For film remembered for winning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, the dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park film only show up on screen for a minimum of 15 minutes in the 2 hour runtime. For any one growing up with the movie, it felt like there was more, but much of that is due to Spielberg’s natural talent. Much like how Jaws is so much scarier because of what the viewer doesn’t see, allowing their imaginations to conjure up whatever frightening images they can dream up, in Jurassic Park as soon as viewers know there are dinosaurs on the island, their minds start running in thousands of different directions.
Further a total of seven dinosaurs are actually seen in the film. This includes four of the most popular dinosaurs: the Brachiosaurus, the Triceratops, the Parasaurolophus ( duck-billed dinosaur) and the T-Rex, two of the more obscure dinosaurs the Galimimus and Diloposaurs, and the films breakout stars the Velociraptor. A quick scan of the embryos in cryostorage on the park fills the gaps as it lists other dinosaurs they don’t see. Despite how imaginative it may be, the dinosaurs still “look” like how we always imagine them to be, as if they stepped out of our collective consciousness and into the silver screen, grounding it in a certain “hyper-realism”. As Spielberg noted in an interview about the making of Jurassic Park with Empire Magazine in 1993.
“This movie is not Alien, where they can take whatever form your imagination suggests. These are dinosaurs that every kid in the world knows.”