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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's home release offers details on wild stunts, effects work

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Sep 7, 2018, 9:57 AM EDT

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was a shocking expansion of the dinosaur franchise that also managed to join the billion-dollar club along with its predecessor — all while bringing in more positive reviews than Colin Trevorrow’s series reboot. Now that the Indoraptor action is coming to home release, SYFY WIRE got a chance to check out the special features on the Blu-ray so that the film could really hit it out of the park from the start of the production cycle to its end.

And yeah, there are an absolute ton of bonus features included on this thing. Let’s not even get into the augmented-reality game featuring an interactive raptor Blue that comes included in the case. There’re featurettes focused on stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s time on set, the birth of the genetic abomination that is the Indoraptor, the rolling gyroscope sequence, the animatronic dinosaurs, the auction scene, and Jeff freaking Goldblum.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg: Over 15 different bonus videos come on the disc. Executive producer Steven Spielberg comments on Howard and Pratt’s chemistry as we watch Pratt help director J.A. Barona figure out just how exactly his character will escape encroaching lava while tranquilized. Barona comments on Pratt’s willingness to do something different each take, bubbling over with ideas.

Snippets of concept art and pre-visualizations for the eruption scenes play in the background of some of these interviews, which include some fun details about the filmmaking. The film was partially shot in Hawaii’s Kualoa Ranch, where the famous running Gallimimus scene from the original movie took place -- and they covered that place in lava, using some special effects magic that is compared to cat litter by one of the VFX supervisors.

This led to the gyrosphere sequence, which was shot on two different continents: half in Hawaii and half in London, at the studio. The latter is where the sphere was dropped off a giant rollercoaster to simulate a cliff and dunked in a 30-foot-deep tank of water for the actors to escape. These poor actors did so many stunts — including the youngest member of the team, Isabella Sermon, who played Maisie and did all her own stunts. Pratt did some of his, but the most impressive was the somersault through the jaws of the T-rex which was featured in the trailers — though he injured his elbow on the take that made it into the movie.

But it wasn’t just the actors that got the behind-the-scenes treatment. The dinosaurs are showcased almost as heavily. The T-rex scene, where Howard has to ride it on the ship, took eight puppeteers to maneuver the giant dino. The Indoraptor took five. Nostrils, eyes, jaws — they all needed separate operation, unless it was a full-body shot, in which case it was more likely the dino would actually be a special effects guy rigged with a harness attached to a mock head of the creature for the actors to look at. Baby Blue’s animation was influenced by footage of baby dino-like birds (think emus) but also puppies, to make her especially cute.

That cuteness is only equalled in these special features by Pratt himself, who has included snippets of himself interviewing people from all over the crew. Production assistants, diving techs, and script supervisors all feel the power of his wit and charm. In fact, you could too when Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits home release on Sept. 18.