Why this iconic scene from ‘Jurassic Park’ is still so great

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Reviews are flooding in for “Jurassic World: Dominion,” the latest-slash-alleged last installment in the dino theme park franchise. And, well, they are not kind. Disappointment seems to be the main sentiment for both critics and the public alike.

Despite bringing back the original film’s well-loved characters and even creating some paleontologist-approved dinosaur designs (feathers and all), most people are left asking—where is the wonder?

Perhaps that’s why an iconic scene from the very first “Jurassic Park” has resurfaced and is winning hearts online once again. It just goes to show that a) modern tech is great, but it doesn’t inherently make everything better, and b) when a story hits at an emotional level, it withstands the test of time.

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In the scene, scientists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) receive the ultimate welcome tour of Jurassic Park, where they behold giant, magnificent brontosauruses for the first time.

The video sent several into pure nostalgia overdrive. Here are some of the heartwarming comments:

“One of the best scenes in movies ever, perfect in every detail.”

“A wonderful scene,,, the moment you see them all at the lake. I cried.”

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“The T Rex scene may be iconic, but this was always my favorite part of the movie…You can see the true beauty of Jurassic Park, not just the dangers of these ‘genetic monstrosities’. This was our first view of a truly realistic looking dinosaur, and Spielberg made it magical.”

“In the history of cinema the impact of CGI has never struck harder than in this scene. I remember the night of the opening, you could hear every soul in the theater saying ‘woooooo’ at the first appearance of the dinosaur. Is like we were giving new eyes. It was such a new experience, that that night I dreamed about dinosaurs, but they were stop motion, meaning my brain still couldn’t process CGI.”

Sure, the conversation about how modern CGI is ruining movies is an old one. But the original “Jurassic Park” was able to successfully balance innovative animation with compelling storytelling. Perhaps this is because it didn’t give up on practical effects entirely. That famous rippled water scene that signaled the incoming dreaded T. rex, for example, took painstaking effort to capture in real life. According to Cinemablend, it involved a special rig using a guitar string to reach the perfect note to get the water to move the correct way. Totally paid off though. Who doesn’t still get chills when watching that?

jurassic world dominionGiphy

Truly, what the first “Jurassic Park” had, which its sequels sadly lack, really has nothing to do with special effects or even how many times we get to see a dinosaur (fun fact: the dinos in the original movie only had a total of about 15 minutes of screentime). As with every great movie, no matter the genre, it had a distinctly human element to it.

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Just take a look again at the brontosaurus scene. It’s the full commitment from the actors that help make the moment so magical. Dern’s complete 180-degree shift from all business to jaw-dropped awe alone sells it. Plus, that music score hits in the perfect way, every time. God bless you John Williams.

Action is cool. And hey, it definitely sells. Despite its abysmal reviews, “Jurassic World: Dominion” still broke $18 million at the box office on its Thursday previews. But if the enduring love that people have for “Jurassic Park” is any indicator, it’s clear that what people really want are stories that move them.

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