Rated: PG Reviewed by: Frank Release date: December 15, 1995 Released by: Columbia TriStar
Alan Parish (played as a child by Adam Hann-Byrd and as an adult by Robin Williams) discovers how important his life is when he plays a very real game called Jumanji.
With innovative and startling special effects and a well-thought scrip, Jumanji completes with It's a Wonderful Life for emotion, Back to the Future for action and time travel, and War Games because thee game takes control of the players.
Jumanji is scary but not frightening. It is filled with dangerous creatures that attack but are never viewed as truly dangerous to the characters. The effects of lions, rhinoceroses, zebras, alligators and giant spiders traveling in and out of the lives of Alan and his friends bring a powerful fantasy world to the screen.
In 1969, Alan Parish and Sarah Whittle (played as a child by Laura Bell Bundy and as an adult by Bonnie Hunt) play a game which Alan found at a construction site. After Alan rolls a certain number on the dice, he is transported into the jungle realm of Jumanji disappearing before Sarah's startled eyes. For 26 years Sarah is too frightened top finish the game. When Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) sit down to play the game in the attic of Alan's childhood home and drop the right numbers on the dice, Alan pops out as a 38-year-old man. Along with him come all the animals and creatures from the Jumanji jungle.
Adding to the comedy of anarchy which the animals create is policeman Bentley (David Alan Grier) who loses his cruiser to the monkeys and creeping vines from Jumanji.
This film works for everyone. Kids will love the antics of the special effect animals and the semi-frightening creatures. For everyone, the idea that one life has meaning and can change the lives of others comes shining through as the film ends on Christmas Eve.