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>Jumanji (1995)

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Jumanji (Comedy)


Jumanji  15 December 1995 (USA)

                                                 Directed by :Joe Johnston

                                            Produced by : Robert W. Cort

                   Ted Field
                                         Larry J. Franco
                       Scott Kroopf
                         William Teitler


Robin Williams as Alan Parrish

Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepherd

Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepherd

Jonathan Hyde as Van Pelt / Sam Parrish

Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle


The film begins in 1869, in the town of Brantford, New Hampshire. Two boys are seen breathlessly running with a box, which they proceed to bury.

The film then cuts to a century later in Brantford. A young boy named Alan Parish is chased by some bullies, and seeks refuge in his father’s shoe factory. Alan comes across one of his father’s employees named Carl, who has invented a sneaker that he feels is the future of Parish Shoes. Alan non-chalantly places it on a conveyor belt, and is soon found by his father. Sam Parish chastises his son for being bullied, and claims that Alan needs to stand up for himself. Alan then leaves, but not before a grinding noise is heard from one machine. It appears that the conveyor belt Alan placed the Carl’s shoe on sent the shoe into a specific machine, and damaged it along with Carl’s shoe. Sam demands to know who is responsible for the incident, and Carl takes the blame for Alan.

Outside the factory, Alan is accousted by the bullies. One of them demands Alan stay away from his girlfriend. Alan claims that he and the bully’s girlfriend are ‘just friends,’ but this just leads to them beating him up and taking his bike. As Alan recovers, a strange drum beat catches his ear, and he is drawn to a construction site. Wedged in a section of ground, Alan uncovers the box the two boys a century before had buried. Alan pulls it out, opens it up, and finds a wooden board game inside, named ‘Jumanji.’

That evening, Alan’s parents are going out for an event. Alan has told his mother about the bullies to his father, and Alan’s father claims that he is at least proud of Alan for standing up to them as he did. However, Alan’s face soon falls when his father proclaims they are sending him to a boys school. Alan grows indignant at being forced into doing something he doesn’t want to, and he and his father part ways for the night in anger. Once Alan’s parents leave, he attempts to pack a suitcase and run away from home.

As he is about to leave by the front door, a knock is heard, and he opens it to find Sarah Whittle (aka the bully’s girlfriend), who has come to return Alan’s bike. The drum sounds are heard again, and lead the two to the Jumanji boardgame. Alan sets it up for them to play, but Sarah claims she’s too old for boardgames, and playfully throws the dice. After she does so, a piece on the board moves on its own, and suddenly, strange sounds are heard from the fireplace. Sarah is scared now, and tells Alan to not take his turn. Instead, he rolls the dice, and gets the following message: “In the jungle you must wait, until the dice read five or eight.” Sarah then begins screaming, as the game suddenly literally absorbs Alan, and a swarm of African bats suddenly comes down through the fireplace. Sarah rushes out of the house, slamming the door behind her.

26 years later, Nora Shepherd moves into the now-vacant Parish mansion, with her niece and nephew, Judy and Peter. The children have been entrusted into Nora’s care since their parents were killed in a skiing accident. Judy is known for concocting ridiculous lies, and Peter has coped by becoming rather quiet and withdrawn.

Judy and Peter explore the house, and soon make their way to the attic, where they are spooked by a bat. The incident brings an exterminator to check the house for infestation, but nothing else turns up. When Judy is shown pictures of various bats, she points out one that resembles an African bat. The exterminator claims that a girl in the 60’s saw some as well. Before he leaves, the exterminator tells the kids a story that supposedly, the owner of the house they are living in killed his son (as rumor says), and hid his remains in the walls of the mansion.

The next day, while Nora is out, Peter and Judy hear the tribal drum sounds, and come across the Jumanji boardgame in the attic. Opening it up, two gamepieces magically lock into place for them. The first roll of the dice by Julie brings about giant mosquitos, which soon fly out an open window in the attic. Peter rolls a ‘doubles,’ which unleashes a horde of crazed monkeys in the kitchen. It is after this that Judy reads a message in the gameboard, that claims that everything will revert to normal once the game is finished. As Peter has rolled a ‘doubles,’ he takes another turn. Peter rolls a ‘5,’ and the two are soon shocked to find a lion in their house. Their shock soon doubles when Alan appears, now a forty-year-old man in jungle garb. Alan proceeds to corral the lion into a bedroom, before thanking Judy and Peter for freeing him. When Alan asks where his parents are, Judy informs him that it is 1995, and that she, Peter and their Aunt are the new owners of the house.

Alan rushes outside, where he encounters Carl in a Police Cruiser. Carl demands to know who Alan is, when the monkeys from the kitchen hijack Carl’s car and drive off in it, with Carl running behind in pursuit. Alan then rushes off, intent to find his family. Alan soon finds the Parrish Shoe Factory has been shuttered. Entering into the factory, Alan comes across a homeless man who tells that after Alan went missing, Sam used all his time, energy and wealth to find him. When Alan asks to know where the two elder Parish’s are, the homeless man directs Alan to the nearby cemetery.

After visiting his parents, Alan and the kids return back to the mansion, where the kids attempt to get Alan to help them finish the game. However, they soon find that the game has to be played in the order of who is next. As Alan was the second person to roll the dice, followed by Judy and Peter, that means that Sarah has to roll the dice for the game to advance.

Unsure where to go, the three go to a local psychic for help finding Sarah, only to find the psychic IS Sarah. After Sarah faints at the sight of Alan, and Alan and the kids take her back to the mansion. Upon seeing the gameboard, Sarah freaks out, claiming that what she ‘thought’ she saw (regarding Alan being sucked into the game) was a hallucination, and that Alan’s Dad killed him.

Alan manages to trick Sarah into taking her turn, which unleashes a number of carnivorous plants. The group then retreats to another part of the house, where Alan takes his turn. Alan’s turn summons a hunter from the game named Van Pelt, who has been chasing Alan for some time within the game of Jumanji. It is only when Van Pelt runs out of ammunition does he give up, going off to get more.

The group next goes to the library in the house, where Judy’s turn results in a stampede of animals to explode from the bookcase behind them. In the ensuing chaos, a long-billed bird grabs the game in its beak and flies off. Alan goes chasing after it, with the group in tow.

Alan finds the bird by a river, and spooks it into dropping the game…however, it drops into the water. Peter manages to retrieve the game, and everyone returns to the house. However, Carl appears and takes Alan away. Once Alan is gone, Peter reveals that he has attempted to cheat by attempting to drop the dice so that he would get the number he needed to reach the end. As a result, Peter begins to turn into a monkey.

In the Police Car, Alan finally tells Carl who he is, and Carl attempts to get Alan back to Judy, Peter and Sarah.

Meanwhile, the three have been found again by Van Pelt (now having acquired a high-powered rifle). The chase leads the group into the heart of the town where the animal stampede almost kills Peter. In the chaos, Van Pelt manages to wrestle the game away from Peter, and heads for a discount store. Van Pelt intends to trap Sarah and use her as bait along with the game to lure Alan to them. Alan and Carl eventually do find them at the store, but not before Carl’s vehicle crashes through the front of the store, burying Van Pelt in an avalanche of paint cans on display.

The group returns back to the house, only to find the carnivorous plants have slowly taken over the interior. The next turn cause a monsoon to flood the main floor of the house. Everyone heads for the attic, where Sarah takes her turn, and the floor turns to quicksand, almost swallowing Alan. Judy rolls a turn, which ends up freezing Alan from being swallowed up by the floor. Peter rolls next, and some large spiders suddenly appear. Judy attempts to fight them off, but accidentally finds one of the plants that shoots her with a poisonous tip.

Sarah takes her turn, which causes an earthquake that splits the Parish house in two. Alan is free, and falls through the floor, along with the game. Alan manages to recover and is about to take his turn, when Van Pelt appears. Alan drops the dice. Van Pelt encourages Alan to run, but Alan claims that he won’t run anymore, and will face his fears. As he says this, the dice finish their roll, and Alan’s piece reaches the center of the board. After Alan calls out the name of the game, all the creatures and animals are sucked back into the game, as Alan and Sarah close their eyes-

-only to open them, and find themselves back in the parlor of Alan’s house in 1969. A sound is heard nearby, and Sam Parish returns to get something, but Alan quickly rushes to hug his father, and apologizes for what he said, as well as takes responsibility for the technical problems that happened due to Carl’s sneaker getting lodged in the factory machine.

After Sam leaves, Alan panics about Judy and Peter, to which Sarah reminds him that they haven’t been born yet. The two then take the game, and toss it into a nearby river. Sarah then tells Alan that it feels like the memories of their adventure are waning, and decides to kiss him for the bravery he showed.

The epilogue of the film catches up to the modern-day 1995. Alan and Sarah have married and are expecting their first child. A Christmas party is being held at the Parish mansion, though Alan’s parents are away on a vacation. Carl is also present at the party. Alan and Sarah have also invited Judy and Peter’s parents and themselves as well (though the kids have no idea of the previous adventures). Alan and Sarah are eager to provide the two with a job at the Parish Shoes company, but both of the parents feel they should wait until after they take a planned skiing trip. Alan and Sarah unanimously shout a negative to this (knowing that this trip is what will most likely cause Judy and Peter to lose their parents).

The film ends with a pair of girls walking along a beach, claiming to hear a strange drum beat. Buried in the sand several yards in front of them, is the Jumanji boardgame…preparing to claim more players.