Jumanji (TV series)
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Phil La Marr
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||40 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes (approx.)|
|Production company(s)||Adelaide Productions
Columbia TriStar Television
Bohbot Kids Network (BKN)
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television (non-UK)
PolyGram Television/ITV Studios (UK)
|Original channel||UPN Kids (1996–98)
|Original run||September 8, 1996 – March 11, 1999|
Jumanji is an American animated television series that was inspired by the movie based on the short story of the same name. The series ran for three seasons from 1996 to 1999. In 1996, it was carried by the UPN Kids network, but later seasons were syndicated by BKN. The series was also shown by CITV in the United Kingdom and on Russian RTR channel.
Jumanji was produced by Adelaide Productions, with character designs by Everett Peck. Episodes of the show are now available on Netflix, iTunes and Hulu. The show was rerun on Kabillion on Demand, but currently airs on YouTube.
While it followed the movie's plot, there were a few changes such as the exclusion of Bonnie Hunt's character Sarah Whittle and the age and relationship of the policeman Carl Bentley (played by David Alan Grier in the movie) was changed somewhat. Van Pelt appears in some episodes. Each turn, the player was given a "game clue" and then sucked into the jungle until they solved their clue. Robin Williams' character Alan was stuck in Jumanji because he had never seen his clue. Judy and Peter would help Alan try to leave the game providing the characters' motivation during the series. Also, Peter would sometimes be transformed into various animals whenever he cheated, sometimes using the abilities of whatever animal he becomes to an advantage. The kids also free another player trapped longer than Alan. Unlike Alan, he saw his clue but never solved it, but with the kids' help he solves it. He called himself the Master of Jumanji and tried to get other people to solve his clue for him, but once Alan points out that his clue (the Gateless Gate) is an illusion of Jumanji's and he accepts it, it solves his clue.
It's also revealed that like Judy and Peter, Alan would never have been able to survive his first day in Jumanji without help as he possessed poor survival skills at the time. Ironically, his help came in the form of Judy and Peter from the future (to him anyway) who help him survive and teach him a few of the survival tricks they'd learned from him. In return, the 10-year-old version of Alan helps Judy and Peter return to their time, but later hits his head and forgets meeting them. In the first episode, Alan reveals that there have been other players of the game throughout time, many of whom left their toys in the cave which is part of his home, but not all of them survived the game. In the final episode, using a crystal that shows the past, the kids and Alan find his clue by observing his roll and what the game said, and figure out why he never saw it: right after he rolled his mom called him to dinner and as he was leaving, the clue displayed while he had his back turned and he got sucked in. Once he knew his clue, Alan solved it with Judy and Peter's help and escaped Jumanji. Outside, the kids decide to destroy the Jumanji game now that Alan's free.
In the series, it is revealed that Jumanji is sentient to a degree and on occasion has sucked in Judy and Peter if they make it "angry".
- Alan Robert John Jason Parrish III (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke) – Judy and Peter's companion in Jumanji. He has been stuck in the game since he was a boy and can only get out if he sees his original clue. According to the Jumanji database, he got trapped in Jumanji on April 3, 1972 (although in "Young Alan," he says its 1965 and in the live action film it was 1969). In "Young Alan", he was a ten and a half-year-old boy (although in the live-action film, he was twelve-years old), son of the late owner of a now long shut-down shoe factory and friends with future Officer Bentley. Judy and Peter free him at the end of the show by helping him find and solve his original clue. He tries to get free throughout the series and sometimes succeeds, but always ends up trapped back in the game until he's finally freed by solving his long-lost clue. He was freed from the game by pulling a thorn from a lion's paw, which was ironic since he had encountered the same lion not long after first entering the game. It's revealed that he considers Peter and Judy his family and that his worst fear is that he has no clue and will die an old man, trapped in Jumanji with Peter and Judy spending the rest of their lives trying to free him.
- Judith "Judy" Shepherd (voiced by Debi Derryberry) – Peter's older sister. She is smart, and gets teased for it, although her intelligence helps them solve problems. She also has boy troubles as shown in various episodes. She refers to Peter as Peabody a lot.
- Peter Shepherd (voiced by Ashley Johnson) - Judy's younger brother. It's stated in Eye of the Sea that Peter is nine years old. He's immature, quite troubled and constantly says "Cool Beans". Although in season 2 and 3, this mostly changes to Nizer. He constantly cheats and transforms into various animals such as a monkey from the live action film and other jungle animals. He can also speak Manji (presumably Alan taught him) and seems to have somewhat of a friendship with them because he saved their leader Tribal Bob.
In Jumanji, there are many dangerous characters. Many appear only once. The recurring characters include:
- Van Pelt (voiced by Sherman Howard) - The big-game hunter who wants to mount everyone's heads on his wall. He hunts everything, man or beast without remorse. He hates Alan and wants to kill him (referred to as Human hunting). His most commonly used word if anything goes wrong is "Blast"! He is killed by Peter in one episode, but Peter becomes him as there must always be a hunter, so Alan and Judy bring him back. He has poor communication skills. One episode revealed that he even shot his maid at the time when Alan, Judy, and Peter snuck into his house to obtain his pith helmet.
- J.H. "Trader" Slick (voiced by Tim Curry) - The wicked merchant of Jumanji who sells items to anyone who can meet the terms of his transactions and has been known to sell simple tools to rare and powerful artifacts to a vast clientele throughout the series. He lives and sells his wares at a trading post located at the heart of the jungle. He always says his whole name when introducing himself, but his middle name changes a lot of time. Some of the items that J.H. Slick has sold include a rare paint that he tricked Alan into buying, the Slickomatic, a giant potion to make Peter grow and later the antidote, the ChronoRepeater, a "Get Out of Jumanji Free" Card that was only valid once, a love potion for Judy, and even a motorboat which allows Peter and Judy to return to their time. If necessary, he becomes a real danger to the trio even when paired up with some of the other villains like his occasional team-ups with Van Pelt and Professor Ibsen. But his biggest part in the series is just a sly cunning swindler (a.k.a. "Honest John Dealership").
- Professor J.S. Heinrich Ibsen (voiced by William Sanderson) - The mad scientist of Jumanji. He invents dangerous Steampunk-like machines. Ibsen is tasked to "work" for Jumanji, creating dangers and nightmare machines like battle-armored rhinos, acid-tongued frogs, and berbalangs. He sends daily reports to "Jumanji" itself which broadcasts throughout the jungle. He calls himself a "Master Builder of Jumanji" (this is a reference to the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and his play "The Master Builder").
- Captain Ishmael Squint (voiced by Charles Napier) - The cruel pirate who sails the Jumanji Sea. In "Eye of the Sea", he lost his nose during the battle against the Draken (a one-eyed sea monster which is a cross between a dragon and a kraken) over 20 years ago. Squint's vengeful pursuit of the Draken is remininscent of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (His name is a reference to the Moby Dick story in that its first line is "Call me Ishmael"). The monster ate Squint alive before Alan stabbed it in the eye, killing it. In "Return of Squint", he later came back alive with two new shipmates. He forces Judy, Peter, and Alan to help him search for treasure at the bottom of the sea with Ibsen's submarine, but get captured by demonic mermaids with his new shipmates while the other three escape.
- Mr. Shreve - Squint’s 1st one-eyed shipmate.
- Mr. Shatic - Squint’s 2nd one-legged shipmate.
- Stalker (voiced by Tom Kenny) - The demonic Grim Reaper villain who is the Protector of Jumanji. He's the "Game Over Demon" of Jumanji. He first appeared in "No Dice" when Alan stole the dice from the real world. He is apparently destroyed when he is crushed by a piston, but is revealed to have survived. In "The Gift", Stalker brought Van Pelt, Trader Slick, and Professor Ibsen together to kill the kids after Alan was poisoned by a demonic centipede as Peter threatened to destroy Jumanji if Alan died. He is again defeated after being shoved down a waterfall by Alan, but survives again. His name and destiny was never revealed in the show.
- Aston Philips (voiced by Dabney Coleman) - The greedy adventurer. He considers himself the biggest and bravest and betrays even his agents Alan, Judy and Peter. His catchphrase is "Aston Philips has done it again". Though he was thought to have died in the Temple of Riddles in "The Palace of Clues," he actually survived and resurfaced when it came to looking for the Golden Goblet of Jumanjicon. He encountered Alan, Judy, and Peter again in their search for the artifact and even reclaimed his compass that Trader Slick swindled him into trading. After drinking from the Golden Goblet of Jumanjicon, he reverted to childhood form.
- Ludwig Von Richtor (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) - The German hunter who is the rival of Van Pelt. He competed with Van Pelt in hunting Alan. In "The Ultimate Weapon," Ludwig Von Richtor was present at Trader Slick's auction for the Trans-Vector of Jumanji.
- The Judge (voiced by Edward Asner) - An ape-like lawkeeper that presided over the trial of Alan when he was accused of stealing the Singing Orb from an ape. However, he is not a benevolent Judge as he condemns all without regard to innocence. He is also very greedy as shown when he takes an orb from the Fludgels and is sucked into it. His only weapon is "Justice" which is a giant gorilla. In "The Ultimate Weapon," the Judge was present at Trader Slick's auction for the Trans-Vector of Jumanji.
- Flint (voiced by Charlie Schlatter) - An evil wizard created by Jumanji to mess with Judy's mind. Turns people into stone, but is defeated by Judy when she reflects his own attack back at him, freeing his victims and turning him to stone. He is presumably destroyed when his statue falls thousands of feet to the ground.
- Queen Gina (voiced by Cathy Moriarty) - The leader of the Jamazons (which is short for "Jumanji Amazons"). She tries to marry Alan, but is defeated by Aunt Nora. In "The Ultimate Weapon," Queen Gina was present at Trader Slick's auction for the Trans-Vector of Jumanji but did not take part in the reclaiming of the device.
- Black Ant Queen - The Black Ant leader of Jumanji. In "The Ultimate Weapon," the Black Ant Queen was present at Trader Slick's auction for the Trans-Vector of Jumanji but did not take part in the reclaiming of the device.
- Red Ant Queen - The Red Ant leader of Jumanji. In "The Ultimate Weapon," the Red Ant Queen was present at Trader Slick's auction for the Trans-Vector of Jumanji but did not take part in the reclaiming of the device.
- Sand King (voiced by Jim Cummings) - The sand monster who is the ruler of the Sand Kingdom and tries to get a chest of cursed gold from Judy, Peter and Alan. He gets destroyed by Peter with a squirt gun.
- Aunt Nora Shepherd (voiced by Melanie Chartoff) - Judy and Peter's aunt and legal guardian. She is taken into the game a couple of times, but the kids convince her it was a dream. Later after Alan is finally freed by Judy and Peter, there are indications of a possible romantic relationship between the two. She is a therapist and does aerobics which allow her in Jumanji to defeat the Jamazon Queen. While she thinks her adventures in Jumanji are a dream, they seem to help her lighten up if only for a little while afterwards.
- The Master of Jumanji- A former player who got stuck in Jumanji years before Alan because he couldn't solve his clue.
- Tribal Bob and the Manji Tribe (voiced by Phil La Marr) - The natives of Jumanji. They are strange creatures that resemble living Masks with spear. Peter and Alan can speak their language (Click consonant). They are said in the first episode to be friends to no one, but were befriended by Peter, who becomes part of their tribe for a short time. Depending on their mood they can be helpful or hurtful, but due to Tribal Bob, and their leader's friendship with Peter, they usually help out, with Bob even helping to secretly save Alan's life once when he couldn't outright help.
- Officer Carl Bentley (voiced by Phil La Marr) - A police officer that patrols Judy and Peter's neighborhood.
- Rock (voiced by Pamela Adlon) - A school bully that picks on Peter.
- Dead-Eye (voiced by Kevin Schon) - A school bully that is friends with Rock.
- Bill Fagerbakke – Alan Parrish
- Debi Derryberry – Judy Shepherd
- Ashley Johnson – Peter Shepherd
- Pamela Adlon – Rock
- Melanie Chartoff – Aunt Nora Shepherd
- Tim Curry – Trader Slick
- Sherman Howard – Hunter Van Pelt
- Tom Kenny - Stalker
- Phil La Marr – Officer Bentley, Tribal Bob
- William Sanderson – Professor Ibsen
- Kevin Schon - Dead-Eye
- Beverly Archer - Peter's Teacher
- Edward Asner - The Judge
- René Auberjonois - Professor Alsip
- Bob Bergen - Science Teacher
- Cam Clarke - Adult Peter Shepherd, Justin Galloway
- Dabney Coleman - Ashton Phillips
- Jim Cummings - Sand King
- Tony Jay - Master
- Bob Joles - Coach Bartlett
- Maurice LaMarche -
- Roddy McDowall - Furvish
- Cathy Moriarty - Queen Gina
- Charles Napier - Captain Ishmael Squint
- Alan Oppenheimer - Ludwig Von Richtor
- Bibi Osterwald - Ms. Desmona
- Charlie Schlatter - Flint, Wade Riley
- Susan Blu - Dialogue Director
On August 28, 2012, Sony Pictures released Jumanji: The Complete First Season on DVD in region 1 via the Warner Archive Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively in the US and is part of the Sony Pictures Choice Collection, released in partnership with Warner Archive. It is also available through Amazon.com and there CreateSpace MOD program.
Mill Creek Entertainment announced the series on DVD.