With Jurassic Park, the animators over at Industrial Light and Magic had achieved what could have been considered to be the peak of computer technology: using their imaginations and a little bit of high-tech stuff, they'd managed to recreate beings whose kind had not walked the earth in 60 million years. However, it was quickly obvious that a follow-up was required, and Jumanji provided ILM with a new challenge.
One of the aspects which helped Jurassic Park pull off it's illusion was the humans perception of the dinosaurs. Nobody had ever seen a tyrannosaur walk across a road, so therefore the animators were safe in creating the animal however they wanted. Jumanji presented a much different problem. Everyone has seen an elephant lumber along, or watched a monkey run through some hilarious antics. So it was going to be much more detailed work to create a rhinocerous than a triceratops.
[Image courtesy of the VFXHQ]
Jumanji represented a first in computer animation: an attempt to fool people with animations of creatures that already exist. It was a valiant effort, but ultimately it needed more touch-up work to be as believeable as such movies as Jurassic Park or Twister. After all, realistic hair takes a lot of time; something they didn't have while making the movie.
Visual Effects HQ: Jumanji
Jumanji Media Page
Computer Effects: Creatures, Jurassic Park
Visual Effects HQ: ILM
Computer Effects: Creatures, Twister
Last Updated August 22, 1996