Thanks to a dear friend, last night I had the chance to relive my childhood and experience something I always wanted to do – see Jurassic Park on the big screen.

I was 9-years old when Jurassic Park hit theaters in the summer of 1993. I saw it with my parents and siblings at the drive-in (it was a double feature with Free Willy) and instantly fell in love with the film.

Grade school Kate was soon obsessed with dinosaurs and had a massive crush on Dr. Grant (Sam Neill). 

I loved everything about this movie – the action, the dinosaurs, the characters (Dr. Grant and Dr. Malcom… even though I was only 9, I knew these intelligent men were eye candy as well as smart people), and the music.

Oh, that music.

John Williams’s score for Jurassic Park is a thing of genius. You know you find yourself humming those themes over and over again. When I was in fifth grade, I taught myself how to play the Jurassic Park music on my trumpet. 

My brother had the action figures and a compound. We had Jurassic Park stuffed animals. I read the book and carried it around as if it were a Bible.

Jurassic Park was it for me. (For the record, it was my favorite film until around 1998… when I fell in love with Star Wars. Since then, my favorite film of all time was Quiz Show and then Moulin Rouge [of which it is still Moulin Rouge].)

So, last night as I sat in the darkened theater, you could not smack the smile off my face. I still knew every word and every music cue. I got excited when the different dinosaurs came on screen and jumped in my chair when that Raptor tried to get Laura Dern after she dealt with the power source. 

Twenty years later, this film holds up (and then some). With the exception of the now-archaic technology (as in, everyone laughed when Lex was excited about a CD-Rom and Unix System), this film is solid on all other accounts. Sure, the dialogue gets cheesy at times (I thought it was cheesy when I was little, so of course it’s still cheesy to me now), but the action holds up, as does the effects. Those dinosaurs still look amazing as ever, and the pacing  still works. 

There were several guys in front of us who had never seen the movie before. 

How was this possible?

Jurassic Park was such a massive part of my childhood, I just assumed that everyone has gotten around to seeing it over the past 20 years. And not to stereotype, but isn’t this the kind of movies that boys are programmed to want to watch? I mean, they were (and still are) the target demographic. (You know my little brother had a JP shirt and JP markers and JP toys, etc…)

But, there I sat, a 29-year old woman whose jaw still dropped at the sight of those massive creatures. I was happier than a kid in a candy store because there were DINOSAURS on screen. 

I really hope people who loved Jurassic Park the first time around get a chance to see it again. This really was one of the few experiences I’ve had where I was truly able to relive a treasured moment from my youth. 

Thanks, Steph, for allowing me to be 9-years old again 🙂