The original Jurassic Park
When it first screened in 1925, The Lost World caused a sensation. Legendary magician Harry Houdini said that the images were “conjured from the ether.” The New York Times proclaimed that if the dinosaur stars were fake, they were masterpieces.
The film features the pioneering stop motion effects of Willis O’Brien. After his initial experiments with clay figures, he progressed to building puppets with articulated metal skeletons and rubber skin. The models even contained a bladder inside the skeleton that could be inflated and deflated to give the illusion of breathing. As Graham Edwards writes:
"I find it incredible that, in an era when just getting the damn things to move at all was magic of the highest order, O’Brien understood exactly what he needed to do to make them move convincingly – and cared enough to make sure it was done.”
The Lost World’s success led not only to other dinosaur-centric films such as Jurassic Park, but was also a significant predecessor to our modern day special effect-filled action films.
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