Jurassic Park Visual Effects

It’s been 23 years since Jurassic Park trounced into theaters, giving audiences one of the most beloved and entertaining blockbusters of all time. Director Steven Spielberg brought dinosaurs to life on the big screen as nobody had before, and the result was a mesmerizing adventure that brought the creatures who lived 65 million years ago right in front of our eyes.

Steven Spielberg and his crew brought dinosaurs to life back in 1993, when digital effects and computer animation was still in its infancy. Somehow those visual effects still hold up to this very day, outshining some movies with state of the art visual effects from today. How is this possible? A new video essay explores why the Jurassic Park visual effects still hold up today when compared to the effects a a modern day blockbuster like, say, Jurassic World.

Basically, it doesn’t feel like much innovation is being done with the visual effects used to bring creatures like dinosaurs to life on the big screen. In addition, there’s an over reliance on digital effects and computer animation when filmmakers would be better suited to use a combination of practical and digital effects much more often than they currently do.

While the effects in Jurassic Park aren’t all perfect (the Brachiosaurus doesn’t hold up as well as the Tyrannosaurus Rex or Velociraptors), they blend seamlessly with the practical dinosaurs on set that help make the dinosaurs crafted entirely with visual effects feel that much more real. Even a director like Michael Bay does as much practical action as possible in a franchise like Transformers that’s dominated by computer generated robots. Sadly, studios rely on digital effects more and more because it’s simply cheaper and more efficient. But some movies are suffering because of that decision.

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