Thoughts On… Jumanji (1995)

MPW-34112A 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.

  1. What a throwback. I’m sure I saw this in cinemas back in 1995.
  2. The good news is thatΒ Jumanji does hold up over time.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. I can’t have been the only kid who had nightmares about the sentient murder vines and giant glass-shattering mosquitoes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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:

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3.5/5
Watch the trailer here.

Watch this film at Amazon!

19 comments

  1. I thought I was looking in a mirror at first. That is me in the mornings too! I get through A LOT of razors.

    Yay Jumanji!!!! Loved this film as a kid….still love it now πŸ™‚

    I always found the lion quite scary, the paws on the piano!!!! But the mosquitos were definitely the worst. I love the hunter bloke as well, who is the same actor as his dad. He just made me laugh in a weird way.

    Jumanji is a classic kids film, definitely still as good now as it was then!! Great review πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ was so happy to see this!!

    1. Thanks heaps Emma! πŸ˜€ Oh yeah, the morning beard is intense in this house. Such a classic kids film, I was so surprised that it still held up considering that I hadn’t seen it for ages!

      1. No problem! πŸ˜€

        It’s a great film and a great choice to review! I watched it quite recently, well in the last few years anyway and I really enjoyed it. This is one of those kid’s films that really doesn’t seem dated at all! πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve seen this!! I remember liking it a lot… great stuff!

    1. oh – and:

      #beardsies

    2. #beardsies
      #boardgamesies

  3. This was a really fun read πŸ™‚ You were definitely not the only one who had nightmares as a kid after watching this!
    – Allie

    1. Thanks heaps Allie! Luckily I didn’t have any nightmares this time around!

  4. I always enjoyed Jumanji. To be honest, though, I thought the cgi was terrible way back when I first saw it in late ’95 or early ’96. Cool read.

    1. Thanks Wendell! πŸ™‚ I remember seeing this at the cinema and thinking the monkeys in particular were pretty ridiculous looking. All in good fun though!

  5. Saw this at the cinema when it came out. Not seen this since but did like it at the time. Did you ever see Zathura?

    1. I never saw Zathura but now I’m definitely interested in checking it out!

  6. Yes yes yes! Great write up yo. Jumanji will always remain one of my favourite films of all time, mainly for nostalgic purposes. I never saw it in the cinema, but I watched it continuously on VHS with my sister for many years. I adore the adventure and fun factor of this film, there is just so much crazy stuff that comes out of this game, the monkeys, herd of animals, crazy plants, that hunter with the rifle, its mental. I loved Robin Williams, such a don, best man ever and I have to give a mention to David Alan Grier, that guy was amazing and his screams, so funny.

    1. Thanks mate! The adventure fun factor is so high on this one, you never know what to expect (unless you watched it a million times as a kid). Robin Williams was so great too. Such an awesome kids film.

  7. Great review! This was always one of my favorites as a kid. I caught it on TV recently and I agree, it still holds up pretty well.

    1. Thanks Brittani! πŸ™‚ I was very pleasantly surprised that it still held up, some films from my childhood are pretty terrible now.

  8. I revisited this moderately recently as well. I was quite surprised at how much I still utterly loved it. This kind of adventure cinema is made so much less now than it was in the 90s, which means it still feels a little fresh even now.

    1. That’s so true, you don’t see too many films like this nowadays. Which in some ways is a shame but at the same time it’s nice that this film is like opening a time capsule.

  9. […] moment of serendipity. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a solid standalone sequel to the original Jumanji (1995) – a film I remember seeing in the cinema at a young age, and I remember being completely […]

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