Artist William Stout has had an impressive career as a commercial artist. In addition his work as an illustrator, comic book artist, and Imagineer for the Disney Parks, he’s also worked quite a bit in the film world, working as a designer on such films as Men in Black and Pans Labyrinth, as well as a poster designer for films like Wizard and Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.
But in one of his recent journals, he mentioned his work on a never produced prime time animated Jurassic Park series:
Although I own a copy, I don’t think this trailer is available anywhere.Upon the success of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park movie, all kinds of ancillary projects abounded: toys, games, novelties, apparel, etc. Towards the end of all of this merchandising I got a call from artist Will Meugniot, asking if I’d be interested in designing a Jurassic Park animated series. 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 prime time 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.
We made a trailer to communicate the look and feel of the series, also showing how we would combine computer animation with traditional animation. All we needed was Spielberg’s approval.
Unfortunately, they never got that approval:
I heard through the grapevine that he never bothered to watch what we had done. 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.
Jurassic Park came out during the booming 90’s animation resurgence (which Spielberg had a hand in), so it may have been a perfect time for a ground breaking primetime series like Jurassic Park. But at the same time, it may have been lost in the shuffle, or been victim to dinosaur overload. With the success of Jurassic World, it’s definitely feasible that we will see some form of a Jurassic Park animated series in the future, especially considering the character of Owen lends itself to an animated action hero, more so than Alan Grant, at least.
You can purchase Stout’s Jurassic Park animated series concept art, along with a lot of other great work, on his website.