How 'Jurassic Park' Changed Movies Forever

It's time to buy you Jurassic Park VHS a beer, because the iconic film turns 21 today. Although this age makes it eligible for titles like "classic" and "historical," it also shows how advanced Steven Spielberg was for his time, since it still has a dedicated following of dinosaur-lovers and cinephiles. After the success of the 3D re-release of the original and the excitement surrounding the announcement of Jurassic World (the fourth film in the franchise), there is no doubt that Spielberg's dino-thrillers are not only a part of film history, but still relevant to audiences today.

But instead of thanking Spielberg, let's take a moment to recognize the animators who made the original Jurassic Park possible, who paved the way for fully-animated films of the future.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, otherwise known as "those guys who give out the Oscars," has started a series of Academy Originals, which are short documentaries about important moments in film history.

Unsurprisingly, the installment on the making of Jurassic Park has a central place in this series, and their look into the battle between young animators and traditional stop-motion artists is fascinating. They point out that, although Jurassic Park didn't use CGI for every dinosaur, the filmmakers set a Hollywood precedent by relying on computer-animated monsters for some of the biggest scenes.

Fair warning, if you watch this featurette on a pivotal moment in film history, you'll probably want to watch Jurassic Park on loop.

Image: Universal Pictures