Decades after its initial release, and two sequels later, Robin Williams's Jumanji still has a good deal of pop culture cache. The '90s classic popped back into the Netflix top ten this weekend, currently sitting in the #9 spot after having been recently added to the streaming giant's back catalogue. The movie, which stars Williams along with Bonnie Hunt (Cars) and Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man), featured a board game rather than the video game that has been the focus of the story in the new series, which was reinvented beginning in 2017 by director Jake Kasdan (Zero Effect).
Released in 1995 from Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston, Jumanji was a commercial hit. The movie earned over $250 million at the box office (remember -- in 1995 dollars, that's a lot more), and while it was only a modest critical hit, the movie has gone on to more than make up for any initial lack of enthusiasm.
In the movie, Williams plays a role somewhat reminiscent of his adult Peter Pan in Hook. Having disappeared into the Jumanji board game as a child, Alan is unlocked by a new generation of kids more than 20 years later, and has to team up with his now-adult best friend and the kids who accidentally unleashed the game on the world in order to contain its bizarre powers. Unlike the newer movies, the original film saw the world of Jumanji brought to the outside world, rather than just seeing kids sucked into the game itself.
You can see the official synopsis below:
When young Alan Parrish discovers a mysterious board game, he doesn't realize its unimaginable powers, until he is magically transported before the eyes of his friend, Sarah, into the untamed jungles of Jumanji! 26 years later, he is freed from the game's spell by two unsuspecting children. Alan (Robin Williams) reunites with Sarah (Bonnie Hunt) and together with Judy (Kirsten Dunst, Pretty Women) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) tries to outwit the game's powerful forces in this imaginative adventure that combines breathtaking special effects with an enchanting mixture of comedy, magic, and thrills.