The bizarre link between ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Goonies’
“Spare no expense!”— John Hammond
Jurassic Park, put quite simply, is one of the most entertaining films of all-time. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, it was commissioned by Universal Studios and directed by the distinguished Steven Spielberg. Now looked back upon as a “summer blockbuster” which not only shattered box-office records and revolutionised commercial merchandising deals; the biggest impact of Jurassic Park was undoubtedly the introduction of computer-generated visual effects in the film industry in a way that no film had ever done before. Film historian Tom Shone commented on the film’s innovation and influence, saying: “In its way, Jurassic Park heralded a revolution in movies as profound as the coming of sound in 1927.”
On the same note, the 1985 kids-adventure-comedy The Goonies—in which a group of West Coast kids go on a treasure hunt in a classic tale of friendship celebrating the virtue of good over evil—also had an association with Steven Spielberg. Not only was it based on an initial story written by the Jurassic Park director; he also acted as the executive producer for the cult film, which has since gone on to be recognised and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Interestingly, in what has been likened to as an ‘Easter Egg’ in the relationship between the two films, Dennis Nedry (played by Wayne Knight)—the lead computer programmer of Jurassic Park who carried on the strenuous task of deporting the fertilised dinosaur eggs by storing it in a shaving cream can—has been spotted to be wearing outfits which draws inspiration from those worn by the kids’ Chuck, Mouth, and Mikey in The Goonies.
Mirroring the costumes from The Goonies, Nedry sports an identical aloha floral-print shirt similar to that of Chunk’s. In two of the other scenes from later in the movie—the yellow rain jacket which he wears in the docks, and a grey jacket from the computer lab—also reflect those of Mikey and Mouth’s from the much revered Richard Donner film.
In hindsight, this mysterious link between the two films and the supposed coincidence was most probably an intentional homage by Kathleen Kennedy—who was the costume designer on both the movies—paying her tribute to their work from one of the cult-classics of the 1980s.
The parallels do not end there: In one of the earlier scenes from Jurassic Park, Nedry is seen to be sitting in front of the computers, while Spielberg’s first big money-spinner Jaws plays on one of the screens. When asked about his inspiration for making the movie, Spielberg said: “I was really just trying to make a good sequel to Jaws, on land.”
The ending of Jurassic Park alsogave a nod to another of Steven Spielberg’s films, this time it is the 1977 sci-fi feature Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with the film’s music composer John Williams famously introducing a variation of the ‘famous five tunes’ during the end-credits. That surely must have been the last of the many references which it puts forward throughout the duration of its run-time. Or is it?