Literature: Jumanji

"Once a game of Jumanji is started, it will not be over until one player reaches the golden city."
Jumanji Instruction Manual

A Caldecott-winning 1981 book written by Chris Van Allsburg.

It involves two children named Judy and Peter playing a game that brings dangerous things (such as jungle animals) into their home.

Made into a film adaption in 1995 (starring Robin Williams as new character Alan Parrish, with Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce portraying Judy and Peter) and an animated series from 1996-1998.


Includes examples of:

  • Action Survivor: You have to become one if you want any hope of surviving Jumanji.
  • Adults Are Useless: The one adult that comes out of the game is clueless.
  • Antagonist Title: Jumanji is the name of the board-game that is causing all the trouble. More specifically, it's the name of the city adjacent to the jungle where everything comes from - the board game itself is just a portal between the jungle and our own world.
  • Artifact of Doom: Though it is not specifically malevolent, the Jumanji board game has the power to release appropriately-themed hazards into the real world.
  • Audio Adaptation: The 30th anniversary edition of the book comes with a CD of Robin Williams reading the story.
  • Bad Vibrations: The kids feel some building up to a rhino stampede. They even awaken Peter from a sleeping sickness contracted by an insect bite.
  • Big Bad: Jumanji. All the animals, natural disasters and other stuff that comes out of the game are just parts of it. The board game is ultimately responsible for every bad thing that happens in the story, and it all goes away once the game is finished.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Peter suggests asking the zookeeper to take the lion out of the parents' bedroom, Judy informs him that the zookeeper probably wouldn't believe their story. Indeed, when Peter later recounts the events of the game to his and Judy's parents, they seem to believe that the children imagined the events.
  • Climactic Volcano Backdrop: Peter's last turn transforms the fireplace into a volcano, requiring Judy to try and reach the finish in the midst of lava and steam.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: It's illustrated in black and white.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Some appear in the kitchen on Judy's first turn, and even made it onto one cover of the book.
  • The Faceless: None of the adults show their faces in the pictures.
  • The Game Come to Life
  • No Ontological Inertia: After Judy's piece reaches the city of Jumanji, not only does everything the game put forth disappear, but the damage the animals, storm, and volcano caused becomes undone.
  • Oh Crap!: How Judy and Peter react to the first and last animals the game conjures up (a lion and a python, respectively).
  • Panthera Awesome: The game conjures a huge male lion to menace the protagonists. Peter traps it in a bedroom.
  • Point of No Return: As soon as you begin playing the game. The game rules even warn you that the wonders of Jumanji will never cease until the game is won, and therefore you must not start the game unless you fully intend to finish it.
  • Reality Warper: The Jumanji board is capable of taking people and creatures of the pseudo-African dimension that exists inside it and even causing floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
  • Sequel Hook: Two more children, Danny and Walter, find the game at the end. Their adventure eventually became shared in Zathura.
  • Sibling Team: Judy and Peter.
  • Title Drop/Say My Name: The winner is the first player to reach Jumanji and call out its name.
  • When Dimensions Collide: Things that come from Jumanji seem quite able to continue to work on the rules of their homeworld.