Team Future of the Force is sharing our favorite moments from the Jurassic Park franchise.
In 1993, legendary director Steven Spielberg stunned the world with his interpretation of Michael Crichton’s superb novel Jurassic Park. The story explored the ethics of genetic manipulation and the resurrection of a species that had been extinct for over sixty-five million years. With Industrial Light and Magic defying imagination by employing revolutionary computer-generated imagery (CGI) for only the second time in movie history, Spielberg delivered the most realistic dinosaur movie ever put on screen. It served to inspire a whole new generation of dinosaurs enthusiasts and succeeded in launching one of the biggest franchises of all time.
To commemorate the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the devoted writers at Future of the Force have come together to share our favorite moments from the franchise so far. Nothing is off the table, and every film has been considered, so what is the best moment from the Jurassic Park franchise?
Hold onto your butts!
“Raptors in the Kitchen” from Jurassic Park | by Sam Thomas
This was a horrifically hard choice to pinpoint one moment from the Jurassic Park franchise so far. There are so many iconic scenes; ‘Life finds a way’, water rippling in the cups, the first sighting, Dennis’ death… I could go on for days! Each film has its moments, even if they haven’t quite been executed to the level of the 1993 original. The advancements in technology the film produced were game-changing and only got better with each installment. However, I think the best thing about these films is the suspense that they hold. Spielberg in particular is a master of this. He isn’t afraid to show you the threat but will still keep you guessing as to the outcome of almost every interaction with a dinosaur.
Therefore, my favorite moment must be ‘Raptors in the Kitchen’! I still remember the first time seeing this at maybe 6/7 years old thinking how terrifying that situation would be, and I still get that exact same feeling when I watch it more than 20 years later. There are so many moments in that one scene that feel like something taken straight out of a horror movie and I love it. The mixture of practical and digital is balanced perfectly especially in an age where innovations in digital effects were rife. The most impressive part of the scene, however, is the acting. Spielberg is well known for his manner and attitude towards dealing with child actors and this has never been more evident than in this scene. To behave and sell the scene in the way that they do – especially when parts will have been added in post-production is nothing short of a miracle. Also, it is universally agreed that Velociraptors are the coolest dinosaur.
For me, not just my favorite Jurassic Park moment but one of my favorite cinematic moments of all time.
“Journey to the Island” from Jurassic Park | by Katarina Schultz
One of the best things about Jurassic Park is its now-infamous score by John Williams. The theme music for the film is recognizable by so many. It’s a perfect mix of wonder and horror, joy, and tension. By far my favorite cue is “Journey to the Island.” It’s the music that plays as Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Ian Malcolm, and company is arriving on Isla Nublar via helicopter. They’re bantering and getting to know each other while the music builds to the iconic theme we know and love. There are no dinosaurs to be seen on the island from that distance, yet the music still conveys an extraordinary sense of wonder. You know what you’re about to see is special, even if all you can see is trees and the ocean.
To me, this cue is superior to “Welcome to Jurassic Park” which plays when we see a dinosaur for the first time. That is, of course, its own truly extraordinary moment. But I chose “Journey to the Island” not only for its 8 minutes and 53 seconds of beautiful music but for the way it’s highlighted in the film itself. It’s allowed to swell in volume as the dialogue tapers off in a way that “Welcome to Jurassic Park” is not. This really lets Williams’ work shine. I weep every time. Michael Giacchino (who also happens to be my favorite composer) is a worthy successor to Williams and I look forward to his second take on this iconic franchise.
“Rex Rampage” | By the Mini-Mandalorian
My favorite scene from the Jurassic Park franchise so far happens in the finale of Steven Spielberg’s classic original where the T-Rex rescues Alan Grant from the Velociraptors. It is an action-packed ride and that singular moment was jaw-droppingly good. In fact, it was instrumental in my love for the whole Jurassic Park series.
We will never get the chance to see a living, breathing dinosaur beyond their fossilized remains – but thanks to visionary directors like Steven Spielberg, Colin Trevorrow, and J.A Bayona, we can all see them on the big screen in the Jurassic Park franchise.
“The Wonder of Jurassic Park” from Jurassic Park | by Lauren Romo
The Jurassic Park franchise has always held a special place for me. When the original movie came out I remember seeing in a theater with my older brother. Back then the special effects were something to behold. The level of reality for that day in filming was jaw-dropping. As a young girl, I loved dinosaurs. The thought of these massive reptiles roaming the earth always struck my wonderment. There are a couple of moments that have all ways stayed with me, even as an adult.
The first moment for me, was when the team first arrived on the island. They were driving in those Jeeps and they come across a brachiosaurus. The music and the genuine shocked facial expressions the actors portrayed in this scene was done to perfection. As audience members, you felt the significance of this moment in the movie. This was the first time seeing any dinosaurs in the film as well. This moment really set the stage for the rest of the film, and possibly the franchise itself, in my opinion. It was only going to get better and bigger from there.
Another moment that has stuck with me was the first appearance of the Tyrannosaurs Rex. In school, we were taught that the T-Rex was the most feared and terrifying dinosaur of them all. To see that menacing beast come alive on the big screen was so mind-blowing for my younger self. The way the scene was shot was very horror moviesque. The loud thumb with the water moving in the glass. The anticipation they built up to the T-Rex big reveal was done flawlessly. Not many other scenes in the franchise have topped it if any.
My last moment comes from the recent movie, Jurassic World. The scene when Chris Pratt’s character is training the Velociraptors! From the previous movies, we know them to be the most intelligent of the dinosaurs. So, it was not a big stretch to assume that it would be possible for them to be trained. To see it was pretty incredible. Even later in the scene when they are following Pratt on his motorcycle like a pack of wolves, so stunning!
The Jurassic Park franchise has had some of the best cinematic moments in film history. Each being different and unique. For me, the films will always stand the test of time. I for one cannot wait to see what new moments Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will bring to us fans! If the trailers are any indication, we will be getting some new breath-taking dinosaur action!
“A T-Rex Trio” from Jurassic Park | by Carl Roberts
When the first teaser trailer for Jurassic Park hit in 1992, I was intrigued, to say the least. Having grown up with Sinbad and Doug McClure creature movies, this was my kind of film. A Dinosaur movie! Directed by Steven Spielberg! Count me in! I eagerly told my younger brother, Phil about it and he was beyond excited. This was what he wanted to see on the big screen for years. This wasn’t a family-friendly dinosaur film, this was going to be a scary thrill ride.
I managed to book us into seeing it in The Plaza, Lower Regent Street in London which was the best screen to see it on at the time and it had the best sound system around. The screen was sold out and everyone wanted to see what would be a ground-breaking step in cinema history. The dinosaurs looked so real and lifelike, I found myself wishing that it could come true. I’d love to see a real-life dinosaur in the flesh even though I know it will never happen. What my brother and I saw was a fantastic rollercoaster ride, one that made the audience scream in terror, laugh and cheer during its two-hour run time. Add to that, my favorite Jurassic Park saga moment of all time also saw my brother stand on his seat and scream with unbridled joy at what transpired. That image will live with me for the rest of my life. Many scenes are worthy of classic status, these are my top 3 and of course, are open to discussion. I will list them in order top to bottom.
1: “Rexy Saves the Day” | Jurassic Park
Of course, it had to have the top spot. Forget the plot hole that we or the characters never heard her coming, this was the moment that had to end the film. I and the audience sat in terror as the Velociraptors closed on the human heroes. There was no way they would get out of this alive, there was no one left to save them. As the first Velociraptor went down on its haunches, ready to pounce on the vulnerable human prey, and as they ducked down in fear waiting for the inevitable to happen, we were frozen in our seats in terror. Thank god for Rexy! As the raptor leaped, she came out of nowhere, grabbing it in her teeth and saving the day. One bite down of her razor-sharp, massive teeth and it was dead. She threw it to the floor in disgust. The second forgot it’s human meal and attacked our beloved T-Rex. As the humans ran away to safety, I remember sitting in my seat, cheering but also thinking, oh no, please don’t let Rexy die! Oh, ye of little faith. With a twist of her head, she grabbed the second raptor in her mouth, biting down yet again, killing it. She again threw the dead raptor, this time into the large fossilized skeleton adorning the entrance hall to the visitor center. Then it happened. THE moment. She spun around, looked at the audience for a few seconds, and threw back her head, and delivered the most Earth trembling roar. As the large ‘When dinosaurs ruled the earth’ banner fluttered down in front of her, myself and the audience were cheering and screaming in joy. Phil on the other hand was up, on his seat literally, screaming and roaring along with her! You can’t buy moments like that! You can’t top moments like that!
2: “Rexy Returns” | Jurassic World
She’s back! A small cameo at the beginning of the film leads to our beloved Tyrannosaur coming to save the day at the film’s climax. Smashing through a skeleton of a Spinosaur (Ha! Take that Joe Johnson!), Rexy announces her epic return against the hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex. And she doesn’t take no prisoners! Going straight for the Indominus’ throat, Rexy means business. The Indominus hasn’t faced a threat like this before and won’t again. He’s the new kid on the block, Rexy is the legend. The fight is brutal and bloody, neither giving nor receiving any quarter from the other. The Indominus gains the upper hand suddenly! Rexy is down! Please no! Don’t kill her off! It looks like the end for her. Then, in yet again another crowd-pleasing moment, Blue, the last surviving Velociraptor of Chris Pratt’s character, Owen screeches into action.
Can you believe it! Rexy and Blue are fighting against the Indominus together in tandem! What a team! As one is pushed back, the other takes up the fight. The Indominus is on the brink of defeat. Then strangely our two Dino heroes stop the fight. What’s going on? Don’t tell us they’ve given up. Of course not. They are just too smart. They are deliberately sitting back. They’ve done their job, they know what’s coming. With a massive leap from the deep, the Mosasaurus comes up from behind the Indominus, grabbing it in its massive mouth and dragging it deep into the depths to its death. A double team has become a triple threat.
With the threat now gone and their foe now defeated, Rexy and Blue face each other. Are they going to attack each other now? With a look at her unexpected ally and an expression bordering on respect, Rexy turns away and retreats into the jungle, now free of her paddock and going back to reclaim her throne, a fact which is underlined at the end of the film as she strides on top of the control center, looking out over the whole park, the mistress of all she surveys and lets out a roar of both victory and domination. Momma is home!
3: “The Trailer Attack” The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Can you see the pattern here? The raptor attack on the visitor center runs it close but you can’t keep a Tyrannosaur down! Forget the complete shambles of a finale in San Diego, this is T-Rex revenge action. And all because of a misunderstanding. Our heroes are not the cause of the baby Tyrannosaurs injury. They are merely trying to help fix its broken leg, carelessly injured by the Ingen team sent to capture the island’s dinosaur population. As our three human heroes are tending to their wounds, it’s mother and father arrive, and they are not happy. Mistaking our threesome as the real culprits, they let it be known they want their child back NOW. The humans do the proper thing and return the infant to its parents and the dinos leave. Everything is fine now right? Wrong! With a huge smash and jolt, the Rex’s take out their anger out on the control trailer, flipping it over and pushing it towards the cliff edge.
One part of it flips over the side, the other part of it lays on the cliff edge in the mud, slowly sliding towards the edge too, the momentum already deciding its fate. Is this the end of our human heroes? The Rex’s break off their attack and return to the jungle. Suddenly, another member of the group, Eddie arrives in a jeep. After some amusing banter, he uses the jeeps’ winch to try and save the trailer from its inevitable fate. After several false starts, the trailer starts to be pulled back from the edge of the cliff. Eddie has attached a rope around a tree and has lowered it down so the humans can climb up from certain doom. The rescue plan is working. However, the Rex’s are not finished and return to finish the job. Hang on, what’s this? A human rescue attempt? We don’t think so. They attack the jeep and the terrified Eddie, tearing the car to shreds and removing its roof. Snack time anyone? With a lunge of its head, one Rex hauls Eddie from the vehicle. Tossing him in the air like a rag doll, Eddie is caught between the Rex’s, one holding his legs in its mouth, the other holding his top half. After a very brief tug of war between them, they pull Eddie in half, both having a meal on the hapless human savior. As they are chewing on him, the trailer slides fully over the cliff. However, our three remaining heroes are clinging to the rope attached to the tree and are pulled through the trailer as it and what’s left of the jeep plunge to their doom below. The Rex’s retreat again, this time for good leaving our heroes to climb up the rope to safety.
These are my top three moments. I know what some people will think. What about the first appearance of Rexy in the original Jurassic Park? Her escape from her paddock comes very, very close to claiming a spot in the top three. However, for sheer heart-thumping entertainment, it JUST misses out by a whisker. My top 3 entertained me and had me gripping my seat armrests. Can Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom provide a moment that will crash into my favorite moments? Only time will tell. We all know Rexy is in the new film, so my fingers are firmly crossed for her to provide a heart-stopping moment that will have me cheering the cinema down. Or can Blue pull a moment of sheer joy to hit the top? All will be revealed when the movie hits our cinema screens and I cannot wait!
“Welcome to Jurassic Park” from Jurassic Park | by Katy Heerssen
I was nearly 10 when the first Jurassic Park was released in theatres. I didn’t get to see it until many months later when my dad came home one afternoon with a VHS copy; a little black package with the unmistakable red skeletal logo. By this time, I was 10, and while the story and effects I would see in Jurassic Park would make an impact on my young cinephile brain, what would stick with me the most is the music. Despite at least 6 years of Star Wars viewings under my belt, I didn’t know John Williams at this point in my life, but I knew the sound of something grand. That sweeping score with its sense of wonder – and a tinge of danger hidden in the minor chords – was certainly grand. I’ll always remember feeling overwhelmed as I watched Grant and Sattler travel into the open plains of the park for the first time. Tension builds in the strings as one by one they stare slack-jawed, fumble off their sunglasses (What are they seeing? Is it scary?) and as they hop out of the Jeep to watch the Brachiosaur, that’s where we hear the majestic Jurassic Park theme for the first time. It swells as we watch the first dinosaur snag leaves from the very tops of the trees, and it grows as Grant looks over his shoulder to see a dozen dinosaurs in the lake beyond, moving in herds. It’s total movie magic and that theme is so powerful, making anyone feel like a kid again, laying eyes on something amazing for the first time.
“When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” from Jurassic Park | by Phil Roberts
Inspired by a lifelong love affair with incredible movies like 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Clash of the Titans, and the original King Kong, my passion for dinosaurs has been an ever-present in my life. Like most kids my age, I had a favorite. Some loved the Triceratops, others loved the Stegosaurus – but for me, the tyrant lizard king is the champion of the species. The incredible incarnation of the Tyrannosaurus Rex found in Jurassic Park blew my mind. Aside from the Millennium Falcon, “Rexy” as she is affectionately known was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. She was ferocious, cunning, and larger than life, and her colossal roar was enough to send shivers down my spine and raise the hairs on the back of my neck.
Therefore, my favorite scene from the Jurassic Park franchise belongs to the Rex. In the movies gripping finale, the two surviving Velociraptors corner Alan Grant and his party within the confines of the visitor center and are about to strike the fatal blow until the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives. Within seconds, the Rex defeats them both and stands over her fallen prey in triumph before unleashing a booming roar powerful enough to shake the heavens. This separates the banner hanging overhead from its housing and it falls to the ground with the words “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” in full view. It is an iconic time capsule image. A window into the prehistoric world. One that accentuates the greatness of the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex and accompanying it, a blast of the iconic Jurassic Park theme by John Williams. A truly magical moment of cinematic brilliance.
When dinosaurs ruled the earth, the tyrant lizard king ruled them all – and long may she reign.
Hail to the queen!
In 1993, Steven Spielberg unleashed the most authentic incarnations of the dinosaurian species ever put on film, and in doing so inspired a whole new generation of dinosaur enthusiasts. Whether J.A Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom can live up to its legacy remains to be seen, but the Future of the Force team is thrilled to embrace it. Whether you are a casual fan, or a consummate Jurassic Park aficionado, as fans we should all be filling auditoriums around the world to ensure that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom solidifies the dinosaur’s reign as king of the box office.
What is your favorite scene from the Jurassic Park franchise?
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