Show dinosaurs some prehistoric love, people
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 15:03
If there is one thing missing from this world, it’s dinosaur safaris.
It’s been two decades since the Crichton/Spielberg classic “Jurassic Park” hit the silver screen for the first time. Dinosaur appreciation was at an all-time low, but the film’s stunning graphics and dynamic plot captured the hearts of America by taking us to a world never seen before.
The premise of bringing back the dinosaurs from extinction is timeless. Now Universal Pictures wants to appeal to a whole new generation of dino-enthusiasts by re-releasing the film in 3D April 5.
I encourage anyone unfamiliar with the Jurassic Park series to make watching it a top priority. It will open your eyes to the fragile nature of life and the sanctity of ecosystems. It might also change the way you look at lizards.
However, I hope the film doesn’t give you a bad impression of the dinosaur race. Unfortunately, many of the character traits seen in Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs just perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes that have built up through the years. These dinosaurs sometimes come across as a little crass, maybe even rude.
Okay, the dinosaurs are ruthless and absolutely terrifying. I’m not sure what the park staff did to upset the T-Rex, but apparently the only thing that helps his mood is snacking on man-flesh. And the velociraptors are clearly psychopaths. They live in a jungle filled with a wide selection of perfectly edible wild animals, yet they make it their sole mission to hunt down and eat all human children. The carnivores also seem to have a taste for justice, as all villains in the movie are eventually munched on.
I think the new 3D release will definitely earn dinosaurs some newfound respect, but it might also hurt them in the PR department. People need to know that there’s more to these pre-historic beasts than primal aggression and an insatiable thirst for blood.
In an effort to show the complexity of dinosaur personalities, I’d like to recognize some celebrity dinosaurs that have made a positive impact on the public perception of their species.
Dino—This snorkasaurus was the loyal pet of Fred and Wilma Flintstone for years. His gregarious mannerisms and fuchsia coat could brighten anyone’s day, and he always met his master at the door after a hard day’s work. He was not only a capable guardian of the household, but also a gentle play pal for Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. Dino shows the lovable side that hides in all dinosaurs.
Barney—Although I don’t always agree with his politics, there is no doubt that Barney is a pioneer for dinosaur musicians and educators. His work in the field of child indoctrination is unprecedented amongst his prehistoric peers. He might make his job look easy, but there’s a world of hardships for a purple T-Rex that loves choreography and parades. Though he presents himself as free-love oriented hippy-saurus, it’s actually his cut-throat business philosophies that have kept him on the air all these years.
Cera—As a leader of the dinosaur feminist movement of the early 1990s, Cera has seen her share of patriarchy in the business world. This triceratops, or three-horn, guards her sensitive dino-heart with a cold, sassy shell throughout the “Land Before Time” chronicles. Her success as an independent herbivore has inspired thousands of young female leaf-eaters to embrace who they are and believe in themselves. She may rub some dude-osaurs the wrong way, but she always earns their respect.
Yoshi—There is some debate on whether Yoshi is a dinosaur or dragon. It is clear, however, that he is a humble hero that Mario has always been able to count on in times of trouble. Devoted to a life of servitude, he offers his back to any neighbor in need of a ride. Yoshi is the kind of dinosaur you want with you in the trenches. He has conquered countless foes on the battlefield, yet carries himself with the grace and humility of a village friar.
So the next time you’re watching someone get eaten alive in Jurassic Park, remember that these ruffians only represent a small portion of an overall peaceful dinosaur community. The more of these creatures you get to know, the more you’ll realize that no two dinosaurs are exactly alike. Many of them are hunting for a little acceptance from the world around them. Not just your flesh.