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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joe Johnston|
by Chris Van Allsburg
|Music by||James Horner|
|Edited by||Robert Dalva|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Box office||$262.8 million|
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 film was written by Greg Taylor, Jonathan Hensleigh, and Jim Strain, and stars Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, David Alan Grier, Jonathan Hyde, and Bebe Neuwirth. The special effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic for computer graphic elements and Amalgamated Dynamics for animatronics components. The film was dedicated to visual effects supervisor Stephen L. Price, who died before the film's release.
The story centers on young Alan Parrish, who becomes trapped in a board game while playing with his best friend Sarah Whittle in 1969. Twenty-six years later in 1995, siblings Judy and Peter Shepherd find the game, begin playing and then unwittingly release the now-adult Alan. After tracking down Sarah, the quartet resolve to finish the game in order to reverse all of the destruction it has caused.
The film was shot in Keene, New Hampshire, representing the story's fictional town of Brantford, New Hampshire. Additional filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The film was released on December 15, 1995. Despite its lukewarm critical reception, it was a box office success, earning $262,797,249 worldwide on a budget of approximately $65 million and it became the 10th highest-grossing movie of 1995.
In 2005, a similar film marketed as a spiritual sequel to Jumanji, titled Zathura: A Space Adventure, was released and was also adapted from a Van Allsburg book which was more directly connected to the Jumanji novel. A sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, will be released on December 20, 2017.
In 1869 near Brantford, New Hampshire, two boys bury a chest, hoping that no one will ever find it. A century later, in 1969, Alan Parrish escapes a group of bullies and retreats to a shoe company owned by his father, Sam. He meets Carl Bentley, an employee, who reveals a new shoe prototype he made by himself. Alan misplaces the shoe and damages a machine, but Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. After being attacked by the bullies, who also steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site. He finds the chest containing a board game called Jumanji and brings it home.
At home, after an argument with Sam about attending a boarding school, Alan plans to run away. Sarah Whittle, his friend (and also the girlfriend of the lead bully), arrives to return his bicycle, and Alan shows her Jumanji and invites her to play. She reveals that she quit playing board games five years ago and carelessly throws the dice. With each roll of the dice, the player piece moves by itself and a cryptic message describing the roll's outcome appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. Sarah reads the first message on the board and hears an eerie sound. Alan then unintentionally rolls the dice after being startled by the chiming clock; a message tells him to wait in a jungle until someone rolls a five or eight, and he is sucked into the game. Afterwards, a swarm of bats appears and chases Sarah out of the mansion, as a result of her roll of the dice.
Twenty-six years later, in 1995, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora, their parents having died in an accident on a ski trip in Canada the winter before. The next day, Judy and Peter find Jumanji in the attic and begin playing it. Their rolls summon big mosquitoes and a swarm of monkeys. The game rules state that everything will be restored when the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter's next roll is a five which releases a lion and an adult Alan, who rushes to his father's factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. In the now-abandoned factory, a homeless man tells Alan that after his son's disappearance, Sam abandoned the business and searched for Alan, until his death just four years earlier.
Realizing that they need Sarah to finish the game, the three locate Sarah—now suffering mental trauma from Jumanji and Alan's disappearance—and persuade her to join them. Sarah's move releases fast-growing human-eating vines, and Alan's next roll releases a big game hunter named Van Pelt, whom Alan first met in the jungle. The next roll summons a herd of various animals, causing a stampede, and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by Carl. Back in town, the stampede wreaks havoc, and Van Pelt steals the game. Peter, Sarah, and Judy follow Van Pelt to a department store where they fight him, inadvertently causing destruction and chaos in the process, and manage retrieve the game, before reuniting with Alan. When the four return to the mansion, it is now completely overrun by jungle wildlife. They release one calamity after another, until Alan finally makes the winning roll, causing everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.
Back in 1969, Alan and Sarah are children once again but have complete memories of the future events. Alan reconciles with his father and reveals that he damaged the factory's machine. Carl is rehired, and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend boarding school. Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river, then share a kiss.
In an alternate 1995, Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. Alan's parents are still alive and successfully running the family business. Alan is still close with his parents and has joined the family business. He and Sarah meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time during a Christmas party. Alan offers Jim a job and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip, averting their deaths.
On a beach in France, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies partially buried in the sand.
- Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, a man trapped in Jumanji for twenty-six years
- Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, Alan's friend
- Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd
- Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd, Judy's younger brother
- David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley, an employee at Sam's shoe factory
- Jonathan Hyde as Samuel "Sam" Parrish, Alan's father
- Hyde also portrays Van Pelt, a big-game hunter from the game.
- Bebe Neuwirth as Nora Shepherd, Judy and Peter's aunt
The cast also includes Adam Hann-Byrd and Laura Bell Bundy as the younger Alan and Sarah, respectively; Patricia Clarkson as Carol-Anne Parrish, Alan's mother; and Malcolm Stewart and Annabel Kershaw as Jim and Martha Shepherd, Judy and Peter's parents.
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".
|Jumanji: Complete Motion Picture Score|
|Film score (Digital download)/Audio CD by James Horner|
|Released||November 21, 1995|
Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack
- "Una Voce Poco Fa"
- "Night & Day"
- Written by Cole Porter
- "Serenade in D, Op. 44"
- "Locomotive Breath"
- "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" (Theme from Gilligan's Island)
Despite the film's success, Jumanji earned mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film 48% from 33 critics, with a rating average of 5.6 out of 10. Metacritic posts an average rating of 39%, based on 18 reviews. Van Allsburg of the Los Angeles Times approved of the movie despite the changes and its not being as "idiosyncratic and peculiar" as the book, 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."
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." On August 1, 2012, it was confirmed that Matthew Tolmach would be producing the new version alongside William Teitler, who produced the original film.
Zathura, the spiritual sequel that was marketed as being from the same continuity with varied uses of the tagline, "From the world of Jumanji" was released as a feature film in 2005. Unlike the book of the same name, the film makes no references to the previous film outside of the marketing statement. Both films are based on books written by Chris Van Allsburg. With the films being based on books which take place in the same series, the films vaguely made reference to that concept from the novels by having a similar concept and themes.
On August 5, 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced their plans to film a remake and set the release date as December 25, 2016. Internet reception to this announcement was negative, with some posters remarking that this announcement came too soon after the death of Williams. The news was also heavily criticized by Bradley Pierce and E! News, the latter of which stated that they felt that the remake was "unnecessary and kind of insulting". On January 14, 2016, it was announced that Jake Kasdan will direct the remake. On January 20, 2016, it was announced that the remake would be pushed back to July 28, 2017. In April 2016, Dwayne Johnson signed on to produce and star in the remake, while Variety, The Wrap and Deadline reported that Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas are in early talks to co-star. In August 2016, Dwayne Johnson confirmed that the film would not be a reboot, rather a continuation of the 1995 film and that it would be filmed in Hawaii. In August, Johnson announced on Instagram that Karen Gillan has been cast in the film. In September 2016, Johnson released a concept art of his character "The Smoldering" Dr. Bravestone.
The sequel officially titled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, will be released on December 20, 2017.
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