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How Steven Spielberg Made Sure Jurassic Park’s Dinosaurs Never Became ‘Monsters’

David Koepp spoke to University of California Television about the “rule” that guided the filming of “Jurassic Park.” The dinosaurs are never portrayed as monstrous beings, which is highlighted during the scene wherein Alan gently rectifies Lex’s statement that they’re monsters. “They’re not monsters, Lex, they’re just animals,” Alan says, reminding viewers they are simply creatures acting out of their evolutionary instincts. Koepp gave examples of scenes that corroborate this idea in the interview linked above:

“There was a rule that no one was allowed to refer to them as ‘monsters.’ They were animals doing what animals do. And there’s a lot of very interesting juxtapositions that remind us of that in that very sequence. You see the raptor’s eye and you see a snake, a reptile moving through the foreground. Later in the control room, you see the Velociraptor crowing or whatever it’s doing, and its DNA code is being projected on it … There’s a lot of that kind of directorial flourishes that I think really mean a lot.”

Koepp’s statement makes sense, as the first film portrays the dinos being initially curious about their surroundings, instead of being instantly predatory. When the T. rex breaks free, its first instinct is to explore the area and not immediately hunt the humans hidden nearby. A similar sentiment is mirrored in the Dilophosaurus scene, in which the animal appears playful when it encounters Dennis (Wayne Knight). It is only after Dennis asks the dino to fetch a stick like a dog that it reveals its aggressive nature and attacks him once he has his guard down after falling over. Dennis had clearly underestimated the creature — who knew that a small, seemingly harmless Dilophosaurus could spit venom and rip you apart?

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