Seven Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Jurassic Park’

By Tara Fowler

One of my earliest memories is going to see “Jurassic Park” with my father (my parents didn’t believe in little things called “ratings restrictions”). I don’t remember much of the actual movie from the T. rex attack on because I spent it with my arms wrapped around my dad’s neck staring at the back of the theater.

And yet, despite traumatizing my 4-year-old self, “Jurassic Park” has since managed to become one of my favorite movies (and books) of all time. In honor of this weekend’s 3D re-release, I’ve cobbled together seven facts about the film. Read on, dinosaur aficionados!

1) It owes its existence to “ER”: Director Steven Spielberg was initially working with “Jurassic Park” author Michael Crichton to develop a film version of what would later become “ER” when he heard about Crichton’s dino-park horror show novel and decided to make that instead. But Spielberg did help Crichton get the TV version of “ER” off the ground afterwards (off the ground might be a bit of an understatement — the show ran for 15 seasons).

2) Spielberg hired Stan Winston to build the full-size mechanical dinosaurs based on his work on the alien queen in “Aliens”: “Steven figured that if we could build a fourteen-foot-tall alien queen, we’d be able to build a twenty-foot-tall T. rex,” Winston said at the time. Unfortunately that was a na├»ve assumption. “The queen was exoskeletal, so all of its surfaces were hard,” Winston explained. “There were no muscles, no flesh, and there was no real weight to it. The alien queen also didn’t have to look like a real, organic animal because it was a fictional character — so there was nothing in real life to compare it to.” But, Winston signed onto the project anyways despite the fact that he didn’t have a clue how he would build a full-size dinosaur. It was just too great an opportunity to pass up. For more on how he and his team assembled the T. rex, check out this video.

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