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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A distinctly unfriendly community is the setting, with kids who defy and mouth off to adults and pull pranks (though everything comes out right at the end thanks to their intervention).
Positive Role Models
The main characters support each other and help each other survive.
Violence & Scariness
Much-threatened and occasionally carried out, in the form of beatings, bitings, stingings, and stompings mostly by nastied-up members of the animal kingdom. Shooting also threatened by a maniacal hunter.
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"Damn" here and there.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jumanji has lots of thrills and perils but little joy, as monstrous jungle predators pour out of an enchanted board game to overwhelm hapless kids and adults in a depressed New England town. It may be too intense for some kids, although young viewers who aren't nightmare-prone will be diverted by the creatures, computer-generated by the same Hollywood whizzes who brought to life the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's no sense of wonder, really, just one scare after another, and the fact that the killer Van Pelt is played by the same actor who embodied Alan's snooty father adds another dark note. Young viewers who aren't nightmare-prone might be diverted a little by the computer-generated beasts, which all have a slightly livid, unreal glaze that's fitting for how lurid engravings and drawings of the late 1800s might portray exotic beasts.
But Jumanji's script is weak, and Williams pretty much plays it straight as the time-displaced, long-marooned Alan. The young actors are good, but there's a heavy undercurrent of continual peril, death, and morbidity, with no breathing room. The ending, in which history is rewritten for all the characters even better than It's a Wonderful Life, seems a little forced, to say the least, and doesn't dispel the general unpleasantness.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate