Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Animatronic Dinosaurs

As Jurassic Park has become a modern classic over the years, one of the constant compliments paid to the film is how the special effects used to bring the dinosaurs to life have aged surprisingly well. There are digital effects and animatronics that look more realistic than any of the digital dinosaurs we’ve seen in any of the Jurassic Park sequels. But it sounds like the dinosaurs of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom might give them a run for their money, at least when it comes to the practical effects in the film.

While /Film was visiting the set of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom last year, we sat down for an extensive conversation with longtime Jurassic Park franchise producer Frank Marshall (who has also been behind the likes of the Indiana Jones and The Bourne Identity franchises) and Jurassic World producer Pat Crowley. During our chat with the producers, we found out Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will have more animatronic dinosaurs than any sequel in the franchise, and they’re far more sophisticated too.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will feature more sequences inside buildings, including the mansion and laboratories we’ve seen in the trailers. Pat Crowley says that means we’ll be in closer proximity to the dinosaurs “for a longer period of time than we’ve ever been.” While many of them are in cages, they’re all still close to our human characters, so it makes sense for them to be more tangible, especially if characters are going to be touching them. Frank Marshall then dropped this cool detail:

“I think since Jurassic Park we’ve got more animatronics than any of the other movies. Except for Jurassic Park.”

Obviously, it’ll take more than animatronic dinosaurs to make Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom shine, but having more tangible dinosaurs like that should help, especially when the animatronics are the best they’ve utilized on the franchise.

The Most Advanced Animatronics Yet

Helping to bring these dinosaurs to life is none other than Neal Scanlan, the creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor who has been working on all the new Star Wars movies for Lucasfilm. Not only is he an incredible talent to have working behind the scenes, but the technology behind animatronics has improved greatly in the 25 years since the original Jurassic Park. Marshall says:

“The process of the animatronics is so advanced now from what it used to be. What they’re able to do now is fantastic. And it’s so much faster to see what you’re gonna have.  So that made it really cool.”

That includes a new life-size tyranosaurus rex animatronic that will be missing one key flaw that it had in the original movie. During production, the animatronic for the life-size t-rex was so massive that the mere operation of it would cause the entire creation to shake and shiver. But that’s not a problem anymore. Crowley explains:

“[In the original Jurassic Park,] they were working with hydraulics. Everything now is it’s mostly servos and stuff like that. There [are] guys at joysticks, but there are still puppeteers making it breathe and making that head turn and doing all the rest of that stuff. They’re all dressed in black and they spend a lot of time in yoga studios, [because they work] like that for years. It’s amazing. They’re really talented.”

Once we see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this summer, it’ll be interesting to see if it’s clear when animatronic dinosaurs are used. More than likely, they’ll be used in the slower, more intimate moments with characters interacting with the dinosaurs, but the more fast-moving and full body dinosaurs will utilize digital effects.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters on June 22, 2018.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: