Here’s an idea: dinosaurs. Not just any dinosaurs, though, animated dinosaurs. That’s what might have been had Universal’s Jurassic Park animated series happened.
Riding the wave of success from the 1993 smash hit, Universal Animation Studios started planning for an animated series and even hired an artist! Now that artist, William Stout, has shared the concept art from the project (which you can check out below), and why it never happened, on his journal.
Based on the art and Stout’s blog, the show was going to focus on the main characters from the film and not going to be your typical Saturday morning cartoon:
“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.”
That’s not a bad gig. And a mature, graphic novel type animated series sounds awesome.
So why didn’t it happen? One word: Spielberg.
“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.
It is too bad, although you can’t really blame Spielberg. Weariness from over-saturation in Hollywood is a real thing. Still, it could have been great.
The concept art reveals a lot of really cool ideas, including a chase with a plesiosauria and interactions with a baby pterodactyl. Not all these ideas were scrapped, though – one image reveals a mosasaur, which we finally saw this summer in Jurassic World.
Would this have pushed the franchise in another direction? We’ll never know, but it’s an interesting notion to ponder.
If anything, at least Stout’s concept art looks great.
Would you have watched an animated Jurassic Park series? What do you think of the concept art? Let us know in the comments!