VINTAGE ARTICLE: GORE IS MINIMAL, BUT FILM’S TOO SCARY FOR TINY KIDS

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: With “Jurassic Park 4,” aka “Jurassic World,” bearing down on us (it opens June 12), it seems appropriate to revisit reactions to the first film with regard to whether the violence is too much for kids. Here’s what participants in the original movie told me during a Los Angeles junket, which resulted in this June 11, 1993, Deseret News story.

Should I let my child see “Jurassic Park”?

If there is any question that’s been asked more frequently in the past few weeks, I don’t know what it is. In fact, my colleagues have suggested I put an answer on a taped message and just let it play every time the phone rings.

“Jurassic Park” is rated PG-13, which in itself cautions parents that some material may be too heavy for pre-teens. My own 10-year-old son Danny has talked me into letting him go … but I had to think about it for a while. And I’m not altogether sure I’ve made the right decision.

Though the gore is minimal for a film of this type, there are many intense and scary moments, amplified by its presentation on the big screen with a thumping stereo soundtrack.

Even those involved with the film acknowledge that it’s not for young children.

-- Samuel L. Jackson: “Well, it depends on whether your kid thinks all dinosaurs are Barney. You have to have kids who know that all dinosaurs aren’t these nice, cuddly things that come by your house and sing songs. My daughter (age 11) knew that and she wanted to see it, and she enjoyed the ride — but she came and slept with us that night anyway.”

       

Clockwise from left, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Laura Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, 'Jurassic Park'

-- Martin Ferrero: “No, I won’t let (my children) see it. One’s 8 and one’s 3. It’s too intense. It is not blood and gore but the intensity of the deaths is incredible.”

-- Wayne Knight: “When I was a kid I would have wanted to see this movie for sure. I don’t know what it is about kids and dinosaurs but you have this fascination about something that’s really big and could eat your parents. I would have found some way to see this thing.”

-- Sam Neill: “I have three kids. One’s too young to see any movie and I have two that are 9 and 11. And they’re going to have the time of their lives.”

-- Kathleen Kennedy: “Six to 8 is a very questionable age range. But on the other hand I’m not going to say that a 7- or 8-year-old shouldn’t see this movie. I think it’s up to the parent. There are certain younger children who will be fine with this movie and others who won’t.”

      

    Michael Crichton being interviewed about 'Jurassic Park'

-- Michael Crichton: “This is a parental decision. I would say, below 6 it’s an immediate ‘No.’ Above 8 or 9, it’s, ‘Why not?’

“If they’ve seen ‘T2’ (‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’), which a lot of very young children have, then they can see this. If they haven’t, if the parents restrict exposure, which a lot of parents also do, then my suggestion is, go see the movie yourself and decide whether you want your kid to see it.

“But I think there is absolutely an issue about this picture, that it is not suitable for very young children, and my kid (age 4) is not going to see it and she’s very unhappy.”