In 1993 I went to see Jurassic Park and was blown away. I went back two more times and took my Dad to one of the showings.
I’ve always liked dinosaurs since I was a kid but on film they never looked like I imagined. They usually were claymation or men in suits. I really like claymation a lot on most things but the dinosaurs just never looked right. I’m not one who craves great special effects…the original Star Trek is great to me with its red beams stunning people. They were always able to convey the story and that is enough for me…but dinosaurs were not beams of light or the transporter.
When this movie was released it was shocking. It was a game changer in so many ways and brought CGI to the forefront. Today younger people can not imagine what it was like seeing dinosaurs come to life that actually matched our imaginations. This is what we were used to.
To see a T-Rex with the then new DTS surround sound in a theatre was frightening…in a great way though. The most significant change was the way the dinosaurs interacted with their surroundings.
Was the movie a Gone With the Wind? Not at all but it looked and sounded real…well it came closer to matching our imaginations. This movie benefitted from the newer technology…where I think the original Star Wars was not improved by Lucas’s tinkering with CGI trying to improve them.
I do believe that CGI can be overused at the expense of a story but in Jurassic Park, they got it right. It still stands up today but now we are so accustomed to CGI that the movie doesn’t get noticed as much…but when it was released everyone took notice and it upped the game in special effects.