Steven Spielberg’s prehistoric action adventure is back on the big screen with a 4K release to celebrate its 30th anniversary. If you’re thinking of taking children to see it in cinemas, here’s what you need to know about the film’s new 12A rating.
Jurassic Park, the dinosaur adventure that was ‘65 million years in the making’, has historically been rated at PG since its very first submission to the BBFC on film in 1993. The film was recently resubmitted in August 2023 and received a 12A for moderate threat, violence, bloody images.
Can I take my children to see Jurassic Park?
Our 12A age rating means that a film is suitable for audiences of 12 and over. However, a child younger than 12 can see a 12A film if they are accompanied by an adult.
If you are wanting to take your younger child(ren) to see Jurassic Park at the cinema, but are wondering if it’s suitable for them, we publish content advice on our website for every film to be released in cinemas. We have also recently introduced a new visual enhancement to our content advice: an easy-to-read visual scale, identifying key content themes on a scale of 1-5. Our content advice is designed to help parents, caregivers and families choose content that’s right for them.
See our full content advice for Jurassic Park below.
Why has the rating changed?
The BBFC only reviews (and potentially reclassifies) previously classified content when it is formally resubmitted. This is usually because of an upcoming cinema re-release, or for a DVD or Blu-Ray release, for example. Jurassic Park was resubmitted to the BBFC ahead of its new run in cinemas, marking its 30th anniversary.
When viewing content that has been resubmitted, Compliance Officers view and classify the material against our current Guidelines to ensure BBFC classification decisions remain in step with societal standards. This might mean that, on occasion, older content may require a higher or lower age rating than its established rating.
Since the early 1990s, BBFC classification standards have evolved as the result of widespread consultations, in which we speak to thousands of people from across the UK to ascertain what we can permit at each category level. In the case of Jurassic Park, the film contains elements that are no longer containable at PG under current standards for that category.
For a detailed summary on Jurassic Park’s early classification history and the decision-making behind the film’s original PG classification, see our Case Study.
Why is Jurassic Park classified at 12A?
(Please note: this section may contain spoilers!)
It is primarily the extended scenes of threat and creature violence in Jurassic Park which fall within our 12A standards today. In the film, humans are terrorised by dinosaurs who stalk them in the grounds of a theme park, including chasing vehicles and breaking into buildings. There is heightened emphasis on personalised threat, which sometimes involves the two child characters, Lex and Tim. For example, in the film’s third act, the siblings are trapped in a kitchen as a group of velociraptors enter. The kids must creep around the room to avoid detection in a nail-biting silence. There’s some focus on the terrified expressions of the children, which is accompanied by close-ups of the raptors’ claws and teeth, giving the scene an almost horror-like quality.
The duration of the creature threat in scenes like this one exceeds our Guidelines at PG, which state that: “Frightening sequences or situations where characters are in danger should not be prolonged or intense.”
Scenes of violence in Jurassic Park also contain a greater level of detail than is permissible at PG today. At 12A, “There may be moderate violence but it should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context.”
In Jurassic Park, scenes of creature violence include people being attacked by dinosaurs, sometimes resulting in bloody injuries and, in one sequence, a severed arm being discovered in the aftermath of a kill. There are also brief bouts of creature-on-creature violence featuring close-up shots of dinosaurs biting into each other. However, the latter scenes do not contain strong detail and are well precedented in the franchise in the wake of Jurassic Park’s sequels, including the 12A-rated Jurassic World trilogy.
Rated 12A for moderate threat, violence, bloody images
A theme park's recreation of dinosaurs from prehistoric DNA has unforeseen consequences in this classic action adventure film, from 1993, in which scenes of sustained threat and creature violence may disturb younger children.
Moderate creature violence includes a man being snatched up and shaken in a large dinosaur's jaws, and a man being dragged into a cage by one of the creatures, but these attacks contain no strong detail. There are also scenes in which dinosaurs bite and lash out at one another in brief bouts of creature-on-creature fighting.
Threat and horror
There are scenes of moderate threat as adult and child characters are chased and menaced by predatory dinosaurs who stalk them in the grounds of a theme park or through rooms, and destroy hiding places. The threat is intense and occasionally sustained, but there is also a focus on the bravery and resourcefulness of the humans as they overcome their fear to figure out ways to escape their predicaments.
There is mild bad language ('son of a bitch', 'shit', 'crap', 'bastard'), as well as very mild terms such as 'butt', 'jerk', 'hell', 'damn' and 'God'. The end titles sequence contains a credit to a member of the production crew which includes his nickname ('Spaz').
There are infrequent mild comic sex references, including a man mixing up the word 'animatronic' with 'auto erotic'.
There is brief sight of the bloody stump of a severed arm which a woman pulls from a wall thinking it is still attached to its now dead owner. A man survives a dinosaur attack, but is left with a bloodied leg. There are mild cuts and abrasions on characters left by their attempts to escape the dinosaur threats, as well as blood around the jaws of dinosaurs.
A man says, "That is one big pile of shit" as he looks at a mound of dinosaur dung, and a young girl is covered in snot when a harmless dinosaur sneezes on her. A man asks sarcastically if scientists find out the gender of dinosaurs by pulling up their skirts.
Alcohol and tobacco
An adult character smokes cigarettes.
The reclassification of Jurassic Park brings the film in line with the more recent Jurassic World series, all of which we classified at 12A.
Rated 12A for moderate threat, occasional bloody moments, action violence
A new dinosaur theme park is opened to the public on the site of the original Jurassic Park. The film's emphasis on dinosaurs attacking the public makes this sequel more intense than the original trilogy.
Rated 12A for moderate threat, occasional bloody moments, action violence
Following the closure of the Jurassic World theme park, the remaining dinosaurs are threatened by a volcano. Action violence, threat and bloody moments are in keeping with previous films in the series.
Rated 12A for moderate threat, scary scenes, violence, rude gestures
A group of heroes must save the world from ecological disaster in this action-packed, globe-trotting adventure. Nail-biting scenes of dinosaur threat and fantasy violence may unsettle younger viewers.
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