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)
  • March 3, 1995 (1995-03-03)
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 directed by Joe Johnston. It is an adaptation of the 1981 children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. 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, though the story is set in the fictional town of Brantford. Additional filming took place in 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, too, was adapted from a Van Allsburg book.

Plot[edit]

In 1869, two boys bury a mysterious chest, which produces the sound of beating drums, in the woods outside Brantford, New Hampshire. A century later, 12-year-old Alan Parrish flees from a group of bullies to the local shoe factory owned by his father, Sam, where he meets Carl Bentley, one of Sam's employees. When Alan accidentally damages a machine, Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. Outside the factory, the bullies beat Alan up and steal his bicycle. Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site, where he finds a chest containing a board game called Jumanji, which he takes home.

After an argument with his father about attending a boarding school, Alan is about to run away when his friend Sarah Whittle arrives, bringing his stolen bicycle, and they 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 message tells him that he will spend time in a desolate place until someone throws 5 or 8 on the dice. Alan is sucked into the board, and a group of bats appears, causing Sarah to flee the house.

Twenty-six years later, siblings Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora after losing their parents, Jim and Martha, in a car 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 troupe of monkeys. The game states that everything will be restored when it ends, so they continue playing. Peter rolls a five, releasing both a lion and Alan, who is now an adult covered in hair and wearing jungle clothing. Alan locks the lion in a bedroom and heads to his father's factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. In the now derelict factory, a homeless man reveals that Sam was distraught after Alan's disappearance and has abandoned the business to search for him. The factory's closure has left Brantford's economy devastated.

Watching Judy and Peter play, Alan soon realizes that they are continuing the game that he and Sarah started, and he joins in. The three find Sarah, who has been devastated by Alan's disappearance, and they persuade her to help finish the game. Sarah's move releases fast-growing man-eating vines, which also contain flowers that fire poisonous darts. Alan rolls and a big-game hunter named Van Pelt emerges, chasing Alan with the intention of killing him, but eventually running out of ammunition. Peter, Sarah, and Judy fight Van Pelt in a local department store after he steals the game from them to lure Alan to him. Upon returning to the Parrish home,the group is overtaken by a monsoon flood with crocodile-infested waters, and are forced to escape upstairs, where Alan is sucked into the floor by quicksand, trapping him and Sarah in it. Peter's next roll releases large spiders, which attack the group. While trying to help Alan and Sarah, Judy is shot in the neck by several venomous flower barbs, and, fatally poisoned, dies as Peter fends off the spiders with an axe. The next roll causes an earthquake, which destroys the house and drops Alan to the bottom floor, where Van Pelt corners him. Just as Van Pelt tries to kill him, Alan drops the dice, winning the game by reaching the center, causing everything that has happened as a result of the game to be reversed and the jungle elements, along with Van Pelt, to be sucked back into the game in a whirlwind.

Alan and Sarah find themselves returned to 1969 as children, but with full memories of the game's 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. Realizing that Judy and Peter have not yet been born, Alan and Sarah throw the Jumanji board into a river, weighed down with bricks. Sarah then kisses Alan, beginning a romantic relationship between them.

Twenty-five years later, Alan and Sarah, now happily married and expecting their first child, meet the Shepherds for the first time at a Christmas party. Alan and Sarah offer Jim a job at Parish Shoes, convincing him and Martha to cancel their upcoming skiing trip to Canada and thereby preventing their deaths.

At a beach in another part of the world, two young girls speaking French hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies buried in the sand.

Cast[edit]

The Olde Woolen Mill in North Berwick, Maine served as the site of the Parrish Shoe Factory in the film.
  • Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, a man trapped in Jumanji for twenty-six years
  • Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, Alan's friend who is devastated due to his disappearance
  • Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd, a young girl in the Shepherd family and Peter's elder sister
  • Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd, a young boy in the Shepherd family and Judy's younger brother
  • David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley, Alan's oldest friend and an employee at Sam's shoe factory who later becomes a police officer
  • Jonathan Hyde as Sam Parrish, Alan's father; and Van Pelt, a big-game hunter from the game
  • Bebe Neuwirth as Nora Shepherd, Judy and Peter's aunt and legal guardian
  • Adam Hann-Byrd as the younger Alan Parrish
  • Laura Bell Bundy as the younger Sarah Whittle
  • Malcolm Stewart as Jim Shepherd, Judy and Peter's father
  • Annabel Kershaw as Martha Shepherd, Judy and Peter's mother
  • Patricia Clarkson as Carol-Anne Parrish, Alan's mother

Filming[edit]

While Peter Guber was visiting Boston, he invited author Chris Van Allsburg, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, to option his book. Van Allsburg 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 February 29, 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. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported 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 its not being as "idiosyncratic and peculiar" as the novel, declaring that "[t]he 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, incorporated various characters, locations and props, and 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. In the television version, on each turn the players are given a "game clue" and then sucked into the jungle until they solve it. Alan is stuck in Jumanji because he has not seen his clue. Judy and Peter try to help him leave the game, providing their motivation during the series. Sarah is absent from the series.

In July 2012, rumors emerged that a remake of the film was already in development. In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad said: "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 would be producing the new version alongside William Teitler, who produced the original film.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]