As a fan of film, I love exploring behind the scenes. Reading about the production process, the special effects and the stories of what could have been.
‘Jurassic Park’ was the huge blockbuster success of 1992. The sight of seeing dinosaurs come back to life struck a chord with everyone the world over. Of course the merchandising was also enormous. If you could fit a Jurassic Park logo on it, you could buy it. Then there were the three follow up films in the series with the most recent being this years fantastic ‘Jurassic World’.
In the 1990’s it wasn’t uncommon to get a Saturday morning animated series to help keep the idea of the film fresh in children’s minds so they could keep asking their parents to buy the appropriate merchandising. Examples include Karate Kid, Beetlejuice or Men In Black.
Well it transpires that an animated Jurassic Park cartoon was in the works at one point and artist William Stout was hired to render some concept art. He tells the story on his blog,
Towards the end of all of this merchandising I got a call from artist Will Meugniot, asking if I’d be interested in designing a Jurassic Park animated series. This was not going to be a kiddy show (although kids of all ages, including myself, could enjoy it). They wanted the show to be a mature prime time series with top writers and state-of-the-art television animation augmented with quite a bit of CG animation. Universal Cartoon Studios wanted a “graphic novel look” to the series. I came in, showed my portfolio and was hired.
We made a trailer to communicate the look and feel of the series, also showing how we would combine computer animation with traditional animation. All we needed was Spielberg’s approval.
I heard through the grapevine that he never bothered to watch what we had done. By that time the word was out that he was burnt out on Jurassic Park merchandising and all of the film’s commercial exploitation. So, it never got made.
Unfortunately even though William said, “I own a copy, I don’t think this trailer is available anywhere.”, he was asked if he would post it online to which he replied, “I don’t have the right to publicly post it.”
We do however have these great concept art images that reveals all the main characters were to return in this animated series. You can see the full collection over at William Stout’s blog and they also now up for sale.