If you were a kid in 1993, you likely remember that Jurassic Park merchandise took over the world. In the wake of the film’s box office dominance you could buy pretty much anything with the iconic logo stamped on it, from toys to backpacks to video games. Universal Pictures knew it was sitting on a goldmine, and took advantage in almost every way possible, but there was almost a larger effort to expand the Jurassic empire, even before The Lost World.
This month, artist William Stout began selling some Jurassic Park art on his website, including concept art he did to help design the film’s advertising and, most intriguingly, concept art for a Jurassic Park animated series that never saw the light of day. That’s right; we almost got a Jurassic Park cartoon.
According to Stout, development on the series began near the end of the massive Jurassic Park merchandising wave, and the goal was to produce something that wasn’t a Saturday morning cartoon, but a prime time production for the whole family.
“This was not going to be a kiddy show (although kids of all ages, including myself, could enjoy it). They wanted the show to be a mature primetime series with top writers and state-of-the-art television animation augmented with quite a bit of CG animation. Universal Cartoon Studios wanted a ‘graphic novel look’ to the series. I came in, showed my portfolio and was hired.”
Stout went on to say that the development team eventually produced a trailer to demonstrate the look and feel of the show. Then, it was up to Steven Spielberg to decide the show’s fate. That’s where it all stopped, because Jurassic Park’s director was just done with all the tie-ins at that point.
“I heard through the grapevine that he never bothered to watch what we had done,” Stout said. “By that time the word was out that he was burnt out on Jurassic Park merchandising and all of the film’s commercial exploitation. So, it never got made.”
Spielberg eventually got over his dinosaur fatigue and directed a sequel to Jurassic Park, but the animated series remained nothing more than concept art. To see more of Stout’s work on the show, head to his website.