Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Parent Guide
Although the constant peril and life-threatening sequences will likely be too intense for little ones, teens may enjoy the action and positive messages.
Parent Movie Review
Many people can relate to the feeling of being immersed in an activity, but the movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle depicts the experience literally – not just figuratively.
While doing detention time in a storeroom at their high school, nerdy Spencer (Alex Wolff), football star Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), non-conformist Martha (Morgan Turner) and boy-crazy Bethany (Madison Iseman) find an old video game console still loaded with a cassette. None of the four are familiar with the title Jumanji, yet playing it seems more fun than doing their assignment to sort discarded magazines.
Younger viewers may not remember the 1995 film about this game either, or the Chris Van Allsburg book that inspired it. If so, they would know Jumanji used to be a board game with the power to suck players into the action. As a refresher for new audiences, the first few minutes of this sequel portray the transformation of the antique amusement into a video game version, and the unfortunate consequences that befall the teen (Nick Jonas) who loaded the game into the console the four students are presently toying with.
Following its usual format, Jumanji vacuums up the quartet, and places them within its jungle environment. Each of them now find themselves within the body of their game character: Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) is the invincible hero, Fridge (Kevin Hart) is his mousy sidekick, Martha (Karen Gillan) is a sexy, mix-martial-arts fighter, and Bethany (Jack Black) is a pudgy, middle-aged man. After a quick introduction to the rules and objectives of their quest, presented by a tour guide (Rhys Darby) who appears to be part of the game’s program, the group is sent on their way. And whether they want to play or not, the only way back to their real lives is to beat the challenges of the virtual world.
The script has fun with this concept, deriving humor from the juxtaposition of the characters’ personalities with those of their avatars. For instance, Spencer is usually fearful but his character is always brave, Fridge is a big tough guy who is relegated to a small, wimpy body, Martha lacks confidence and is especially self-conscious in her midriff-baring tank top and tiny shorts, and Bethany can’t stop being a flirt even if she looks like a man.
Just like first-person video games, this one pits its adventurers against increasingly dangerous situations. These include threats from animals, weapon-brandishing bad-guys and a nasty villain (Van Pelt played by Bobby Cannavale) who is crawling with large insects (they even slither into his ear and out of his mouth). Van Pelt is perhaps the creepiest part of the production, although the constant peril and life-threatening action sequences will likely be too intense for little ones as well.
Amidst profanity shrapnel, some teen drinking and the glossing over of serious infractions like cheating on homework and lying to parents, this movie tries to teach the importance of team work. The characters also are forced to face their fears, examine some of their hurtful interactions and consider changing their behavior – if and when they get back to their former lives. Thanks to these commendable moral messages, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle isn’t just all fun and games.Directed by Jake Kasdan. Starring Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black. Running time: 119 minutes. Theatrical release December 20, 2017. Updated December 22, 2017
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Rating & Content Info
Why is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle rated PG-13? Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for adventure action, suggestive content and some language.Violence:
Characters face detention at school for being rude, using a cell phone during an exam and cheating/plagiarism. Characters lie to their parents. Characters are sucked into a video game where they face many perilous situations. Characters are threatened by scary animals and creatures, who chase and threaten them: some characters are devoured and/or killed. Characters also face threats from people, who chase them and try to kill them with various weapons (guns, knives, spears). Hand-to-hand combat, injury and death/murder are portrayed, with little blood shown. Characters fall from heights and are run over by stampeding beasts. Large bugs scamper over the body of a frightening-looking villain and one slithers into his ear: he later regurgitates one that crawls out of his mouth. Explosions are depicted. Verbal and physical bullying occurs.
Sexual Content: Infrequent embracing and kissing is shown. Some mild sexual references and innuendo are heard. Anatomical and slang terms for body parts are used. Characters have a conversation about urinating. A male actor plays a female character, who takes a romantic interest in another male character and a great deal of interest in male body parts. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is depicted. A girl takes flitting lessons and tries to use sex appeal to distract the enemy. A female character wears a midriff-baring shirt and short shorts.
Profanity:The script includes frequent use of mild profanity and terms of deity. Moderate cursing, scatological terms and slurs are heard infrequently.
Alcohol / Drug Use:Teen characters, trapped in adult bodies, drink alcohol: One of them gets drunk.
Page last updated December 22, 2017
More parents' guide for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle after the break...
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Parents' Guide
When four students face detention, the school principal asks them some important questions: “Who are you? Who do you want to be?” He also reminds them that they have only one life to live, and only they can choose how they will live it. What do you think of his counsel? Are there choices you are making with your life that don’t reflect who you really want to be?
How much respect do the characters have for one another when they first become trapped in the game? How do their attitudes change over time? What experiences help them see each other in new ways? What do they learn about their strengths and weaknesses?
News About "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle"
Learn more about author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg and his book Jumanji.
With the sequel Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opening in theaters on December 20, 2017, Sony is remastering the 1995 movie Jumanji for home video (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital, Remastered Blu-ray + Digital or DVD). It will release on December 5, 2017.
From the Studio:
In a brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji - you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves - or they'll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break.
Written by Sony Pictures