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Wealthy scientific naturalist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) discovers fossilised dinosaur DNA and dreams of a fabulous theme park with clones of the extinct creatures, set on a remote but beautiful island. He convinces Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) to help him, but a serious security breakdown threatens to turn the dream into the nightmare that some of his team had always feared, with runaway dinosaurs rampaging through the island Ė and perhaps beyond.

Itís sobering to remember that Steven Spielberg was in early stages of pre-production a decade before this DVD release of his enormously successful film of Michael Crichtonís novel, Jurassic Park. It was still the early days of CGI in movies, and the 50 minute doco on the Making Of Jurassic Park gives us a backward glance at the enormity of the filmís achievements in CGI work.

This was the time of Terminator 2, and the giant strides made in CGI on that film, helped propel the craft on this one.

Narrated by the eminently suitable James Earl Jones, this is a great, passionately made documentary, and whether you hire or buy this DVD, you are urged to see it, even if no other special feature grabs your fancy. There is Spielberg talking about the intensity of his interest in the subject matter from the moment he accidentally discovered that Crichton was working on the novel. Spielberg says the mythology of dinosaurs, stirred by fact, is a powerful force for story tellers. There is also his confession about what he considers to be the high watermark of creature features, King Kong, and the humble admission that Jurassic Park is not in that league.

The details of how the dinosaurs came to the screen is fascinating and I wonít spoil the fun by telling you. There is also interesting info about the scientific accuracy Spielberg sought so intently; the notion of dinosaurs being more bird-like than lizard-like, is one of those factors.

The biggest surprise is the smallest effect: how they got the water in the plastic cup on the dashboard of a park vehicle to vibrate with the footsteps of the T-Rex.

Other items worth a look: the Foley Artists piece is very brief but terrific. You wonít believe the diversity of fruit used to create dinosaurs hatching.

The Animatics is worth a peek, and donít be surprised that it has no sound. This is effectively a 3D storyboard.

There is also a funny bit with Spielberg looking at a herd of cows and joking about casting them as dinosaurs, wearing dino suits. The cows trot off, disinterested in stardom.

The menu is based on the entrance foyer to the Jurassic Park HQ in the film, with a raptor on the loose; very effective. Just a word of warning about the weakspot in the menu design: bottom right corner of the main menu has the Play Movie option, with a right arrow next to it. Itís not the right arrow you need to play the movie: the arrow takes you to the rest of the extra features, with things like the foley piece and trailers, dinosaur encyclopedia, etc.

In language options, I checked out Sam Neillís Hungarian and found it flawless! But the biggest audio buzz is the extraordianry soundtrack, cranked up in 5.1, which adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of this adventure/creature feature. The coffee in my cup vibrated. And so did I.
Andrew L. Urban


We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.


Publication date: October 19, 2000

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CAST: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

RUNNING TIME: 122 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: October 10, 2000

50 minute documentary The Making of Jurassic Park

Early pre-production meetings

Storyboards, production photos, design sketches, conceptual paints

Phil Tippett Animatics

Location Scouting

Foley Artist


Dinosaur Encyclopedia, prod notes, cast/filmmaker notes, weblinks & animated menus


Languages: English, German, Hungarian

Related DVD: The Lost World (Jurassic Park)

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