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Characters / Jumanji (1995)

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This page is about characters in the 1995 film Jumanji. Click here to check other characters in the Jumanji Franchise.

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Alan Parrish
"What year is it?!"
Portrayed By: Robin Williams & Adam Hann-Byrd

A man trapped in Jumanji for 26 years.

  • Action Survivor: He was only a kid when he was sucked into Jumanji, and was forced to become one just to survive.
  • Alone with the Psycho: His last trial of the game is facing Van Pelt unarmed.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: He chronicles the beginning of the game to Sarah, who is in denial about it ever happening, before revealing that he is Alan.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Due to spending 26 years in the jungle while never shaving; he does get rid of it once he leaves Jumanji.
  • The Beastmaster: He might not command them, but he knows how to keep them away (and he must!).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wanted to leave his family and life behind. In Jumanji, he got it.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: At different points, he uses a decorative sword in the Parrish home to fight the perils of Jumanji.
  • Canon Foreigner: Despite being the main character of the film, he is actually not in the book, nor is any character resembling him or his fate.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He comes out of the game as an adult man, used to life in Jumanji, and clueless about how long he was gone and what happened to his hometown and family.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: A bizarre one, but still. The film shows Alan learning to care about others, putting on his father's shoes, and facing challenges himself rather than running away from them. "Like a man".
  • Disaster Dominoes: In the same day he causes his best friend to get fired, gets beaten up by bullies, his father tells him he's being sent to a boarding school, and he gets sucked into a Hungry Jungle with Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Sucked into the game's jungle as a child, forced to survive untold horrors for 26 years, only to discover that his family is dead. After many trials and tribulations, he gets his family and fortune back, along with the girl and his own friends and family.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Williams didn't have to fake being startled by the shots of Van Pelt's gun because the blanks were that loud.
  • Face Your Fears: His last speech before Van Pelt is about this.
  • Generation Xerox: Much to his chagrin, he finds himself talking to Peter like his father used to talk to him as a child.
  • Impoverished Patrician: He was born to the richest family in town; thanks to Jumanji, he finds himself homeless and dressed in skins and leaves (and later, in clothes lent to him by a homeless man). Thank God there was a Reset Button.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: In its own bizarre way, the game shows how much harm he would do to others if he disappeared one night as a child.
  • Knife Nut: Uses one he fashioned himself from stone.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Before going to Jumanji, he is the son of the richest man in town, but he has no friends except Sarah and Carl (until he gets him fired), and is a victim of bullying.
  • Mountain Man: What he became living in Jumanji.
  • Mr. Exposition: As a Jumanji veteran, he is an expert in the challenges populating the game and lectures the other characters on how to avoid them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • When he realizes that his father went broke and ultimately died because he disappeared.
    • Again, when he realizes what a hardass he was to Peter and is compelled to apologize.
    • Again, when he learns that his actions got Carl fired from his job at the shoe factory.
  • Oh, Crap!: His very soul trembles when he realizes Van Pelt is coming.
  • Older Than They Look: Technically, he lives 26 extra years thanks to Jumanji. Not that he enjoyed them one bit.
  • Properly Paranoid: He knows Jumanji is no mere toy and he is very reluctant to continue playing.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Nobody expected him to return after 26 years.
  • Rightful King Returns: After learning of his parents death, he looks forward to meeting Peter and Judy's aunt and telling her that the house rightfully belongs to him.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: He still remembers Peter and Judy 26 years after Jumanji reset.
  • Talkative Loon: When he comes out of the game. Judy and Peter find him almost as terrifying as the lion.
  • There Will Be Toilet Paper: After he shaves for the first time.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Though he doesn't actually injure Van Pelt, the sword he throws still lands on its point, nailing Van Pelt's sleeve to a column and deflecting his shot.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Towards Peter when the pelican snatches the board game and he yells at him for not getting it. Even after Peter gets it from the river, Alan just gives him a halfhearted thanks. Later, he scolds Peter for trying to cheat, but he soon apologizes for treating Peter like his own dad treated him.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Obviously, played by a different actor as an adult and as a young teen.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Alan is terrified when he realizes he just rolled in Van Pelt.


Sarah Whittle
"I have spent over 2,000 hours in therapy convincing myself that that doesn't exist. See, what happened to you was so awful I made up that whole thing."
Portrayed By: Bonnie Hunt & Laura Bell Bundy

Alan's friend who is traumatized by Jumanji and devastated by Alan's disappearance.


Judy Shepherd
"Listen, I know you're upset and all, but I kind of feel we should finish the game."
Portrayed By: Kirsten Dunst

One of two young orphans who find the game stashed in the attic of the Parrish home in 1995.


Peter Shepherd
"I thought I could end the game myself. I was only ten spaces away."
Portrayed By: Bradley Pierce

Judy's younger brother.

  • Baleful Polymorph: Downplayed. His transformation into a monkey leaves him intellectually, and almost physically the same.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Peter tries to rig his dice to finish the game earlier. Jumanji punishes him by turning him into a monkey.
  • Deadpan Snarker / Wise Beyond Their Years: Less than Judy, but he has his moments.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Jumanji tells him he'll go "back more than [his] token" (a monkey), and becomes a generic monkey. Or more accurately, a little kid in a monkey suit, rather than an australopithecine or another real human ancestor.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Peter runs to the shed to pick the ax. Finding it locked, he takes the ax (which is outside) and uses it against the lock before realizing that he has already what he wanted.
  • Hidden Depths: He is smarter than he looks.
  • Little Brother Instinct: To the point where in the novelization, he went crazy and attacked a classmate for calling Judy a liar (the classmate was the son of the realtor who sold them the house, who was told the true story by their aunt).
  • Maniac Monkeys: He becomes more energetic after being turned into a monkey, and his willingness to swing an ax is almost worrying.
  • Manipulative Bastard: After a fashion. He gets Alan to continue playing by questioning his bravery.
  • The Speechless: He became almost mute after his parents died.


Carl Bentley
"I should've been a fireman!"
Portrayed By: David Alan Grier

An employee at the Parrish Shoes factory and Alan's only friend, who later becomes a police officer.

  • The Alleged Car: His police cruiser suffers untold abuse through the movie, culminating with being swallowed by a giant, carnivorous plant. Carl admits defeat and simply yells at it to keep it.
  • Black Best Friend: Young Alan's.
  • Butt-Monkey: One of many, actually. Still the biggest one.
  • Canon Foreigner: Natch.
  • Dawson Casting: In the 1969 scenes, Grier, in his late 30s, plays Bentley in his 20s.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: He always wanted to kick a door in after identifying himself as police. Doing so, unfortunately, washes him into a monsoon flood.
  • Inspector Javert: He's convinced that Judy and Peter's "uncle" is up to something and keeps trailing him for no reason.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: He formed a close bond with thirteen-year-old Alan when he was in his 20s.
  • Lemming Cops: Though he communicates with other police through radio, he keeps trying to investigate on his own instead of retreating or calling for backup, no matter what happens to himself or his car.
  • Playing Gertrude: Grier was 39 in 1995, but played a character that was older than Williams's (44).
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: When he's surfing a monsoon flood on a front door, and again when he sees a giant crocodile swimming past him.
  • This Is Going to Be Huge: In 1969, he designed a 1990s tennis shoe and was certain that it would conquer the market. Unfortunately, Alan left the shoe on a conveyor belt, causing an accident that broke it, leading to Carl's unemployment. Subverted when the game resets to 1969 and Alan tells his father the truth, ensuring Carl keep his job and his shoe becomes successful after all.
  • Token Minority: The only black character and seemingly the only black man in town. Since this is rural New England, it's actually possible.


Sam Parrish
"We're taking you there next Sunday! And I don't want to hear another word about it!"
Portrayed By: Jonathan Hyde

Alan's strict father and the owner of Parrish Shoes.



Nora Shepherd
"Peter, take this suitcase up to the attic, then we can all have ice cream... and bourbon."
Portrayed By: Bebe Neuwirth

Judy and Peter's aunt and legal guardian.

  • Antagonist: Technically one. Judy and Peter want to finish the game to get rid of the damage to the house before she comes back.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jumanji has a knack for involving her despite not playing the game and not trying to get immersed into the actions of the players, like Carl does.
  • The Cameo: Makes an appearance at the end of Jumanji: The Next Level as the owner of a restraunt, Nora's, that the characters meet up in.
  • Canon Foreigner: Less so than others. She replaces Judy and Peter's parents, who are alive in the book. In fact, early versions of the script had Nora as Judy and Peter's mother, with only their dad missing.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Mumbles to herself about getting a cup of bourbon after sending Peter away with the promise of ice cream.
  • Maiden Aunt: Seems to have no other family besides the kids.
  • Mama Bear: While Judy and Peter may exasperate her at times, she does everything she can to help them when she realizes they're probably in danger.
  • Parental Substitute: Got custody of Peter and Judy after their parents died.

    Van Pelt 

Van Pelt
"You miserable coward! Come back and face me like a man!"
Portrayed By: Jonathan Hyde

A big-game hunter from the game who tries to hunt Alan.

  • Acceptable Targets: Although white enemies weren't absent from traditional Jungle Operas, they would show up long after many a colored Wacky Wayside Tribe, which are absent from the film.
  • Acting for Two: Played by the same actor as Alan's father.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the book, Judy rolls a lost jungle guide who ignores her and is only interested in checking his map. No other human "threat" is summoned.
  • Ambiguously Human: Is he really human, or just an illusion created by the game? He seems to be "human" in the same way the other Jumanji denizens are "animals" and "plants."
  • Badass Mustache: It almost joins with his muttonchops.
  • BFG: Van Pelt's elephant gun was deliberately exaggerated by the production crew, who crafted a pipe on top of a real gun. It's another possible hint to Van Pelt's inhumanity: He is as much an exaggerated, vicious caricature of a Victorian Great White Hunter as any Jumanji creature is of its real world wildlife counterpart. The more modern firearm he acquires after his elephant gun runs dry is no slouch, either.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: He's out to hunt Alan. Because he rolled the dice. But only Alan, because he was the one who summoned Van Pelt. It makes perfect sense to him and he never questions or tries to explain it.
  • Butt-Monkey: Despite his late entry, he is the character that receives the most direct, physical abuse.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: When Alan wins the game, he tries to shoot Alan, only for his bullet, his gun, and Van Pelt himself to be physically sucked back into the Jumanji board game before it slams closed, giving off this impression.
  • The Dreaded: Alan is positively terrified of him. Considering he lives in Jumanji, that's saying something.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: His image is in the upper left corner of the Jumanji board game.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: In a classic Jungle Opera he'd be a Great White Hunter - but this is Jumanji, the land of Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Yeah, he's Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, but he'll only try to kill the player who summoned him. When Carl tries to stop him, he never shoots to kill, and he doesn't try to kill Sarah when she's at his mercy.
  • Evil Brit: Hyde (who is Australian) plays Van Pelt with an English accent (even thought Van Pelt's name is Dutch), while he uses an American accent for Sam Parrish for obvious reasons.
  • Evil Poacher: Not shown much, since he seems uninterested in hunting anything that isn't Alan.
  • Fake Nationality: Who knows what nationality he actually is (if any), but it's certainly not Australian.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Downplayed. He's completely unfazed by modern society and technology, but he's still walking around in Victorian clothes and using ammunition that went out of production in 1903. Although he's smart and pragmatic enough to just buy a modern gun the instant he finds out he can't get more ammo.
  • Great White Hunter: A villainous version in that he's hunting The Most Dangerous Game, and even then, he's only after Alan. Thing is, Alan isn't even really sure why, just knowing that "everything about me, he finds offensive."
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He is obsessed with Alan facing him "like a man" and shows contempt for his companions.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: He only cares about hunting Alan. He knows Alan is sentient and even talks to (and lectures) him before trying to shoot him.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: He shoots at Alan a lot of times, but never nails him.
  • Implacable Man: ...Not that this will stop him from persuing the man. Alan tries to stop him by pinning him to a column with a sword; Van Pelt seizes it by the blade barehanded, snaps it in half, walks off the half still lodged into the column and resumes the chase without actually looking at it.
  • Large Ham: He has a very boisterous and bombastic personality.
  • Last-Name Basis: We never learn his first name in the original film, with some places crediting him as "Hunter Van Pelt" or simply "The Hunter".
  • The Nicknamer: Refers to Alan as "Sonny Jim" while hunting him, only acknowledging him by his given name when he stops running.
  • Noble Demon: He will never shoot anyone who isn't Alan. When Carl tries to stop him, he shoots at his (increasingly abused) cruiser and a lamp post over him as a distraction, rather than killing him. And when he finally has Alan cornered, he offers him a chance to run away first, compliments him when he refuses to do so, and then allows him to say some last words.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: When he is about to crash at the Sports store.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He avoids the waiting period and background check by throwing a bag of gold coins on the gun store's counter.
  • The Slow Walk: Keeps his military-esque march while following Alan instead of running after him.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: As a human opponent, he is much more resilient, intelligent and dangerous than any animal that comes out of the game. He will keep coming after being dealt with once, use his surroundings to his advantage and even improve his weapons.
  • Trigger Happy: He might be more successful if he took a couple of seconds more to aim. But maybe this is intentional.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Only Carl takes notice of him, and it is because he is shooting an elephant gun in a residential area and in broad daylight. Nobody comments on the fact that he is dressed like a 19th century African Great White Hunter in 1995 New England.
  • Villain Respect: When Alan finally chooses to stop running and face Van Pelt, Alan says "my father told me you have to face your fear." This gets a genuine laugh out of Van Pelt, who responds "Good lad. You've finally become a man... Alan." Of course, Van Pelt then immediately intends to shoot Alan, but it's something.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: We can only speculate, but he might enjoy the chase more. That, or ending the hunt too quickly wouldn't be sporting.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He has possibly been hunting Alan since he was a teen.

    The Game Itself 

"Adventurers beware: do not begin unless you intend to finish. The exciting consequences of the game will vanish only when a player has reached Jumanji and called out its name."
Portrayed By: N/A

A mysterious jungle-themed board game that materializes dangerous creatures and situations when a piece lands on a new square.

  • Artifact of Doom: You are better off not playing.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: According to the creator of the book, "Jumanji" is Zulu for "Many effects", and Williams quoted him on it once. But it isn't true.
  • Berserk Button: Trying to cheat is the only known way to make the game legitimately angry.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Everything in Jumanji is oversized in some way compared to its real world counterpart. This goes double (or tenfold) for arthropods.
  • Delighting in Riddles: After the dice land, the crystal ball in the middle of the board will describe the upcoming challenge in a vague rhyme.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Oh, you don't want to play after rolling? How about you live now IN Jumanji? You want to rig a game? Hope you enjoy bananas!
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The default mode of every creature in Jumanji. And if they don't actually try to kill you, they will try to ruin your day in some other way. Even the pelicans.
  • Exact Words: The instructions sell Jumanji as a game "for people who want to leave their life behind", and clarify that the "exciting consequences" will disappear after completing the game. Both are true, but do not prepare the clueless new player about what's coming.
  • Hammer Space: The game is either a portal to another dimension or it contains a full dimension inside. Either way, it can summon multiple, gigantic animals that are several times the size of the board, and at the end they all get sucked back inside.
  • Hungry Jungle: The world inside Jumanji is this.
  • I Know What You Fear: Some of the challenges summoned don't seem completely random, but a result of the game being out to scare the players even more by tinkering with their own fears. Van Pelt in particular, plays on Alan's fear of his father and coincidentally has the same appearance as his father. Does he change his face every time a new kid plays?
  • It Can Think: Jumanji wants to be played. It likes neither cheaters nor quitters.
    Alan: Oh, no. The game thinks I rolled.
    Sarah: What do you mean "the game thinks"?
  • Jungle Drums: How it draws the attention of potential players.
  • Jungle Opera: The game's jungle follows the tropes of this genre.
  • Magic from Technology: Inverted. The board game's magic is twice confused with technology.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Jumanji's setting is "the jungle", but not any one in particular. Animals from different continents and environments of Earth live there together.
  • Noble Demon: As evil and sadistic as it may appear, the game offers you the chance to not play (until you do), and rolls back all consequences after you complete it.
  • Planimal: The Man-Eating Plants populating the game react to their environment in real time, grow fast enough to appear moving, hunt actively, and hide and make distress noises when they are hurt.
  • Pocket Dimension: Jumanji is either inside the board game or the board game is a portal to it. Jumanji is not Earth, in any case.
  • Reality Warper: The game can not only summon creatures from inside but also alter those outside, as Peter finds out.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The game appears intact and is played through 1869, 1969 and 1995. Who knows how old it is.
  • Reset Button: After finishing a game, everything that came out during it, and its consequences are rolled back. If the game lasted for decades, you even get that time back.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What is Jumanji? Who made it, and why?
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Just a simple board game from the outside...
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Jumanji presents itself as a board game and seeks out children to play it with its drums.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Which is probably why it doesn't have a recommended age label.

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