Jurassic Park Was Almost Made Without CGI. Here’s What It Would Have Looked Like.

Slate's Culture Blog
June 11 2014 12:07 PM

Jurassic Park Was Almost Made Without CGI. Here’s What It Would Have Looked Like.

Jurassic Park
This guy could have been all stop-motion.

© 1993 Universal Pictures

Jurassic Park fever has broken out again lately, thanks to recent homagesthe 3-D re-release, and frequent updates on the latest installment of the series, set to be released next year. And now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has gotten in on the spirit, producing a short documentary looking back at the film’s indelible influence on the way today’s movies are made.

You might think you already know the story of how the movie popularized the use of computer-generated creatures, but fans of the film will find more than the expected grandstanding that usually comes with “making-of” documentaries. In perhaps the video’s biggest surprise, it details how Steven Spielberg and the Jurassic Park team were originally going to make the movie without CGI, using stop-motion animation. (We get to see a little of what this might have looked like.) Industrial Light & Magic forged ahead to experiment with CGI anyway, apparently without getting the green light, to see if they could make computer-generated dinosaurs come to life.

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The video is the latest of the AMPAS’ Academy Originals, an ongoing web series that has already proven to be remarkably insightful, and this latest episode is no exception.

(Via Laughing Squid.)

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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