Jumanji | The original Vs. the sequels
Welcome to our entertaining review. Joe Johnston directed Jumanji, a 1995 American fantasy adventure film. Greg Taylor, Jonathan Hensleigh, and Jim Strain wrote the script based on a scenario by Taylor and Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 novel Jumanji.
The movie stars Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd, Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd, David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley, Bebe Neuwirth as Ruby Roundhouse, and Jonathan Hyde as William “Bill” Brennan.
As part of his production deal for the film, Williams also became a producer on the sequel. The original musical score was composed by John Williams for the motion picture score of Jumanji and its soundtrack album was released via Sony Classical Records label in 1995.
The film was theatrically released by TriStar Pictures in the United States in 1995 to critical and commercial success. Jumanji grossed over $262 million worldwide in theaters against an estimated budget of $65 million. It was nominated twice at the 68th Academy Awards; for Best Original Score (lost to Titanic) and Best Visual Effects (lost to Independence Day).
Jumanji: A synopsis
At an auction house, Bethany Walker bids farewell to her stepfather Alan Parrish who is off to military school after losing his father in World War II. She finds a board game called “Jumanji.” When she opens it up, dust pours out with a jungle landscape and a card: “Do not begin unless you intend to finish.”
Twenty-six years later, Bethany’s brother Peter and his best friend Carl race through the streets of Brantford, Connecticut, on their remote-controlled mini-bikes in an attempt to impress Jenny Lewis. After losing in a race with her boyfriend, Alan Barnes, Peter fails to break up the fight between Alan and Carl after throwing away Alan’s keys.
The following day, they find that school is canceled because of a mysterious power outage, resulting in the delay of their plans for college in New York City. While staying home alone that night, they discover that someone mysteriously delivered the board game to their house during the blackout.
Peter then finds Alan’s old report card inside the game, and his teacher, who graded it, was Alan’s late father, Sam Parrish. Peter is surprised he mentioned Jumanji in the letter, which they thought was a made-up game, and many other items that fell out of the board game box.
The following morning there is still no electricity, so Peter puts on his dad’s old jacket inside the game container, figuring it has some sort of power to it since he mentioned he wore it all the time when he played Jumanji.
The game sucks the three friends into the jungle world of Jumanji, where their avatars are taunted by Van Pelt, an evil hunter who will eliminate any player if they do not complete the game in thirteen turns by rolling five or more on a twenty-sided die.
Carl, who is now Carl Bentley (C) and Ruby Roundhouse (R), are both killed while Peter and Judy Shepherd (J), who is played by Sarah Whittle (S), escape with Alan’s adult avatar, thus becoming his partners against Van Pelt.
Inside the game, Alan has the life force of the adult along with knowledge of future events, which he uses to help direct his new team towards completing the game. Each player must roll five or more on a twenty-sided die to pass an event card placed inside their specific “lifeboat,” which will allow them to continue playing the game for another turn.
With advice from Judy’s brother Peter, the adult Alan and the team collect each of Jumanji’s five power cards to turn the tables on Van Pelt.
Van Pelt can keep five hunters at bay while Alan and his group complete their quest to assemble a special “Zamunda Fire Drill” that can help them extinguish any fire to roll the lifeboat out of harm’s way.
The team uses this technique when encountering a lava pit with rising flames and falling into a hole with rising traps. Van Pelt catches up at the end of thirteen turns (or rounds), but he is killed when he falls into one of his traps after chasing Sarah through an abandoned village.
The game is completed when Peter grabs the lifeboat (power cards) and extinguishes the final flame trap on Van Pelt by using Alan’s lighter. They return to reality where they learn that it wasn’t 1996, but rather 1989, which means that Sarah Whittle still has another five years until she graduates high school.
They find Alan’s father, Sam Parrish, waiting for them at their house the following day. He tells them that after all this time of searching for Alan, he had given up hope long ago, but now he can finally come home with him to spend his last few years before passing away.
Alan decides to stay but promises Sam that he will return the next day. He shares a tearful goodbye with Peter and Carl as he enters his father’s car driven by Judy before they leave.
As for Jumanji, it gets left behind with Peter now in possession of the magical board game, which sits on a shelf in his house.
Meanwhile, at a military base in northern California, an area soldier is playing Jumanji when the lights go out and all other electrical equipment within 50 miles from where Alan was sucked into the world of Jumanji twenty years ago.
The timestamp inside the machine now reads not 1996, but instead 1989, prompting another player to exclaim “Welcome to JUMANJI!” before pulling up his chair next to the board game that Peter left behind.
The book Vs. the film
In both the book and movie Jumanji, two boys play a board game when they realize it is more than just an ordinary game. They get sucked into another world where they have special abilities and have to complete the game’s goal to return home.
Jumanji Vs. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
There are many differences between Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji. In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, four teenagers get sucked into an old video game system while playing at a mall arcade instead of two children, one boy, and one girl, as it was in Jumanji (1995).
The 1995 movie also had people who were not teens playing on the old video game system, but in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, people of all ages got sucked into the video game. In addition, two teens played a vital role in both movies and needed assistance from others to complete their mission. However, they were not related to each other as portrayed in the original film, where Peter and Judy were siblings.
Jumanji Vs Jumanji:The Next Level
In Jumanji: The Next Level made in 2019 is compared to the original 1995 version because it has many similarities, including similar plot lines except for one factor; there are now bear-fighting women instead of men, which causes some confusion between gender roles. For example, Alan Parrish (A), who got trapped inside this magical board game twenty years ago, becomes a woman in the 2019 version instead of a man.
The difference between these two movies is that all four teens in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle get sucked into an old video game system at a mall arcade, while in Jumanji: The Next Level, four teenagers find an abandoned ship out in the ocean and then find themselves inside “Jumanji.”
Jumanji Vs. Zathura – A Space Adventure
There are even more differences between Jumanji (1995) and Zathura – A Space Adventure, which both have different plots.
In Zathura, two young brothers find an old game of Zathura, and they get sucked into the game world. They both work together to try to get home by playing the board game against their opponents. The only thing that Jumanji (1995) had in common with this movie was a magical board game that takes kids away to another world but not before sending them some missions or clues about where they need to go or what they need to do.