Sounds of the Lost World: Musical World Building in the Jurassic Park Franchise

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A distant choir crescendos over a soaring symphony orchestra, joining with a heroic violin melody full of promise and expectation. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) delivers the now-infamous line “Welcome to Jurassic Park” and the camera cuts to Alan Grant (Sam Neill), closing in to frame the look of distant wonder and astonishment on his face. The music swells and with a majestic roll of the timpani the objects of Dr. Grant’s bewilderment—several enormous Brachiosauruses grazing and emerging from a lake—are triumphantly revealed. This time, however, the orchestra and choir are suddenly replaced with a comedically terrible rendition of John Williams’s Jurassic Park theme on melodica.

This internet meme created by Patrick Lo parodies one of the most iconic and memorable moments within the first Jurassic Park film (1993), confounding our expectation of a grand musical climax with a significantly weaker imitation done for humorous effect. This effect is amplified by the disparity between the sight of some of the most impressively realistic CGI (computer-generated imagery) dinosaurs of the era and the utter failure of Lo to land any of the right notes in anything resembling the right order. In the nineteen years between the film’s release and the uploading of this video, John Williams’s Main Theme for Jurassic Park and its pairing with these dinosaurs in their (un)natural habitat has implanted itself into public consciousness, and it is this shared awareness of the motif that gives the meme its comedic power....
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Jurassic Park Book
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives on the Classic 1990s Blockbuster
EditorsMatthew Melia
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781501384844, 9781501384851, 9781501384820
ISBN (Print)9781501384868
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2023


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