Victoria here with a short but fun Vintage Dinosaur Art here for you. Given that 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park’s original theatrical release (and sees a new addition to the franchise with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), it seems only fitting that I should dig out some of my Jurassic Park ephemera I’ve collected over the years. And while I was packing up my apartment for yet another cross-Canada move, I came across this gem – a Jurassic Park colouring book from 1993!
I’m not really going to comment on the art specifically very much this time, because the art is largely following the creature designs in the film and also it’s a colouring book without a particularly high production value. But what I thought was really interesting as I flipped through this was that although the general story, events, and set pieces match the progression of the film, there are some interesting differences where the art diverges significantly from the events of the film. Our first view of the Brachiosaurus is similar to what we see in the film, but Grant and Sattler appear to be behind a wall of some kind and seem pretty chill about what they’re looking at.
Things start to go noticeably off track when we get to the THEY GET STUCK IN THE SAP, BINGO, DINO DNA ride and tour. In the film, we get a marching Brontosaurus-esque sauropod, but here, we’ve got Triceratops!
And it gets even weirder when we get to the incubation rooms! Instead of a baby Velociraptor, we get a couple of pages showing Triceratops eggs and hatchlings. Imagine how differently this scene would have played without the “Raptors? You bred raptors?” line from Grant?? Also these baby Triceratops are EXTREMELY HAPPY to be frolicking in what looks like a baby’s crib?? It makes me wonder a bit how these sorts of tie-in merchandise are produced – do the artists have to work with general descriptions of the film, are they working off storyboards that changed during production, are they kind of having to make it up as they go?
Things get back on track for the most part after a few pages, although when we first meet the Tyrannosaurus in the film we get only a glimpse of the front claws. Also I think there’s a severely missing goat in this image, but I’ll allow it in the interests of not making children colour in the gore.
And finally, while I have tried not to nitpick the art too much in this, I cannot stop laughing at Tim’s face here. It’s not so much a look of fear so much as a face you might pull when someone says or does something INCREDIBLY AWKWARD. It’s the face I make late at night when I remember I mixed two words together in a conversation that day and never corrected it in the moment and just let it slide like ‘grood’ was a real word and totally the word I meant to say, out loud, to another human. Maybe Tim called that Velociraptor a T. rex earlier or something and Lex is calling him out on it now. Whatever the case, this page of art from a $1.19 colouring book is endlessly amusing and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.