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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 Van Allsburg, Greg Taylor, Jonathan Hensleigh, and Jim Strain and stars Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Neuwirth, and David Alan Grier.

Jumanji poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoe Johnston
Produced by
  • Scott Kroopf
  • William Teitler
Screenplay by
Story by
Based onJumanji
by Chris Van Allsburg
Music byJames Horner
CinematographyThomas E. Ackerman
Edited byRobert Dalva
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release date
  • December 15, 1995 (1995-12-15)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$65 million[1]
Box office$262.8 million[1]

The story centers on a supernatural board game that releases jungle-based hazards upon its players with every turn they take. As a boy in 1969, Alan Parrish became trapped inside the game itself while playing with his best friend Sarah Whittle. 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 released on December 15, 1995. Despite the film receiving mixed reviews from critics, it was a box office success, earning $263 million worldwide on a budget of approximately $65 million and it became the 10th highest-grossing film of 1995.

It is part of the Jumanji franchise, followed by Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji 4 (2019), as well as an animated television series (1996–1999).



In 1869, near Brantford, New Hampshire, two boys bury a chest hoping it will stay hidden. A century later, in 1969, Alan Parrish escapes a group of bullies and hides in the shoe factory 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 beaten up by the bullies, who also steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site and finds the chest, containing a board game called Jumanji, and brings it home.

After an argument with Sam about attending a boarding school, Alan tells his father he hates him and plans to run away. Sarah Whittle, his friend, arrives to return his bicycle. Alan shows her Jumanji and invites her to play. With each roll of the dice, the game pieces move by themselves and a riddle, describing the roll's outcome, appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. Sarah reads the first riddle and hears squeaks in the fireplace. Alan then unintentionally rolls the dice after being startled by the chiming clock; the riddle tells him to wait in the jungle until someone rolls five or eight, and he is sucked into the game's jungle world. Suddenly, a swarm of bats fly out of the fireplace and chase Sarah out of the mansion.

Twenty-six years later, in 1995, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish mansion with their aunt Nora, after their parents died in a car accident on a ski trip in Canada last winter. The next day, Judy and Peter, hearing drums, find Jumanji in the attic and begin playing . Their rolls summon giant mosquitoes and mischievous monkeys who then escape outside. The game rules state that everything will be restored once the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter's next roll releases a lion and a bearded man dressed in leaves, who is later revealed to be an adult Alan. As Alan makes his way out to find his parents he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. Alan, Judy, and Peter go to the now abandoned shoe factory where a homeless man tells Alan that Sam abandoned the business to search for his son, until his and his wife's deaths four years earlier. As a result, the factory's closure have devastated the town's economy.

Realizing that they really need Sarah in order to finish the game, the three locate her, now suffering mental trauma from both Jumanji and Alan's disappearance, and persuade her to join them. Sarah's roll releases fast-growing carnivorous vines, and Alan's roll releases a big-game hunter named Van Pelt, whom Alan met in the jungle. Judy's next roll summons a stampede of various animals and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by a suspicious Carl. Peter tries to cheat but the game makes him half monkey as punishment. Back in town, the stampede wreaks havoc and Van Pelt steals the game. Sarah, Judy and Peter follow Van Pelt to a discount store, where they set traps to subdue him and retrieve the game, while Alan, after revealing his identity to Carl, is set free and comes to their aid. When the four return to the mansion, it is now completely overrun by jungle wildlife and vegetation. They release one calamity after another, until Van Pelt arrives, but Alan drops the dice and wins the game, causing everything that came out of Jumanji to be sucked back in.

Alan and Sarah appear back in 1969 as children, but are the only ones with memories of the game. Alan apologizes to his father and admits that he damaged the factory's machine. Carl is rehired, and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend boarding school and the two reconcile. Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river then share a kiss, vowing to never forget about Judy and Peter or their feelings towards each other.

On Christmas Eve, 1995, Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. Alan's parents are still alive and he's taken over 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, preventing their deaths.

Meanwhile, on a beach located somewhere in France, two young girls hear drumbeats, as Jumanji lies partially buried in the sand.


  • Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, a man trapped in Jumanji for 26 years
  • Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd, Peter's older sister
  • David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley, an employee at Sam's shoe factory and Alan's oldest friend, who later becomes a police officer
  • Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, Alan's friend who is traumatized by Jumanji and devastated by Alan's disappearance
  • Jonathan Hyde as Van Pelt, a big-game hunter from Jumanji who is dead set to hunt Alan and other players to prevent them from winning the game
    • Hyde also portrays Samuel Parrish, Alan's father
  • Bebe Neuwirth as Nora Shepherd, Judy and Peter's aunt
  • Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd, Judy's younger brother
  • James Handy as The Exterminator
  • Patricia Clarkson as Carol-Anne Parrish, Alan's mother
  • Malcolm Stewart as James Shephard, Judy and Peter's father
  • Annabel Kershaw as Martha Shepherd, Judy and Peter's mother
  • Gary Joseph Thorup as Billy Jessup, the cowardly leader of the bullies that picks on Alan for being friends with Sarah, who he claims is his girlfriend
  • Frank Welker provides the special vocal effects


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] Van Allsburg added that the studio nearly abandoned the project if not for his film treatment, which earned him a story credit given it added story material that was not from the book.[3]

TriStar Pictures agreed to finance the film on the condition that Robin Williams play the starring role. However, Williams turned down the role based on the first script he was given. Only after director Joe Johnston and screenwriters Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor and Jim Strain undertook extensive rewrites did Williams accept.[4] Johnston had reservations over casting Williams because of the actor's reputation for improvisation, fearing that he wouldn't adhere to the script. However, Williams understood that it was "a tightly structured story" and filmed the scenes as outlined in the script, often filming duplicate scenes afterwards where he was allowed to improvise with Bonnie Hunt.[4]

Shooting took place in various New England locales, mainly Keene, New Hampshire, which represented the story's fictional town of Brantford, New Hampshire, and North Berwick, Maine, where the Olde Woolen Mill stood in for the Parrish Shoe Factory.[5][6] Additional filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, where a mock-up of the Parrish house was built.[4]

Special effects were a combination of more traditional techniques like puppetry and animatronics (provided by Amalgamated Dynamics) with state-of-the-art digital effects overseen by Industrial Light & Magic.[7][8] ILM developed two new software programs specially for Jumanji, one called iSculpt, which allowed the illustrators to create realistic facial expressions on the computer-generated animals in the film, and another that for the first time created realistic digital hair, used on the monkeys and the lion.[7] Actor Bradley Pierce (Peter) underwent three and a half hours of prosthetic makeup application daily for a period of two and a half months to film the scenes where he transformed into a monkey.[4]

The film was dedicated to visual effects supervisor Stephen L. Price, who died before the film's release.[9]


Jumanji was released in theaters on December 15, 1995.

Home mediaEdit

Jumanji was first released on VHS on May 14, 1996, and re-released as a Collector's Series DVD on January 25, 2000. In the UK, the film was also released on DVD as a special edition bundled with the Jumanji board game.[citation needed] The film was first released on Blu-ray on June 28, 2011,[10] and re-released as a 20th Anniversary Edition on September 14, 2015.[11] A restored version was released on December 5, 2017 on Blu-ray and 4K UHD to coincide with the premiere of the sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.[12][13]


Jumanji: Complete Motion Picture Score
Film score (Digital download)/Audio CD by
ReleasedNovember 21, 1995
LabelEpic Soundtrax

Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack


Jumanji did well at the box office, earning $100.5 million in the United States and Canada and an additional $162.3 million overseas, bringing the worldwide gross to $262.8 million.[14][15]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 53% from 36 reviews, with an average rating of 5.68/10. The site's consensus reads: "A feast for the eyes with a somewhat malnourished plot, Jumanji is an underachieving adventure that still offers a decent amount of fun for the whole family".[16] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 39 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[17] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[18]

Roger Ebert rated the film a star and a half out of four, criticizing its reliance on special effects to convey its story which he felt was lacking. He questioned the decision to rate the film PG rather than PG-13 as he felt that young children would be traumatized by much of the film's imagery, which he said made the film "about as appropriate for smaller children as, say, Jaws". He specifically cited Peter's monkey transformation as making him "look like a Wolf Man [...] with a hairy snout and wicked jaws" that were likely to scare children. Regarding the board game's unleashing one hazard after another at its main characters, Ebert concluded, "It's like those video games where you achieve one level after another by killing and not getting killed. The ultimate level for young viewers will be being able to sit all the way through the movie."[19]

Van Allsburg approved of the film despite the changes from the book and its not being as "idiosyncratic and peculiar", 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."[2]


Zathura: A Space AdventureEdit

Zathura: A Space Adventure, the spiritual successor that was marketed as being from the same continuity with varied uses of the tagline, "From the world of Jumanji"[20] was released as a feature film in 2005. Unlike the book Zathura, 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 that take place in the same series, the films vaguely make reference to that concept from the novels by having a similar concept and themes.

Jumanji: Welcome to the JungleEdit

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."[21] On August 1, 2012, it was confirmed that Matthew Tolmach would be producing the new version alongside William Teitler, who produced the original film.[22]

On August 5, 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced their plans to film a remake and set the release date as December 25, 2016.[23] Internet reception to this announcement was negative, with some posters remarking that this announcement came too soon after the death of Williams.[24][25] 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".[26][27] On January 14, 2016, it was announced that Jake Kasdan will direct the remake.[28][29] On January 20, 2016, it was announced that the remake would be pushed back to July 28, 2017.[30] In April 2016, Dwayne Johnson signed on to produce and star in the remake,[31] while Variety, TheWrap and reported that Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas were in early talks to co-star.[32][33][34] In August 2016, Dwayne Johnson confirmed that the film would not be a remake, rather a continuation of the 1995 film and that it would be filmed in Hawaii.[35][36] In August, Johnson announced on Instagram that Karen Gillan has been cast in the film.[37][38] In September 2016, Johnson released a concept art of his character "The Smoldering" Dr. Bravestone.[39]

The film, officially titled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, was released on December 20, 2017.

Jumanji 4Edit

An upcoming film in the franchise, a direct sequel to Welcome to the Jungle,[40] is slated to be released on December 13, 2019.[41]

In other mediaEdit


An animated television series was produced between 1996 and 1999. While it borrowed heavily from the film – incorporating various characters, locations and props, and modeling Alan's house and the board game on the way they appeared in the film – the series retcons[jargon] rather than using the film's storyline. In the series 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.


Jumanji is a board game originally published by Milton Bradley in the US and MB Spiele in Germany in 1995.[42]

Cover art for the Microsoft Windows game.

Jumanji is a North American-exclusive game for Microsoft Windows that was released on 1996 and based on the film. It was developed by Studio Interactive and published by Philips Media.[43] It contains five different action-arcade-based mini-games that are based on popular scenes from the film. Clips of cutscenes from the film can also be viewed.[44] There are five different mini-games that the player can choose from, with different rules and objectives. Animals from the film provide instructions to the player for each mini-game, except for the Treasure Maze mini-game, where the Jumanji board game spirit provides instructions instead. Notably, players cannot play the actual Jumanji board game from the film. All of these mini-games contain rounds (or levels) and when players reach a goal, that level is cleared and the player advances to a more difficult version of the mini-game. The player must try to score as many points as possible, and set the best high score.

A video game based on the film was released in Europe for the PlayStation 2 in 2006.[45]

In 2007, Fujishoji released a Pachinko game, using clips from the film and also used 3D rendered CGI anime character designs for the game as part of the screen interaction.


In 2005 Jumanji was listed 48 in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Family Films documentary just behind Dumbo, and Spider-Man.

In 2011, Robin Williams recorded an audiobook for Van Allsburg's book's 30th edition to coincide its release.[46]

In 2014, a game board prop from the film was auctioned on eBay and sold for US$60,800.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Jumanji (1995) - Box Office Mojo".
  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. ^ Jumanji Author Chris Van Allsburg on the Story's Personal Origins and Its New Reboot
  4. ^ a b c d Fretts, Bruce (November 2, 2017). "Making 'Jumanji' with Robin Williams: An Oral History". The New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  5. ^ "'Jumanji' in Keene: A Photo Retrospective". Keene Sentinel. August 22, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Jordan McGee (May 30, 2015). Jumanji Parrish Shoe Factory Film Location (North Berwick, ME). Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Case Study: Jumanji". Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Making of Jumanji". Youtube. September 5, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Jumanji End Credits (dvd). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 1995.
  10. ^ "Jumanji Blu-ray released on June 28, 2011".
  11. ^ "Jumanji 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray released on September 14, 2015".
  12. ^ "Jumanji Restored Edition Blu-ray released on December 05, 2017".
  13. ^ "Jumanji 4K Blu-ray released on December 05, 2017".
  14. ^ "Field Marshal". Newsweek. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  15. ^ "Jumanji (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  16. ^ "Jumanji". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  17. ^ "Jumanji". Metacritic. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  18. ^ "Cinemascore". Cinemascore.
  19. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 15, 1995). "Jumanji". Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "'Jumanji' Reboot In The Works". Archived from the original on October 24, 2013.
  22. ^ Gallagher, Brian (August 1, 2012). "Jumanji Reboot Lands Producer Matthew Tolmach". Archived from the original on December 27, 2014.
  23. ^ "Sony Pictures Dates 16 Films Through 2019!". August 5, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  24. ^ Hanks, Henry. "They're remaking 'Jumanji,' and the Internet rage is real". CNN. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  25. ^ Pulver, Andrew. "'Is nothing sacred?': Twitter responds to news of Jumanji remake". The Guardian. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  26. ^ Mullins, Jenna. "People Are Livid About This Jumanji Remake, and We Don't Blame Them". E! News. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  27. ^ Faherty, Allanah. "Don't Worry Internet, Star of the Original 'Jumanji' Movie Doesn't Believe Sony Should Reboot the Film Either". Moviepilot. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  28. ^ Lesnick, Silas (January 14, 2016). "Jake Kasdan Will Direct the Jumanji Remake". Coming Soon.
  29. ^ "Jumanji Remake now has a Director". Trailer Geek. January 14, 2016.
  30. ^ Justin Kroll. "'Spider-Man,' 'Jumanji' Release Dates Set - Variety". Variety.
  31. ^ "Dwayne Johnson Officially Boards Jumanji Remake". April 22, 2016.
  32. ^ Justin Kroll. "Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson Circling 'Jumanji' Reimagining (EXCLUSIVE) - Variety". Variety.
  33. ^ Jeff Sneider. "Jack Black in Talks to Join Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart in 'Jumanji' Reboot (Exclusive)". The Wrap.
  34. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "Nick Jonas In Talks To Join 'Jumanji' Movie". Deadline.
  35. ^ Matthew Mueller. "The Rock Says New Jumanji Is Not A Reboot".
  36. ^ Devan Coggan. "Dwayne Johnson calls new Jumanji a 'continuation,' not a reboot".
  37. ^ "Instagram photo by @therock". August 30, 2016.
  38. ^ McGloin, Matt (August 30, 2016). "KAREN GILLAN CAST IN DWAYNE JOHNSON'S JUMANJI". Cosmic Book News.
  39. ^ "Instagram post by @therock • Sep 1, 2016 at 5:12pm UTC". Instagram.
  40. ^ "Jack Black says the next Jumanji film is actually the 4th in the series – 'You forgot about the one in space ... 'Zathura 🚀👾". Twitter.
  41. ^ Harp, Justin (April 24, 2018). "Dwayne Johnson's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sequel drops first teaser as US release date is confirmed". Digital Spy.
  42. ^ "Jumanji Board Game". External link in |website= (help)
  43. ^ "Jumanji for Windows 3.x (1996)". MobyGames. Blue Flame Labs. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Jumanji Box Shot for PlayStation 2 - GameFAQs". Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  46. ^ "Jumanji 30th Anniversary Edition". FictionDB. Retrieved December 31, 2017.

External linksEdit