My all-time favorite movie, and perhaps the one movie that influenced me more than any other, is Jurassic Park. We were pretty sheltered growing up. We weren’t allowed to watch a whole lot of violent/raunchy/inappropriate-for-our-age things. And yet, my mom took me to see Jurassic Park when I was kinda young (how young, I won’t say 😉 )
I don’t remember the actual viewing but I do remember the obsession that followed. My friend and I played constantly with the action figures (which I still have). And the next summer when my family and I drove from Ohio to Montana, I saw dinosaurs out the window of our van the entire way, running the plains, flying over the mountains, eating the grasslands. When we got to Montana, I wanted to go on an archaeology dig but those were in eastern Montana and it wasn’t like in the movie–you couldn’t just go. Nor did we go to the dinosaur museum in Bozeman (run by Jack Horner), although I’m not sure why. Of course, it wasn’t just me and my parents–there were 5 of us we had to accommodate.
As the years went by, I read the book, saw the sequels, and still obsessed over the movie. To this day, every time it rains and I’m in the car, I know this is the time the T-Rex is coming for me. Not only that but I almost took up smoking just because I loved the way Samuel L Jackson’s character, Arnold, talks around the cigarette dangling between his lips.
When the time came (after college), I decided to move to Montana. My aunts lived here, but I can’t deny that part of me fell in love with Montana because of Jurassic Park.
And then came Jurassic World with Chris Pratt. Having been disappointed by the first 2 sequels, I was hesitant to get super excited. But I saw it in theaters (I don’t often see movies in theaters) and really, really enjoyed it. Aside from the complete lack of chemistry between Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, I had fun. I would have definitely been one of the patrons of the park demanding bigger, meaner dinosaurs because I loved the Indominus Rex, and I squealed when…well, no spoilers.
The little nods to the first Jurassic Park were nice, as well, if a little hackneyed.
Last year I finally went to the Museum of the Rockies. It’s insane to see the sheer size of a brontosaur’s leg, for example. Or the towering height of a T-rex. For me it’s too easy to forget that dinosaurs actually existed until I see their fossils in real life. I don’t know why this is but it probably has something to do with my obsession with the movie.
One of these days I’m going to go on a paleo dig in eastern Montana so I can be like Dr. Grant.
In Jurassic World the geneticist says that they’ve made their new dinosaurs in the image of what the public wants and expects, implying that, yes, they’ve ignored all the new research that has come out about what dinosaurs were really like. For example, dinosaurs were probably not the scaly things we think they were, but had colorful feathers adorning their bodies like birds. And they probably didn’t roar, but rather hooted and grunted.
Even so, if I lived in a world like the one portrayed in the Jurassic Parks, I would be that John Q Public demanding bigger dinosaurs that adhere to my (false) idea of dinosaurs rather than what science tells us was actually the case.
And I make no apologies for that 🙂