Jurassic Park and its first couple of sequels are famous for two things: groundbreaking CG effects and animatronic, lifelike dinosaurs. Both blended together tremendously to deliver on the awe and realism of that first trilogy.
CG overtook the animatronics and some of the realism in the long run, which is just the way it is, but the director of Jurassic World: Dominion, Colin Trevorrow, promises a course correction with his nostalgia-filled follow-up to Fallen Kingdom.
“We’ve actually gone more practical with every Jurassic movie we’ve made since the first one,” Trevorrow said. “And we’ve made more animatronics in this one than we have in the previous two.”
That’s a bold claim considering Hollywood’s widespread overreliance on visual effects and doing things in post, as opposed to standard methods.
Animatronics can be on a set and put in front of a camera in the old way unless they’re dealing with a matte shot or rear projection. In either case, actors have something to react to. There were advantages, untapped nowadays.
CGI took a lot of that away. Even in films where the two worked together, you could see the glaring difference. Trevorrow claims that’s a thing of the past as, in Dominion, the combo of tangible and digital will be seamless.
He continued, “the thing that I’ve found, especially in working in the past couple months, is that we finally reached a point where it’s possible…digital extensions on animatronics will be able to match the texture and the level of fidelity that, on film, an animatronic is going to be able to bring.”
“And you didn’t use to be able to really mix them,” he concluded. “You could really see the seams. And so that part of it is very exciting for me.”
A return to animatronics could mean a comeback or replica of the physical raptors and T-Rex from the first film in all their glory. To this day, the effects pack a punch; they aged very well.
But if we’re getting more animatronic dinosaurs – and if a photo we reported on earlier in the week is any indication dinos from Isla Sorna will wreak havoc – does that mean Spinosaurus will emerge from the depths?
Fans sure hope so and those practical effects will add an extra dimension to that rematch with the Tyrannosaurus we all have been waiting for, should it come.
Additionally, it’s good to know the original cast members – Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum – get to be in a Jurassic movie closer to what everyone is familiar with.
Jurassic World: Dominion re-entered production in the UK over the last few weeks.