11 'Jurassic Park' References and Easter Eggs in 'Jurassic World'
By John Boone
Photo: Universal Pictures
There’s a lot that feels familiar about Jurassic World. (Which we mean as a compliment — we loved it!) That's only partially because there are oodles of references and Easter eggs to Jurassic Park hidden, sometimes not so subtly, within it. Warning: Spoilers below.
1. Mr. DNA: Yes, the lovable, anthropomorphized strand of DNA from the original movie, the one who explained how the dinosaurs were created with prehistoric mosquito blood and frog genes, makes a quick cameo in the new movie, in an interactive displays at the welcome center. Fun fact: Mr. DNA is voiced here by director Colin Trevorrow.
2. Dr. John Hammond: Hammond’s signature sound bite — “We spared no expense!” — is oft quoted by his successor, Irrfan Khan’s Mr. Masrani. There’s also a bronze statue of the creator of the original park in the welcome center, which is named after him.
During one scene, BD Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu — the only character that returns from the first film — talks of Hammond’s dying wish, poignant in light of actor Richard Attenborough passing last year.
3. Ian Malcolm: Unfortunately, Jeff Goldblum doesn’t cameo, but his character does get name-checked courtesy of the book he’s apparently written. Put-upon assistant Zara (Katie McGrath) is seen reading it on the train, and it appears on a desk in the control room too.
The title? “God Creates Dinosaurs,” a nod to Malcom’s classic speech: "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs." Here’s hoping Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) has since written a book titled “Woman Inherits the Earth.”
4. Jurassic Park:Jurassic World is at its most meta in Lowery (Jake Johnson), the control room flunky who’s constantly talking about how “legit” the original park was compared to the 2015 version. He even wears a “Jurassic Park” T-shirt, which gets him reprimanded by Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire for being insensitive to the tragedy that happened there.
5. The Old Park: But Jurassic Park — the original Jurassic Park — still exists! The ruins are just buried deep in the jungles of Isla Nublar. There’s an entire segment of this new movie that revisits the iconic visitors center of the so-called “old park,” with Zach and Gray (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) stumbling upon remnants of the “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” banner, Tim’s long lost night vision goggles, and those spooky paintings of the raptors in the cafeteria. It doesn’t appear there’s any lime green Jell-O left though.
6. Dilophosaurus: We never see an in-the-flesh dilophosaurus, but there is a silly callback to the one who ate Nedry via an in-ride safety video featuring a cameo by Jimmy Fallon. Fun fact: Fallon is the person who does the IRL in-ride videos at Universal Studios, who made this movie. (Synergy!) Another dilophosaurus pops up at the end, this time as a hologram, to distract a raptor at just the right moment.
7. The Goat: We already know the T. rex at Jurassic World is the very same T. rex that wreaked havoc on Jurassic Park 22 years ago. Our first time seeing her now is exactly how it was then, too. Poor goat!
8. Tyrannosaurus Rex:Jurassic World winks at the T. rex’s legacy by semi-recreating that iconic flare scene from, though whereas Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) used the flare to lure the T. rex away from the action, Claire lures her towards it during a climactic battle.
9. A Dying Dinosaur: In Jurassic Park, we saw a tender moment between Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler when they came across a sick triceratops in the park. Two decades later, their World counterparts share a similar moment, when Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire help ease a dying apatosaurus’ pain, after it meets its end at the claws of the Indominus rex.
10. A Showdown With Raptors: Another nod at the original comes when Claire and Owen, along with Zach and Gray, find themselves cornered by raptors in the new visitors center, a mirror image to when Grant, Sattler, Lex, and Tim squared off with raptors in the old visitors center. This time, the showdown spills outside into the boardwalk, but there’s still some serious Jurassic Park vibes to it.
11. Jurassic Park 3: Despite all the references to the first movie, its sequel, The Lost World, is all but ignored. But there is a Jurassic World 3 Easter egg: The skeleton of a Spinosaurus, the big bad from JP3, is on display on the promenade. And in what may be a subtle critique of the weakest film in the franchise, the T. rex in Jurassic World completely clobbers it later on.
And though it’s probably not a direct reference, the “Bird Cage” in Jurassic World, and the subsequent pteranodon attack when that cage is breached, seems to take the best part of Jurassic Park 3 and finally give it the attention it deserves.
Now, check out Pratt singing “Margaritaville” at the Jurassic World premiere: