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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Jumanji, (1995) - A Timeless Family Adventure

Rating: ★★★★½(4.5/5 stars)

Released 12-15-1995

Watched 06-16-2024

Reviewed 06-26-2024

Watched on Netflix

"You think that mosquitos, monkeys, and lions are bad? That is just the beginning. I've seen things you've only seen in your nightmares. Things you can't even imagine. Things you can't even see. There are things that hunt you in the night. Then something screams. Then you hear them eating, and you hope to God that you're not dessert. Afraid? You don't even know what afraid is."

Jumanji (1995) is an enchanting and thrilling family adventure that has stood the test of time. Directed by Joe Johnston and based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, the film takes viewers on a wild journey where a magical board game brings jungle creatures to life, unleashing chaos in a small town.

Robin Williams shines as Alan Parrish, a man trapped in the game for 26 years who is suddenly freed when two children, Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce), discover the game. Williams’ performance perfectly blends humor, heart, and heroic determination. The supporting cast, including Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, adds depth and warmth to the story, creating a dynamic and engaging ensemble.

The film’s premise is captivating, combining fantasy, adventure, and comedy elements. The board game’s ability to transform the real world into a dangerous jungle playground keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. From stampeding elephants to mischievous monkeys, each turn of the game brings new surprises and challenges that are both thrilling and entertaining.

One of Jumanji's few drawbacks is its dated special effects. While groundbreaking at the time of its release, the CGI may appear less convincing to modern viewers accustomed to today’s high-tech visual standards. However, the charm and creativity of the practical effects and animatronics still hold a certain nostalgic appeal, reminding us of the film’s place in cinematic history.

Despite this minor shortcoming, Jumanji remains a must-watch for both new and old audiences. Its imaginative storyline, memorable performances, and heartwarming themes of friendship, bravery, and redemption make it a timeless classic. Whether you’re revisiting it or discovering it for the first time, Jumanji promises an unforgettable adventure that transcends generations.


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