Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film about a supernatural board game that makes wild animals and other jungle hazards materialize upon each player’s move. 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 as Alan, a man who emerges from the game’s unseen jungle world, along with Kirsten Dunst as a girl named Judy Shepherd who plays the game with her brother, Peter Shepherd (Bradley Pierce), David Alan Grier as a hapless shoemaker-turned-police officer,Adam Hann-Byrd as Alan when he was a boy, Bonnie Hunt as the woman who played the game with Alan when they were children, and Jonathan Hyde in a dual role as both Alan’s father and Van Pelt, a big-game hunter intent on killing Alan—Van Pelt is patterned after Alan’s father. The cast also features Bebe Neuwirth as Judy and Peter’s aunt. 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.
In 1869, two boys bury a chest in a forest near Keene, New Hampshire. A century later, 12-year-old Alan Parrish flees from a group of bullies to a shoe factory owned by his father, Sam, where he meets his friend Carl Bentley, one of Sam’s employees. When Alan accidentally damages a machine with a prototype sneaker Carl hopes to present, Carl takes the blame and loses his job. 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 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. 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. 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 losing their parents in a skiing accident. Judy and Peter hear Jumanji’s drumbeats and play the game in the attic, and as a result, giant mosquitoes attack them, and reddish-orange monkeysdestroy their kitchen. Realizing that everything will be restored when the game ends, they continue the game despite the danger. Peter rolls a five, releasing both a lion and Alan, who is now an adult. Alan locks the lion in a bedroom, then goes to the now closed shoe factory. On the way, he meets Carl, working as a police officer, and discovers that the town’s economy was devastated by the factory’s closure. In the factory, a homeless man 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.
Alan joins the game with Judy and Peter, but when 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, now a faux-psychic, who was traumatized by Alan’s disappearance. Alan tricks her into rejoining the game and the following moves release 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 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. Among other things, Peter gradually transforms into a monkey after trying to cheat; Peter, Sarah and Judy battle Van Pelt (a murderous game-hunter who resembles Alan’s father) in a local department store; a monsoon floods the house; a crocodile attacks the group; Alan is sucked into the floor by quicksand; an earthquake breaks the house in two; large poisonous spiders come out and Judy is shot by a poisonous barb from a flower. Finally, Alan wins the game just in time when Van Pelt is about to shoot him, causing 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. Alan becomes terrified, thinking that Judy and Peter are still in the attic, but Sarah reminds him that it’s still 1969, before Judy and Peter are even born. 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. Alan later reconciles with his father Sam 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.
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 that crashed 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.
The Shepherds are portrayed by: Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepard, Judy’s younger brother, Malcolm Stewart as Jim Shepherd, Judy’s father and Annabel Kershaw as Martha Shepherd, Judy’s mother. The cast also includes: Patricia Clarkson as Carol-Anne Parrish, Alan’s mother; and Gillian Barber as the Realtor. Adam Hann-Byrd and Laura Bell Bundy play Alan Parrish and Sarah Whittle as children, respectively.