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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 figure out how to fend off all of the game's horrors very quickly 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 gets 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.
  • Face Your Fears: His last speech before Van Pelt is about facing his fears "like a man".
  • 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.
  • Kilroy Was Here: The hut he lived in while trapped in the game is still present by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with the words "Alan Parrish Was Here" carved into one of the walls.
  • Knife Nut: Uses a knife he fashioned himself from stone. It comes in handy in the Jungle.
  • 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: Living in Jumanji turned him into a social misfit who is really good at surviving in the wild. He also has a messy beard.
  • 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.
  • Rebel Prince: He would rather run away than choose a life that his dad could give him. He does learn to accept his position after 1969 plays again. The novelization also admits that he has great resentment of his family dynasty.
  • 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. He's even able to warn their parents against taking the ski trip that gets said parents killed.
  • 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, he's excited that he doesn't have to wipe with leaves anymore.
  • 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, when Peter returns the group, his anger at Peter was forgotten, only to resurface when he saw Peter become a monkey for trying to cheat. On the way to the mansion he scolds at Peter for messing up, but soon apologizes when he realize he's 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.

  • Babies Ever After: She's pregnant in the Distant Finale.
  • Canon Foreigner: Like Alan, she is a film-only character.
  • Cassandra Truth: Everyone else blew her off when she tried to tell them about Alan's disappearance.
  • Fortune Teller: She became one known as "Madame Serena" as an adult, in the broke town timeline.
  • Girl Next Door: To Alan, literally and figuratively, she is the nice and relatable girl that lives nearby.
  • I Have Your Wife: Van Pelt attempts to take her to bait Alan.
  • Love Interest: Alan's. They get together after playing the game.
  • Playing Gertrude: Bonnie Hunt was only 8 in 1969.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Despite claiming that she's starting to forget the events that followed the game after finishing it, she still remembers Judy and Peter 26 years later.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Two:
    • When she ended up getting attacked by African bats after Alan gets sucked into the game, she ran out of the Parish mansion, forsaking Alan to a potentially horrible fate.
    • Then, after dealing with the man-eating plant, Sarah is so scared of playing the game again that she tries to run away. She doesn't get far before Alan catches her.
  • Team Mom: She quickly becomes more protective and sympathetic to Judy and Peter than Alan.
  • That Man Is Dead: At first, she refuses to admit she is Sarah.
  • This Cannot Be!: Her reaction to meeting Alan alive as an adult is certainly shock.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Same reason as Alan; 26 years is too much for a single actor.
  • Together in Death: When Van Pelt is about to shoot Alan in the end, Sarah runs to be with him, and maybe catch the bullet herself.


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.

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the book, Judy and Peter's parents were still alive. In the film, Judy and Peter are orphans.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: When Aunt Nora calls home and she pretends to be someone else, sporting a British accent.
  • Consummate Liar:She is great at deceiving others but, in her defense, it's always for a greater cause.
  • Cool Big Sis: She is very protective of Peter.
  • Death by Adaptation: Strongly implied (at least) near the end of the game, when she is hit by a flower poison dart and passes away in Peter's arms, murmuring how she would like to see her parents again. In the book, neither Judy nor her parents died.
  • Perfect Poison: Dies within minutes of being hit by a plant poison dart, but with no other apparent ill effects.


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

Judy's younger brother.

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the book, Judy and Peter's parents were still alive. In the film, Judy and Peter are orphans.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Downplayed. His transformation into a monkey leaves him intellectually, and almost physically the same.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Little brother, actually, but he has this 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).
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Peter tries to rig his dice to finish the game earlier. Jumanji punishes him by turning him into a monkey.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Jumanji tells him he'll go "slide back even 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. After that, he looks straight into the camera as if saying "boy, am I stupid."
  • Hidden Depths: He is smarter than he looks.
  • Maniac Monkeys: He becomes more energetic after being turned into a monkey, and his willingness to swing an ax is almost worrying.
  • Manipulative Bastard: 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.
  • 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 main black character in the movie.


Samuel 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.

  • Adult Fear: His boy disappeared one night without a trace. Right after he had an argument with him and he tried to run away.
  • Canon Foreigner: As expected from an element of Alan's backstory, Alan's father does not exist in the source material because Alan himself does not.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: A rumor spread through town, claiming that Sam murdered and dismembered Alan, then hid the remains in the Parrish home's walls.
  • Fisher King: When Alan disappeared, he spent his fortune looking for him, the shoe factory closed down, and the local economy went into recession.
  • It's All My Fault: He blamed himself for Alan's disappearance because he had just told him he intended to send him to a boarding school to toughen him up, and Alan lashed against him saying "I'm never talking to you again!"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite being depicted as an aloof man and a strict father while alive, he clearly loved his son and spent everything he had to try and find him in the bad timeline. Alan only finds out how much his father truly loves him when he first escapes the game.


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.

  • 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.
  • Hero Antagonist: Judy and Peter want to finish the game to get rid of the damage to the house before she comes back.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Ax-Crazy: He's very unhinged and violent, perfectly willing to hunt a child.
  • 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 Alan rolled the dice. Van Pelt is only after 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: Van Pelt's name doesn't suggest it very strongly, but he definitely has the accent.
  • Evil Poacher: Not shown much, since he seems uninterested in hunting anything that isn't Alan, but he's definitely a hunter and an antagonist.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He speaks with a deep, melodious voice.
  • 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: Nothing will stop him from pursuing Alan. 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".
  • Meaningful Name: "Van Pelt" - an animal's fur is often called a pelt, and Van Pelt is an Evil Poacher.
  • The Nicknamer: Refers to Alan as "Sonny Jim" while hunting him, only acknowledging him by his given name when he stops running.
  • No-Sell: Alan throws his sword at Van Pelt in an attempt to stop him chasing him; it manages to pin him to the wall for about a split second (by his shoulder) but he simply snaps it in half and continues his chase, (the sword didn't even make him bleed, his arm healed instantly after pulling out the blade).
    '''Not good enough Sonny Jim!"
  • 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, he gives off a girlish sceam, which is comical with the rest of his persona.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He's genuinely terrified when he gets sucked back into the game. His final line?
  • 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.

  • Ambiguously Evil: As a board game, its purpose is to be played and nothing else. Yes it unleahes dangers on whoever plays it but there's nothing stopping said person from playing in the first place. It also has a Reset Button that's pushed after being finishing and undoes the collateral damage.
  • 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.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In Welcome to the Jungle a potential new player dismisses playing as "nobody plays board games anymore" and was more interested in video games. The same night Jumanji transformed becoming a video game with its own unique console.
  • 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.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: It is a living, sentient game and so it naturally has a different flavor of morality than its players. Cheating is so highly offensive that it will devolve you. It will try as hard as it can to prevent players from winning because games are supposed to be challenging so that they can be fun. As soon as someone wins, everything is re-set; no harm, no foul.
  • 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? Then the game will not continue until you do, and you must live with all the consequences thus far. 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 those who seek to find a way to leave their world 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.
  • Hammerspace: 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 a jungle teeming with hungry animals and dangerous plant life.
  • 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: The sound of drums draws the attention of potential players. All you have to do is be near the game to hear it.
  • Jungle Opera: The game's jungle follows many of the tropes associated with this genre, such as being chased by stampedes and beset by dangerous environments.
  • 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. It can also summon weather and turn the floor you stand on into quicksand.
  • 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? We don't know. The first film shows a previous set of players burying it and then running away in fear.
  • Schmuck Bait: It draws in players using the sound of drums only they can hear and yet, for some reason, said players first reaction is play it. By the time they rethink things, its already too late turn back.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Just a simple board game from the outside. If you choose a token and roll the device, then you see all the terrible things and sadistic intelligence on the inside.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Only children can hear its drums. Which is probably why it doesn't have a recommended age label.

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