21 years ago, Jumanji forever became a classic movie that gave us hilarious, adrenaline pumping, heart-warming scenes and terror-filled nightmares that will never be forgotten. Comedic genius and chameleon Robin Williams impressed us with his depiction of Alan, an abandoned and lonely man-child who gets sucked in a game called Jumanji as a child in 1969 and was trapped in the jungles of Africa for 26 years! Luckily, two kids named Peter (Bradley Pierce) and Judy, played by Kirsten Dunst, (Spider-Man, Bring It On, Interview with the Vampire) moved into his old house and played the game, releasing him from his jungle prison. Together they faced the dangers of Jumanji and won! Whether you have seen this movie once, twice, or a million times, here are six things you might have missed while rewinding your favorite ‘90s action movie.
1. Chris Van Allsburg’s Frustration With Monopoly Is What Inspired Him To Write Jumanji
In a 2004 interview with Scholastic students and teachers, Chris Van Allsburg, the author of the 1981 picture book, Jumanji, revealed how he came up with the idea of the famous game:
“When I was a little boy and I would play games like Monopoly, they seemed kind of exciting, but when I was done with the game, all I had was fake money. So I thought that it would be fun and exciting if there were such a thing as a game board where wherever you landed on a square and it said something was going to happen, then it would really happen.”
2. Robin Williams Related To Alan As An Only Child
In a 1995 interview with The Christian Science Monitor, Williams felt Jumanji had a more disturbing and deeper meaning than the scary animals and the chaos they caused in the film. He described what he thought was the real message behind Jumanji:
“It’s the fear all children have of abandonment and separation from their parents. That’s where my character comes in. I play a boy who has been swallowed up in the game. By the time he is able to come out, 26 years later, his parents are dead, and he feels lost and alone.”
Williams could easily identify with Alan’s feeling of abandonment because as an only child, he had parents who worked all the time, had no siblings, and they moved around a lot as a kid.
3. Bradley Pierce Has Been a Famous Voice Actor For Years
If Peter’s voice sounded oddly familiar to you, that’s because before playing in Jumanji, he voiced the lovable teacup Chip in 1991’s Beauty and the Beast. He also voiced Tails in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and Flounder in The Little Mermaid series in 1993! Today, he continues to be an active voice actor, his most recognizable voices are in video games such as 2014’s The LEGO Movie Video Game, 2007’s Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+, and 2005’s Kingdom Hearts II.
4. The Fictional Parrish Shoe Sign Is Still On Display In Keene, New Hampshire
According to The Keene Sentinel, to pay homage to Robin Williams’s passing, Keene’s residents gathered by the sign and set up a makeshift memorial for him. Rene Hammond, the owner of a barbershop around the corner from the sign, said, “He was amazing, just amazing!” The town residents felt it was a good idea to do something good for the community in response to his death, to honor him, and to show the world that a little bit of their city was in the movie.
5. Bradley Pierce And Robin Williams Both Suffered From Depression
Pierce was diagnosed with depression when he was 16, a few years after he filmed Jumanji. He was secretly fighting it for a long time and only his wife and a few close friends knew about it. He said:
“I really played it close to the vest until Robin died actually and then I decided, 'You know what, I'm going to go ahead and try to use his death and the tragedy that it was to open up to people and put it out there,' and so I did.”
6. Robin’s Co-Stars Enjoyed Robin’s Impressions On Set
In 1995, Kirsten Dunst told the Chicago Tribune how wonderful it was to work with Robin Williams. She said:
“He would crack us up all the time on the set. I learned a lot about improv from him. My favorite impression he did was Neil (the Jodie Foster character) going through a drive-through.”
Bonnie Hunt (Toy Story 3, Cars) praised Robin by saying: “When you walk on a set with Robin, it’s like you’re at a barbecue in his backyard. He really is a joy.”
Robin Williams will always be immortalized in classics like Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Night at the Museum movie franchise, Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, and countless others! Robin had a way of stealing your heart with his emotional and thought-provoking scenes and making you laugh with his hilarious impressions and unforgettable characters. The best part about Robin was that he had millions of fans all over the world who truly loved him, including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
According to News18.com, our smoldering, sizzling, tattooed hottie is going to honor Robin by doing a continuation of the Jumanji classic, not a reboot! He is going to play Dr. Bravestone, one of two roles — much like Jonathan Hyde did in the original 1995 movie (starring as both Alan Parrish’s dad, Sam, and the hunter, Van Pelt).
The Rock is assembling what he refers to as “The Jumanji Breakfast Club,” which currently consists of 3 actors big enough to earn substantial roles in any film: Himself, Jack Black, who Johnson says, "brings that rare balance of funny and cool and edge with a childlike joy" and Kevin Hart, who brings hilarity and creativity to any role he plays. Also Karen Gillan (Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy and Amy Pond from Doctor Who) plays a character named Martha, a lead role in the film! Nick Jonas is going to be in it too! Interesting cast to say the least! I can't wait until this movie comes out!
Directed by Jake Kasdan, the new Jumanji movie will hit theaters July 28, 2017.