A childhood classic for every 90s kid, Jumanji (1995, dir. Joe Johnston) is based on the children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. When Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) find a mysterious and magical board game in their new house, they unwittingly release a man from within it; Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) who has been lost in the game’s jungle for 26 years. Judy, Peter, Alan, and his childhood friend Sarah (Bonnie Hunt) must finish the game as soon as they can in order to ensure their own safety and prevent their town from being destroyed.
I loved this film so much when I was a child, and recently had the opportunity to watch it again. Here are some thoughts I had whilst watching Jumanji.
- What a throwback. I’m sure I saw this in cinemas back in 1995.
- The good news is that Jumanji does hold up over time.
- The jokes are mid-90s tier cheese, and the CGI and animatronic animals are just plain horrible, but there’s a real heart to this film that is undeniable.
- I wonder if this is one of those mid-90s films that I’ll never not love. Kind of like Mrs Doubtfire (1993) and Sister Act (1992), both of which are quite flawed films, but will never not be amazing simply due to the childhood nostalgia factor.
- I can’t have been the only kid who had nightmares about the sentient murder vines and giant glass-shattering mosquitoes.
- You can’t talk about Jumanji without mentioning Robin Williams, the real anchor of the film. This is yet another kid’s film where he showed off his silliness but also balanced that by giving his character a lot of depth.
- Really, Jumanji is so cheesy and silly, but it manages a successful balancing act between the cheese (for example, one shameless moment of breaking the fourth wall, monkeys driving cars, et cetera), the genuine sense of adventure, and a level of sentimentality and charm.
- I really loved re-watching this. It was a bit of a headspin as I believe I hadn’t seen it for more than ten years, which made me enjoy it even more. Definitely worth the revisit.
Also – me, first thing in the morning:
Watch the trailer here.
Watch this film at Amazon!