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Friday, December 11, 2009

JP and The Island of Doctor Moreau

We all know that the JP books are, of course, the result of the influence of various books and scientific theories.

Of those, the most evident one is The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

File:Conan doyle.jpg

The second book in the JP duology is some kind of homage to this book, which in turn is the book that started the trend of the lost world novels (where a group of adventurers find, well, a lost world).

So, if Michael Crichton is the father of the JP saga, then Conan Doyle would be some kind of grandparent.

However, it seems that the JP saga has another grandparent... In the last few days I found myself with some spare time, and went on to read a classic novel. The similarities that it features with the first JP book are so striking that I cannot wonder how no one else has yet refered to it, as far as I know.

The Island of Doctor Moreau

The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H.G. Wells. You might know H.G. Wells from such novels as the War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. This novel is somewhat less known, but still a good read.

It is the story of a castway that finds himself in a island, where Doctor Moreau and his assistant have been performing vivisection on living creatures, turning them into humans. Of course, something awful happens, and then he has an "adventure".

Let's take a closer look:

- The castaway: Not used directly in the JP books, it was however used indirectly in the beginning of the TLW movie. Well, sort of, since they weren't technically castaways.

- A doctor perfoming biological experiments on an isolated tropical island: Just think about it, isn't this almost a JP description? Can't you imagine MC, wondering how could he write a dinosaur book without time travel or lost worlds, and then finding inspiration in this concept to create the JP ideia?

- The ethical questions: The ones featured in this novel are quite powerful - what does it mean to be human? What right do we have to interfere with animals, and change the way they are? MC also focused his own ethical question in the JP books - how far can we go while doing biological experiments, and what kind of authority do we have to do so? Of course he didn't focus in vivisection, but he managed to do the update to our own technique: genetics.

- Something goes wrong: What more can I say?

So, if Conan Doyle is the grandparent of TLW, H.G. Wells could very well be the grandparent of JP.

File:H G Wells pre 1922.jpg

I hope I have been clear about how I think that JP was directly inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau. If you know of some other source where this kind of analysis has already been done, or if you have your own thoughts about this, please let me know.

You can read the novel here:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

7 - Lost, Rex background, and a couple of dinosaur movies

I must begin by saying how sorry I am for not posting last weekend. However, currently JP-RL is just an one-man-show, and therefore, falible. Neverthless, if you feel that you can contribute, just let me know!

That being said, let's get to our weekly (or shall I say bi-weekly?) dose of JP!


Recently I've been watching some LOST episodes, and I was reminded of an old theory that I had... that LOST got some of its inspiration from JP.

I mean, one of the basic premises of the show is that an enterprise (Dharma) was doing some kind of secret research in an isolated island. Something goes wrong, and the research (and its infrastructures) is abandoned. Some years later, other characters appear on the island, and start to find what happened...

Isn't this what happens in TLW and JP3?

Of course that LOST has much more to it than just this, but I can help to think that somewhere along the show development someone must have thought: "Hey, remember JP and that tropical feeling it has? Wouldn't it be cool to feature that in our show?".

Take a look at this picture...

Can't you imagine that it is from a JP movie?

So, some months ago I posted this in the JPLegacy forums , and one of the members there said that he has read an interview where the show creators said that their main inspirations were the Castaway, King Kong, and the more relevant one, JP. How cool is that?

I've never read anything official about it, and I didn't even manage to find that interview online, but it surely makes sense!

An amazing background

A picture of the new T-Rex toy has surfaced at JPtoys.

It's a good toy, I guess, but the thing I like the most about it it's the background picture. It has such a strong JP feeling! The sun, the pteros shadows, all those greens tones, the waterfall and the mist, the fences... just amazing! Now, if only they could make a wallpaper out of it...

Give it a look, and let the child inside of you daydream a little!

More dinosaur movies!

It's summer outside, and you dream about dinosaur movies. Yes, I totally know how that feels. Lucky for both of us, after the Land of the Lost movie, we have another couple of movies featuring dinosaurs! Take a look:

File:Ice age dawn of the dinosaurs theatrical poster.jpg

Here's the trailer of this animation film, the third of this saga:

And here it is the official site!

On the other hand, coming from The Asylum, you've got The Land That Time Forgot remake:

Here's the trailer:

And here it is the official site!

I've already seen Ice Age 3, and I hope to write a review of it soon. The Land That Time Forgot I haven't seen, but, again, I hope too!

And that's it for this week. Thank you so much for visiting JP-RL, and join us again next week!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

6 - Jurassic Park /// birthday!

Jurassic Park /// birthday!

So, today is the birthday of JP3. I'm not really a JP3 lover, but I won't say that I hate it.

But I have to say, there are some things that I don't like...

The Poster

I just don't like the metal background. It doesn't feel JP. I'm fine with the spino in the logo, but it would work so much better if the logo was in a black background...


I... want... my... blue... shirt... back!

So, the movie starts, you see Eric, etc, and then you see this blond kid playing with dinosaurs toys. Ok, he is cute, and enjoys dinosaurs. Then the camera moves, and you see Grant. So, this must be Grant's son! And he also loves dinosaurs! Then the camera moves a little more, and you see Ellie with a baby! Hey, so this is Grant and Ellie's family! So they have a kid and a little baby and they are happy together and with dinosaurs in their lives. You know, I was smiling at this... but then some random guy shows up and kisses Ellie! What?! Who is this guy? Get the hell out of here, this is Grant's and Ellie's family! Go away!

You know, this scene really made me feel sad. In JP, Grant and Ellie are in love and act like a couple... the way they speak with each other, the way they touch each other, or the hug that Ellie gives Grant when they finally meet again... the whole theme about having kids... they seem a happy couple, meant to be together. Plus, in TLW you see that Malcolm isn't a playboy anymore, and he isn't looking anymore for the next-ex-Mrs Malcolm... he has grow up, he cares about Kelly and Sarah, you know? He has changed for better, and you can only imagine that so as Grant.

However, JP3 begins, and the movie destroys right away everything that you've believed before. And in such a mean way... they actually lead us to believe that they are a family with kids, and then they destroy that illusion, as if they were messing around with us, JP fans, that have grown up believing that Grant and Ellie were happy together.

Oh, and they go further than that. They make Grant, our childhood hero, a miserable man. He has lost the love of his life. Not only that, but he has also lost touch with her, and he still loves her. Although he is a bright paleontologist, and has been in JP, no one really cares about him or his work, and he keeps struggling for money. Plus, his best friend his a kid, Billy, that could be his son (or even grandson!). Then, in the island, he can't avoid to compare himself with Malcolm, as if he has something to prove.

They just destroyed our Grant. And really, was it necessary to be this way? I could understand Grant not being married to Ellie if Laura Dern hadn't appeared in the movie... however, for her to be there, but not married to him, it's just mean. I understand that her husband has some kind of important job, that then allows for the quick rescue, but they could have done that in some other way.

The Rex

Rex Nublar

And then, as if Grant's new character wasn't shocking enough, they go on and kill the rex. That's right. They kill the rex. How dare they?

You see JP, and there (s)he is, the mighty ruler of the island. You see TLW, and now there are a couple of rexes, with a baby, but they still remain the masters of all dinosaurs. They're awesome.

But then some random dinosaur shows up, and kills the rex. Really, how disrespectful is that to the franchise legacy? If they wanted to change the main dinosaur, and show that, they could still have the fight, but let the rex survive, even if by pure luck. Just don't humiliate the rex by letting this new guy killing him in a matter of seconds.

My problem here isn't the spino, because I like him. My problem here is how they worked with the rex, humiliating him.


Now, don't get me wrong. Although I'm not a JP3 fan, I still enjoy the movie, and I'm fine with other fans loving it. However, these three points that I mentioned ruin my JP3 movie experience. There's nothing I can do about it...

That's all folks! Return next week for another edition of JP-RL, your weekly dose of Jurassic Park!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

5 - Jurassic Park in a minute - LEGO

Jurassic Park in a minute - LEGO

Ok, so this week we are really busy here at JP-RL, so this edition is gonna be really tiny. In fact, it only takes a minute and a few seconds... Enjoy!

Needless to say, this video does not belong to JP-RL. You can find the original Youtube Channel here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4 - Jurassic Park Toys - Collector Cards and an unexpected conclusion

Jurassic Park Toys - Collector Cards and an unexpected conclusion

I was 5 years old when JP came out. So, I can say that I experienced the dinomania, but I have a very blurry memory of it... consequently, I'm always eager to discover new things from that time period, that could help me to re-experience it. And, by luck, the other day I found something amazing... the collector cards that came with the JP toys, back in 1993. I have some memory of them, mainly of Grant with the Pteros. I deeply enjoy JP drawings (such as concept art and fan art), so it was great to see these cards... not only is the art incredible, but they also reminded me of a time long gone, when there only was the original JP movie, and anything could happen.

In fact, they are so amazing, that I'm sure they deserve a deep analysis, which I will do, like if we were back in '93, before anyone ever dreamed of TLW and Sorna.
Before we go on, please note that all these images belong to - head over there, and see the original toys!

Alternate Timeline

The cards in this category feature situations that I believe to be impossible to fit in the movie universe.

Here, you can see Malcolm being attacked by a Dilo. Obviously, it could never happen. Malcolm only saw herbivores in the Welcome2JP scene, and then the rex. Notice how mysterious the jungle looks... anything could be there!

This one could be dubious, and belong to a Functional JP category (more on that later), but a man dressed in black must be Malcom for sure. So, the above arguments can be used again. And please, notice the jungle again...

This one is definitely dubious... in a Functional JP situation, the baby Dilos could have escaped from the hatchery, and worked their way to the control room (perhaps that was the reason it is protected with such high security systems?). However, this card came out with the Nedry toy, so that worker is supposed to be Nedry; however, Nedry doesn't recognize the Dilo in the movie, which means that he has never seen a Dilo before - hence this card scene doesn't belong to the movie universe.

This is another card that could make it to the Functional JP category, but the man in the blue shirt is supposed to be Grant. Him being Grant doesn't define this card as being in the alternate timeline category, but I believe that the other man is a JP worker, not Tim... if he was Tim, maybe then this card could belong to the Unseen Scenes category (yes, more on that later!), but no way a kid like Tim could help Grant with the stego. Once again, notice the background... the park seems huge!

Functional JP

These cards feature scenes that could happen in a functional JP, with workers taking care of the dinosaurs... that could be the case of the park before the movie events (maybe we could see scenes like these in a future JP prequel!), or an alternate timeline where JP is sucessful.

A worker hunts down an escaping Ptero. Notice the use of the road in the scene, to remind us that we are in the park.

A worker is hunted by a Dilo . This scene can be the moment when InGen finds out that the Dilos can spite! I know that this man could be Nedry (Nedry also wears a red shirt in the control room card), but as this card belongs to the Dilo toy, we can't know for sure.

Muldoon in the hatchery with some baby Raptors. Everything's fine with this card... look how cute the dinos are, playing with each other!

Yes, taking care of Raptors is a hard job! In this card, I like the hazard black-yellow stripe (which I also use a lot in JP-RL design).

Unseen scenes

These cards feature situations that could have happened during the movie events, but that remained unseen to the movie watcher.

The rex attack scene. Classic, and still awesome.

Tim watches a Brachio being born. When the kids arrive, all the adults are having lunch, so it is possible that the kids also visited the labs, and happened to see this. We know that Hammond likes to watch every "Hatchling Surprise!", but we also know that it doesn't always happen (the baby raptor scene, early in the movie).

Ellie tries to sedate a trike. For all we know, it could happen between the sick Trike, and her return to the control room.
Now, the next cards are the ones that I find the most interesting of all...

Grant with some baby Pteros. This scene could happen when he and the kids roam the park, seeing more dinos than just the Brachios and the Gallis. Once again, notice the jungle!

The same situation as the above card. Look at Grant's hat... if they knew how important the hat is to him in JP3...

Ok, this is one arguable: should it belong in the Alternate Timeline? Maybe, but we can try to believe that this young rex is in fact an
Alioramus remotus , which is a dinosaur that could easily be mistaken with a young rex (as someone that knows a lot more about dinosaurs than I do told me). It's a little far fetched, but later you'll understand why I'm doing this exercise.

This scene could happen after Grant finally met Ellie again, while they return to the visitors' center. In their walk, they find a Dimetrodon! And clearly, Grant is shocked...

Another scene that could happen in the same time interval... somewhere in the visitors' center, before finding the kids, they face a lonely raptor and manage to escape.

I must say that I daydreamed a lot with these cards, imagining the possibilities. And the conclusion that I arrived to was that a JP cartoon series was possible using these cards concept.

The main problem with a JP cartoon is how are they going to get people in the island every episode, and let the dinosaurs escape once again. It seems impossible.

Well, the other option (that I've never heard of before...) would be to follow Grant and the kids in their journey through the park, from the rex attack site, all the way to the visitors center.

Every episode they would face a different species of dinosaur, and learn something about it. They could even use some ideias from the book, like finding some tools in a maintenance building. They could show us a little more of the park. They could do so many things with this concept.

Would it be realistic to believe that their journey was so long? No, but cartoons aren't realistic.

And would it be realistic to believe that they faced so many dinosaurs, and always managed to escape? I don't know... In the book Lex rides a baby Trike. In the Primeval tv series, the characters face dangerous predators without using guns most of the time. So, considering these examples, for a cartoon it would be realistic.

Give this idea some thought, imagine all the possibilities that lie in the concept, and admit that you would love to see such a cartoon :)

And that's it. Hope you enjoyed seeing the cards (visit for more cards and toys), the rumblings about the categories, and the JP cartoon concept. Join us next week!

But, until then...


Friday, June 26, 2009

3 - Jurassic Park news roundup

Jurassic Park news roundup

So, something strange happened this week: we actually got some JP news! Here we go:

Producer Frank Marshall spoke about JPIV

He didn't really said anything new, but at least he spoke about it. Those news spread around the usual cinema sites, people comment, and the JP franchise is once again a conversation topic. That's good, even if we didn't really got any positive news. You can read the article here.

JP 2009 Toys pictures got a lot of pictures from the new line of JP toys. Of course I'm happy with this line, but I find the dinosaurs way too colourful, and that's a trend that I have noticed in the more recent paleoart... personally I don't enjoy it that much. You can see all of them here and here.

JP is among Yvonne Strahovski's favourite movies

Beauty and the geek. Some people don’t see why Sarah would find Chuck (Zachary Levi) attractive, but Strahovski understands the nerdy guy’s appeal.

It’s only fitting that her major credit is a genre series, not only because the actress is an SF fan who likes “ALIEN movies and JURASSIC PARK,” but also because it’s part of her upbringing.
Well, this isn't really something new (the article is from April!), but it's new to me, at least. I've never seen someone famous talking about JP before, so I decided to share. And it's not just someone, it's the female star of the tv series Chuck. Go on and read the full article here.

The world outside Jurassic Park

Primeval tv series has been axed

Love it or not, it was a way to see dinosaurs on our tv. However, we still have the future Warner Bros movie to look forward to, and the production team said that they have "every intention of keeping Primeval alive in other ways". I wonder if that means new novels...

I've read only one Primeval novel (The Lost Island), and I did enjoy it. Since the series ended with a cliffhanger, that would be a good way to solve it. Plus, they could do stuff that the tv budget didn't allow.

You can read the news here.

MonsterQuest - The Last Dinosaur

The title pretty much says it: this episode will focus on a dinosaur. I haven't seen it, but I hope to. The episode site is here.

1/10 T.rex skeleton

Go on and see it by yourself here! It's worth it!

And this was this week edition of JP-RL! Hope you enjoy it, and stay tuned for next week edition!