***Spoilers for Jurrasic World Below*** I know what you're thinking, Ally is a dog trainer not a movie critic and you're right. BUT when Hollywood makes my dreams come true I feel like I have to say something. From pretty early on in watching trailers for Jurrasic World it was clear they were training Velociraptors. From the second I saw that I was wishing that they would use positive reinforcement. They blew it out of the park, the raptors are trained with a clicker. All be it incorrectly but HEY! THEY ARE USING CLICKER TRAINING TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE MOST LETHAL AND INTELLIGENT ANIMAL OF ALL TIME!
After watching Chris Pratt click and toss dead rats to the raptors the movie could only get better. Once his background is explained it makes perfect sense to me. Owen Grady was with the US Navy before coming to work at Jurrasic World. The Navy has been using clicker training to train dolphins for open sea missions since the early 1960s with such greats as Bob Bailey and Karen Pryor. Later in the movie after being forced to use his raptors in a way that he fundamentally disagrees with they are confronted by the I-Rex. Owen realizes that the I-Rex is part raptor and the pack found a new Alpha. (I'm letting that term slide for now because I believe it was used for lack of a better term.) After many really cool action sequences Owen and crew are again confronted by the raptor pack. Gazing into eachother's eyes the relationship is remembered and the raptors are back on team human. To me that was perhaps the most beautiful seniment of the entire movie, relationship over intimidation. "I don't control them, it is a relationship". Any animal can be trained using positive reinforcement. There is no need for force, fear, or intimidation whether you are training your pet dog or an extinct killing machine. All animals would rather work to get what they enjoy rather to avoid what they don't like. This is not just a hollywood idea, in the video below keepers are using clicker training (with a beep instead of a click) to teach Hyenas to willingly give blood. Hyenas are considered one of the most aggressive animals in the world. There is no such thing as an animal too aggressive for positive training.
Jurrasic World gets five stars from me! I have already seen it twice and will probably go and see it again. Jurrasic Park was a favorite movie of mine since I was a kid. Thank you for making it even better by using modern training techniques (though for the record it is one click per treat) and making manly man Chris Pratt care more about relationship than anything else!