ok so i recently watched Jurassic Park in 3D and i have to say, i finally understand where the 90's fanboys are coming from with the nostalgic raptors.
I'd like to point out that i still believe that raptors in real life had some type of feather coating, although i wouldn't go so far as to say that they were 100% feathered and that we may never actually see what they looked like in life. The thing about Jurassic Park was that it was a technological and contemporary breakthrough for moviegoers around the world for its time. That being said .. i'm going to defend my argument with some balance between science and filmmaking.
Before Jurassic Park came into theaters, the world had only seen dinosaurs through the eyes of directors and designers who depicted dinosaurs as these impossible creatures that were beyond our comprehension. "A large lizard with a plate on its head and long spikes on its eyebrows? A large lizard that walks on two legs and can rip apart large chunks of meat? No one's ever seen that before! We must make it all seem as spectacular as we can!!" ... unfortunately it may have been a mistake for them to portray dinosaurs like that for such a long time. Sometimes the imagination of the filmmakers is what leads people to occasionally believe that what they see is real, even though they know its a film. People have to understand that the movie industry is mostly meant to entertain, not to educate. Their job is not to make you believe that everything you see is real, their job is to make it feel as real as they can. Otherwise there wouldn't be lines, actors, and props.
My point is that with Jurassic Park, there were some scientific breakthroughs at the time which inspired the filmmakers to portray their vision as realistically as they could, regardless of the fact that the concept may not be a physical reality. This explains why the dinosaurs in the film, although nowadays would be deemed scientifically inaccurate, were seen as being the most realistic dinosaurs ever created. People knew that they were just animatronics and CGI, but it was all done in a way that one cannot help but to almost believe that what they're seeing is a living breathing dinosaur, who may just in fact walk up against you. The film may not have been 100% accurate, but being that it is what it is, just a film, it was the first time audiences could almost feel that dinosaurs were living breathing creatures, and that they were no more fantastic than any other regular animal, albeit a lot more terrifying and dangerous.
Now about the raptors. They were the first time audiences had an awareness of what a raptor is, and even in the film it was explained that they were more like birds and that they were much smarter than we see them, which is basically what paleo-artists want us all to know. The concept of a raptor was understood, but the physical appearance was misunderstood ever since the release. I would give Spielberg and some of the writers the benefit of the doubt that maybe they knew audiences would react negatively to seeing vicious bird looking predators, and that maybe the film wouldn't have been a financial or impacting success that it was. Yes, i know eagles and birds of prey are scary, but with all due respect, you don't see too many well known movies about vicious birds going around hunting and killing people, which may have been why the writers might have had a hard time presenting the birdlike raptors as vicious intelligent creatures.
Being that Jurassic Park was the start of something big for audiences worldwide, the only way they could get the attention of the public was to do it right on the first shot. Sure we may all one day accept the fact that raptors and other dinosaurs had feathers, but if we push the idea down everyone's throats all at once, they may all reject it and refuse the idea as a possibility. And yes i know that the writers of Jurassic Park didn't take very big steps toward the feather idea, but i believe they only stayed with the consistency of the featherless dinosaurs for the sake of the franchise; a company with a title that big must be treated with respect and consistency, otherwise it would all go downhill and people would lose the respect they once had for it. That may have been the case for Jurassic Park 3.
Sure they added feathers on the raptors; there was no problem with that. It may have been a problem with consistency, being that the Spinosaurus became the new top predator to the previous king, T Rex, and yes i was upset that my favorite dinosaur was killed by this new guy despite that now audiences know what a Spinosaurus is, it may have been what ended the franchise, since nostalgic audiences preferred the experience with the T Rex. Some paleo-artists were upset that the dinosaurs were still portrayed somewhat inaccurately, such as lack of feathers, arrangement of muscles, this guy can't chew .. blah blah blah. But it may have been that it was more focused on the dinosaurs and less on the story, and how it paid little homage to the spirit of the first film. It could also have been that people were already so aware of CGI that they had to be wow-ed by something much larger than a film about dinosaurs. The impact of the first of the films was what brought its success, and perhaps changed the world's view on dinosaurs. That is exactly why the film must be remembered as a window into history as to our success in filmmaking and science. One day we'll have something just as great and with as much spirit as Jurassic Park, but until we get there, we'll have to keep in mind that we could not have reached that point without Jurassic Park being there to set us in the right direction, maybe even to set the record straight and captivate more audiences around the world.
Now to those of you who still debate between feathered raptors and rubbery scaley raptors, WILL YOU BOTH JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP?!?!
that is all