Jumanji

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Jumanji
Jumanji poster.jpg
North American release poster
Directed by Joe Johnston
Produced by Robert W. Cort
Ted Field
William Teitler
Scott Kroopf
Screenplay by Greg Taylor
Jonathan Hensleigh
Jim Strain
Based on Jumanji 
by Chris Van Allsburg
Starring Robin Williams
Kirsten Dunst
David Alan Grier
Bonnie Hunt
Jonathan Hyde
Bebe Neuwirth
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Thomas Ackerman
Edited by Robert Dalva
Production
  company
Interscope Communications
Teitler Film
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s)
  • December 15, 1995 (1995-12-15)
Running time 104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million
Box office $262,797,249

Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film about a supernatural board game that brings to life the game's wild animals and other jungle hazards each time a player makes a move in the game. It was directed by Joe Johnston and is based on Chris Van Allsburg's popular 1981 picture book of the same name. The special effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic for computer graphic elements and Amalgamated Dynamics for animatronics components.

The story centers on 12-year-old Alan Parrish, who is trapped in Jumanji while playing the game with his friend Sarah in 1969. Twenty-six years later siblings Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) begin playing and unwittingly release the now-adult Alan (Robin Williams). After tracking down Sarah (Bonnie Hunt), the quartet resolve to finish the game in order to undo all of the destruction it has wrought. The movie also stars David Alan Grier as a hapless shoemaker-turned-police officer and Jonathan Hyde in a dual role as both Alan's father and Van Pelt, a big-game hunter intent on killing Alan.

Jumanji was shot in Keene, New Hampshire, where the story is set, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite its lukewarm critical reception, the movie was a box office success, earning $262,797,249 worldwide on a budget of approximately $65 million, and was the tenth highest-grossing movie of 1995. In 2005, a spiritual sequel to Jumanji called Zathura was released; it was also adapted from a Van Allsburg book.

Plot[edit]

In 1869, two boys bury a chest in a forest near Keene, New Hampshire. A century later, in 1969, 12-year-old Alan Parrish flees from a group of bullies to the shoe factory owned by his father, Sam, where he meets his friend Carl Bentley, one of Sam's employees. When Alan accidentally damages a machine with a prototype sneaker Carl hopes to present, Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. Outside the factory, after the bullies beat up Alan and steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site and finds a chest containing a board game called Jumanji. Alan takes the game home and, after an argument with his father about attending a boarding school, decides to run away. However, his friend Sarah Whittle arrives, and the two begin playing Jumanji. When the dice are rolled, the player's piece moves by itself and a cryptic message appears in a crystal ball in the center of the board. Alan's first move causes him to get sucked into the game and a group of bats to appear that cause Sarah to flee.

Twenty-six years later, in 1995, siblings Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora after losing their parents in a skiing accident. Judy and Peter hear Jumanji's drumbeats and play the game in the attic; they are attacked by giant mosquitoes and their kitchen is destroyed by a troop of monkeys. The game states that everything will be restored when it ends, so they continue playing despite the danger. Peter rolls, releasing both a lion and Alan, who is now an adult. Alan locks the lion in a bedroom, then heads to his father's factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. In the factory, now derelict, a homeless man reveals that Sam was distraught after Alan's disappearance and abandoned the business to spend the rest of his life searching for his son. As an unintended consequence of the factory's closure, the small town's economy is now devastated.

Alan reluctantly agrees to watch while Judy and Peter continue playing, but soon realizes that Judy and Peter are playing the same game he and Sarah started, and therefore they will have to join in. Upon finding Sarah, who has isolated herself due to the mental trauma she suffered during Alan's disappearance, the trio convince her to help finish the game. Sarah's move releases fast-growing man-eating vines. Alan rolls and a big-game hunter named Van Pelt emerges, intending to kill Alan. Among other things, an animal stampede throughout the town; Peter gradually transforms into a monkey after attempting to cheat; Peter, Sarah, and Judy fight Van Pelt in a local department store after he steals the game from them to lure Alan to him; the group is overtaken by a monsoon flood with crocodile infested waters; Alan is sucked into the floor by quicksand; large spiders attack the group; Judy is fatally poisoned by a flower barb; and an earthquake destroys the house. Alan fortunately wins Jumanji when Van Pelt corners him, causing everything that has happened as a result of the game to be reversed and the jungle elements (along with Van Pelt) to get sucked back into the game in a sudden whirlwind.

Finding themselves back in 1969 as children, Alan and Sarah have full memories of later events. Alan reconciles with Sam and admits that he damaged the machine in the factory. Carl gets his job back, and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend the boarding school. Alan and Sarah realize that Judy and Peter have not been born yet. The two chain bricks to the Jumanji board and throw it into a river before Sarah kisses Alan, thus the couple beginning a romantic relationship.

In the present, Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. Alan has taken over the shoe business, Carl still works in the factory as the plant supervisor, and Sam is retired, but still alive. Judy, Peter, and their parents meet with Alan and Sarah at a Christmas party, where Alan and Sarah offer the children's father a job in the shoe company. They convince them to cancel an upcoming skiing trip to Canada, thereby preventing their deaths.

At a beach in another part of the world, two French-speaking young girls hear drumbeats while walking. The camera pans to show the Jumanji board half-buried nearby.

Cast[edit]

The Olde Woolen Mill in North Berwick, Maine served as the site of the Parrish Shoe Factory in the film.

Filming[edit]

As Peter Guber was visiting Boston, he took advantage of being in New England to invite author Chris Van Allsburg, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, to option his book. The author even wrote one of the screenplay's drafts, which he described as "sort of trying to imbue the story with a quality of mystery and surrealism".[1]

Soundtrack[edit]

Jumanji: Complete Motion Picture Score
Film score (Digital download)/Audio CD by James Horner
Released November 21, 1995
Length 51:04
Label Epic Soundtrax

All music composed by James Horner.

Track listing
No. Title Length
1. "Prologue and Main TItle"   3:42
2. "First Move"   2:20
3. "Monkey Mayhem"   4:42
4. "A New World"   2:40
5. ""It's Sarah's Move""   2:36
6. "The Hunter"   1:56
7. "Rampage Through Town"   2:28
8. "Alan Parrish"   4:18
9. "Stampede!"   2:12
10. "A Pelican Steals the Game"   1:40
11. "The Monsoon"   4:48
12. ""Jumanji""   11:47
13. "End Titles"   5:55
Total length:
51:04

Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack

Reception[edit]

Jumanji did well at the box office, earning $100,475,249 in the United States and Canada and an additional $162,322,000 overseas, bringing the worldwide gross to $262,797,249.[2][3]

The film earned mixed reviews from critics, with review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reporting that 50% of 32 critics gave the film positive reviews, with a rating average of 5.6 out of 10.[4] Metacritic posts an average rating of 39%, based on 18 reviews.[5] Van Allsburg approved the movie despite the changes and not being as "idiosyncratic and peculiar" as the novel, declaring that "The film is faithful in reproducing the chaos level that comes with having a jungle animal in the house. It's a good movie."[1]

Reboots[edit]

A television series was produced between 1996 and 1999. While it borrowed heavily from the movie and incorporated various characters, locations and props, and even modeled Alan's house and the board game on the way they appeared in the film, the series rebooted rather than continued the movie's storyline. Specifically on each turn, the players were 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 to try and leave the game, providing the characters' motivation during the series. Bonnie Hunt's character Sarah Whittle was absent from the series.

In July 2012, rumors emerged about a remake of the film already being in development. Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad had a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, saying: "We're going to try and reimagine Jumanji and update it for the present."[6] On August 1, 2012, it was confirmed that Matthew Tolmach will be producing the new version alongside William Teitler, who produced the original film.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]