It was directed by Joe Johnston and is based on Chris Van Allsburg's popular 1981 picture book of the same name. The special effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic in computer graphics, and Amalgamated Dynamics with animatronics.
The film stars Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier, Bebe Neuwirth and Jonathan Hyde.
It was shot in Keene, New Hampshire, where the story is set, North Berwick, Maine (the Parrish Shoes factory) and Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2005, a spiritual sequel to Jumanji, Zathura, was released.
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the entire movie.
At the factory, he meets his friend Carl Bentley, one of Sam's employees. Carl showed Alan a new prototype sneaker he hopes to present to Alan's father and wants to put out on the market. Sam confronts his son, realized Alan's problems and told him to go home.
When Alan accidentally damages a machine after placing the shoe on its conveyor belt, Sam fired Carl, thinking he sabotaged the machine. Carl only admitted to making the shoe that destroyed the machine. Outside the factory, after the bullies beat Alan up and steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site and finds the chest, containing a board game called Jumanji.
Alan takes the game home and took a closer look at the game. He just took two of its playing pieces, which were shaped like animals out (one was an elephant and the other was a rhino) when his mother Carol came home. The two pieces mysteriously placed themselves on their starting spaces when Alan dropped them. When Alan came to his mother, Carol noticed some bleeding on his lower lip and treated it.
Later that night, Alan attempts to run away after having an argument with his father about attending a boarding school. However, his friend Sarah Whittle gives his bike back. After Sarah heard the drumbeats, the two begin playing Jumanji, which acts strangely: When a player rolls the dice, the player's piece moves itself and a message appears on the board. It even confuses dice drops with official rolls.
When Alan makes his first move, he is horrifically sucked into the game, terrifying Sarah. Although the message states that he will be freed when a five or an eight is rolled, Sarah abandons the game after being attacked by bats.
Twenty-six years later, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the Parrish house with their Aunt Nora after their parents Jim & Martha Shepherd in a car crash during a skiing trip in Canada. Judy and Peter hear Jumanji's drumbeats, traced them to the attic, found the game and started to play the game in the attic.
Judy played the game first and giant mosquitoes attack them. Peter played second and reddish-orange monkeys destroy their kitchen. Realizing that the game says that everything will be restored when the game ends, they continue the game despite the danger. Since Peter rolled doubles, he plays again. Peter rolls a five, releasing both a lion and Alan, who is now an adult.
Alan locks the lion in a bedroom and realizes that he has returned to the real world. Alan saw Judy & Peter, asked them who rolled a five or an eight. Judy mentions it was Peter and Alan chases & hugs Peter in excitement. Alan runs around the house calling for his parents, but he realizes that they aren't there. Then he goes to the now closed shoe factory.
On the way, he meets Carl, who now works as a police officer (he's been in the service since 1974) and clearly disliking his job and discovers that the town's economy was devastated by the factory's closure.
In the factory, Alan sees a homeless man and he reveals that Sam abandoned the business to search for his son until his death in 1991. After Sam's death, his wife and Alan's mother Carol-Anne continued the search until her own death that same year.
Judy & Peter continuously persuades Alan to play with them, but he continuously refuses. Eventually, Alan joins the game with Judy and Peter. Judy rolls again, thinking that it's her turn again, but when her rolling the dice has no effect on the board, Alan realizes they are continuing the same game that he and Sarah started years ago.
They find Sarah at her home. She is now a faux-psychic who has turned into a recluse after being shunned by town, which refused to believe her story about what happened to Alan, and was traumatized by his disappearance. Alan tricks her into rejoining the game and her following move releases fast-growing vines and a giant deadly man-eating "pod".
After dealing with the pod and vines, Alan rolls and a big-game hunter named Van Pelt (resembling Alan's father) who is intent on killing Alan emerges as he is a product of the game itself.
On Judy's next turn, a stampede (rhinoceros, African elephants, zebras and pelican) wrecks the house. Later, Alan was suddenly arrested by Carl and Peter gradually transforms into a monkey after trying to cheat.
Peter, Sarah and Judy then battle Van Pelt in a local discount department store, but were then saved by Alan when he broke through the front windows in Carl's car. Then a monsoon floods the house and two crocodiles attack the group. Alan is sucked into the floor by quicksand, but was then rescued by Judy on her next turn. Finally, an earthquake breaks the house in two.
The game was about to end as Alan takes what turns out to be his final turn when Van Pelt appears again is about to shoot him. Van Pelt orders Alan to drop the dice; one of them got away, but stops on the number Alan needs to reach the end. Alan wins the game just in time and his victory causes the jungle elements and Van Pelt to be sucked back into the board in a form of a whirlwind.
Alan and Sarah then find themselves back in 1969 again as children, but with full memories of their lives after they started playing.
Next, Alan sees his father briefly Sam return home as he forgot his speech notes and that gives Alan a chance to reconcile with his father and admits his responsibility for damaging the machine in the plant. Carl gets his job back and Sam allows his son to attend a local school if he wishes to do so.
Alan then becomes terrified, thinking that Judy and Peter are still in the attic, but Sarah reminds him that it's 1969, meaning that Judy and Peter are not even born yet. Sarah gives their game tokens to Alan as a way of showing that they were never in the game. The two chain up the Jumanji board and throw it into a river. Sarah then kisses Alan and they begin a romantic relationship.
In the present day, Alan and Sarah are married and expecting for their first child. Alan has taken over the shoe business, Carl still works in the factory as the plant supervisor and Sam is retired, but still alive.
Judy, Peter and their parents meet with Alan and Sarah at a Christmas party where Alan and Sarah offer the children's father a job in the shoe company and discourage them from taking a flight to their ski trip that killed them in the previous timeline.
At a beach in another part of the Earth, two French-speaking young girls hear drumbeats while walking, unaware that the Jumanji board is half-buried in the sand.
- Robin Williams as Alan Parrish
- Adam Hann-Byrd as Young Alan Parrish
- Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle
- Laura Bell Bundy as Young Sarah Whittle
- Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd
- Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd
- Bebe Neuwirth as Nora Shepherd
- David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley
- Jonathan Hyde as Sam Parrish\Van Pelt
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."
Robin Williams was filming the movie at the same time he was filming a small supporting role in the film Nine Months.
Tom Hanks was the first choice to play the role of Alan Parrish. Actors such as Michael Keaton, Kevin Kline, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sean Connery and Dan Akyroyd were also considered for the role of Alan Parrish in the film.
"Jumanji" opened at #1 at the box office, grossing $11,084,370 during its opening weekend. It earned $100,475,249 in the United States and Canada and an additional $162,322,000 overseas, bringing the worldwide gross to $262,797,249.
"Jumanji" received 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.
Based on 18 reviews, Metacritic posts an average rating of 39%.
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".
Roger Ebert gave the film a rating of two in a half stars.