Top 100 Films. 85. Jumanji (1995)

When it comes to my favourite films of all time I do have a soft spot for 90’s children films because those were the films I grew up on. Jumanji is one of those films that I absolutely adored as a child and I still do, no matter how bad the CGI was. Jumanji is about a mysterious board game that is found by Alan Parrish, a boy that was an outcast and bullied. He begins to play the game with a girl he fancied and gets sucked into the game. The game then led dormant for the next players to come across the game and finish it to get Alan out.

Re-watching this recently and it is a great tragedy to see Robin Williams with so much energy and life. He is really the backbone of this film. The ludicrous nature of a magic board game seems believable with the eccentricity of Robin Williams. This is only a bleak reminder that there will be no one else like Robin Williams. The supporting cast are great but one would assume without Williams, this film would be nowhere near this list. This is perfect timing because of the sequel that is coming out this month but however good or funny that film is, without Robin Williams it will be nowhere near as good as the original. That’s fine but it is still sad nonetheless.

Jumanji creates a world that we never really see. We only get to see small increments of Jumanji. However, it is a wonderful, magical and deadly world it does create. The gigantic animal, plants, extreme weather and stampedes is mad but full of wonder. This excitement is heightened as it is set in a plain American neighbourhood. The polarisation of the mad and the plain exaggerate the eclectic nature of the board game.

Even though it was dangerous, you’d be lying if you didn’t want to play the game, or maybe thats just me. The CGI maybe dated and the practical models are not that great but this film is so magical that you see past all that and what you have is a fantastic family film that is full of horror, adventure and comedy.  Jumanji is loved by many generations and will continue for future generations. A film that showcases that Robin Williams is one of a kind and it is a huge tragedy that he could not be here for the sequel. Jumanji was a fantastic film when I was a child and upon a more recent viewing, it is still just as good.


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