Jumanji, a classic story which started out as a children's book has also been
converted into the movie media form. Jumanji, a children's picture book which
was written and illustrated by Chris Van Ellsberg in 1981, Jumanji was the
Caldecott Medal Winner of 1982, with some of the most detailed pictures I
personally have ever seen done by a free hand illustrator. The book Jumanji is
about two children, Peter and Judy, whose parents go out to the opera one night.
Peter and Judy decide that they are bored and go for a walk outside in the park
across the street. Peter finds a board game lying by a tree named Jumanji. The
children bring Jumanji home to play to play with it. After setting Jumanji up on
the card table in the living room, Judy reads the directions, ‘Jumanji, a young
people's jungle adventure especially designed for the bored and restless.
Player selects piece and places it in the deepest jungle.
B.) Player rolls dice
and moves piece along path through the dangers of the jungle.
C.) First player
to reach Jumanji and yell the city's name aloud is the winner.
IMPORTANT: ONCE THE GAME IS STARTED IT WILL NOT BE OVER UNTIL ONE PLAYER REACHES
THE GOLDEN CITY.'
When Judy finishes reading the directions aloud, the children
start playing Jumanji. Peter wanted to roll the dice first, he rolled a seven.
Suddenly Judy saw a lion sitting on the piano and the lion started to walk
toward the children. Peter jumped up from the chair, ran up stairs into a
bedroom, crawled under a bed, the lion got his head caught under the bed, and
Peter locked the lion in there. Peter wanted to give up at this point, but Judy
said that they must finish the game so it would go away. As the game went on,
more and more wild animals were appearing in the house along with torrential
rains and even a lost tour guide sitting on a dollhouse looking at his map. The
animals were tearing apart the house and it was a big, old mess!!! Peter looked
behind Judy and saw a snake creeping from the mantle going straight at her. It
was now her turn to roll, Judy had to roll quickly to end the game and save her
life. Judy rolls what she needs and screams, Jumanji!!!!. All of a sudden, the
room fills up with and when it clears, the house is as clean as it was before
their parents left. Soon Peter and Judy's parents came home and did not suspect
The two children washed up for bed and then worked on finishing up a
puzzle. Jumanji, the movie was on the big screen around December of 1995. This
movie is a little different from Chris Van Ellsberg's Jumanji, but the basic
story is still the same just with a little more background information of the
game. Jumanji starts with two children burying a game deep into the earth, years
later to be discovered by Alan Parrish, the young boy of an (seems to be)
uncaring shoe factory owner. No sooner does Alan get home and get the game set
up, his friend Sarah comes over to see Alan. The two of them sit down to play
the game. No sooner does Alan roll, it's a 13 and he is sucked into the game.
Sarah cannot explain what she has seen to anyone who believes her. The next
scene is 26 years later and two children, Peter and Judy move into a huge old
house. After settling in, the two children go up into the attic to explore, and
this is where they find a board game named Jumanji. Peter sets the game up and
Judy reads the directions aloud.
The directions were almost word for word from
the book. When Peter tosses the dice, the game pieces move along the board by
themselves. Judy and Peter hear a noise from downstairs in one of the rooms.
They go to look and see a lion walking around downstairs. Both scared, retreat
back up into the attic. Judy says that they must finish up the game, like the
directions stated. After a few rolls of the dice more and more animals started
appearing and soon a hunter was in the house hunting for the animals. When the
hunter notices the kids, he goes after them. Suddenly a man looking like a
Tarzan-type, jungle-man with a long beard and an outfit made with leaves
resembled a Hawaiian skirt appeared and scared the hunter off. After the hunter
was long gone, the lion ran after the children and the jungle-man quickly reacts
and runs into a bedroom and the lion followed , very simply the jungle-man
closes the door, with the lion trapped in there in there. Now the jungle-man was
thanking the children for saving him, he was trapped in a jungle for 26 years
and the children saved him by rolling a 13. He explained that he was Alan
Parrish and how he got trapped in the game.
Then he runs over his old friend
Sarah's house. Alan finds her and explained all of that happened to him. Sarah
joins the two children and plays the game with them. Wild things started
happening, monkeys in the kitchen, a snake, and lots of things similar to the Jumanji book, but only to be extremely exaggerated with the use of computerized
visual effects. My only complaint is that all of the animals in the movie were
to obvious as computerized, they looked a little too light to be realistic.
Besides my complaint, I actually enjoyed this movie. Jumanji is an all out
action movie from beginning to end. The four characters, Sarah, Alan, Peter, and
Judy are constantly running from the wild animals and the hunter chasing after
them. Of coarse the movie comes to a wrap when the game is won and all is well.
After everything returns to normal, the movie switches back into time 26 years,
when Alan Parrish is a little boy again in his house finishing the game up. When
Alan's father comes back into the house and Alan greets him with a big hug, and
says how he has missed his father. Mr. Parrish says that he only has been gone
for five minutes. Jumanji both the children's book and now a movie are alike in
a lot of ways, but different in others.
For instance the movie goes back into
the history of the game Jumanji, and tells a much different and more adventurous
tale of Peter and Judy's experience with the game. The main differences with the
book and movie were the characters and wild animal actions when they appear.
Alan Parrish was not in the book, neither was Sarah. The same goes with a scene
in the book where a rain storm is raining buckets in the living room and the
lost tour guide sitting on a doll house. Instead of a tour guide, the movie uses
a hunter who is after all of them with an elephant gun. There is a scene with
the first animal, where there is a lion and it gets locked in a bedroom. The
book has Peter lock the door, and the movie has Alan trap the lion the bed room.
I felt that both Jumanji, both the book and movie were enjoyable to read and
watch. I only two complaints about the movie, first the computer animated
animals looked too much like they were derived from a computer because the
colors were a lighter shade of color when compared to everything else in the
room. And my second complaint is that Jumanji's (the movie) action and sequent
of events were at a rapid pace and hard for me to keep up. Basically, if I
looked away for a minute I would have missed how a certain scene or character
entered the movie. Besides those two complaints of mine, Jumanji was an
enjoyable movie to watch. The same goes with the book.