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YMMV / Jurassic Park

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    The Franchise in general 

  • Adaptation Displacement: The films overshadow the two novels, though not as badly as some other cases due to Michael Crichton's decades-long superstar author status. This is, in part, because of Adaptation Distillation. By this point, the film franchise has a longer and much different continuity than Crichton created in the books. In fact, Crichton never intended for Jurassic Park to become a franchise when he published the original book in 1990.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Jurassic Park fans love to point out that Rexy is a great female role model since 1) she never finds a mate or has kids which she seems to be perfectly OK with 2) she saves the day without any male help in the climaxes of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World 3) she is still in shape even well into her early 20s (which is pretty old for a T. rex) 4) she fought and kept her title as queen of the dinosaurs 5) and she is the biggest badass in both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Ian Malcolm, the Breakout Character among the humans, is a pretty divisive one. On one hand: His arguments can easily come off as anti-science and anti-intellectual, and it certainly furthers Hammond's point that he's more of a "rock star" than a scientist. On the other: All of his predictions about how dangerous "playing God" with science could be turn out to be true across his three film appearances, and in the second film he's the Only Sane Man of his crew. On top of that, his wit, his saving the kids in the first one, and his taking on the raptors in the second one make him fairly popular. Being played by Jeff Goldblum helps him, too (though that's also something that bugs the non-fans).
  • "Common Knowledge": A frequent complaint thrown against the films in memes or critiques is that supposedly all five films depict confined dinosaurs escaping to devour people, yet the humans have Aesop Amnesia and keep reopening the theme park. This only comes into play in the first and fourth films, the former where the park isn’t even open yet, and the latter being about the Jurassic World theme park indeed fully breaking down. The second and third films deal with the humans surviving wild, non-caged dinosaurs, and the fifth film sees dinosaur refugees from Isla Nublar trafficked and ultimately set free into the wild.
  • Contested Sequel: Most of the sequels fall into this. The Lost World is criticized for being rather Anvilicious and having annoying characters but has its fans for having more dinosaurs, well directed action, and a darker tone. Jurassic Park III is mostly considered either an entertaining if simplistic film or a total abomination. Jurassic World seems to be the most well received film in the franchise since the original though it's not without its share of detractors. Fallen Kingdom seems to be the most divisive and controversial film in the franchise even topping The Lost World.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Velociraptors and the T. rex.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The novel was intended as a warning about the dangers of playing God and performing unnatural acts. Yet, let's be honest. When it was adapted to film, how many people walked out of the theater after seeing it thinking, "Awesome! I wish we could bring dinosaurs back to life! Get cracking, scientists. Increase dinosaur DNA research!"? This is, of course, because Ian Malcolm's message on why it was bad in the first place was not the focus of the movie.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Robert Muldoon and Roland Tembo are usually quite popular among the fandom. Justified, as both are the Only Sane Man and Great White Hunter in their respective novel/movies. Not to mention that both are the ones in charge of the security of a lot of people. Bob Peck's and Pete Postlethwaite's intense performances certainly have a lot to do with it as well.
    • The Velociraptors. Before the movies came out, nobody really knew much about raptor-type dinosaurs or Velociraptors specifically, or even known they existed. However, after Jurassic Park came along, they have become one of the most well-known and popular dinosaurs around, alongside the T. rex.
    • Dilophosaurus within the larger Jurassic Park franchise itself. Only a single individual has appeared in any film so far, but you'd be hard-pressed to find ANYTHING else in Jurassic Park that DOESN'T feature them.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • Fandom Rivalry: A one-sided one with Barney & Friends back in The '90s, as both works came out in the same timeframe and provided radically different portrayals of dinosaurs. Jurassic Park was loved by the general moviegoing public for bringing its dinos to life via Visual Effects of Awesome and using them masterfully for suspense and action scenes, a stark contrast to Barney giving a Tastes Like Diabetes portrayal of dinosaurs for very young children and nobody else. Jurassic Park III even takes an apparent shot at Barney by featuring a young child distracted by an episode of the show during a pivotal moment.
  • Fountain of Memes: Ian Malcolm, the Velociraptors, and the T. rex.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is quite popular in Japan. There was even an exhibition based on the franchise which was meant to educate the public about paleontology.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first novel, Lex tells someone to "Hey, listen!"
    • "More like a six foot turkey!"
    • Even better. The so-called "safe" high window in the article below is probably no longer safe with the discovery of flight feathers in raptors. While not using them to fly, per se, they are thought to have maybe used them for something called wing-assisted-incline-running like juvenile flighted birds — which means they could possible run straight up sheer walls...
    • John Hammond lamenting the fact that he didn't build the park in Orlando. He later would, it seems.
    • Finding out that Velociraptors were actually rather tiny might have justified the (comically small, nowadays) size of the WD Velociraptor.
    • Mr. DNA! Where did you come from?
    • After Ellie gets ambushed by a Velociraptor, Ray Arnold's arm falls on her shoulder. So that's where Mace Windu's arm went!
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dennis Nedry. Sure, the guy's a greedy jerk who insults dinosaurs, but considering the financial issues he was facing, as well as Hammond's (possible) disregard for them, it's easy to see why he resorted to thievery. Additionally, his death is a bit too gruesome (especially the novel version).
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Let's face it — the dinosaurs are the whole reason why we come to see these movies in the first place.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now with its own page.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The theme song.
    • The cry of the Brachiosaurus.
    • The T. rex's roar.
  • Narm Charm: The T. rex's little arms come off as funny, but it's still a threatening, carnivorous dinosaur.
  • Older Than They Think: The concept of cloning dinosaurs for use in theme parks was actually done first by Judge Dredd.
    • The idea of cloning a dangerous extinct life form without the ability to produce certain amino acids for safety reasons was used in the 1974 novel The Godwhale.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The Lost World has a divided fan-base and it was almost entirely different from the plot of the book, while the ones starting with the third are entirely original stories within the established setting.
  • Popular with Furries: The Jurassic Park franchise is one of the most popular series with scalies and is the most popular with fans of dinosaurs. It's a Gateway Series into paleontology and being a dinosaur fan.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Who doesn't want to watch the dinosaurs eat people?
  • The Scrappy: Kelly from The Lost World and, though not as commonly, Tim and Lex from the original also have their share of detractors.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Jurassic Park's depiction of dinosaurs is generally considered very outdated compared to the modern view of dinosaurs, and is largely blamed for the stagnation of their image in public perspective over the last few decades. But for its time, the original novel and film were very progressive and greatly moved forward from the slow, plodding reptiles that also stagnated in the years beforehand.
  • Signature Roar:
    • The famous roar of the T. rex. By now it is already a Stock Sound Effect.
    • The Velociraptors' growls and screeches have reached this status as well, but not to the extent of the T. rex.
  • Ugly Cute: The Dilophosaurus, sick Triceratops and baby Velociraptor from the first film, the baby T. rex and Stegosaur in the second, and a whole petting zoo of baby dinosaurs in Jurassic World.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: A surprisingly large amount of people assume the dinosaurs are male despite most of them actually being purposely made to be female. This is mentioned several times throughout the films and is a plot point.
  • Viewer Species Confusion: For the most part avoided, since all of the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals are clearly named, even if they don't look accurate. However, a couple cases of this stand out.
    • In the first movie, the two skeletons in the Visitor Center are a Tyrannosaurus rex and a sauropod. Said sauropod is often called an Apatosaurus or a Brontosaurus, but according to the script, it's an Alamosaurus, a species that has never appeared in the franchise in any other form (but it is the only sauropod species known to have actually coexisted with T. rex).
    • The unnamed sauropod that appears briefly during the roundup scene in The Lost World is neither an Apatosaurus nor a Diplodocus, which it is often mistaken for by causal viewers. It's actually a Mamenchisaurus (although mid-production it was briefly planned to be changed to Seismosaurus, nowadays a species of Diplodocus, which would explain its more diplodocid-like appearance)
    • In Fallen Kingdom, the skull that the Indoraptor is impaled on during the final battle is often called a Triceratops skull. According to the script, it's an Agujaceratops. However, Agujaceratops had holes in its frill that the skull in the movie doesn't have, which makes it look more like a Triceratops skull anyway. The producers, on the other hand, have said that it's not meant to be any real kind of ceratopsian at all.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The PG-13 rating for all the films do not stop the franchise from attracting child viewers since most parents assume that their children would love dinosaurs. Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, in particular, are especially guilty of this. The Darker and Edgier Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is possibly the least kid-friendly.
  • The Woobie:
    • Many of the characters that play victim to the dinosaurs count, but Lex and Tim, from the first movie, stand out the most, at least for those who don't consider them The Scrappy.
    • Eddie Carr, Howard King, and Hammond (at least the movie version of him) are very sad characters, too.
    • The sick Triceratops.


    The Novels 

  • Adaptation Displacement: Many of the darker implications people detected in Spielberg's whimsical first film, like Hammond's childish idealism, the ethics of corporate bioengineering, and altering the dinosaurs' DNA to be more docile, were already covered (fairly negatively) in the original novel. The 4th film even got praised for recycling one of Dr. Wu's speeches, about dinosaurs as engineered simulacra bred for entertainment, twenty-five years after the novel was published like it was some sort of revelation about the Jurassic Park concept.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The colour-changing raptor. It seems like foreshadowing, but it doesn't lead to anything or get mentioned again.
    • Earlier in the novel, a giant dragonfly (presumably Meganeura) appears very briefly. Its appearance raises a lot of questions, such as how it could possibly have been cloned using the method stated in the book (Meganeura lived a very long time before mosquitoes, or even amber, were a thing), why there's a random Paleozoic animal in an otherwise Mesozoic-themed park, and how it survives in the modern atmospheric composition.
    • In chapter 12, we're told that to raise investment for building the park, Hammond had InGen create a full-grown elephant the size of a cat. While it does foreshadow the cost-cutting and morally questionable methods Hammond uses to get the final product, the idea of the elephant itself is completely inconsequential to the story, never gets mentioned again anywhere in the novel (or the franchise at all), and is just bizarre in a story about genetically reanimating dinosaurs.
  • Critical Research Failure: The lysine contingency is the park's way of controlling the dinosaur population, and making sure that the dinosaurs can't survive off the island, as they provide lysine-rich food. The problem is that no known animal can naturally produce lysine, meaning it's useless. In addition, lysine can be found in everything from beef and eggs to pistachios and pumpkin seeds; if a dinosaur (especially a carnivore) got onto the mainland, they could survive indefinitely.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Early in the novel Grant says that Procompsognathus is an obscure dinosaur species that the average person would probably have never heard of. The book and the later movies would help boost compies to Stock Dinosaurs status.
    • It's mentioned shortly after the group encounter their first living dinosaurs that no mummified dinosaur remains had ever been discovered. Fast-forward to 2011, when Canadian miners unearthed a Nodosaurus that had been fossilized so perfectly that it was essentially mummified.
  • The Scrappy: Lex Murphy for being The Load, complaining constantly, and belittling her brother's enthusiasm for the dinosaurs.
  • Squick / Nausea Fuel: Arguably the biggest change from the novels to the films, apart from Hammond's character, is the level of gore, which in the books borders on absurd. Those only familiar with Nedry's haha funny death in the film will get a nasty surprise when they reach that point in the novel, and afterward when his corpse is found. Another character, Dr. Wu, is ripped open by a raptor while still alive, feebly trying to fight it.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The books' constant discussion of the robustness of dinosaurs and the purpose and intricacies of DNA may seem excessive nowadays, but it's easy to forget that these only became common knowledge outside of scientific circles as a result of the books.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Sequel Hook about the dinosaurs who have somehow escaped Isla Nublar and are going on a reign in terror across Costa Rica. Crichton abandoned this when he wrote The Lost World, having Marty briefly mention them being wiped out, and the filmmakers of the sequel movies contented themselves with the characters going back to the islands.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • In the book, Dodgson meets with his unidentified mole, who says he's going to meet Dodgson later in San José; later, Hammond picks up Nedry, and only Nedry, in San José, thus letting the reader deduce that Nedry will simply return to where he came from. The revelation of Nedry as the mole is nevertheless treated as a shock despite there being no other real suspects.
    • The first part of the book attempts to keep the reader guessing as to what exactly is causing all these unexplained deaths and injuries in Costa Rica. Because of the movies it amounts to an It Was His Sled moment since we all know it is about genetically cloned dinosaurs, though even the title and the original cover of the book give it away.
      • And even if they somehow didn't see the film or even hear about it, it made velociraptors famous enough that most readers would probably understand very easily what's happening when the worker in the prologue mumbles 'lo sa raptor' while it's stated that he was clearly mauled by a large animal.
  • Vindicated by History: At the time the book came out, it was generally assumed that due to the sheer immensity of the DNA helix that a genome of anything would never be sequenced. However this assumption seems to have been made by people other than computer scientists, who understood that Moore's Law was dramatically increasing the processing power, memory and storage capacity of computers, and that it really isn't that crazy an idea to let a computer run an algorithm for years on end (especially if the partial results and system state are being periodically saved, you could even turn the computer off and have it pick up where it left off when you turn it back on). Crichton questioned this assumption, and within ten years the human genome itself was one of the first mapped.
  • What an Idiot!: Among the multitudes of examples of this trope in the book, whose idea was it to release the Cearadactyluses into the Aviary before they built the Pteratops Lodge? The excuse was that they wanted to "acclimate the pterosaurs to the Lodge" but that makes zero sense, as the animals would likely have been acclimated to the lodge if you simply put them in there after it was built (or better yet, hold off on cloning them entirely until after the lodge is built).
    • Several characters, including Ellie and Dr. Harding, have characters try to tell them something is wrong but they cut them off/don't listen and thus make the situation all the worse.

    The Video Games 

  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Sega always did Jurassic Park justice. JP was impressive on the Master System, Game Gear, Genesis/Mega Drive and especially their arcade coin-ops. (We don't talk about the Sega CD one...)
    • The Genesis/Mega Drive side-scroller had a better sense of horror, backed by excellent pacing music by Sam Powell.
      1. You play as Grant in both versions (although a Raptor is the Villain Protagonist in the Sega version's secondary mode), but Sega Grant looked more like a believable human because he was made up of motion captured sprites. Blue Sky Software, makers of Vectorman 1 and 2, used puppets given to them by Universal for stop motion animation, which made the dinosaurs look scarily-real. Spared no expense!
      2. All of that being said, Sega JP isn't an easy game to get along with. Both casual and hardcore gamers today find the controls to be stiff, the graphics rough-around-the-edges, and the gameplay too demanding. It was hard to navigate the raft maze without constantly running out of fuel and drowning, or figure out what to do with that brachiosaurus, but that's how old games were: die and die again until you figure it out.
      3. Trivia: At the end of the Grant campaign, you use explosives to knock the T-Rex skeleton onto the Raptors. This was what was originally scripted for the movie, but at the last minute Steven Spielberg decided that audiences would want to see the T-Rex one last time, so he changed the final cut. Also, the rafting and pump house levels were in the book, but not the movie.
    • BlueSky released Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition soon afterward based on the previous game's amazing sales. It fixes almost all of the problems with the first game, is lightning-fast this time, and clearly uses a revamped game engine: Everything from the controls to the screen scrolling is liquid smooth. The Raptor is especially fine-tuned with more moves, and is easier to control (gotta double-jump-kick a helicopter to death at one point). Rampage Edition is one of the most technically-impressive games on the console, period.
    • 2003's Operation Genesis was a surprisingly solid Zoo Tycoon-style park-building sim (which let you unleash hordes of carnivores upon your guests, but not without paying for it big-time).
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
    • The SNES Fetch Quest looked amazing in the intro, what with that rotating Mode 7 Isla Nublar, the mouse cursor on the main menu (very faithful to the movie), and its Dolby Surround sound support. But when you got to playing it...The Genesis version is tricky, but most gamers never even got close to beating this one without cheats. (Not that they missed much from the ending.) It's a giant pain in the ass, with a Hyrule-sized island, no extra lives, no save feature and no clues as to where to go, constantly touching the information stations and having your ears blasted by the uncharacteristically-stern, digitized voice of Malcolm shouting at you, "GRANT!" The respawning dinosaurs look nothing like they do in the movie, you never have enough ammo, and Grant can never seem to aim correctly. It does have FPS sections that supposedly use the Doom engine. Those were really neat at the time, but just barely work.
    • Oddly, the Super Nintendo had its own standalone sequel, The Chaos Continues, which is a side-scroller. The Genesis/Mega Drive adaptation of The Lost World is a top-down shooter; an inversion of game styles. Both games were a major letdown, but the latter has a cult following.
    • The Game Boy and NES versions of the game released for the first movie, which were severely cut-down versions of the already-unforgiving SNES game.
    • Jurassic Park: Trespasser. Even if it is responsible for innovations that are still felt in games today (truthfully, it was probably too innovative for the time it came out), it's still one of the most Obvious Betas in video gaming history.
    • Jurassic Park Interactive on the 3DO, a title which has no clear idea of what it wants to be, as well as not using the JP license for anything worthwhile.
    • Telltale Games' episodic Jurassic Park: The Game received mixed reviews, both praising and criticizing the attempt to take inspiration from Heavy Rain. Favorable reviews praised the atmosphere and the respect for the franchise's spirit, while negative reviews criticized the graphics and (some of them) the gameplay as more akin to a FMV game, lacking the amount of player agency of previous Telltale games or the games by David Cage.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A surprisingly subtle example; the musical composer for the PS1 games The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Warpath: Jurassic Park was Michael Giacchino, over a decade before he would take over as the lead composer for the films.

    The Arcade Games 

  • Awesome Music: The first game has some pretty good tracks that fit well with the action on screen.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The arcade game consists of half an hour of dino shooting action. At six minutes in you must shoot a Mamenchisaurus's butt to help it poop. No, really.
  • Fridge Horror: So you rescue the baby T. rex, mend its leg, then return it to the wild, but a few minutes later you kill both of its parents...

    The Attractions 


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