The story of Jurassic Park was written about ten years ago by a man named Michael Crichton. His book has now evolved into three movies of Jurassic Park I, II, and III. Steven Speilberg has taken the story of Crichton is transformed it into one of his action packed, suspense thrillers. There is now a big question to be answered about the book and the movie. "How does the movie compare to the original book?" What makes the movie of Jurassic Park and the book differ is the setting, slight twists in the plot, and the characters.
The first main theme that makes the story of Jurassic Park is its setting. The setting is a huge factor in the understanding of the story. The story takes place on an isolated island off the coast of Costa Rica that has become a theme park exhibiting prehistoric dinosaurs. Here dinosaurs roam unrestricted.
The only restraint they have were gates and fences that could easily be trampled by the gigantic animals.
The island in the book sets an eerie setting. The island is said to be top in security and nothing could go wrong, but it is just a death trap waiting to happen. The reader gets this impression when the helicopter first arrives to the island. The fog over the treetops is what separates reality from hell (Crichton 58). The island is referred to hell very often in the book, but the movie does not come out and state it. Rather the movie makes you think that everything will be alright and good on the island, but the audience knows that something bad is going to happen just because of the setting. Crichton has a master plan to show that the island isn't only hell but a trap.
The theme park was said to be a death trap waiting to happen. When all went wrong the people on the island were with their back against the wall (Time 24). They were against a wall. They had no where to go, they were surrounded by water. This is one reason Crichton decided to use a remote island as the setting. The remote island brings upon fear that there is no escape and no one there to hear their screams (Movieline 62). The movie portrays the island as the same trap and shows the audience that they are in total isolation. This setting in the movie shows that the people in Jurassic Park can run but cannot hide from the dinosaurs for too long.
The book tells that once the island becomes chaotic and hectic most of the scientists on the island go their separate ways. It is not so when it comes to the movie. In the movie Speilberg shows all the scientist except for two staying together. Like the book the two scientists that strayed in the movie were killed by the dinosaurs.
Speilberg's rendition of the book has some conflict with the book when it comes to the characters. For example, the children on the island were in both the book and movie, but their ages are arguable. The book tells you that Dr. Hammond's granddaughter, Tina, is eight years old and her brother, Tim, is eleven years old. In the movie it is the total opposite. Tina is eleven and Tim is eight in the movie. This is one of many parts where the movie and book differ.
Another character difference is with the "big game hunter." This man is the first to be killed in the book but one of the last to be killed in the movie. The game hunter was swallowed alive by the Tyrannosaur in last half hour of the movie(Movieline 62). The big game hunter was attacked by the raptors right after the power was shut off to the fences during the book.
Crichton's Jurassic Park goes into great detail about how the scientists went through with the mission. The book tells that the scientists are on the island to observe the animals in their natural habitat and to return with a specimen (Boxoffice 35). This means that their main objective is to capture and return with a dinosaur. The point of doing this was to study the animal at a very prestigious laboratory to determine its DNA roots. From this lab they could replicate and breed more dinosaurs off of the same DNA strand. The thing is the movie tells a totally different story.
The story that the movie tells is that the dinosaurs were bread at the island. The DNA was determined by a blood sample of a prehistoric mosquito. From there they test and determine the DNA strands to replicate it to breed new dinosaurs. The lab was set up at the island in the movie. Also, the objective of the scientists was not to return a dinosaur but to keep them contained and observe them in their habitat.
The turning point in both the movie and the book is when the storm comes. A huge hurricane is going to hit the island dead on. There is nothing the people could do except wait it through. The storm is more massive then anyone expected and it knocks out the power to the whole island. This is the point at which the book and movie differ again.
The book tells that the storm knocks out all the power to the island and to all the electrical gates. This is a major problem for the scientists. This puts their safety in jeopardy. There is now nothing protecting the people from the dinosaurs because there is no power going through the electric fences. This is when all hell breaks loose. The dinosaurs realize that they are not being restrained any more and break loose. They are roaming about the island while the scientists scramble to get the power back on through a generator. During all the chaos the dinosaurs have already taken out five people out of the team of ten (Crichton 216) The movie differs a little bit from the book at this point. During the storm all of the scientists go out to try to get the power back on and to try to stay alive. Raptors have raided the lab and center of the park and are hungry for some people. The raptors and other dinosaurs take out three people out of the team of ten in the movie. Like the book the people scramble to get the power on but decide to start running too.
In both the book and the movie the T-Rex chases after one of the cars and destroys the other one that the children were in. Luckily the children were able to get out in time before the truck went over the cliff. After being chased both sources say that the head scientist and the children go up into a tree and sleep high enough for the dinosaurs not to be able to reach.
In the book when the scientists return to the lab and the main building of the park they find it swarming with raptors. They try to radio for help but no one answers. They then are determined to get the power on. They then go to the underground cellar where the backup generator is. The cellar is also swarming with raptors so they flip the generator switch and get out of there as fast as they could.
In the movie Dr. Hammond and two scientists stay at the lab with the blueprints of the cellar and direct the one of the other scientists through means of radios where to go to get to the generator. Again the place is full of raptors and she has to get out in time so that she doesn't get eaten. The lady panics and looses contact with the other scientists. So now the rest of the scientists go on a wild goose chase to find her. They finally do and she is unharmed for the most part.
Now in both the movie and the book the scientists find a place to stay that is safe from the dinosaurs. They have a couple run-ins with a few dinosaurs but no one gets hurt. Next the children are reunited with their grandfather and they plan to get out of there. The people are finally able to get radio contact with a boat that is going to pick them up in like twelve hours.
They decide to play it safe and stay in the main building with all the doors locked. This would have been a good idea if the place wasn't loaded with raptors. The scientists think they are safe but they have another thing coming and had their backs up against a wall and no way out. The end of the story has various twists on how the scientists escape. The movie shows us that the T-Rex saves them from the raptors. This dinosaur eats all the other raptors and makes it a safe get away for the remaining scientists. The T-Rex first tries to kill the scientists when chasing them in the truck, but later on the dinosaur helps them out.
The book states pretty much the same but has one variation. In the end the T-Rex chases the scientists throughout the building and is against them. The T-Rex ends up helping the scientists out indirectly by taking out the raptors. The book tells that the dinosaur was doing this because it was hungry. Well, the movie tells different.
The reason for the help by the T-Rex was stated in Scott Ciencin's review of the movie that the dinosaur was helping the people so that they would intern help him by leaving the island. (Ciencin 3). The movie shows that the scientists realize this and leave immediately. They thought it was for the good for themselves and the dinosaurs if people were not involved in their life. The book says the same but leads the reader on by adding reason for the story to continue.
This foreshadowing occurs in the book and in the movie. The audience knows that at the end of the movie, there is more to come. The book tells that Dr. Hammond has another trick up his sleeve. The audience also knows that he is not going to give up on his discovery. The end keeps you wondering in both versions of the story.
Overall the two versions of the story of Jurassic Park are very similar, but also very different from each other. The factors that differ were: setting,characters and some minor changes in the plot. Both versions kept the audience on the edge of their seat and waiting for more.