Some thrills, but may be too much for little ones.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: April 20, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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
Not applicable

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.

Not applicable

"Damn" here and there.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film 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.

What's the story?

JUMANJI begins with a 19th century expedition to bury a board game of unexplained origin. In 1969, young Alan happens to dig up the game and plays it. The relic materializes multitudes of hostile African animals, and Alan gets sucked into the jungle-world of the game. More than 25 years later two orphans (Bradley Pierce, Kirsten Dunst) move into Alan's old house, find the game, and start playing, unleashing a fresh rampage of vicious beasts and Alan (Robin Williams). Alan is now a full-grown semi-wild man, being tracked by Van Pelt (Jonathan Hyde), a crazed, implacable, old-school safari hunter. The only way to return everything to normal is for the kids to continue playing the game to the end, even though each roll of the dice unleashes more attacking animals, from demonic bats to man-eating plants to a ghastly herd of giant spiders.

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 the 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they think makes for a good fantasy adventure film.  Was this movie funny, or more on the darker side?

  • If you were going to make this movie, is there anything you'd change,

  • and if so, what?

  • Which game would you like to see come alive?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 20, 1997
DVD release date:September 2, 2000
Cast:Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams
Director:Joe Johnston
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Wild animals
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:violence and scariness

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byDr.Pepper January 16, 2010

One of the best

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. The only main concern is that it might be a bit intense for really young children. Also there is some very mild swearing (One use of "h#ll" and "d@mn" each)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old August 29, 2010

Fine movie but SCARY SPIDER AND BUGS!!!!

The movie, in my opinion, is fine. Adventurous but will be scary for the really young kids. There was a spider and huge bugs in there, so if your child is scared of seeing spiders or big bugs like me, skip that part of the movie or don't watch it.
Kid, 12 years old January 31, 2010

Really Good!!!!

Jumanji is really good!!!!!!!! It is funny and it is quite entertaining. It is a good family movie, and I would watch it again. It is GREAT!!!!!!!!


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