving your pets toys that don’t resemble Triceratops.
Instead, give them toys that were specifically made to be safe and fun, as well as teaching your Pygmy Triceratops’™ growing brains! InGen now makes Pygmy Dinosaur SafeToys™, which are fun for your little angels to chew on and are made to look like other herbivorous dinosaurs from the ancient times of the original Triceratops. This brown one is brand new; Orion is sniffing at it with interest, deciding if he likes it more than the red one that he’ll contentedly chew on for hours if I let him. Of course, these are far from the only toys from InGen that your little dino will love to play with. Just look how happy my babies were to see the brand-new Stegoceratops™ toy from the Hybrids line, designed to teach dinosaurs and owners alike about the marvelous new species developed in InGen’s labs:
Playing with toys is far from the only way to entertain your Pygmy Triceratops™. They love to be carried outside for walks and romps in the grass! Here’s Jasper admiring (and trying to munch on) some pansies:
It’s important to be careful when taking your Pygmy Triceratops™ outdoors. If they eat anything but InGen’s special food, they’ll get sick, but they don’t know that, so be sure to keep a close eye on your trikes and keep them away from any plants that they might try to snack on.
Another important thing to note about all Pygmy Dinosaurs™ is that they have a strong aversion to cold weather and vastly prefer warm environments, just like their ancestors; this is why they should spend most of their time in a temperature-regulated indoor environment. Jasper and I came across some snow on our walk, and she refused to go anywhere near it. For those of you who live in cold areas but still want a prehistoric pet of your own, head to your local pet store this fall and adopt an InGen Pygmy Woolly Mammoth™!
After your little ones are all tuckered out from their outdoor adventure, or if you just need to keep them entertained for half an hour, they’ll love watching television, especially cheery children’s shows. Mine always show a lot of interest when I put Dinosaur Train on for them, but that’s probably more because of the bright colors and funny noises than the fact that it’s about dinosaurs.
At the end of their fun day, give your Pygmy Triceratops™ a nice warm bed to sleep in and a couple of soft toys for them to cuddle with. Because of their nesting instincts, mine love it when I make them a soft, cushy place for them to sink into, usually out of a bathrobe or soft towel. When it’s time to go to sleep, tuck them into their special little sleeping place…
…and don’t be surprised when they come to your bed anyway, impatiently mooing until you let them go to sleep cuddled up next to you. You are their beloved owner after all, and since you take such good care of your Pygmy Triceratops™, they want to give you all their love and affection to say thanks.
Thank you for reading, and I hope my guide helps you to have an amazing time with your wonderful new pet! Join me next week for an inside look at the Oviraptors that are being genetically engineered to be a tastier and more ethical substitute for poultry, and the week after that, when I look at and debunk the most popular Jurassic World conspiracy theories!
It’s been a slow few weeks, folks. We’ve only had two new castings for Jurassic World 2: Ancient Futures (?), Ted Levine and Daniella Pineda,and that’s about it. The New York Toy Fair is this month, so hopefully we’ll see some new Mattel Jurassic World toys, but until then this is the best I can give you: Buzzfeed has a trending piece called 25 Questions I Have About “Jurassic Park” Now That I’m An Adult, and I felt compelled to do Alfredo Murillo and his readers a favor by answering all of them.
1. Isn’t a goat too small a meal for a Tyrannosaurus rex?
Not really. T. rex stomachs were more easily filled than you’d think; this was addressed in the original JP novel. But not many people have both read the book and seen the movie, so I wouldn’t expect every single JP viewer to know this.
2. And why didn’t it eat the leg?
T. rex ate by picking up its prey and thrashing it around, so the leg probably just detached and flew off, it wasn’t purposefully omitted.
3. Why were there so few employees in that park?
John Hammond was very proud of how little staff it took to keep the park running. That pride, as we see throughout the rest of the movie, was one of the main reasons the park failed. Hammond liked to brag a lot in the novel about how much the park ran on automation.
4. What exactly is a mathematician supposed to contribute to this journey?
Ian Malcolm was one of the initial consultants on the project; his work in chaos theory applied to biological systems was highly applicable to an unstable system like this park. Malcolm deals with the unpredictable for a living, and Jurassic Park was very unpredictable.
5. So people could go to the park and see NOTHING if the dinosaurs didn’t bother to come to the fence?
Probably; I don’t remember the book ever addressing this, but I would assume that park staff would take some kind of measures to make a couple of dinosaurs walk into view if absolutely none of them showed up. In the novel, the hypsilophodonts wouldn’t show their faces until the park’s speaker system played mating calls.
6. If the cars drove themselves, what did they need steering wheels for?
Probably for aesthetic reasons, and/or they just didn’t feel the need to take out the steering wheels when they repurposed the jeeps.
7. Couldn’t they do a better job on Mr. DNA, considering that they had CREATED DINOSAURS?
Can you blame Hammond for allocating more money to the dinosaur budget than the animation budget?
8. How could Alan Grant carry a six-inch raptor claw in his pocket for a whole day and still have a leg?
He probably positioned it in such a way that he wouldn’t stab him, or the claw wasn’t as sharp as it looked.
9. Was it necessary for John Hammond to be in every single presentation at the park?
This is yet another factor that shows that the park wasn’t really so well-planned-out after all– more proof that Hammond didn’t think through all of this as much as he says he did.
10. How does Ellie expect to find anything in a five-foot-high pile of dung?
She’s… very dedicated to her work.
11. How the hell does the Dilophosaurus get into Dennis Nedry’s car?
It probably snuck in when Dennis opened the door to get in himself, or broke a window. I seem to recall the old Jurassic Park Legacy site having a more detailed answer to this; it’s archived somewhere if it did, but hell if I know where.
12. And how does the T. rex get into the visitor center for the final scene? Does it duck to fit its head through the door frame?
Rexy actually ducks her head to get through the area of the visitor center that’s still under construction and that’s covered by a transparent tarp– we see one of the raptors enter through there. JPLegacy also had a more detailed explanation of this, although you might have to PM someone on the Jurassic Park Portal Forum to get it.
13. Why didn’t Tim climb in between the wires rather than over them? He clearly could have!
If you look more closely at the wires, it’s actually a tighter squeeze than it looks at first glance, and he might’ve gotten scraped up if he’d tried to climb through. Plus, considering everything Tim’s been through in the past 12 hours, give him a break for having a little lapse in critical thinking.
14. Didn’t they go a little overboard with cooking if they were expecting only six guests?
Hammond probably just wanted to impress them and show that he spared no expense.
15. All right, they cloned the dinosaurs by using blood extracted from mosquitoes, but how the hell did they make the plants?
The (far superior) old Jurassic World website or the original JP novel could’ve given a more definitive answer to this, but Wu and the other scientists probably messed around with the DNA of modern plants that were related to ancient plants. Or, to extrapolate, they could’ve found plant DNA in the preserved stomach contents of herbivorous dinosaurs.
16. What did they tell this guy’s family? (in reference to the man who was eaten by the raptor at the very beginning of the movie)
According to the book, they told everyone who didn’t work for the park that the man was mauled in a machinery accident.
17. Whose idea was it to put explosives next to the enclosure with Velociraptors?
Probably Muldoon, the gamekeeper’s, idea, because he wanted to be able to kill as many raptors as quickly as possible in the event of a breakout.
18. Why are there Velociraptors next to the visitor center?
The raptors were one of the park’s showpieces, and Hammond probably wanted them to be the first thing guests saw when they came to the park.
19. Where the hell is the other half of this helicopter’s seat belt?
The sloppily constructed seatbelts of the helicopter are yet another example of just how poorly-executed Jurassic Park was. There’s also an excellent metaphor in that sequence.
20. What are glasses of water doing on the dashboard of a car?
If I had to guess, the guests probably got little glasses of water at the visitor’s center and just happened to put them on the dashboard. I wouldn’t be surprised if the jeeps didn’t have cupholders, too.
21. Why is the only thing left standing after the T. rex attacks Gennaro the toilet? Were there no sinks?
The sinks were probably attached to the walls, and the walls got knocked to the side; also, the toilet was cemented to the ground in a way that sinks wouldn’t be.
22. And why did they carry flares? Weren’t they a bit too well prepared for the worst case scenario?
The park was prepared for some things but not others, and while Hammond didn’t take every possible precaution for visitor safety, he did take some.
23. Why did the idea that the dinosaurs could change their sex occur to Alan Grant and not to the scientists who created them?
The idea probably did occur to Wu and the scientists, but they thought they’d successfully messed with the dinos’ genes enough to prevent it, that or they weren’t given enough time to do so because of Hammond’s deadlines.
24. How the hell does Alan Grant know that dinosaurs are warm-blooded simply by looking at them?
He doesn’t really know that so much as he guesses it, and he probably guesses it because they don’t look very reptilian.
25. And most importantly, Phil, where the heck were you while the dinosaurs were busy eating people?!
Phil himself has answered this one:
Apologies to my regular readers for the unimaginitive post; hopefully the Toy Fair and further castings will provide me with something new to report on soon.
The second Jurassic World movie, currently called Ancient Futures, is set to start production in February. But even two months before anything starts, news is starting to trickle in, beginning with the movie’s casting! Of course Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt and BD Wong will be returning, but we recently got the addition of Justice Smith, who you might recognize from Paper Towns.
As you can see, he looks like a young Ian Malcolm, and I’d be endlessly thrilled if he turned out to be Ian’s son (maybe Kelly’s brother). According to Chris Pugh on Twitter and dance2nite on the JP Portal Forums, “He is reportedly playing a young scientist/system’s architect named “Clint” who who gets roped into being hired by Masrani Global & hitting a field exercise against his own intuition along with Claire & Owen.” Whether this is true or not, Clint has the potential to be a very, very interesting character– he sounds a bit like Lowery with a little more action thrown in. Toby Jones and Rafe Spall are in talks to join the movie as well, and auditions for the major role of Lucy have reportedly come to a close. Soon enough, we’ll have a near-complete cast list, and hopefully more character details will come out soon after. I’m incredibly hyped for filming to begin and to get back into the cycle of news and speculation that made all of our lives so interesting during the leadup to the first JW! I’m also excited for everyone who joined the fandom after JW came out; they get to experience the excitement of waiting for a new movie for themselves. All of us are going to have such a blast over the next year and a half.
But just as the first inklings of the new movie came out, we also got an unexpected glimpse at the beginning of the trilogy– a part of it that almost happened but never came to be. Everyone lamented the missed opportunity when concept art for the planned Jurassic Park animated series came out, and while we’ll never get to see an actual episode of it, now we know how the series would’ve gone and what might have been. A synopsis of each episode of the planned first season was recently released, which was previously only available to our dad Steven Spielberg and a few select others, but was found and transcribed for us by Chris Pugh of Jurassic Outpost. Even though only the basic concepts of the episodes are written out, the outline is riveting and full of possibilities; it’s too long of a document for me to inspect piece by piece, so read it first, and I’ll cover the parts that intrigued me the most.
The concept art for Hammond in this series made him look much more like the formidable, cunning, decidedly less grandfather-like version of him from the original novel. This series seems to stick with that interpretation. Movie Hammond was moved by the loss of life and saw the error of his ways, but here he just bounces back and immediately begins amending his scheme, and as we see later, he manipulates both the government and the people who trust him to do so. Another noteworthy thing here is the idea that the island’s population wouldn’t survive with the herbivore-to-carnivore ratio that it had when he left it; that’s an idea that was only officially introduced to the series two years later in the second novel. This outline holds a lot of ideas that either influenced or predicted things that would happen later in the series, in both the novels and movies.
In this show about dinosaur theme parks and smuggling prehistoric lizards through airport security (more on that later) this is the part that I find the least plausible. The script says that the original trio has their reservations and is haunted by what happened at the park, but Hammond still convinces them to go back and live on the island. Hammond is shown to be a pretty convincing guy when he manipulates people, and Alan and Ellie are still in love with dinosaurs deep down and might be swayed, but never in a million years do I see Ian being convinced to do this. It would take some pretty clever writing to make that believable.
There’s two Lost World precursors here for the price of one: the idea of Dino Wranglers with special vehicles for dinosaur capture (definitely not just to sell toys or anything, of course not) and the last name Burke, which ended up being given to Richard Burke in the second movie. I wonder if Linda Lee would’ve also been a veiled dig at Robert Bakker, and if she and Richard would’ve been related.
Episodes 6 through 16 deal largely with a subplot about BioSyn and its competing theme park, DinoWorld, whose structure and ultimate demise bear a striking resemblance to Jurassic World. I wonder if the fourth movie would still have had the plot that it did if this series had aired and evidence of a park exactly like it ending in disaster had existed in canon?
The plots of these episodes are so similar to the first act of the Lost World movie that it’s almost certain that the scripts and outline for this series influenced the movie’s plot, possibly as well as the second novel. A rival team of dinosaur hunters, planning to steal animals from the island to start their own theme park and ultimately succeeding, land on the island and compete with Hammond’s group; two young kids stow away, and the adults try to get them off the island but fail; and several other subtle similarities. I’d bet money that Michael Crichton was one of the people authorized to read this outline and took a few ideas from it, and that Spielberg did the same.
An aviary was present in the original novel, and the idea of having aquatic predators in the park was probably tossed around since the beginning, so I can’t really say that this predicted or influenced the aviary scene in JP3 or the mosasaur in JW. I only brought this up because of what a tragedy it is that we almost didn’t have to wait 22 years to see a mosasaur in the franchise. We could’ve had high-quality Kenner mosasaur toys. The queen could’ve ruled our hearts with fear for so much longer.
I love angst almost as much as I love Ian Malcolm, so naturally this would interest me, but this would also be a really interesting bit of character development to see play out. I would definitely read a fanfiction that novelized this outline, but I’d also love a story about Ian surrounding himself with computers to hide from the fact that he’s surrounded by the dinosaurs from his nightmares, working on a system he knows is doomed to fail, losing more and more hope every day as he calculates exactly how small the potential for success and survival is.
Actually, maybe it’s a good thing that this show never aired, because these babies are all I would ever talk, think or write about. If you think I’m too obsessed with baby dinosaurs as it is, imagine if there had been episodes entirely about several species of hatchlings being born and played with.
This show wasn’t meant to be a Saturday morning kids’ cartoon, but Hammond’s characterization being the same as it was in the book, combined with the presence of the compies that killed him in said book, sets the stage for the kind of gruesome death that I would be surprised to see even in a cartoon from the less-sensitive ‘9os.
In true novel fashion, the show would’ve put its plot on hold for a full episode about philosophy. And I can see Alan and Ellie pondering these things, but Ian would promptly answer all of these questions with “Hell no.”
After dinosaurs from DinoWorld escape to the mainland and start killing people in villages, a nod to the first novel, the trio looks over the ruins of the park. This sounds like a precursor to the TLW and JP3 scenes in the abandoned worker’s villages on Isla Sorna, but it also sounds like an interesting idea for a scene in the beginning of the next JW movie. Trevorrow has said that the next film won’t be set on an island, but that doesn’t mean our heroes or the military couldn’t have a quick scene where they walked through the abandoned and overgrown Main Street, possibly being attacked by a raptor pack afterward as a warning to all who would dare infringe on Rexy’s territory. It wouldn’t be essential to the plot, but it could tie the second movie in with the first in the new trilogy, and it’d be a visual treat if done right.
Here’s yet another scene that could’ve lent ideas to both TLW and JW. Is it possible that Trevorrow looked over this outline a couple of years ago? It wouldn’t be a bad thing if he had; it would actually be heartwarming to know that the true inspiration for JW had come from the very beginning of the franchise, and that the new trilogy was partly meant to show us concepts from this series that we didn’t get to see.
After several interesting descriptions of dinosaur attacks, it’s pretty disappointing and seems tacked-on to have that story arc end with this. It also seems impossible– “six or seven young T. rexes, about fifty raptors, a couple of deadly dilophosaurs” all got caught by by a little group of T. Rex Turners, and not a single one of them got gored or met the business end of a sickle claw? The end of the series is well-done, but it would be better to put that off for a little while in favor of a more plausible conclusion to the dinosaurs-on-the-mainland arc.
The implications of rare and exotic dinosaurs escaping to the mainland are somewhat explored here, and hopefully they’re also shown in the next JW movie– it’s a concept that the fandom has speculated on for a long, long time. Also, sneaking a baby dinosaur through the airport is 100% something I would do and risk jail time for.
Other than the baby dinosaur shenanigans, this is the part that most makes me regret that this series never aired. Even from the sparse description here, there’s so much emotion and so many conflicting ideas– the audience, the kids and the original trio all feel somewhat betrayed by the park opening to the public despite what happened in the movie, but it’s also thrilling to see Hammond’s dream come true and a fantastic dinosaur park open to the world. In other words, it’s exactly the way we all felt when it was first announced that JW would feature a fully operational dinosaur theme park. There’s no doubt that this would lead to a very interesting second season. Ian, Alan and Ellie might begin actively working against the park if they weren’t forced under contract to continue working with it. Dodgson might make another attempt to create his own park. When the park started up, Hammond might find that he hadn’t taken as many necessary safety measures as he thought he had, and guests might end up getting eaten sooner rather than later. This series and its ending were so full of possibilities, and it’s a crying shame that this is likely all we’ll ever see of it.
I’m sure I’m with the majority of the fandom when I say I’d give an arm and a leg to see this series produced, or at least watch the trailer that exists in some hidden archive somewhere. If the show had been made, the rest of the franchise might have been drastically different; The Lost World might’ve had a different plot, and Jurassic World would likely have been handled far, far differently because of this show’s example of what an operational dinosaur park would likely look like. If Jurassic World ever gets its own TV series, animated or live-action, I hope it takes a few notes from the JP cartoon that never was.
If you want more Jurassic World while we all gear up for the second movie in the trilogy, take a look at the portfolio of the graphic artist for JW, Ellen Lampl! Cosplayers should take advantage of the Henry Wu name badge. This, of course, is my favorite part:
Eternal thanks to Mike Jenkins for showing me this beautiful look into the more minute details of Jurassic World!
I was about to write my review of the rest of Indominus Escape, but it looks like I’ll have to put that off, hopefully not for another month. Instead I’d like to show you an adventure I had on a unique bootleg of Universal’s Jurassic Park River Adventure ride, a journey that contained its own wonderful brand of unintentional insanity.
For those who are less interested and just want some Jurassic World 2 news, I have that for you too. From Jurassiraptor, this very interesting casting call:
According to this, a young girl (and it seems to be very important that she’s young; boy, they’re aging actresses out of the business faster and faster these days) named Lucy will be playing a “significant role” in the next movie. By the way she’s described, it seems like she’ll likely be more than the obligatory kid, and she’ll be in a lot of the scenes. This is kind of a change– from the original trilogy at least, given how significant Zach and Gray were in Jurassic World– but if the producers find the capable actress they’re looking for, that shouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Lucy seems similar to Lex, at least from this description, and Lex was a great part of the first movie.
Being who I am, I can’t help but take every possible opportunity to talk about Ian Malcolm showing up in the next movie, but I think I actually have a solid case this time. Part of Lucy’s requirements is that she can have “tender moments with her father”. Given the movies’ history of having absent parents in them, especially absent fathers, I think it’s pretty likely that Lucy won’t exactly have grown up with a perfect family or father figure. And which fan favorite character is well-known for being an absent father, and thus would have two reasons to make a cameo in the film? None but Ian Malcolm. Lucy’s age requirement might have something to do with this as well. If she really is Ian’s kid, her age might need to line up exactly with an in-universe timeline. I have no idea why it would be so important that Ian had another kid exactly 9 years before the events of the movie (in 2009) but I’m sure Spielberg and Trevorrow have their reasons. Whether I’m right or not, and boy do I hope I am, this is an interesting bit of news and gives us a lot to speculate about. I’m very interested to see what else we can get a hold of from the movie’s casting calls.
And now, on to the titular world’s crappiest dinosaur ride! You may remember that I visited Pigeon Forge, Tennessee over this past summer, and that I refused to shut up about the Margaritaville there. This weekend I visited again, this time because it was my nineteenth birthday and all I wanted was to hang out in a flashy tourist town and be stared at from all angles by the leering visage of Dolly Parton. I was aware last time of an attraction called the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride, but I also knew that it was notoriously terrible and expensive. This time, however, I told the woman at the ticket counter that it was my birthday, and she gave me and my dad a huge discount. (If she or anyone from the attraction is reading this, you have an absolutely wonderful person in your midst and I’m forever grateful.) Thus we embarked on a hilariously terrible ride ripoff that I’ll remember and laugh at for a long, long time.
Before I show anything, you should know that it was very difficult to get any good pictures or videos inside the ride, and so most of the pictures that you’ll see will be from others at TripAdvisor. My dad was kind enough to take a video on his phone, although most of it is just us chatting and making cheesy jokes in absolute darkness. (The video quality is about the same quality as the actual ride, we joked.) If you’re interested, here it is (this version doesn’t have sound):
Before the actual ride began, we saw this display:
See how the animatronics look like such a direct ripoff of Jurassic Park dinosaurs that you probably wouldn’t be surprised if they came right from Stan Winston Studios? That’s a continuing trend throughout the ride. Also note how they slapped a cloth frill on a TLW raptor and called it a dilophosaur.
When we boarded the ride and it began its slow, herky-jerky journey, the plain wooden gates opened and allowed us into the almost total darkness of the ride. Immediately we were surrounded by distant dinosaur noises and camouflage material tacked up onto the walls, intended to look like jungle foliage but painfully obviously bought from an army surplus store. I can’t begin to emphasize how dark this place was, by the way. In the pictures from TripAdvisor that you’re about to see, I’m astounded by how the photographers managed to get such good quality and clarity from a place lit like a county fair’s haunted house. Something else worth noting is the structure of the ride itself. In quality rides like the one this one rips off, riders feel like they’re in an immersive environment, and the dinosaurs happen to be a part of that environment; the animatronics are noticeable, but they blend in. That wasn’t the case here. More than anything, it felt like a Jurassic Jungle Museum, where we rode through empty space until we came to each dinosaur. I found myself mentally referring to the different scenes as “attractions.”
We came to a stop, and above us appeared the first dinosaur:
As well as being one of the more well-constructed dinosaurs (another Stan Winston copy) this one moved the most convincingly. The way it leaned down towards us wasn’t perfect or too convincing, but it was better than the unstable jerking of the other animatronics. It also allowed me to get this terrifying series of pictures:
By the way, it doesn’t look green because I was using a night-vision camera or anything. For that dinosaur and several others, the lighting choice just happened to be the exact same shade of eerie green used by night vision cameras. I’m not sure whether that was intentional or not.
Next was a giant spider (about as scary as the one used in the Halloween display at your local Party City) and this fellow:
It moved slightly up and down, and even in pitch darkness I could tell how fake it was. Where are its eyes?
Next was a cave, with a video screen showing a pair of CGI eyes and this adorable little girl:
If whoever put this ride together had stuck with just ripping off or stealing Jurassic Park animatronics, it would’ve been a shorter but better experience, because the animatronics only seemed to go wrong when the creators tried to make their own designs. Claire here was one of the better dinosaurs, and I love her with all of my heart.
Later on in the cave, in a clear imitation of Hollywood’s version of the River Adventure, this very obviously plastic raptor fell (it was intended to be jumping down terrifyingly, but it failed) from the ceiling:
Next, and I can’t find a good picture anywhere of this, was a terrifying pterodactyl that looked far more like a human who’d undergone terrifying medical experiments and been genetically fused with a pterodactyl. You’ll see another of these creatures later on. While we regarded this genetic mistake with horror and a bit of sympathy, one of its counterparts swooped over our heads, carrying a child in its talons. Normally I’d envy the chance to be taken to a pterodactyl’s nest and become part of its family, but this time I let the kid take one for the team. I did find a picture of that.
Next came my favorite part of the ride. Can you take a guess why? Yes, because it involved two baby dinosaurs. A baby T. rex and a baby triceratops were hanging out together, supervised by a mother of far worse quality than both of them. For all intents and purposes, it was a little interspecies play date, a Jurassic version of Land Before Time. I have absolutely no complaints about it, so just admire the pictures.
Past that was this T. rex head, which jolted around in a really unnatural way. I thought it was creepy and there would be no animatronics that would freak me out more than this one. I was wrong. Oh, so very, woefully wrong.
Then, after some thoroughly unimpressive octupus tentacles poking up from the water (that’s the point in the video where you hear my dad yelling “It’s an octopus!”) came this badly-postured fellow. He didn’t even bother trying to move, just stood there and roared. I’m pretty sure he didn’t even see us from that angle.
On his right was a little ankylosaurus who didn’t look too good but who I’m sure was trying his best. I got a picture that captured the untold misery and torment on his face:
Right after that was the first of two moments on the ride when I was legitimately scared. Remember that horrifying pterodactyl-man abomination? There was another one, but this one was more detailed, better-lit and its head was the size of my entire body. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I have sort of a fear of big animatronics, so I was lucky that this one only moved its head, because I’d have jumped out of the boat and swam away if it had started moving towards me. Just look at this thing’s eyes and tell me it isn’t the product of some torturous genetic fusion procedure that had to be sequestered in this ride to protect it from humanity. Just try to tell me its existence isn’t a war crime.
The terror of that encounter could never be forgotten, but the dilophosaur (it was an actual, Jurassic-park-style dilophosaur this time) that came next was pretty cool. It may have once been able to spit, but those days are over.
Next, standing in front of a pretty cool fake volcano, was a raptor, the ride’s only non-animatronic. It looked pretty well-made but sadly it was doomed to stay in one position forever, although that could’ve been a good thing since it wouldn’t become terrifyingly broken that way. Its quality, as well as the way it stood out from the rest of the ride’s inhabitants, led me to wonder whether it was in fact stolen or bought from a real Universal park, or similar attraction, instead of just copied. It was yet another hilarious reminder of exactly how hokey and thrown-together the ride really was– besides, of course, the broken animatronics, lazy scenery and giant pterodactyls with bodies that seemed to be made of plastic bags.
In what proved to be a continuing trend, up came another scary T. rex– not scary because of the threat that it’d eat or even come near us, but scary in that it looked and moved in a way that no living creature was ever meant to. This was a downgrade from the last one in that its jaw hung open at an unnatural angle, as if it’d been unhinged like a snake’s. But this was far from the creepiest rex on the tour. Oh no. It got far, far worse.
This rex was part of a family, where the mother looked pretty dilapidated and terrible but like less of an unholy monstrosity, and the baby was another Jurassic Park copy but sadly was concealed in near-total darkness.
On their right were a few weird-looking plants with mouths that opened and closed. (This is the point in the video where you can hear me cracking stupid “Feed me, Seymour!” jokes.) They were still less unnatural-looking than the broken-down daddy rex. They also looked exactly like the kind of thing that my dad would make from papier mache to decorate his elementary-school library.
We passed through a cave with an admittedly cool animatronic on one side: part of a giant snake, which looked like it was slithering through a hole in a rock and only its midsection was visible. Another dilophosaur paid us a visit, but this one seemed to be in the same predicament as the one in the entrance. Somebody had tacked another fake frill onto a raptor, and it looked absolutely pissed and unwilling to play dress-up. At least it was a halfway decent fake frill this time.
Finally we came to the last room of the ride; daylight was visible under the door ahead of us. Before we’d boarded, we had heard previous riders screaming at something right before the gates opened for them to disembark, although we couldn’t hear any noises to figure out exactly what the jump scare was. Above our heads in near-total darkness, we saw the head of the snake that we’d seen slithering past us earlier, gnashing its teeth and making slurping sounds. (It took about 30 or 40 seconds for it to actually start moving, during which the 4-year-old girl in the seat behind us declared, “It’s dead, apparently.” I just about died laughing.)
This continued for about 10 or 20 seconds, and everyone in the boat murmured that it wasn’t really scary and that we didn’t know what the people in the last boat were screaming about. But then a door under the snake opened, and out came the real jump scare.
As I mentioned earlier in this post and as I’ve probably said a million times on this blog, I have a fear of big and/or run-down animatronics. I’ve pretty much gotten it under control, which is how I had fun on the rest of the ride instead of freaking out every time the lights went up and another giant dinosaur robot was revealed. But this was a different case entirely. The T. rex that popped out was so beaten-up and so wild-eyed that I’ve restrained myself from making Five Nights at Freddy’s comparisons throughout the rest of this post, just so that the one I make here will have more impact. This thing looked like something straight out of the various games, except it was too freaky- and dangerous-looking to make plushies or T-shirts of. I’m showing several pictures of it in the hope that I can re-create for my readers at least a tiny fraction of the sheer unmitigated terror that became one with me when this thing rammed out of the wall 2 feet from my face.
The disembodied head took its sweet time retracting back into the wall, and then the doors mercifully opened and the ride was over, freeing us from Springtrap Rex’s grasp. Overall, I would say that the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride really wasn’t a bad ride. Obviously it was a bad ride, in execution and with almost all of its components, but in the so-bad-it’s-good way that made people love Sharknado. Anyone who enjoys cheesiness would have a good time mocking it, and anyone who wants to see something pretty close to real-life baby dinosaurs might like the good-quality animatronics. If you live anywhere near Pigeon Forge or are planning to vacation there anytime soon, I would sincerely recommend paying a visit. The $13 adult admission is a small price to pay for 7 minutes of hilarity.
Something else that’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area is the Flea Trader’s Paradise flea market in the nearby town of Sevierville. I’ve probably recommended the place before on my blog, but I’m glad to do it again. There are 4 big stalls there which deal exclusively in vintage toys, including Jurassic Park. I had far more to spend than I did last time, so I got a much bigger and better haul:
The sellers were nice enough to give me discounts because it was my birthday and because I bought so much; they’re wonderful people. (It’s the stall near the back left if you visit.) In case you couldn’t tell, I had a very happy birthday!
I have a lot of work to do in college, so my Indominus Escape review might take a while, especially if I keep procrastinating because I’m tired. Feel free to bug me on Twitter and remind me to do it.
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!
Housekeeping note: This may not be JP-related, but it was fun, and there’s not much news to report on at the moment anyway. Also, this is my last week at home before moving away to college, so there may be yet another break in posting while I adjust to this environment of terror and loud frat boys. When there’s more JW2 news, I’ll start updating on a consistent basis again. Thank you so much for your patience. It’s readers like you who have kept this blog going for so long, and I appreciate you.
Today, Rexy and I had an adventure! The same T. rex who consumed everything in sight in Italy came with me today to visit a mysterious monument called the Georgia Guidestones. We came just to explore, but in the end, we discovered a world-shaking secret that explained everything about a 30-year-old enigma.
For those of you who don’t know what the Guidestones are, it’s a granite monument constructed in the 80s by an anonymous man under the name R.C. Christian. It has ten commandments, in several world languages, instructing how to maintain humanity after a global crisis. (They hint strongly at eugenics and mass genocide, so maybe take them with a grain of salt.) It’s constructed with respects to astronomy– the center is supposed to to be the location of a “celestial pole”, etc. Conspiracy theorists and believers in New World Order-type shenanigans tend to think that the monument was built by Satanists, the Illuminati, or some combination of the two. It’s never been made entirely clear who’s responsible, but regardless, its construction is pretty clever.
The reason Rexy and I went today was because of a part of the monument that’s now missing. A few years ago, a cube was integrated with the slab that had the commandments in English; the cube’s four sides had 8-14-20-16 on them in that order. This has led more than a few people to think that it was a sinister prophecy for tomorrow, August 14th of 2016. Whether that means that the apocalypse is really coming tomorrow (how horrible would that be? We’d all die before we got to see a JW sequel) it was worth a visit to “American Stonehenge” to see for sure. Unfortunately, the cube was stolen not too long ago by a Guidestones superfan. These things happen.
Cube or no cube, it was still amazing:
And my curious little T. rex enjoyed it even more than I did! She started by reading the explanatory slab near the stones which, despite the fact that it was supposed to be all solemn and ominous, had multiple spelling and grammar errors and left an important sentence (when to dig up the time capsule buried under the stones) unfinished.
Then she moved on to see the rest of “the ten commandments of the Antichrist”.
Despite the nastiness of some of the other commandments, I thought this one had a pretty good point. It read like something from a Thoreau poem.
Rexy has always been really interested in aliens, especially because of the idea that they caused the extinction of her species. She wanted to visit the Guidestones because of her idea that extraterrestrial beings had written these commandments designed to wipe out 93% of the human species. So imagine her surprise when, in the gravel on the ground, someone had carved the symbol of the sphere from Independence Day: Resurgence.
No sooner had she started to wonder about its origin, when suddenly, a mysterious creature jumped down the celestial pole hole!
It was the leader of those responsible for the monument– the mastermind behind it all. Rexy was right all along. It was a malevolent alien queen!
The creature revealed its species’ evil plan to us. Tomorrow, they would invade the planet and pretend to show an aversion to the Guidestones and everything associated with them, making humanity think that following the stones’ commandments was somehow a way to beat them. Once only 50 million humans remained, and nature was left alone, the planet would be theirs for the taking!
Rexy, simultaneously terrified and roaring that she’d been right all along, ran away, but the alien reached out its tendrils and tried to grab her. Being a roadrunner from hell, Rexy was fast enough to get away from the telepathic monster for a while. But she couldn’t run forever, and she ended up nearly collapsing in front of the English stone. But right when she thought all hope was lost and the alien was preparing its tendrils for a good old fashioned Okun-ing, another strange visitor jumped through the center of the monument and held off the creature.
It was David Levinson, alien fighter and Earth-Space Defense director, here to save the day! Using his special training in anti-alien martial arts and his knowledge of their anatomy and weak spots, he delivered the smackdown before Rexy and I even knew what was happening.
With a battle cry of “LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE!” David swiftly and thoroughly beat the intruder into the ground, averting an invasion and saving the earth once again. With the alien defeated, we could finally relax knowing that the earth wouldn’t be annihilated, and humanity was still free to slowly destroy this planet with deforestation and global warming as much as we pleased. But, as we prepared to leave, yet another visitor came from the sky!
I recognized this one as Ian Malcolm immediately, and while the chaotician from space said that I was right, he also said that he was far from the only Ian Malcolm in the galaxy. Rexy and I were shocked when the visitors revealed to us that they were, in fact, part of an alien race themselves!
They explained to us that they came from a peaceful planet, populated by an extraterrestrial race known as the Goldblums. These benevolent creatures, they said, have the ability to see into the future. Having discovered Earth and seeing a disaster in its future, they took pity on the human race and decided to give us instructions as to how to handle an enormous global crisis that wiped out a huge portion of the population. They couldn’t reveal to anyone what that disaster could be– it was against the strong moral code of their species– but they could give us hints as best they could. These beings knew that they would be rejected and feared if they revealed themselves to the general population of Earth now. After the catastrophe hit, however, they would come back and usher in the “age of reason” that the guidestones spoke of– a time of peace, enlightenment and widespread piano-playing, where no one would be under six feet tall or speak without a stutter.
This sounded ridiculous to me, but the two Goldblums showed us proof that they were behind the Guidestones, and that the other aliens were just mooching off their idea.
There was subtle but visible evidence that a Goldblum creator of the monument, a creature just like the Ian before me, had been there. There was a reason that he’d chosen “Christian” as a “pseudonyn” (Goldblums abide by different spelling rules):
It was all clear to Rexy and me now. The Guidestones weren’t left by any evil group or new world order– they were hints from a civilization far past ours, which just wanted to make things easier for us. We said goodbye to the Goldblums and, taking one last look at their handiwork, they grabbed each other and flew back into the sky to their home planet. Rexy and I watched them go, knowing that whether anyone would ever believe us about their existence, we would always have tall, stuttering men looking out for us.
Not a bad way to spend the planet’s last normal day, huh?