The Jurassic Park franchise is one of the most successful ever produced, taking in everything from novels to video games and theme park rides. But it’s the movies that really stand out. And for the truly committed fans, the films are brimming with little Easter eggs and references to ensure that each watch always provides something new to ponder over.
20. The Jurassic World theme park frequently draws on Disney World
Disney World is probably the most famous theme park on the planet, so it’s perhaps not surprising that it serves as inspiration for Jurassic World. And while looking at certain features in Jurassic World, we can see some similarities between these and their equivalents at the Disney attraction. Take, for example, the monorail.
The monorail, after all, is arguably the easiest means of transport at the Disney World resort in Florida. One could say the same about Jurassic World, too, since its monorail travels to 12 different stops, allowing its guests to see all of its attractions. But that’s not all that Jurassic World takes from its real-life counterpart: it has a strip resembling Disney’s Main Street, U.S.A. to boot.
19. A seatbelt gag serves as explicit foreshadowing
As the characters first make for Isla Nublar in the first Jurassic Park movie, their helicopter hits a bumpy patch, meaning they must strap in their seatbelts. And while Dr. Alan Grant discovers that his belt consists of two female ends, he nevertheless works out a solution. Tying the parts together, he forms a functioning seatbelt.
Therefore, Dr. Grant makes the two female ends work – just as the dinosaurs do. You see, all the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were made female to ensure that they wouldn’t reproduce. Even so, the amphibian DNA used in their creation means that some can change their gender to allow for breeding. In that way, the dinosaurs find a way to work with all-female parts.
18. Nedry watches a movie that Spielberg may recognize
Before Dennis Nedry is killed in the first film, he has a lot of blood on his hands. For one, it’s his scheme to provide a competitor with Jurassic Park’s dinosaur embryos that ensures the creatures escape. The computer programmer apparently still finds time to chill out between his periods of meddling, however.
In one scene, for instance, we see Nedry at his desk with a film on his desktop computer. Look really closely, and you’ll see that the flick is actually Jaws – one of Steven Spielberg’s most famous movies. So, in spite of being somewhat despicable, it seems that the character has good taste in thrillers, at least.
17. The dinosaur that kills Nedry shows up in Jurassic World
When Nedry eventually meets his demise, it comes at the expense of a Dilophosaurus. At first, it seems as though the creature is quite a calm and curious thing, since it stalks Nedry almost playfully. But pretty soon the dinosaur reveals its true colors by displaying a frightful frill on its neck and emitting venom.
Then the Dilophosaurus finishes Nedry off in the front seat of his car. But this isn’t the last we see of the beast. Though it’s unclear if the species survived the events of the first film, a hologram of a Dilophosaurus appears in Jurassic World.
16. The voice on the Jurassic World monorail is The Incredibles director Brad Bird
Brad Bird has had quite the career. He was present as a creative consultant during the first nine seasons of The Simpsons, for instance, before going on to direct movies such as The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Bird also served, it turns out, as something of a role model to Colin Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World.
In a 2015 interview with the website Slash Film, Trevorrow said that Bird was “a great mentor and friend.” Bird even took Trevorrow onto the set of his 2015 film Tomorrowland, showing him the ropes of crafting a blockbuster. And so when Trevorrow was in charge of his own massive project, he decided to repay Bird with a small role as the voice of the Jurassic World monorail.
15. Trevorrow’s own voice pops up in the film too
Trevorrow even appears in his own movie. Mr. DNA was an animated strand of DNA that appeared in the first Jurassic Park film to explain the concept of the park to visitors. Back in 1993, the part was voiced by Greg Burson.
However, Burson died in 2008, and so when Mr. DNA reappeared in Jurassic World, a new voice was required. During the making of the film, then, Trevorrow voiced the character, intending to find a proper replacement later. Given that the director’s impression of Burson was uncanny, though, it was left in the film – albeit with a few effects added to Trevorrow’s voice.
14. Jurassic Tennis is an idea that seemingly stuck
In a scene from the first movie, Dr. Ian Malcolm, Donald Gennero, Dr. Grant, John Hammond and Ellie Sattler are seen having lunch in a dining hall. More meticulous viewers may remember that presentation slides are being projected onto a screen behind the characters, with one of these simply reading “Jurassic Tennis.”
Yet while “Jurassic Tennis” may initially have appeared as an inconsequential idea, it seems that it was eventually realized. In Jurassic World, you see, the concept appears again – although this time as an advertisement on a screen in the Creation Lab. We can only assume, then, that the theme park’s organizers thought it was a sport worth pursuing.
13. Jurassic World nods to Dr. Malcolm’s chaos theory explanation
Jeff Goldblum’s character in the Jurassic Park franchise is a specialist in chaos theory. Dr. Malcolm frequently mentions the concept, too, even anticipating the theme park’s troubles by using it. And luckily for the less clued-in viewers, he also explains exactly what chaos theory is all about.
In particular, Dr. Malcolm demonstrates the theory by showing that water drops landing in the same place on Ellie Sattler’s hand then move in different directions. Yet while that scene may be a memorable one, it’s still easy to miss it being referenced in Jurassic World. There, instead of water, two drops of blood fall onto a soldier’s arm – and then move in different directions.
12. Dr. Malcolm’s book appears in Jurassic World
Even though Dr. Malcolm doesn’t actually appear in Jurassic World, his fingerprints are all over the movie. On top of his explanation of chaos theory being referenced, his book God Creates Dinosaurs also pops up. In fact, it appears twice.
We first see the work in the hands of Claire Dearing’s aide Zara Shealy while she is traveling on the monorail. It’s just about possible to make out the book’s cover, as she runs an eye over it while behind a child. God Creates Dinosaurs is on Lowery Cruthers’ desk, too.
11. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays King Lear
In 1997’s The Lost World, one scene sees a bus crash into a Blockbuster movie rental store in San Diego. And the shop is full of made-up film posters, including those for purported Robin Williams feature Jack and the Behnstalks and Tom Hanks vehicle Tsunami Sunrise. However, perhaps the most interesting poster stars Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Somewhat amusingly, the image depicts Schwarzenegger as William Shakespeare’s King Lear. And Spielberg actually commissioned Drew Struzan to create the artwork – Struzan being the man behind some of the most famous movie posters ever seen, including some for the Back to The Future and Star Wars franchises.
10. Real-life paleontologist Jack Horner is given a cameo
Jack Horner made his name in the field of paleontology after discovering the Maiasaura dinosaur and is believed to be the inspiration behind the character of Dr. Alan Grant. That’s not his only link to the Jurassic Park films, though, as Horner has acted as an advisor to the production of the movie series.
Clearly, then, Horner is an essential figure to the franchise. And the filmmakers decided to provide him with a cameo as a result. In Jurassic World, after Chris Pratt’s Owen Brady displays his authority inside the Velociraptor compound, Horner is seen as one of the workers. He high-fives a colleague and is acknowledged by Vincent D’Onofrio’s character, Vic Hoskins.
9. Spielberg himself can be vaguely seen in The Lost World
When Steven Spielberg signed up to produce Jurassic Park’s 1997 sequel, he was also busy with his fledgling animation studio, DreamWorks. As such, he wasn’t quite sure if he would direct the film. In fact, Joe Johnston, who later directed the third film, offered to take the reins should Spielberg have been unavailable.
As it turned out, of course, Spielberg directed The Lost World. And he also managed to make the haziest of cameos in the film, along with some of the other producers. In one scene towards the end, it’s just possible to discern their faces reflecting off a television screen.
8. The Jurassic World theme park is bursting with sponsors
Watching Jurassic World, you may find yourself absorbing messages subliminally. That’s because the film is chock-full of corporate brands. So much so, in fact, that a marketing business has attempted to take stock of them all.
According to Concave Brand Tracking, Samsung shows up in the movie the most, with its products present in multiple scenes. One of the buildings in the Jurassic World park is even called the Samsung Innovation Center. Other brands that can be seen throughout the film include Mercedes-Benz, Bose and Alpha.
7. Even Jimmy Buffett’s chain gets in on the act
It may be fair to question whether Jimmy Buffett is better known today for his music or his Margaritaville restaurants. Margaritaville is, after all, the chain that is clearly seen in Jurassic World in addition to all the other brands. Look closely, too, and you’ll also find the man himself.
During a Dimorphodon and Pteranadon attack, panic ensues throughout the theme park. One character in particular attempts to escape the danger – but not at the expense of spilling his precious margaritas. This person, of course, is Jimmy Buffett.
6. A movie about Pterosaurs plays at the theater as the same species attacks outside
In one scene in Jurassic World, Pterosaurs wreak havoc from the sky. They swoop down and rip people from the ground, tossing them around like rag dolls, with the park being driven into disarray as a consequence.
Amidst the chaos of the Pterosaurs, though, you may notice a strangely apt movie theater in the scene. It’s the Pterosauria: The IMAX Experience venue, and it tells the tale of Jurassic World’s dinosaurs.
5. There’s a tribute to one of the men responsible for bringing the original film to life
Nestled among all the genuine brands such as Samsung and IMAX in Jurassic World are a few fictional businesses. One, for example, is called Winston’s Steakhouse. But this isn’t a throwaway name by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, Winston’s Steakhouse is named after a pivotal figure within the Jurassic Park franchise. Stan Winston was a legendary special effects designer, known for his work on the Terminator movies and the initial Jurassic Park trilogy. He died in 2008, but his Oscar-winning contribution to the Jurassic Park franchise saw him worthy of a mention in Jurassic World.
4. Nedry’s outfits are seemingly inspired by The Goonies
Dennis Nedry has already been mentioned a few times on this list, which is fitting given that his character is responsible for a lot of what happens in the franchise. Yet while Nedry’s choice of outfits wouldn’t immediately seem worthy of much consideration, fans of The Goonies may have noticed something curious.
In particular, Nedry’s clothes in Jurassic Park seem to match a number of the kids’ garments from the classic ’80s movie. This doesn’t just happen on one occasion, either, but three times. Presumably this was a conscious decision, then, especially as Spielberg and producer Kathleen Kennedy worked on both films.
3. The very same Tyrannosaurus rex from the first film appears in Jurassic World
At the end of Jurassic Park, the terrifying Tyrannosaurus rex is attacked and bitten by a smaller Velociraptor. But this, as it turns out, isn’t the last time we see the beast. In fact, she appears again in Jurassic World and its sequel, Fallen Kingdom.
But do we know for sure that this is the same dinosaur, rather than another of the same species? Well, if you look closely at the Tyrannosaurus rex, you’ll notice a series of scars lining its neck – marks shaped by the claws of a Velociraptor. Indeed, director Colin Trevorrow has confirmed that these were included to illustrate the dinosaur’s ageing between the movies.
2. Jimmy Fallon shows up to host a video tour – much like he does in real life
As we’ve seen, Jurassic World is full of cameos. And one of the more obvious appearances by a celebrity comes by way of Jimmy Fallon presenting a safety video. Yet while the clip leaves no doubt as to the talk-show host’s identity, it’s nevertheless easy to miss its more meta implications.
You see, Fallon really does serve as the host of a theme park expedition. Over at Universal Studios Hollywood, he appears on a screen to take visitors on a behind-the-scenes tour around the lot. So aside from providing a bit of slapstick to Jurassic World, Fallon’s cameo is actually a nod to his real-life endeavors.
1. The boat in The Lost World is the same one that carried King Kong
In The Lost World, a Tyrannosaurus rex is taken from Isla Sorna to America by ship. The vessel, called the S.S. Venture, eventually crashes, and the fearsome creature duly escapes to wreak havoc upon San Diego. But, of course, the dinosaur is not the only famous movie monster to travel to the U.S. by boat.
After all, King Kong was also famously taken from his homeland to America by ship. And the name of that boat? The S.S. Venture, of course. In a fitting tribute to the archetypal movie monster, The Lost World makes use of the very vessel that once carried the gargantuan gorilla to be displayed in New York.