If you were asked to name a dinosaur film, what would you say? Carnosaur? The Valley of Gwangi? No. Don’t get cute. You’re going to talk about Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. It’s the definitive dinosaur movie. But did you know that there are a ton of others? Dinosaurs in movies date all the way back to the prehistoric era of cinema. D.W. Griffith’s Brute Force is widely believed to be the first live-action film to feature dinosaurs. From there, dinosaurs have shown up in everything from children’s films and 1970s B movies, to giant blockbusters and even a Terrence Malick film. Even King Kong had a run-in with a dinosaur. So why does Jurassic Park get all the glory? Why is Jurassic Park the dinosaur movie? Was it the budget? The scientific “accuracy?” In this video essay, we break down the three main factors that have contributed to Jurassic Park successfully avoiding extinction over the past twenty-five years.

Can’t get enough Spielberg? Check out our article about Spielberg’s work on Ready Player One, or our video on Spielberg’s suspense, or take a look at our take on the trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.