As you watch the iconic scenes from 1993’s original Jurassic Park film – a film “65 million years in the making” – you might wonder how much of the spectacle was based on science. Could the dilophosaurus (oh-so cute…until they’re not) really spit acid? Were the calculating raptors really as ferocious as they’re portrayed? Did the T. rex look like it would have in real life?
As the original Jurassic Park film turns 30, the Royal BC Museum and IMAX Victoria are offering a chance to explore these questions and more at the 3D Jurassic Park Film & Talk Event this Thursday, June 29.
Beginning at 7:15 p.m., Royal BC Museum Collections Manager and Researcher of Palaeontology, Derek Larson, presents The Truth about Jurassic Park: A discussion of the dinosaurs from the film, followed by a showing of the PG-13-rated movie. Together, the event will run just over three hours.
For many, the Jurassic Park franchise served as the prevailing example of the science behind dinosaurs, not to mention how they looked, sounded, and acted. The film even provided one of the first cultural touchstones for smaller, fast-moving, intelligent dinosaurs like dilophosaurus and velociraptor.
“In the early ’90s, not a lot of people were talking about these kinds of dinosaurs,” Larson says.
However our understanding of dinosaurs has changed dramatically since the film’s theatrical release. To help set the record straight, Larson will debunk the misleading elements of the Hollywood classic and reveal what the film got right.
“There’s been 30 years of science done since the film came out,” Larsen says, noting that while velociraptor was certainly nimble and intelligent, they were only about one-third of the size they’re portrayed in the film.
They also weren’t found in Montana, where some of the film’s first scenes were filmed, he adds.
While Hollywood may have taken creative license with some of the science in creating the iconic film, they captured the shock and amazement perfectly. “When they’re in the Jeep and they come up on the brachiosaurus, they’re just speechless and their eyes are wide … you just imagine the wonder of seeing the dinosaurs alive again. That’s my favourite part,” Larson says.
But could that brachiosaurus have stood on its back legs to reach the leaves at the tree-tops, like it does in the film? You’ll have to come to Thursday’s talk to find out!
The Truth about Jurassic Park with Derek Larson begins at 7:15 p.m. in the IMAX Victoria at the Royal BC Museum, with some time for questions at the end. Jurassic Park 3D follows at 8:15 p.m. Tickets range from $16.15 for children to $23.45 for adults. Learn more and reserve your space here.
And for more dino-fuelled adventures, check out the current Royal BC Museum exhibitions Dinosaurs of B.C. and SUE: The T. rex Experience and at IMAX, Dinosaurs of Antarctica. Learn more at royalbcmuseum.bc.ca and at imaxvictoria.com/showtimes