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Jurassic World

Ah, the Jurassic World trailer… where to begin?

I was just the right age, back in 1993, to be fascinated and addicted to dinosaurs sometime prior to seeing Jurassic Park for the first time. In truth, my eight-year-old self, knowing all there was to know about dinosaurs, was even somewhat skeptical that the movie could possibly live up to the hype.

Critics and audiences were, for instance, cowering in fear of a new bogey, a nightmare villain that most had never even heard of up until this point – the velociraptor.

“Pah!” I went. “I’ve known about velociraptors for ages. They’re not even accurately depicted. They’re way too big. Real velociraptors were the size of chickens. The dinosaurs everyone is afraid should have been called deinonychus, or even utahraptor. Don’t these people know anything?”

Then, for my birthday, my mother took me and my cousins to go see a movie. The only choice for the dino-obsessed birthday boy was naturally Jurassic Park, even if I would have to suffer through the gross inaccuracies.

Needless to say, mislabeled deinonychus aside, Mr Spielberg blew my eight year old mind. Jurassic Park would forever hold a special place in my heart.

The sequel, The Lost World, came along a few years later. While I was pumped for the movie and among those who saw it on its opening weekend, it left me a little cold. Something was missing and the T-Rex’s romp through a city was a bit silly. JP3 came out, starring Spinosaurus as a big bad, a dinosaur I was pretty certain the latest research revealed as a fish-eater. At this point, I was old enough to know to read reviews. As a movie, it was a stinker. Its science was worse still.

I still haven’t seen it to this day.

Fast forward to the other day, when I stumbled upon a link to the Jurassic World trailer. I clicked, thinking “Why not? Even if the dinosaurs don’t have feathers, it might be worth a look”. The sound of¬†a soft, tinkly version of the Jurassic Park theme, the sight of the park operational and updated with modern technology, the sight of a mosasaur leaping out of the water and eating a shark… I’ll admit, it all got me pretty excited. I began to feel the exhilarating butterflies you only ever get when you’re in love or you’re a small child anticipating Christmas. Could this be the one that brings me back?

Then somebody mentioned the word “hybrid”.

Never had a movie trailer made me so happy and then so sad in such quick succession.

I have to wonder whether or not I’ve been watching a different movie to everybody else all this time. For me, Jurassic Park was never a monster movie. It was a movie about animals. Ancient, dead, magnificently large and fierce animals, but animals none the less. The original movie entranced me because it brought (most of) the science I loved to life on the screen and introduced to the world the idea of dinosaurs as agile, birdlike creatures. Its later iterations haven’t done that, preferring to retread the path¬†Jurassic Park forged. From the moment the announcement came that the movie wouldn’t feature feathered dinosaurs, I knew the people making it weren’t interested in the dinosaurs themselves, but rather the fear those creatures represent.

At least I’ll always have the original.

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