Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film that was directed by Joe Johnston. It is an adaptation of the 1981 children’s book that bears the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. The film was written by Allsburg, Greg Taylor, Jonathan Hensleigh, and Jim Strain and stars Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, David Alan Grier, Jonathan Hyde, and Bebe Neuwirth. The special effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic for computer graphic elements and Amalgamated Dynamics for animatronics components. The film was dedicated to visual effects supervisor Stephen L. Price, who passed away before the film’s release.
The story centers on young Alan Parrish, who becomes trapped in a board game while playing with his best friend Sarah Whittle in 1969. Twenty-six years later, siblings Judy and Peter Shepherd find the game, begin playing and then unwittingly release the now-adult Alan. After tracking down Sarah, the quartet work to resolve to finish the game in order to reverse all of the chaos that it has caused.
The film was shot in Keene, New Hampshire, repenting the story’s fictional town of Brantford, New Hampshire. Additional filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The film was released on December 15, 1995. Despite its lukewarm critical reception, it was considered a box office success, earning just over $262 million worldwide against its budget of approximately $65 million and it became the tenth highest grossing movie of 1995.
In 2005, a similar film marketed as a spiritual sequel to Jumanji, titled Zathura: A Space Adventure, was released and was also adapted from a Van Allsburg book which was more directly connected to the Jumanji book. A sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2017.
The Film Itself (5/5):
Jumanji is a longtime favorite of both mine and my wife. Taking the minds and imagination of audiences around the world as they follow Alan Parrish and the children as they work to end all of the insanity that has been brought forward from the board game; this film was truly an innovation for its time. There’s comedic sequences, there’s action sequences, there’s dramatic sequences; it really touches a lot of genres that offers an all encompassing experience for its viewers.
Picture Quality (2/5):
I really had high hopes for Jumanji once I heard it was coming to 4K UHD. Everything about this release was really clean, however there were a lot of issues with the overall picture quality. The images that were displayed on both of my 4K sets seemed to have a slight purple hue to them that I found to be considerably distracting. Additionally, with the cleaner image, it helped to make the more obvious CGI sequences to look even more fake. The various animals that were displayed in this film looked absolutely horrific in 4K with HDR and it really made me really want to reconsider my purchase.
Audio Quality (4/5):
Packaged with a newly mastered Dolby Atmos audio track, the 4K UHD release of Jumanji offers an all out immersive experience for its viewers that are able to make use of the technology. As the sounds of the jungle roared through my home theater system, I couldn’t help but think this release could have done a lot better with a DTS:X track. DTS:X audio would’ve been much more impactful and reminiscent of the overall experiences from when this film was first released.
The Packaging (5/5):
The Best Buy exclusive release of Jumanji on 4K UHD comes in an absolutely gorgeous Steelbook case that was modeled after the board game that’s featured in the film. Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film as well as the standard Blu-ray copy of the film. The case does feature interior artwork that also resembles the inside portion of the board game. Unfortunately, neither of the included discs include any artwork on them outside of the standard release text. There is also a digital copy redemption pamphlet so those who purchase this release can add the film to their digital libraries for on the go streaming.
Special Features (5/5):
The 4K UHD release of Jumanji is not unlike any other standard 4K UHD release. That’s said because there are no additional features included on the 4K UHD disc. All additional content is provided on the standard Blu-ray copy of the film. Included with this release is:
- Special Effects Crew Commentary
- Sneak Peek Of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes
- Making Jumanji: The Realm Of Imagination
- Jumanji Motion Storybook As Read By Author Chris Van Allsburg
- SFX Featurette: Lions, Monkeys & Pods… Oh My!
- Bringing Down The House
- Jumanji: The Animated Series
- Storyboard Comparisons
- Production Stills
- Conceptual Art
- The Extreme Book Of Nature
- Ancient Divisions
- International Trailer
- Are You Game? Trailer
- It’s A Jungle In There Trailer
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1
Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
Thai: Dolby Digital 2.0
English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Original Film: 100 minutes
Like I mentioned earlier on in this review, Jumanji is an all time favorite of mine as I had grown up with this film as well as several other of Robin Williams’ films. That said, once news of this release broke, I knew I wanted to get it as I had only had this film on standard DVD and wanted to upgrade it. Sadly, the 4K UHD copy of this film looked terrible with its use of HDR and overall it made for a less than pleasurable experience. The audio track sounded really damn good, but I think it would’ve been significantly better had they gone with a DTS:X track. There are a ton of special features made available on the included Blu-ray disc, and it comes packaged in this absolutely beautiful steelbook case. If you’re considering grabbing Jumanji, I would advise against getting it in 4K. I would recommend the Steelbook for the beautiful artwork and the included Blu-ray disc; but, if you already have this film on Blu-ray, don’t spend the money for the upgrade.