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Jumanji poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joe Johnston
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Jumanji 
by Chris Van Allsburg
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Thomas Ackerman
Edited by Robert Dalva
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release dates
  • December 15, 1995 (1995-12-15)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million[1]
Box office $262.8 million[1]

Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy comedy 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, Kirsten Dunst, David Alan Grier, Bonnie Hunt, 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 story centers on 12-year-old Alan Parrish, who becomes trapped in a board game while playing with his best friend Sarah Whittle in 1969. Twenty-six years later, siblings Judy and Peter Shepherd find the game and 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, though the story is set in the fictional town of Brantford. 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 was the 10th highest-grossing movie of 1995.

In 2005, a spiritual sequel to Jumanji titled Zathura was released; it was also adapted from a Van Allsburg book.


In 1869, half a mile outside of Brantford, New Hampshire, two brothers bury a mysterious chest from which the sound of drumbeats can be heard fading, and pray that nobody ever finds it.

In 1969, Alan Parrish escapes from a group of bullies and retreats to a shoe factory owned by his father, Samuel Parrish. When Alan misplaces a shoe that accidentally damages a machine, Carl Bentley, an employee at the factory, takes the blame and is dismissed. The bullies attack Alan 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, and brings the game home.

After an argument with his father about attending a boarding school, Alan plans to run away until his friend Sarah Whittle arrives to return his bicycle, and they begin playing Jumanji. With each roll of the dice, the player's piece moves by itself and a cryptic message appears in a crystal ball in the center of the board describing the outcome of the roll. Alan's first roll results in a message telling him that he will spend time in a desolate place until someone rolls 5 or 8. Alan is sucked into the board, and a colony of bats chase Sarah out of the mansion.

In 1995, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their Aunt Nora, their parents having died in an automobile accident. Judy and Peter hear Jumanji's drumbeats and play the game in the attic, causing giant mosquitoes to attack, then a troop of monkeys to wreck the kitchen. The game states that everything will be restored when the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter's next roll releases both a lion and an adult Alan. Alan locks the lion in a bedroom and heads to his father's factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who now works as a police officer. In the now abandoned factory, a homeless man reveals that Samuel was distraught after Alan's disappearance and abandoned the business, putting all of his time and wealth into searching for him, until his death four years earlier. The factory's closure has devastated the town's economy.

While watching Judy and Peter play, Alan soon realizes that they are continuing the game that he and Sarah started, and joins them. Distraught by Jumanji for years, Sarah accepts the trio's pleas to help them finish. Sarah's move releases fast-growing human-eating vines, and Alan's next roll releases a big game hunter named Van Pelt, who hunts Alan until he runs out of ammunition. The next roll triggers a stampede and a pelican steals the game. Peter finds the game and Alan is arrested by Carl. Peter, Sarah, and Judy follow Van Pelt to a department store where they set booby traps to subdue him and take back the game. When the four return to the mansion — now completely overrun by jungle wildlife — they release one calamity after another, until finally an earthquake destroys the mansion. As Van Pelt corners Alan and prepares to attack him, Alan makes the winning roll, causing everything that has happened as a result of the game to be reversed.

Back in 1969, Alan and Sarah are children once again, but have full memories of the game's events. Alan reconciles with his father and admits that he, not Carl, 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, weighed down with bricks, then kiss.

In an alternate 1995, Alan and Sarah are now married and expecting their first child. They meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time at a Christmas party, where Alan offers Jim a job, and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip to Canada, thereby preventing their deaths.

On a beach in another part of the world, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies 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 who is distraught by Jumanji and Alan's disappearance.
  • Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd, a young girl in the Shepherd family and Peter's elder sister
  • David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley, Alan's oldest friend and an employee at Sam's shoe factory in 1969, who becomes a police officer in 1974 per his badge.
  • Jonathan Hyde as Sam Parrish, Alan's father. Hyde also portrays Van Pelt, a big-game hunter from the game who attempts to shoot Alan and his friends down
  • Bebe Neuwirth as Nora Shepherd, Judy and Peter's aunt and legal guardian

The cast also includes Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd, Judy's younger brother; 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; Adam Hann-Byrd as the younger Alan Parrish; and Laura Bell Bundy as the younger Sarah Whittle.


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".[2]


Jumanji: Complete Motion Picture Score
Film score (Digital download)/Audio CD by James Horner
Released February 29, 1995
Length 51:04
Label Epic Soundtrax

Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack


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.[3][4]

The film earned mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 48% of 33 critics gave the film positive reviews, with a rating average of 5.6 out of 10.[5] Metacritic posts an average rating of 39%, based on 18 reviews.[6] Van Allsburg 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."[2]


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."[7] On August 1, 2012, it was confirmed that Matthew Tolmach would be producing the new version alongside William Teitler, who produced the original film.[8]

In 2014, a game board prop from the movie was auctioned on eBay and sold for US$60,800.[9][10]


On August 5, 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced their plans to film a remake and set the release date as December 25, 2016.[11] Internet reception to this announcement was negative, with some posters remarking that this announcement came too soon after the death of Williams.[12][13] 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".[14][15] On January 14, 2016, it was announced that Jake Kasdan will direct the remake.[16] On January 20, 2016, it was announced that the remake would be pushed back to July 28, 2017.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Jumanji (1995) - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. 
  2. ^ a b "Jumanji Author Getting Aboard Hollywood Express : Movies: Chris Van Allsburg says the film version of his book is like a Christmas gift. It's just not the one he was expecting.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Field Marshal". Newsweek. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Jumanji (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Jumanji". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  6. ^ Metacritic "Jumanji". Metacritic. 
  7. ^ "'Jumanji' Reboot In The Works". Whatstrending.com. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Gallagher, Brian (August 1, 2012). "Jumanji Reboot Lands Producer Matthew Tolmach". Movieweb.com. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ MacFarland, Joe (January 24, 2014). "The real, rare Jumanji game board". Ebay Stories Blog. EBay. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Real & Rare -- JUMANJI board Screen-used (carry board) w/ COA signed by Johnston". EBay. January 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Sony Pictures Dates 16 Films Through 2019!". comingsoon.net. August 5, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  12. ^ Hanks, Henry. "They're remaking 'Jumanji,' and the Internet rage is real". CNN. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  13. ^ Pulver, Andrew. "'Is nothing sacred?': Twitter responds to news of Jumanji remake". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  14. ^ Mullins, Jenna. "People Are Livid About This Jumanji Remake, and We Don't Blame Them". E! News. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  15. ^ Faherty, Allanah. "Don't Worry Internet, Star of the Original 'Jumanji' Movie Doesn't Believe Sony Should Reboot the Film Either". Moviepilot. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Lesnick, Silas (January 14, 2016). "Jake Kasdan Will Direct the Jumanji Remake". Coming Soon. 
  17. ^ Justin Kroll. "‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Jumanji’ Release Dates Set - Variety". Variety. 

External links[edit]