Jurassic Park is a novel written by Michael Crichton and published in 1991, which was later modified as a movie directed by Steven Spielberg. Often measured a cautionary tale on unconsidered biological tinkering in the same strength as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, it uniquely uses the mathematical idea of Chaos Theory and its theoretical implications to explain the collapse of an amusement park showcasing certain recreated dinosaur species.
The novel, in an "introduction", is initially presented as a lengthy report on the consequences of "The InGen Incident", which occurred in August 1989. Crichton before, notably in Eaters of the Dead and The Andromeda Strain, had used this “fiction as fact” presentation. Shortly after the story begins, a collection of scientists (including paleontologist Alan Grant and chaos theory mathematician Ian Malcolm) are invited on an all-expense-paid preview visit to Jurassic Park, a zoo-like laughter park set up by billionaire John Hammond (founder of InGen) on the island of Isla Nublar (near Costa Rica). Hammond wishes to hear the opinions of the scientists and eventually win their approval of the park; Malcolm expresses misgivings from the beginning.
The park contains dinosaurs, which have been recreated from DNA found in mosquitoes trapped in amber. Hammond (and his genetic engineers) takes great delight in explanation the ways that they created the dinosaurs. The scientists grow anxious when they discover that the dinosaurs have been breeding, despite InGen's efforts to keep them sterile.
The action begins when Dennis Nedry, chief programmer of the Jurassic Park scheming software, tries to steal dinosaur embryos as per a deal with Lewis Dodgson, who plant for one of John Hammond's competitors, Biosyn. In order to do this, he has to turn off the electricity to the park's many electric fences, and a number of dinosaurs – including a Tyrannosaurus rex and eight Velociraptor – escape from their enclosures, and have a quantity of encounters with the scientists, who remain inside the park.
Eventually several of the characters escape the island alive (although many do not) and the island is razed by the Costa Rican Air Force, even though there is disturbing evidence that several Raptors may have escaped. The book has one sequel, The Lost World.
One of the themes expressed throughout this story and its sequels is that of homoeothermic (warm-blooded) dinosaurs; a latest theory popularized by paleontologist Bob Bakker.
The novel is significantly darker in tone and content than the movie, with graphic violence and a higher body count.
Steven Spielberg later directed the Jurassic Park movie, filming at the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai in September 1992. Opening in 1993, it starred Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. Many plot points from the novel were distorted or dropped, and the cautionary aspect of the novel was reduced. A subplot connecting animals escaping to the mainland was dropped, and the cast of dinosaurs was made smaller and more manageable. Many minor characters were also dropped. Many scenes are left intact from the novel, but have the species of the relevant dinosaurs distorted. The film was extremely well liked though, grossing $919,700,000 worldwide, the highest ever at the time, and the sixth-highest worldwide box office takes for a characteristic film as of 2004.
Largely accredited for the movie's success were its special effects, created by Industrial Light and Magic. Through the use of CGI and conservative mechanical effects, the dinosaurs in the film appeared relatively lifelike, unlike previous effects films like Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Jurassic Park marked the Hollywood things industry's transition from conventional optical effects to digital techniques.
The movie won Academy Awards for Visual Effects, Sound Effects Editing, and Sound, and spawned three sequels, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001). Jurassic Park IV (IMDb) is at present in production and planned for release in 2006. There are rides based on Jurassic Park in the Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando and California.