With Jurassic World, the direct sequel to 1993’s Jurassic Park, fast approaching (finally!), I’ve decided to take Bobby’s World – and the Tops feature – back to prehistoric times! Welcome to the first Jurassic-themed Tops – a list that will celebrate ten of the greatest moments from Steven Spielberg’s cinematic achievement. Run!
10. CLEVER GIRL | major character(s) involved: Robert Muldoon
Dr. Sattler (Laura Dern) declares, “Something’s wrong…” after Mr. Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) goes missing for too long and power’s not restored to the park. She and Muldoon (Bob Peck) set out to investigate. He’s to guard her beyond the compound, knowing the raptors have escaped. Muldoon’s a big game hunter, so this venture’s anxiety is tempered with enthusiasm – and just when he thinks he has a raptor in his sights, another – “Clever girl” – surprises him.
Muldoon meets his end in one of the greatest pay-offs Jurassic Park has to offer. Remember when Dr. Grant theorized about raptor hunting patterns in the beginning (more on that in a moment)? Clever girl, indeed.
9. SIX FOOT TURKEY | major character(s) involved: Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler
Near the beginning of Jurassic Park, at the dig site, when the team is imaging a fossilized Velociraptor, Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) begins explaining his theory – that dinosaurs have more in common with present-day birds than reptiles. During his explanation, the Volunteer Boy (Whit Hertford) interrupts and scoffs, “That doesn’t look very scary! More like a six foot turkey!”
Dr. Grant reacts by methodically moving towards the boy and explaining Velociraptor’s hunting patterns. Dr. Sattler watches on uneasily as Dr. Grant pulls a raptor claw from his pocket. He tells the boy to imagine a pack of raptors slashing at him, each with a six-inch retractable claw – and then, he says, “The point is, you’re alive when they start to eat you.”
The boy stands, frozen in fear, as Dr. Grant tells him to show a little respect.
8. STICK, STUPID! | major character(s) involved: Dennis Nedry
After stealing the embryos, Nedry (Wayne Knight) is caught in a torrential downpour brought on by the impending hurricane (there actually was one during filming!). His truck runs off the road, forcing him out into the park – to tie “this thing” to “that thing.” With the systems disabled, Nedry comes face-to-face with his first (and last) dinosaur – Dilophosaurus.
Initially a no-show on the park tour, Dilophosaurus appears cute and cuddly, bouncing around with an almost cheerful curiosity. In her seemingly innocent pursuit, she chirps and Nedry attempts to distract her with a stick and game of fetch. When she doesn’t leave, he says, “No wonder you’re extinct…I’m gonna run you over when I come back down.”
Then, with an expansive frill, Dilophosaurus spits a blinding venom at Nedry and he becomes her meal.
7. GALLI-GALLI-GALLIMIMUS | major character(s) involved: Timmy, Lex, Dr. Grant
Following the tyrannosaur’s escape/attack, Dr. Grant is leading Timmy (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex (Ariana Richards) through the park, back to the visitor center. In the middle of an open field, the ground begins to quake. In that moment, they notice a herd of dinosaurs “flocking” their way. Demonstrating his knowledge, Timmy identifies the group as Gallimimus, an herbivorous species.
Having sought refuge behind a downed tree, the trio is surprised and frightened by the tyrannosaur. She bursts onto the field to claim her first (and only wild prey). Nature has indeed found a way. Timmy admires the scene, commenting on the amount of blood – and within moments, their careful mission resumes.
6. BACK IN BUSINESS | major character(s) involved: Dr. Sattler
When Mr. Arnold goes missing – Dr. Sattler agrees to accompany Robert Muldoon to the breakers. A key feminist moment occurs here, just before Dr. Sattler begins manually resetting the park systems.
John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) implies that he should be going (instead of Dr. Sattler) because he’s a – and she’s a-. She immediately contests saying they can discuss “sexism in survival situations” when she returns.
While Muldoon keeps watch (refer back to #10: Clever Girl), Dr. Sattler navigates through the darkness to the breakers. She primes the main switch, presses “push to close” and begins reactivating all of the park systems. She exclaims, “Mr. Hammond, I think we’re back in business…”
…and that’s when the raptor pops into frame (quite the sight in 3D, I might add!) – and Mr. Arnold’s severed arm re-appears. Dr. Ellie Sattler narrowly escapes with her life!
5. DINO DNA | major character(s) involved: John Hammond, Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, Dr. Malcolm
Mr. DNA’s (voice: Greg Burson) sequence is perhaps one of the most fascinating – yet lighthearted moments of Jurassic Park. Mr. DNA explains how archaeologists discovered dinosaur DNA in mosquitoes fossilized in amber – and how geneticists completed the holes in the DNA sequences with complete codes from frogs:
“…and now, we can make a baby dinosaur!”
Soon, the three doctors witness the birth of a baby raptor, while Henry Wu (BD Wong) explains the process of genetically engineering the populations to be female only (so the dinosaurs don’t breed in the “wild.”). The raptor’s birth is one of the most spectacular, awe-inspiring images in all of Jurassic Park.
4. SICK TRICERATOPS | major character(s) involved: Dr. Sattler, Dr. Grant, Dr. Malcom
As the tour of Jurassic Park is getting underway, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldbloom) begins explaining chaos theory to Dr. Sattler and Dr. Grant. From his perspective, the park is doomed because of its unpredictability. Hidden in the “chaos” exploration (which is filled with charm) is the most obvious flirtation with Dr. Ellie Sattler, leading to one of the most famous dialogue exchanges – and another (my favorite) feminist moment.
Malcolm says: “God creates dinosaur. God destroys dinosaur. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaur.”
Sattler says: “Dinosaurs eat man and woman inherits the Earth.”
She draws the attention of her male counterparts as she departs the caravan to investigate the case of a sick triceratops (it also happens to be the scene where Dr. Grant shares a magical moment with his childhood favorite dinosaur).
3. RAPTORS IN THE KITCHEN | major character(s) involved: Timmy, Lex
Raptors in the kitchen is a huge pay-off to an earlier line suggesting raptors have learned to open doors. Timmy and Lex, having recognized the raptor’s shadow in the cafeteria/dining room, escape to the kitchen. The raptors idly discover them and make their way in, where some of the tensest action occurs.
Timmy and Lex face-off against the two clever girls, in a symbolic showdown of intelligence. The kids gain enough of an advantage to escape (but as we see at the end of the movie – the raptors have escaped again).
2. WELCOME TO JURASSIC PARK | major character(s) involved: John Hammond, Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler
“Welcome to Jurassic Park.”
The iconic quote from John Hammond introduces us to a prehistoric dream. It’s here that Spielberg reveals the first major dinosaur – brachiosaurus – and that John Williams’ score kicks up a notch. Feeding from the treetops, she’s a true sight to behold – and this moment is one etched prominently in the annals of film history.
1. WHERE’S THE GOAT? | major character(s) involved: Dr. Grant, Timmy, Lex, Dr. Malcolm
There is no moment larger or more representative of Jurassic Park than the sequence that transpires after Lex asks, “Where’s the goat?”
Nedry’s disabled the park system and the forecasted storm has arrived. Amidst thunder, lighting and a torrential downpour, Dr. Grant, Dr. Malcolm, Lex, Timmy and “the blood sucking lawyer” Donald (Martin Ferrero) are stopped just outside the Tyrannosaur paddock. Hearing booms and feeling the ground quaking, Timmy watches two plastic cups, as ripples flow to the edges. Donald suggests it’s the power trying to come back. Timmy searches the darkness with night vision goggles. The goat disappears (and Donald bails) just before the fated question that signals the tyrannosaur’s escape!
The wires snap one by one and she emerges, letting out a terrifying (and iconic) roar. Using a flashlight to signal for help, Lex prompts the attack that ultimately sends Dr. Grant, Lex and Timmy on a trek through the park.
Do you agree or disagree with this ranking of Jurassic Park‘s top moments? Let me know in the comments below – and before you go, there’s one more moment for you to see:
VEGGIE-SAURUS’ HONORABLE MENTION | major character(s) involved: Dr. Grant, Timmy, Lex
Dr. Grant, Lex and Timmy seek overnight refuge in a tree. That’s when the brachiosaurs emerge to feed against the quite and gentle night. Initially afraid, Lex (a vegetarian) asks if they’re “meat-asauruses” to which Timmy assures they’re not – “They’re veggiesauruses, Lex!”
This is one of my favorite moments in the movie – and I debated a spot for it on the Top 10 list itself – but that’s the real problem isn’t it? There are many, many great moments in Jurassic Park (like the falling banner shot with T-Rex in the visitor center at the end).
Now I present the trailer for Jurassic World: