(Pocket-lint) – It’s been nearly 30 years since Jurassic Park made its debut, with Stephen Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park in 1993. That film both terrified and delighted audiences around the globe and one could argue it made multiple generations of children want to become archaeologists.
Of course, there’s also a whole new set of films that have been released now, starting with 2015’s Jurassic World. None of the later movies in the series have yet to live up to the quality of the original, but they’re all still great fun. The good news is the next film – Jurassic World: Dominion, due out in 2022 – is set to see the return of much of the 1993 cast, which is extremely exciting and means it’s probably worth revisiting the entire series so you’re fully prepared.
Jurassic Park movies in order
NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS BELOW. Skip to the bottom of our guide for the spoiler-free, bulleted-list version.
Jurassic Park (1993 – movie)
Based on the novel by Michael Chrichton and directed by Stephen Spielberg, Jurassic Park released in 1993 and went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time until Titanic took its spot. It sees the owner of Jurassic Park, John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough), forced to recruit a team of scientists and specialists to evaluate his new theme park and ensure that it is truly safe before it is officially opened to the public.
The team includes archaeologists Dr. Alan Grant (played by Sam Neill) and Dr Elliot Sattler (played by Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum). One interesting internet theory we’ll mention before we move on: Remember the child that Dr Grant traumatizes with the story of how velociraptors would hunt him? Well, maybe he wasn’t so traumatized because Jurassic theorists believe he’s Chris Pratt’s Jurassic World character all grown up.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997 – movie)
The second entry in the series picks up four years after the first film and sees Spielberg return as the director.
Hammond has lost control of his company InGen, but managed to keep the existence of a second island, which was used for the breeding of the dinosaurs, a secret. It was part of a coverup that stopped the entire world from knowing about the events of the first film. Following an accident on the second island, Hammond recruits Ian Malcolm (again played by Jeff Goldblum) to visit it with a new team. While Malcolm has his own reasons for going, they’re quickly changed when the new leadership of InGen arrives on the island and begins to capture dinosaurs for a new Jurassic Park in San Diego.
Jurassic Park III (2001 – movie)
Jurassic Park III has Sam Neill come back as Dr Alan Grant. He has been busy researching the intelligence of Velociraptors but has been unable to find funding for his new project until he meets Paul and Amanda Kirby (played by William H Macy and Tea Leoni). The couple promises to completely fund Grant’s research if he gives them an ariel tour of Isla Sorna. Unbeknownst to Grant, the Kirbys want to land in order to search for their son who has gone missing on the island.
Jurassic World (2015 – movie)
Jurassic World revived the franchise after it sat dormant for 14 years. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, Jurassic World reveals that Simon Masrani, CEO of the Masrani Global Corporation, bought InGen in 1997 to create his own theme park, Jurassic World, which has operated for almost 10 years at the film’s opening.
The film sees what begins as a normal day, with brothers Zach and Gray visiting the theme park, where their aunt, Claire Dearing (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), is in charge. Things begin to go haywire when the park’s newest attraction, a genetically engineered hybrid known as Indominus Rex, escapes from its enclosure. As the park is falling apart, Claire is forced to turn to the park’s Velociraptor specialist Owen Grady (played by Chris Pratt) in order to help save her nephews.
As we mentioned earlier, one thing to note about this film: A popular internet theory suggests that Pratt’s character Owen Grady is the grown-up version of the child that Alan Grant terrifies at the beginning of the first Jurassic Park film. He was reportedly inspired by Grant’s breakdown of their hunting style to study Velociraptors.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (2020 to present – animated TV series)
Camp Cretaceous is an animated Netflix series set at the same time as Jurassic World. It centers around a teenager named Darius (voiced by Paul-Mikel Williams), who wins a contest that lets him visit Jurassic World the same day that the park happens to fall apart. Together, with a group of other teens that also won the contest, he must now figure out a way to escape an island with dinosaurs running rampant. The series has two seasons, with a third planned to release on 21 May 2021.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018 – movie)
Fallen Kingdom picks up four years after Jurassic World. Directed by JA Bayona, the film sees the dinosaurs have once again regained control of Isla Nubar. They have spent the previous four years living peacefully without humans on the island, but an impending volcanic eruption will wipe them out if they stay there.
Claire Dearing (again played by Bryce Dallas Howard) has taken up the cause of saving the dinosaurs from the island, with the help of one of John Hammond’s former partners, Sir Benjamin Lockwood (played by James Cromwell). Claire recruits Owen Grady (again played by Chris Pratt) to return and help save his Velociraptor, Blue.
Battle at Big Rock (2019 – short film)
This short film was directed by Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Dominion director Colin Trevorrow. It takes place after the events of Fallen Kingdom, which sees the dinosaurs released across the world. The film focuses on a small family camping at a park known as Big Rock. They’re surprised by an adult and child Nasutoceratops. The awe-inspiring meeting between the family and the dinosaurs is spoiled by an Allosaurusm who wants to have the baby for lunch.
Suddenly, the family is stuck inside their camper as the dinosaurs battle around them. The short film is available on YouTube here.
Jurassic World: Dominion (2022 – movie)
The next film in the series, and the final in the Jurassic World trilogy, will see Colin Trevorrow return as writer and director, along with a host of old favorites from previous films. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will return as their characters from the previous Jurassic World films, and Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern will return as their characters from the original Jurassic Park film. Not much is known about the film’s plot, other than that it won’t involve another theme park, as dinosaurs are now off the island and out in the wider world, as shown by the Battle at Big Rock short film.
Jurassic World: Dominion is set to be released on 10 June 2022.
Spoiler-free version: The complete Jurassic Park timeline at a glance
Here is the same guide as above, only spoiler-free and in bulleted list form.
- Jurassic Park (1993 – movie)
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997 – movie)
- Jurassic Park III (2001 – movie)
- Jurassic World (2015 – movie)
- Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (2020 to present – animated TV series)
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018 – movie)
- Battle at Big Rock (2019 – short film)
- Jurassic World: Dominion (2022 – movie not out yet)
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Writing by Maggie Tillman.