How an Animated Dinosaur Is Created

If you have ever dreamed of having a close encounter with a real-life animatronic dinosaur, you’re not alone. Zoos and museums all over the world rent out animatronic dinosaurs to give visitors a thrilling experience. Some museums, such as the Smithsonian National Zoo, have them on display in their dinosaur halls to give visitors the sense of walking among the giant creatures of the past. Other museums are also experimenting with the technology to create a more interactive experience.

The story of how Jurassic Park’s animatronics were built begins in the early 1990s. Bob Gurr, the creator of the movie Jurassic Park, knew right away that he would need hydraulics to create the animatronic Tyrannosaurus. His initial idea was to use an electric motor based system, but that wouldn’t produce the same level of speed Stan Winston was seeking. He eventually settled on hydraulics instead, as they would provide the animatronic with the needed speed and accuracy.

When animators create these models, they consult with experts to make sure that their creations look as authentic as possible. This is why some animators have gone so far as to create smaller versions of actual dinosaurs to make their creations look more like juveniles. They also use motion actuators to produce realistic movements. In order to make the animatronic dinosaur look real, the body and skin are made of soft or hard sponge.