Monday, December 05, 2005

Dinosaurs: Still fun

I happened to catch a few minutes tonight of the movie Jurassic Park as it was running on Sci-Fi channel. I was surprised at how poorly it held up. The central characters were all so annoying and stupid you wanted the dinosaurs to eat them.

Of course, that didn't matter at the time, because -- it was all about the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, they don't hold up too well either. The once state-of-the-art CGI dinosaurs now look rather unconvincing, and their designs are already far behind the scientific curve (current evidence supports that most, if not all, of the dinosaurs portrayed would have had feathers).

Of course, any attempt to keep up with science is probably doomed anyway, which may be part of why Peter Jackson has gone strictly retro with his dinosaurs in the King Kong remake. These are strictly 1939 dinosaurs done with 21st century technology.

Old, new, accurate or not, one dinosaurs make great toys, and the Jursassic Park toy line is without a doubt exceptional. Collectors pay high-prices for them on eBay. Fortunately, I got most of my large collection at thrift stores, paying pennies on the dollar.

Another interesting thing about dinosaurs is that the same body plans often get played out at different sizes in different species. So, even though a Jurrassic Park dinosaur may be far from 1/6th scale (I'd say they're closer to 1/14th or so), they can always serve as 1/6th stand-ins for their larger cousins.

The king of Jurassic Park dinos is the bull T-Rex, and I'm lucky enough to have three of them now. I used one of them as a "juvenile allosaurous" in my "Scotty Travis, Dinosaur Hunter" photo-story a while back. Still one of my favorite shots.

Scientifically accurate? Not hardly. Fun? Sure!

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