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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Media Review #2: Jurassic Park 4 and Feathers

March 24, 2013, 

Yes, this isn't a legitimate review. I plan to do one in #3, however everyone who has their own blog and a keyboard has been posting their responses to the tweet by newly christened Jurassic Park 4 Director Colin Trevvorow stating that Jurassic Park 4 will not go out of it's way to add feathers onto the dinosaurs in order to make them more scientifically accurate.

I really don't mind though. 

Let me finish first, Internet.
First off, I should explain, Recently Mr. Trevvorow Tweeted that the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park 4 would not be feathered. This rubbed a few paleontologists such as Thomas Holtz and Dino fans the like the wrong way. In response, Dr. Holtz wasn't totally happy about the news, stating on Facebook that "Jurassic Park has become a faded, irrelevant franchise. Let it go. You can do NEW stories with proper dinosaurs". Now before I continue I have to make clear I have huge amounts of respect for Dr Holtz; I was very disappointed that I couldn't get to meet him this year in Rockford, IL for Paleofest and get that signature in his book I've been wanting however I can't say I agree with his statement or a lot of other peoples assessments to be honest. Theres reasons for this though and not just blind "fanboyism".

Why can't they just change them to be feathered?!

Lets remember back to that last sequel Jurassic Park had. Jurassic Park 3 had around 12 extinct Archosaurs in the movie. Most of those that had appeared in the first 2 (T-rex, Pteranodon, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Compsognathus, Velociraptor and Parasaurolophus), save for the Stegos and Compies which had basically cameos, were drastically different than previous incarnations. They changed the designs as if they were rebooting but made the movie like a normal sequel. This was agitating to say the least because there was no explanation whatsoever as to why they were different. They don't make up any nice plot twist to tell you why; they're just like that. This is some really lazy movie making right here however this is basically what is expected of JP4 in regards to feathers. It needs an explanation otherwise we start traveling down the road JP3 took. Which leads to the next question. 

The other thing is, Trevvorow is about as hardcore of a fan of the original as possible. Universal picked him for that utmost of all. I can only assume, but what I can gather is that he wants to make something just like the movie he loved as a kid. It's what Universal and Spielberg thought was good enough to give him the job. Would I enjoy Jurassic Park with dinosaurs sporting intimidating plumage? Yes of course, however that's not very easy with Jurassic Park given the avenues they can venture down, and really I can live with the dinosaurs we have now. Especially because they're mutants; "Theme park monsters" as Alan Grant put it. They aren't the real animals. They're animals tailored in a laboratory by Wu and Hammond to cater to the perception of what people thought dinosaurs looked like during the 90s.

Hope is not lost though. While JP4 may not have attractive looking filaments fluttering through the frame there is the Walking with Dinosaurs 3D movie slated for December which has more chance and reason to use feathers.


  1. Let's hope the JP series can do better than the plotless, characterless JP3. It's a shame if they don't, because up until a few weeks ago, my Dinosaur Wars novels, packed with characters and plot, were under option by a major Oscar winning Hollywood production company. When they backed out of their deal to make my books into film, they specifically cited the fact that they were unwilling to go up against Spielberg and JP4 at the box office. So from my perspective, JP4 had better be really good...

  2. "While JP4 may not have attractive looking filaments fluttering through the frame there is the Walking with Dinosaurs 3D movie slated for December which has more chance and reason to use feathers."

    Not just a chance, but a definite (See "Creature designer and palaeontological consultant for ‘Walking with Dinosaurs 3D’": http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mark-witton/36/917/4a2 ). Personally, I'm looking MUCH more forward to WWD 3D (AWA Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur") than JP4.