YMMV / Jumanji

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: About Van Pelt. Is he perhaps a sociopath who hunts human beings just for pure sadism, or maybe he's a Noble Demon who just follows the game's rules and could also be redeemable if he had the chance? There's also another, infinitely more horrifying interpretation. What if Van Pelt was just another poor soul trapped in Jumanji like Alan was, but was either never rescued or was killed before finishing the game, leading to him becoming twisted into part of the game itself?
    • The animated series suggests the latter is certainly possible, as whoever kills Van Pelt risks taking his place.
    • Given his single-mindedness in targeting Alan and only Alan since he's the one who rolled the dice, he might not be a person in any meaningful sense; he could just be a construct created by the game with as much free will as a videogame enemy.
  • Ear Worm: The drums of Jumanji.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The background scenes describing the effects of the giant mosquito bites to unsuspecting victims make it all the more scary when one thinks of the West Nile Virus.
      • 2016 and we can add the Zika virus to reasons why mosquitoes are bad news.
    • In-universe, the last words Alan scream at his father are, "I'm never talking to you again!"
    • After the quicksand effect is undone, we get a close-up shot of the floorboards becoming solid again and tightening around Alan's head. It's quite chilling after Robin Williams' suicide by hanging.
    • What about the process Van Pelt goes through to get his new gun from the gun shop, ie. all he does is drop some gold coins, and the owner offers to fill out the paperwork and shows Van Pelt a particularly nasty gun. Considering the multiple mass shootings that have happened since then, that scene is incredibly uneasy to watch (and while Van Pelt says he's only after Alan, he only shoots once at Alan; the rest of his shots are fired haphazardly in the store when he is specifically trying to kidnap Sarah to bait Alan, whom he knows isn't there.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Robin Williams' character here has spent his whole life surviving in the jungle inside the game, without a toilet in sight; so when he finally sees one again after so long he's close-to-tears of joy for no longer resorting to "banana leaves". In 2006, his highly-urbanized character in RV is impressed with resorting to fern leaves, "nature's broom", during his family's outdoor adventure. The fact that his character on that film is probably just making an act and still hasn't experienced doing it out in the wild, and if such is the case then he doesn't really know what he's saying just adds to the humor.
  • Love It or Hate It: It literally scored a 50% from Rotten Tomatoes, with as much critics for it as there were critics against it.
  • Misaimed Marketing: It was marketed as a nice, comedic family film starring Robin Williams, conveniently leaving out the traumatizing things that pervade the movie. Roger Ebert even criticized this, saying that more kids are now likely to see the movie not knowing that they're going to have the bejeezus scared out of them.
  • Memetic Mutation: "What year is it?!"
  • Painful Rhyme: Most (all?) of the Jumanji rhymes fall into this category. ("Every month at the quarter moon, there'll be a monsoon in your lagoon.")
  • Retroactive Recognition: It turns out Judy is a very young Kirsten Dunst.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • Really none of the CGI has aged well, most CGI doesn't after all. However, the monkeys are arguably the most glaring example. They stood out even during the time of release due to their poorly rendered fur. But then again most of the animals (CGI or otherwise) have a slightly stylised look, as opposed to photo-realistic, so maybe they're supposed to look a little off. Still, even if you're kind enough to accept that, it doesn't really excuse all that much. As you can see below.
    • The lion looks like a bad taxidermy job at best.
    • In a scene that shouldn't even have required special effects, when Van Pelt hands over the gold coins mentioned in Screw the Rules, I Have Money!, his arm and the coins falling have a very strange after-image look to them, as if they're made of sand.
      • Although, considering this happens a few times with Van Pelt having occasionally blurry movements, and the animals, even puppets, also have the same type of blur at times, this could have been done on purpose, a nod to the fact that they aren't real and don't belong in our world to begin with. It's worth noting that when Jumanji is declared, Van Pelt begins to dissolve into a sand-like substance as he's pulled back into the game.
    • The spiders toward the end of the film. The budget to the film was dangerously close to going over so they had to cut back and rely on puppets for the scene. It's incredibly obvious once they appear, especially since they move in a very jerky, wooden way (picture that way a child makes dolls move, moving it forward while bouncing it up and down to simulate walking). Never stops them from being any less terrifying... actually, it might make them even scarier, since it gives the impression that they're very unnatural spiders more dangerous than the norm.
    • Several times throughout the film, the game pieces will not be on their proper lanes. A prime example is when Alan opens the game for Sarah to see after they have reunited in the present, and you'll see, clear as day, that two pieces are on the same lane. Similarly the dice rolls do not coincide with where the game pieces should be on the game board. In fact, the game ends too early considering that a lot of the dice rolls are low rolls, and the rolls that aren't seen wouldn't be enough to make up the difference even if they rolled an eleven.note 
    • The Jumanji stampede destroys the front door of the Parrish house...only to be completely normal again when the group returns to the house.
  • Uncanny Valley: Thanks to some special effects not aging well, almost all of the hazards of the game look a little... off. The fur on the monkeys, the jerky movements of the spiders, almost everything about the lion. However, this can occasionally make the creatures even more unsettling, making them look even more "not of this world."
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Given all the frenetic energy and chaos we see spring forth from the game, this is very intense for a family movie. So much so that Roger Ebert himself was convinced children would be terrified of it.
  • The Woobie: Almost everyone, to a degree. Alan because he was sucked into the game. Sarah because she was called crazy for twenty-six years and spent 2000 hours in therapy. Judy and Peter because they lost their parents plus had to deal with the game, which nearly killed Judy via poisonous plant barb. Aunt Nora because heck, there's a lion in her bedroom. And as established, Carl because well, the entire setting hates him. Kind of unavoidable however, since the premise is Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • What an Idiot: After getting the game back, the group could have chosen anywhere else to finish the game, and yet, for no justified reason, they choose to return to the jungle infested Parrish house.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Jumanji