When it comes to family films from the 1990s that offer the perfect combination of adrenaline and tension, few films can compete with Jumanji. Director Joe Johnston’s adventure blockbuster tells the story of the Shepards’ siblings (Bradley Pierce and Kirsten Dunst) who play a magical board game that causes a swarm of wildlife and natural disasters that can only disappear after the game is over. In the course of the game, they release Alan Parrish (played by Robin Williams), who was locked up in Jumanji for 26 years.
Floods, rabid monkeys, bloodthirsty tigers and a ruthless hunter – “Jumanji” turns the imagination to the fullest, and this is what makes it a classic. As viewers are more familiar with the new version of “Jumanji”, we remember the film from which it all began.
1. The film is based on the 1981 picture book by Chris van Ollsburg, who was inspired by the disappointment of Monopoly.
In a 2004 interview with Scholastic students and faculty, Van Ollsburg spoke about what formed the basis of his picture book.
“When I was a little boy and played games like Monopoly, they seemed exciting, but when I finished the game, I only had fake money left,” he said. “So I thought it would be fun and interesting if there was such a thing as a game board, where every time you sit in a cage and it’s written that something has to happen, it really happens.”
2. Judy Sheppard could play Scarlett Johansson
11-year-old Scarlett Johansson auditioned for the role, which eventually went to Kirsten Dunst. Perhaps Dunst got the role thanks to her deep understanding of the character of the heroine? In 1995, she told the Chicago Tribune that “Judy is just a little girl, but she can’t accept that her mom and dad are dead. She copes with it with her lies. “
3. The Jumanji dummy game boards used in the film now sell for thousands of dollars
In the years since the film’s release, the Jumanji game boards used in the film have become a real collector’s item. For example, one board used in the film was sold in 2014 for $ 60,800. The lucky winner remained unknown.
$ 60,800 is an incredibly large sum for a simple board game, but for Jumanji fans, it probably seemed like the deal of the century.
4. Robin Williams loved to joke on set
“It was so wonderful to work with Robin Williams,” Dunst told the Chicago Tribune in 1995. “He was constantly joking about us on set. I learned a lot from him in improvisation. What I liked most was the way he portrayed Nell (Jodie Foster’s character) walking across the roadway. ”
She was not the only one to praise him, as co-star Bonnie Hunt said in a 1995 interview: “When you go on set with Robin, it’s like you’re having a barbecue in his backyard. It really brings joy. “
5. Robin Williams fought too hard with the actor in a crocodile costume
During a speech on the British TV show Clive Anderson All Talk, Williams spoke about the behind the scenes of the film “Jumanji”. He remembered the scene in which his character is fighting a crocodile, which, we are sure, is not easy.
According to Williams, he was fully immersed in the action, perhaps even too much. During one of the doubles, Williams got carried away and eventually hit the crocodile with his elbow.
The actor forgot that inside the crocodile costume is a real man. Williams remembered this only when he heard the cry “Hey!” inside the crocodile.
6. The director was afraid that Robin Williams would not stick to the script
When director Joe Johnston was looking for a star for Jumanji, he wondered if he should be invited to play Robin Williams.
This was due to his reputation as an improviser during the scenes, and Johnston did not want the film to deviate from his concept.
Fortunately, Williams understood how important it was to stick to the script, although he was not averse to adding his own zest to the lines.
However, improvisation was not completely banned by the director, and Williams was given a chance to shine. Johnston often shot duplicates of scenes, sticking to the script during one take and allowing Williams to improvise during the others.
Williams reportedly improvised the most in scenes with actress Sarah Bonnie Hunt.
7. Bradley Pierce’s monkey makeup took three hours a day
In the course of the film, Peter, played by Bradley Pierce, begins to transform into a half-monkey, half-human. To achieve this effect, Pierce had to spend three hours a day in a dressing room for more than 70 days.
According to the actor, he could not eat in makeup, so he had to suck protein shakes through a straw. To save the young star from boredom, the film crew installed a TV in the dressing room.
Pierce is said to have watched Planet of the Apes while he was wearing make-up.
8. Williams jokingly told fans that Jumanji is an island in the Caribbean
In the true style of Robin Williams, the actor often played his fans, coming up with meanings for the word “Jumanji”. According to the star, he once told someone that it was “an island in the Caribbean”, adding that they should “buy tickets early”.
However, the true meaning of this word was revealed by the author of the original book “Jumanji”.
According to Chris Van Olsburg, author of Jumanji, Jumanji is a Zulu word meaning “many effects.” This indicates the exciting results of various decisions in the game.
This is also relevant, given how many frames with special effects are used in the film itself.
9. There are various fan theories that Alan’s father and Van Pelt are played by the same actor.
Actor Jonathan Hyde plays both Alan’s father and a hunter who chases Alan as prey.
It was decided that Hyde should play both roles, as both Mr. Parrish and Van Pelt are the most despotic authorities in Alan’s life.
However, there are other theories on the Internet, some of which seem well-founded.
One of them is a rather strange assumption that Van Pelt did not really exist, but was the fruit of Alan’s imagination.
This theory is somewhat convincing given that Alan is stuck in the dangerous world of the jungle for 26 years, so it is unlikely that he was sane after such an experience.
10. Robin Williams could empathize with Alan Parrish’s lonely childhood
Williams had an innate ability to make others laugh, which may have stemmed from a lonely, somewhat isolated childhood.
The child of two working parents, the young Williams as a child was often left to fend for himself.
His main tutor was a maid, with whom he spent most of his time.
This experience allowed him to get acquainted with the character of Alan Parrish and fully get used to the role.
Alan’s experience embodies the greatest fear most young children have: losing their parents.
By the time he leaves the game, his parents are dead, and his worst fear has come true.