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, 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 1869, near Brantford, New Hampshire, two boys bury a chest. A century later, 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, arrives to return his bicycle, and Alan shows her Jumanji and invites her to play. With each roll of the dice, the game pieces move by themselves 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.
Twenty-six years later, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish mansion with their aunt Nora, after their parents died in an accident on a ski trip in Canada the previous winter. 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 releases a lion and an adult Alan. As Alan makes his way out, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. Alan, Judy, and Peter go to the shoe factory that Sam used to own, where a homeless man tells Alan that his father abandoned the business and searched for Alan until his death just four years earlier.
Realizing that they need her to finish the game, the three locate Sarah, now severely traumatized by Jumanji and Alan's disappearance, and persuade her to join them. Sarah's roll releases fast-growing carnivorous vines, and Alan's next roll releases a big-game hunter named Van Pelt, who starts hunting Alan. Judy's next roll releases a stampede, and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by Carl. Later, Van Pelt catches up to Alan's friends and steals the game. Peter, Sarah, and Judy follow Van Pelt to a department store, where they fight him (destroying everything and causing chaos in the process), retrieve the game, and reunite with Alan. When the four return to the mansion, it is now completely overrun by jungle wildlife. They release numerous calamities, until Van Pelt arrives, and when Alan drops the dice, he wins the game, which causes everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.
Alan and Sarah return to 1969 as children, but have memories of the game's events. Alan reconciles with his father and admits that he was responsible for the shoe that damaged the factory's machine. Carl is later 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 a revised 1995, Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child, and Alan and Carl run the factory together, after Alan's parents retired (but are still alive). He and Sarah reunite with Judy and Peter, and meet 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 who is devastated by his disappearance
Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd, Peter's older sister
Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd, Judy's younger brother
David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley, an employee at Sam's shoe factory and Alan's oldest friend, who later becomes a police officer
Jonathan Hyde as Samuel "Sam" Parrish, Alan's father
Hyde also portrays Van Pelt, a big-game hunter from the game, who tries to hunt Alan
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".
Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack"Una Voce Poco Fa"
Written by Gioacchino Rossini
Performed by Agnes Baltsa and the Vienna Symphony
Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Ian Marin
"Night & Day"
Written by Cole Porter
"Serenade in D, Op. 44"
Composed by Antonín Dvořák
Performed by Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Conducted by Neville Marriner
Written by Ian Anderson
Performed by Jethro Tull
"The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" (Theme from Gilligan's Island)
Written by Sherwood Schwartz & George Wyle
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.
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 retcons rather than continued the film'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 2005 Jumanji was listed 48 in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Family Films documentary just behind Dumbo and Spider-Man.
A video game based on the film was released in Europe for the PlayStation 2 in 2006.
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 2014, a game board prop from the movie was auctioned on eBay and sold for US$60,800.
Zathura: A Space Adventure, 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 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 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.
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.
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.