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Western Animation: Jumanji

The following year after the 1995 American fantasy-adventure-comedy film came out, an animated adaption was made. Unlike the movie, it followed it own continuity. Like the movie, it followed Peter and Judy finding the game board. However unlike the movie, they end up sucked into the game where they quickly find out the dangers of it. Luckily along the way they meet Alan, a previous player who also got sucked into the game and can't get out as he didn't read his clue that the board displays after rolling the dice (those little rhymes that tell of the dangers to come). So Peter and Judy willingly come into the game throughout the series to try and help Alan either find his missing clue or an alternate way out.


The cartoon contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Aunt Nora in the movie is a pretty normal woman, played by Bebe Neuwirth. In the cartoon, she's basically Lilith Sternin, in attitude and appearance.
  • Alternate Continuity: Yep, for one the way Alan finds the game is different. In the movie, he uncovered it from underground. Here he finds the game in the attic of his house. Since there was no Sarah (Bonnie Hunt's character in the movie) Alan played the game alone and winds up sucked into the game (which does it to all the players). The game does still occasionally invade the outside world but unlike the movie, there's no Reset Button once the dangers are sucked back in.
  • Androcles Lion: Alan's clue the entire time. The huge, apparently un-killable lion was chasing after him since day one in the game, was his clue. Showing kindness to the beast concludes his turn. Alan doesn't just feel bad for himself but the animal that was in agony the whole time as well.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Even more so than the movie.
  • Adapted Out: Sarah Whittle, a main character in the movie, does not appear at all in the cartoon.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Jamazon Queen Gina wants Alan. Alan doesn't want her, though. Because Jamazon weddings always end with the groom being made into a Human Sacrifice.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Jamazons
  • An Arm and a Leg: Captain Squint's wooden nose, in a nod to Moby-Dick.
  • Ant War: Giant red ants vs. black ants.
  • Axe Crazy: Pretty much everyone who lives in the jungle except for Alan.
    • Special mention goes to Van Pelt.
  • Badass: All the Jumanji inhabitants - even Trader Slick
  • Badass Beard: Alan
  • Badass Mustache: Both Van Pelt and Von Richter.
  • Baleful Polymorph: See Running Gag.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: Trader Slick and his shop. He'll sell and buy just about anything — in episode 3 he haggles for 57 pounds of fighting ivy, 1 1/2 leopord spots and a bottle of pollywog juice in exchange for a rope, a basket and a snake catching stick, while in episode 7 he asks for 500 Jumanji mangoes in exchange for saving Alan's life. The things he's sold in the series includes the likes of Jumanji Tracking Fluid (leaks out and creates glowing footsteps), a Get Out of Jumanji Free Card (good for one use only), the Slickomatic Chrono Repeater (rewinds the turn each time it's pressed), and Guunta (an elephant sized bloodhound).
  • Berserk Button: Jumanji itself has one. Anyone who cheats or tries to destroy the game receives a horrible in-game punishment, ranging from Baleful Polymorph to an encounter with the game's very own version of the Grim Reaper.
    • In the first episode, Van Pelt gets pissed when Peter and Judy refer to Jumanji as a game and responds with "Jumanji IS NOT A GAME!
    • The Manji Tribe does not like it when someone steals from them or being lied to as Judy learned this the hard way.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Jumanji is dangerously unpredictable. Its hard to tell if its trying to kill you, trying to teach you a lesson in life, or both.
  • Butt Monkey: Peter who gets to be targetted for all of Jumanji's punishements, particular when it comes to being transformed into something else (which means he got to be a literal example in the first episode). Eventually lampshaded.
  • Cannibal Clan: If the theory of the Manjis being former children who played the game is true.
  • Cat Fight: Aunt Nora and Queen Gina.
  • Darkest Africa: More so than the movie, since they actually went into Jumanji every episode.
  • Death World: Jumanji. It's a miracle that the players survive even one episode.
  • The Dreaded: Alan, Peter and Judy show an understandable fear of Van Pelt, which is Justified since he's an Ax-Crazy hunter who tries to kill them whenever he sees them.
    • Two words; The Stalker, who appears as a robed human skeleton wearing a cavalier's hat. Every inhabitant of Jumanji is terrified of The Stalker, including Professor Ibsen and Van Pelt!
  • Eldritch Location: Jumanji itself.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Much moreso then the movie as the players are brought inside the game. The first episode clarifies this when Peter comes across a few toys in Alan's hideout which he explains, in a rather grim tone, were from "previous players".
  • The Fair Folk: The Manjis, who can vary between being allies of the gamers and their enemies, all depending on their mood, and who very strange customs and laws. For example, in one episode, Tribal Bob (the Manji leader) happily greets the gamers and ruefully explains they're standing on sacred ground, which means they must be killed. Cue the Manjis circling the three humans with spears raised until they all take a good long step to the left, at which they drop their spears and relax again. Alan explains that this patch of ground isn't sacred, while the other one is. It is also unknown whether the The Manji's are this or whether they may be human Jumanji inhabitants.
    • It's debatable if they're actually inhuman, though. While the Manjis do look like frightening tribal masks with arms and legs, it seems that they can actually adopt humans into their ranks — the third episode has Peter almost join them permanently. The offer is made about 3:45 here, and the actual ceremony is shown at 4 minutes in.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: They wouldn't get out of the board game until the end. Still better than most cartoons with this trope as they actually got out.
  • Genius Loci: As Jumanji is a place here as well, it ends up as both a Sentient Phlebotinum and this.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: One episode has the gang meet a handsome adventurer who takes them all to his castle in the sky, with him trying to seduce Judy. They eventually discover he's actually a cold-hearted monster with a petrifying stare.
  • The Grim Reaper: In the episode "No Dice", Alan decides to screw over Jumanji, ensuring no one will ever play it again, by taking its dice away. Everything in Jumanji, even Van Pelt are now scared senseless by Alan. All except for the Stalker; a disturbing grim reaper, the personification of "Game Over", who starts hunting him down for what he's done.
  • Groin Attack: Subverted, during the fight between Aunt Nora and Queen Gina when she nearly jab a spear right between Nora's legs!
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Though an artificially induced one, via the "Slickomatic Chrono Repeater "
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Alan decides in a rather dark episode to finally get rid of Van Pelt once and for all. Unfortunately this backfires horribly. Due to the rules of the game, Peter ends up becoming Van Pelt, and the hunter is not finished. He's forcing Alan to kill him again in the boy's body, the circle becomes complete and Alan becomes Van Pelt forever.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Trader Slick is somewhere between this and a Friend in the Black Market.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Stalker. Debuting in the episode "No Dice", after being crushed by a piston, leaving behind his robes, boots and hat, he reappears as a blob travelling across lava and resumes his original form right down to the clothes. In the episode "The Gift", The Stalker melts one of Peter's shoes simply by grabbing it.
  • Hungry Jungle: Big time.
  • Invincible Villain: You cannot kill Van Pelt. The rules of Jumanji state: "There must always be a Van Pelt". In one episode they did manage to defeat Van Pelt only to discover that if you do defeat him you become him. The Stalker as well.
  • I Shall Taunt You: In "No Dice", Peter and Judy kick and insult the board to get it to suck them in to help Alan.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Ibsen. Curiously, instead of doing things For Science!, like most Mad Scientists, he instead creates all sorts of mechanical hazards because the game itself somehow tells him to.
    • He also acts as an anti-cheating measure: in one episode, Peter accidentally brings a laptop computer into Jumanji. When he somehow finds an access point and attempts to use it to retrieve a record of Alan's clue, Ibsen shows up, messes up the attempt and not only steals the computer, but nearly conquers Jumanji with it. The computer is destroyed in the process of stopping this, and they never got a replacement, probably because their guardians decided they were too irresponsible to take care of one.
  • Magitek: Jumanji definitely has a fair amount of magic powering it, but at the same time there's also a lot of machinery making things work: the sun is actually a gigantic light-producing machine, and when Alan used the game's dice to get "backstage" of Jumanji he found machinery there as well. Additionally the Mad Scientist Professor Ibsen reveals in his first appearance that many of the creatures in Jumanji are his creations.
  • Maniac Monkeys
  • Misplaced Wildlife: fauna from Africa, Asia and South America can be seen in Jumanji (justified because it's a board game)
  • Nice Hat: Van Pelt's Sola Topi (pith helmet) , Von Richter's Picklehaube and Ibsen's Top Hat.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Alan doesn't want to marry Queen Gina (because he'll be sacrificed afterwards).
  • Running Gag: Peter is often turned into a different animal for some transgression or other (or just Tempting Fate. Or no reason.).
  • Someone Has to Do It: In one episode the gang manages to finally get rid of Van Pelt by luring him off a bottomless pit. Unfortunately, with Van Pelt apparently dead, someone has to take his place...
  • The Rival: Von Richter to Van Pelt
  • Shout-Out: Professor Ibsen has introduced himself as a "master builder".
  • Toothy Bird: not for comical purposes, but to make them more ferocious
  • The Unintelligible: The Manjis speak a language basically made up of staccato clicking, raspberries, spitting sounds, whoops and similar random noises. Despite this, the gamers all learn to understand it and Peter actually manages to pick up a working grasp of speaking it, having learned it from Alan, who's been studying it for the last 23 years. Despite its strange nature, it's evidently extremely complex — Peter comments once that they have over 500 different words for pain.
    • Jumaki language, meanwhile, is so alien that they need a Jumaki interpretator to communicate with them. It basically sounds like the occasional screeching noise interspersed with a lot of rasps and rumbles.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode
  • Winged Humanoid: The Jumaki tribe are humanoid birds, with arms, legs and wings on their shoulders, who show up in episode 16.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The main villains to varying degrees, but special mentions goes to Van Pelt, who's implied to do it because he enjoys the hunt.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Every time Alan appears to be freed from Jumanji, he gets a few brief celebratory moments, before realizing that, for one reason or another, he has to go back. Until the last episode, when he gets out permanently.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: If you somehow manage to find a way to defeat Van Pelt permanently, you become the new Van Pelt.


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