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Rated PG; running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes
Genre: Sci –Fi/ Fantasy
Written By: Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor, and Jim Strain based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg
Cast: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier, Bebe Neuwirth, Jonathan Hyde
Director: Joe Johnston
WARNING- SPOILERS BELOW.
In 1869, 2 children are ferociously digging a hole to bury a brown box that has the sounds of drums coming from it. The older of the two children ominously prays for the soul of anyone who should dig it up. One hundred years later, those prayers are needed.
1969 in Brantford, New Hampshire, Alan Parrish is heir to the longstanding Parrish family and their shoe business. Being the town rich kid, gets him picked on and such is the case on that fateful day in 1969. After having the stuffing beaten out of him by the local bully and getting into a nasty row with his father, Alan was all set to run away, when his friend Sarah shows up and they decide to play this game that he found buried at the shoe factory. This turns out to be a big mistake as the game of Jumanji is real. Alan is sucked into the jungle of the game until Sarah roles a five or an eight. No problem except that Sarah’s turn conjures up bats that runs hr out of the house and down the street, never to return and leaving Alan stuck in the game for 26 years.
It is 1995 Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) move into Alan's old house. Recently orphaned, the children are in the care of their loving aunt who has bought the old Parrish house in hopes of making it a bed and breakfast. As the began talking to a few old-timer's, they learn that most people believe that Alan's father chopped him up and buried the pieces in and around the house. Nevermind the fact that Alan's parents lost almost everything searching for him.
The children decide to explore the house and come across the game. Without knowing the consequences, they begin to play and before long Alan (Robin Williams) is back and he is no longer 13. But not only is Alan, back, the children soon bring poisonous flowers; a monsoon;a lion; a stampede; and god knows what else.
The only way to stop the chaos is to finish the game and send everything back the way it was. Can the live long enough to do that?
I've always liked this movie. I find it to be fun and entertaining, but I also like the message of the importance of team work and learning to accept people as they are, a lesson we learn through the relationship between Alan and his family.David Allan Grier , as usual, provides the comic relief and he is very funny. My one complaint is that the movie does drag at times. But it does pass the Katie test. My almost 3 year-old daughter watched it from beginning to end. Now most children her age will be a little frightened by the loud sounds and mean animals, but that stuff doesn't even phase Katie.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Portuguese)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Spanish)
Special Effects Crew Commentary
"Secrets and Riddles: The Jumanji Trivia Game"
"The Extreme Book of Nature" Featurette
"Ancient Diversions" Featurette
"Making Of" Documentary
Production Design Documentary
Special Effects Featurette
Cardboard Game Board Packaging with Enclosed Paper Playing Pieces
I think most kids will really like this movie, there is enough noise and color to keep them occupied for about 90 minutes and if you are able to show DVDs on a long trip, this one is perfect.
It's a jungle out there.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2005
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