- RatedPG13 /GenreAction, Adventure, Science Fiction
Yes, we all love watching movies about dinosaurs. But that is not the only reason why ‘Jurassic Park’ has become one of the most recognisable franchises in the world.
With ‘Jurassic World’ finally opening its gates, we take a look at 10 iconic moments from the first three movies that we still remember to this day.
The glasses of water (‘Jurassic Park’)
This is easily the most iconic scene in the entire Jurassic Park franchise.
As Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) and the children, Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello), wait in the car outside the T-Rex paddock, Tim feels a tremor.
He investigates by observing two glasses of water on the dashboard.
Small ripples are visible in the two cups as a soft “thud” is heard in the distance. The sound grows louder every time it returns, and the ripples in the cup get bigger. Our worst fears are confirmed: a T-Rex is approaching.
Trivia: Recreating the ripples is more difficult than it looks. It requires a specific note played at the right frequency on a guitar.
T-Rex in the side mirror (‘Jurassic Park’)
If you could only remember one dinosaur chase from the franchise, it would be this one. And for a small reason.
Warden Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) drives a jeep at top speed while a T-Rex closely pursues it. Robert nervously glances at the side mirror, in which he sees the T-Rex terrifyingly close and leaning nearer for a roar.
To make matters worse, an inscription at the bottom of the mirror warns that “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. Steven Spielberg certainly has a dark sense of humour. For us, we have never looked at our side mirrors the same way again.
Trivia: This iconic scene was parodied in ‘Toy Story 2’, which kept the famous side mirror warning.
Hiding in the toilet (‘Jurassic Park’)
Low comedy is not for everyone, but Steven Spielberg certainly knows how to make (literal) toilet humour memorable.
As soon as the T-Rex appears, Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) ditches the two children in the car and runs into a nearby restroom to save his behind. As Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) points out, “When you gotta go, you gotta go”.
But Gennaro does not remain hidden for long. The T-Rex eventually knocks down the wood and straw restroom, exposing him sitting on a toilet bowl while the dinosaur eyes him curiously.
To this day, we still enjoy watching the cowardly and money-hungry lawyer getting what he deserved.
The Velociraptors in the kitchen (‘Jurassic Park’)
‘Jurassic Park’ keeps us on the edge of our seat once the onslaught begins, but this quiet scene in the kitchen is one of the most nerve-racking moments in the entire movie.
It begins with a door. As children Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello) hide in the kitchen, the door handle begins to move. Viewers soon realise that the Velociraptors are trying to open the front door, and they quickly succeed.
As Lex and Tim crawl around the kitchen to avoid capture, we are shown the feet of a nearby raptor. It taps its claw rhythmically and thoughtfully, an eerily human gesture as it hunts down the two children. We are hold our breath for the rest of the scene.
A promotional banner (‘Jurassic Park’)
We know that the filmmakers had as much fun making this scene as we had watching it.
During the final showdown in the atrium, the main characters are unexpectedly "saved" from velociraptors by a T-Rex. After killing the two raptors, the T-Rex raises its head and gives a majestic roar. A promotional banner with the words “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” falls fully extended in front of the T-Rex. It is both appropriately timed and cheeky. Very funny, Spielberg.
The cracking glass (‘The Lost World’)
This one frightened even those who are not afraid of heights.
Ian (Jeff Goldblum), Nick (Vince Vaughn) and Sarah (Julianne Moore) are trapped in a trailer that is hanging vertically over the edge of a cliff while being chased by dinosaurs. While Ian and Nick cling on to the sides, Sarah loses her grip and falls against a glass panel, the only thing separating her from her death.
Unable to hold Sarah’s weight, the glass begins to crack. She panics and try to push herself up slowly, but this just causes more cracks to appear.
As Ian climbs down to reach Sarah, Nick tries to retrieve a satellite phone that is about to fall from the side and smash the glass. He fails. The glass gives way, but Ian manages to hold on to Sarah.
Our palms perspire no matter how many times we watch this scene.
T-Rex in the backyard (‘The Lost World’)
It is the moment we have all been waiting for: a T-Rex loose in the city.
One makes its way to the suburbs, and its heavy footsteps wake a young boy. Remaining on his bed, he looks at his bedroom window and sees the head of the T-Rex, and it is looking right at him.
The boy tells his parents: “There’s a dinosaur in our backyard.” Of course, they remain unconvinced until they go to his room and see that the beast has just eaten their dog. The lesson? Parents should listen to their children who do tell the truth.
Spinosaurus battles T-Rex (‘Jurassic Park III’)
This scene is as memorable to us as King Kong battling a T-Rex in 1933.
Not only does the terrifying Spinosaurus make its first appearance in Jurassic Park III, it also battles a T-Rex over a meal (ie. the human characters). This brawl allows the characters to escape.
For a good 30 seconds, two of the biggest and most intimidating dinosaurs in the franchise literally clash heads, gripping each other with their powerful jaws. The T-Rex ends up looking weaker, but after two movies where it was the dominant predator, any scene that makes it look vulnerable is surely one to remember.
Velociraptor jumps to life (‘Jurassic Park III’)
By the third movie, we know that the dinosaurs themselves pack plenty of surprises. But this one still has us jumping in our seats.
After fleeing from dinosaurs, the main characters find temporary safety in an abandoned laboratory. As Amanda (Tea Leoni) explores and observes several dinosaur specimens in water tanks, she decides to take a closer look at one with a Velociraptor’s head. Then she notices its eye move. Amanda barely has time to scream before the raptor leaps at her and chases the entire team.
From the first movie, the Velociraptors are established as the franchise’s smartest and most cunning dinosaurs. And this scene is a timely reminder.
Pteranodon on the bridge (‘Jurassic Park III’)
Imagine having to walk on an old, creaking bridge that might break apart at any moment. There is also a thick fog that makes it impossible to see further than a few steps ahead. And just when you think that it cannot get any scarier, it does.
As 12-year-old Eric (Trevor Morgan) cautiously makes his way across, the bridge suddenly shakes. It creaks as someone – or something – moves towards him. "Mum?"
Meanwhile, Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) realises that the entire team is in a giant “bird cage”. Cut back to Eric, and slowly emerging from the fog is a Pteranodon.
You are not alone if you still get goose bumps from watching this.