In 1995, Jumanji came out, starring Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt and Bradley Pierce. In 2017, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was released, starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. And these four will soon return in Jumanji: The Next Level, which also stars Awkwafina, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.
Is the original version of this movie the best, or are the updated ones better? Are there things that were done well the first time, or is everything improved with these new flicks? Let’s discuss, as we go over five things the new movies do better and five ways the first film is the best.
10 New Movies: A Video Game World
While the original game board was super cool, the updated version is a better reflection of today’s day and age: It's a video game! And while this form of entertainment has been around for decades, new technologies allow for immersive experiences that are enjoyed by fans of all ages, making this game an exciting and relatable thing to learn more about and watch.
Getting to see the characters jump into the game and become avatars was very neat for viewers… especially since it also provided several laughs, as well.
9 Old One: Fantasy In The Real World
In a video game, anything can happen, since it is a fake world. In the first Jumanji movie, though, the characters were still in their normal lives, with school, family members and responsibilities… They just also had the repercussions of the game to deal with, too.
The giant plants, the wild animals, the larger-than-life mosquitoes and the hunter all became even scarier, since they were right there, appearing before the players in real life. Plus, watching the house turn into a jungle was one of the coolest movie scenes ever.
8 New Movies: Difficulty Levels
So, since the new movies take place in a video game, there are difficulty levels, as well as a set amount of lives that each player is given. This added in an exciting conflict, as these people now had to complete a mission, in order to get out of the game, and there were restrictions set, just like when fans are playing games.
One wrong move could lead to a life lost, and three strikes can mean that someone is out for good. This element made this new film even more exciting to watch, as viewers hoped that everyone made it out alive.
7 Old One: Relatable Struggles
To elaborate more on the original movie, though, the conflicts were more relatable. As mentioned, these characters were still in the real world, living their real lives. So they did not have video game lives to lose. Instead, they had to try and finish this game, all while a guardian was wondering what was up, a cop was investigating the weirdness and so on.
While viewers may not have had to deal with huge mosquitoes, the pressure of trying to finish the game, while dealing with real life, was more relatable than trying to survive a video game.
6 New Movies: The Missing Player
He had been stuck in the game for 20 years, much like Alan in the original film, and after being saved, he is seen in the real world. He is married, he has kids, and he even named one of his daughters Bethany, as Bethany saved his life in the game.
5 Old One: The Time Jumps
In the version of Jumanji from the ‘90s, the story starts in the ‘60s, with Alan and Sarah playing the game. Then, 26 years later, Judy and Peter find the game and begin playing the same game that had already been started, meaning that Alan and Sarah are needed to finish it.
Finally, when all is said and done, the movie wraps up by showing that Alan and Sarah are married and expecting a child and that Alan offers Judy and Peter’s dad, Jim, a job. Jumping back and forward in time and seeing the young and old versions of these characters was perfection.
4 New Movies: Alan’s Jungle House
When Nick Jonas’ character was introduced in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the players hid out in a jungle house, and it turned out that Alan, from the original movie, built this place when he was stuck in the game.
This nod to the first film and to this character was super special. First off, to give fans a glimpse of Alan’s life in the game… very cool. And secondly, to mention and honor the late and great Robin Williams like that… even better.
3 Old One: Alan
This brings up one of the best parts of the first Jumanji movie: Robin Williams as Alan Parrish. The character was seen as a kid (one who learned lessons and came out of it all a better person) and as an adult (one who was stuck in a strange place, giving viewers iconic lines like, “What year is it?”). And this character was portrayed by one of the most famous actors of all time.
Robin Williams could make fans laugh, cry and laugh some more, and it is truly impossible to imagine anyone but him in this role.
2 New Movies: Repairing The Game
Jumanji: The Next Level comes out this December, and the premise is that Spencer kept the pieces of the game, in order to repair it, meaning everyone will have to re-enter Jumanji.
This is an interesting plot… At the end of the first movie, the board game was seen sticking up out of the sand, and at the end of the movie from 2017, the main characters destroyed the game (so they thought) with a bowling ball. Now, though, it is back, fans are ready for more action, and there is no telling what will become of this game.
1 Old One: Repairing The Past
Just as the newest Jumanji film focuses around repairing something, so did the end of the original film. As mentioned, Alan and Sarah got married, and then they got to meet Judy and Peter (again). Alan even offered their father a job, and when discussing when he should start, the parents mention an upcoming ski trip.
In reply to this, Alan and Sarah scream no, since they remember that these characters lost their lives on that trip, in another time and another life. Therefore, they save the day and repair the past, using secret and special info and memories, resulting in a perfect ending.