April 5, 2013 6 Comments
One of my earliest memories of Sarabeth and I dating long-distance is her mentioning something on the phone about Jurassic Park that I never caught before.
I fell deeper in love with her that day.
This dino-romping, spine-tingling movie is great in so many ways. I like to think it was gutsy of the late author, Michael Crichton, to write an adult novel about people living among dinosaurs.
Amusement park attractions break lose and terrorize the visitors!
Sounds more like a Goosebumps plot, doesn’t it?
Perhaps Crichton purposefully took a kids’ concept and spun it with a grown-up appeal. It seems like this methodology has taken root over the last couple of years.
You’ve got shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm – Fairy tales coming to life.
Movies such as Jack the Giant Killer and Hansel and Grettle are stealing Hollywood’s spotlight. And weren’t there several dozen movies about Snow White recently?
And while adult movies are trying to reach for the kid in us, kids movies seem to be appealing more and more to the adult in us. What father can’t relate to Marlin in Finding Nemo? What mother can’t help but root for reconciliation between Marida and the queen in Brave? And need I mention the uncertainty of passing from childhood to adulthood in Toy Story 3?
Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg together created a masterpiece that, in its day, was quite revolutionary – a kids’ movie, wrapped in a grown-up package that will appeal to all ages.
I may be wrong here. I know there are some people who would never let their nine year old watch Jurassic Park. I saw it at that age and I had the time of my life. It was the most fun I ever had being scared out of my wits!
Because they were dinosaurs! I’m not talking about blood-sucking vampires or eye-gouging zombies (or whatever they do), or ungodly exorcisms. I’m talking about good ol’ cowboys-and-Indians type of fun here.
To this day, Jurassic Park influences my storytelling and my day-to-day imagination. (Just the other day I heard what must have been a truck outside, and I asked the girls – the dogs – in all seriousness, “Was that a dinosaur?”) Those who read my book know what I’m talking about, and see the influence Spielberg has had on me.
I’m not about to tell you to spend $50 to go see it in 3d when you likely already own it (we aren’t). But I am saying that we should appreciate the stories that appeal to both who we are on the outside (tax-paying, hard-working adults) and who we yearn to be on the inside (carefree kids who like to be spooked every now and then).
And who knows? Maybe your kids will be as inspired as I was by Jurassic Park, and, like Crichton, have the courage to let their imagination run amuck.