If you think Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park would have made a perfect cartoon series in the 1990s, you’re not alone. Universal Pictures wanted to capitalize on the now-legendary film’s success in any way it could: multiple sequels, toys and video games, and, almost, a cartoon adaptation.
The studio hired renowned fantasy illustrator William Stout, who had previously worked with Spielberg designing storyboards for Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1980, to draw up some concepts for a potential animated series. According to Stout, all that was needed for the project to move forward was Spielberg’s approval, but the director was not interested.
“I heard through the grapevine that he never bothered to watch what we had done,” Stout writes on his website. “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.” (We wonder why, then, Spielberg agreed to direct an underwhelming sequel and produce a third one.)
But now at least we know what that show would have looked like. Stout is selling a number of the original pieces he worked on for the Jurassic Park animated series that never came to be. Stout’s drawings—the most expensive of which is $1,250—would make quite the collectible for film enthusiasts hoping to snag a forgotten part of Jurassic Park history.
It’s a shame the show was never made, because it really sounds like it would have been good. It wasn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill Saturday morning cartoon aimed solely at kids. Instead, “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.” Alas, it was not meant to be.
In any event, here’s the cool concept art Stout made for the series. If you’ve seen Jurassic World, you’ll notice that one particular dinosaur that’s featured prominently in the film would have made an appearance in the cartoon.