• 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' premiere: Chris Pratt and cast speak fondly about Blue

    By: USA Today

    Updated:

    Though the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom premiere in Los Angeles Tuesday was filled with a variety of prehistoric species, from a T. Rex mid-chomp to a Triceratops hiding in the bushes, it became clear that one specific dinosaur is particularly beloved by the cast.

    Yes, we're talking about Velociraptor Blue.

    After all, she is the hero of 2015's Jurassic World, along with some assists by Chris Pratt's Owen and Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire.

    In Fallen Kingdom, Velociraptor Blue returns to win more hearts.

    "Blue’s still my favorite," Pratt said on the carpet outside of Walt Disney Concert Hall. "She’s always going to be my favorite."

    Though the raptors in the last movie were largely portrayed by men in suits, in the sequel beloved theropod Blue is mostly played by an animatronic (a robotic device used to emulate a human or animal).

    "The animatronic dinosaur Blue is just really breathtaking puppetry, artistry," said Pratt. "Ten or twelve people operate this half-a-million-dollar puppet. (It's) really, really remarkable."

    Daniella Pineda, who plays veterinarian Zia in the new movie, said she was blown away by how lifelike her reptilian scene partner was.

    "It would sweat, its eyes would dilate if hit by light, it had pulsing veins, it felt like reptile skin. It was just the most realistic thing that I'd ever worked with, and it felt like I was working with a real animal," she told USA TODAY on the "Fallen Kingdom" carpet. "I think it cost like four Bentleys to make, or something crazy like that."

    Moviegoers will likely be impressed by the clawed creature, and also feel affection toward her like they would their own dog. That's by design, according to visual effects supervisors David Vickery and Alex Wuttke.

    "It’s definitely doglike. You look at the way Blue cocks her head and looks up at you. It’s exactly like a dog," Vickery said at the premiere. "You’re trying to sort of connect the dinosaur with things that you understand as a human."

    "A lot of the acting comes through the eyes. It’s true of human actors. It’s also very true for the dinosaurs," Wuttke added. "So there’s a lot of expression built into Blue’s eyes. We spent a lot of time just working on the physics of how light transmits through the eye and focuses."

    If that attention to detail sounds like a step up from the last "Jurassic World," that's because it probably is.

    "We learned a lot from the last movie," said "Jurassic World" director-turned-"Falling Kingdom"-producer Colin Trevorrow at the event Tuesday. "We definitely learned that if we were able to afford more animatronics, we would use them. And we could because the first movie did alright."

    It did, indeed.

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, with Blue, comes to theaters June 22.

    More: 'Jurassic World 3' to roar into theaters June 2021

     

     

     

     

     

     

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