- Jossed. Jumanji can also be played by teens as shown in the 2017 movie.
- Technically, it was also played by teens in the 1995 movie. Alan, Sarah and Judy were all between 11 and 13 when they started playing.
- The drums may sound in a frequency that is audible to children and adolescents but not adults. These exist, and some have tried to use them as "security" in places where teenagers congregate.
- I just realised another thing. Alan picks up two pieces and then drops them on the board, several hours before Sarah arrives. The game has designated him as a player, but a game needs two players, and that's why it dragged both pieces onto the board. Once Sarah came along, the drums summoned her. The game really wants to be played.
- This opens up another point - you CANNOT play alone. Which is another thing to remember with people potentially dying.
- Confirmed! In the movie's sequel, Jumanji: Welcome the Jungle, the boardgame is found again by a man who shows it to his teenager son. Said son rejects the game because he prefers playing videogames and thinks boardgames are old fashioned. Jumanji reacts by transforming into a videogame, all to coax the boy to play it.
- Note that in the originally manga, literally any game or competition can be made into a Shadow Game with the application of magic.
- Maybe it was a type of Training from Hell for most tribes who had to go under a brave ritual to survive the horrors of the game. Whoever had mastered the game's challenges was declared the winner and the game resets, ready for new hunters to prove their might.
- The same thing with Zathura. It was created by an advanced alien warrior race. They imprisoned the Zorgon race for crimes against the galaxy and to use as obstacles.
- The cover of the game lends support to this. The name "Jumanji" is crossed by an African-looking spear, giving it a protagonic presence, but no Wacky Wayside Tribe is ever summoned nor is there evidence that it exist in the game, even though it would be the first and most recurrent enemy in any Darkest Africa written by Victorian whites. And who are the enemies depicted in the four corners? A monkey, an elephant, a rhino and, yep, the white man. Who we know is a challenge summoned by the game, and one of the most dangerous ones. And then there is the fact that it uses drums to summon new players. Drums are communication devices in Africa.
- This could help explain why, in the animated series, Judy is given such a soft time compared to Peter and Alan. The game doesn't consider her part of her target audience.
- This troper can't think of a single thing about the reset that would cause a Temporal Paradox.
- I think what they were getting at was that if everything which happened took place in the real world, how could it then all be undone by winning the game without also undoing the rest of history? As in, the lives of every person in Bradford were affected by Alan's disappearance and his father's factory going bankrupt, so wouldn't their actions in turn affect the actions and lives of people elsewhere in America...but now all of that would be undone too? The answer, it seems, is In Spite of a Nail: while it's true that the lives of everyone in town, and everyone they interacted with in those 26 years, would be changed by the Reset Button, we can assume the rest of the country/world stays the same, generally unaffected by it. The same events happen internationally, the same Presidents are elected, and so on, because the actions of the townspeople and those they affected aren't widespread enough to have that much influence. Hopefully.
- That's still not a temporal paradox. That's a large change. A temporal paradox would be if something is its own cause or both happens and doesn't happens.
- "A hunter from the darkest wild makes you feel just like a child." The rhyme and Van Pelt's appearance (played by the same actor as Alan Parish's father) seem to bear out this theory. If any of the other players had rolled the dice to summon him, he would have looked like their father instead.
- Or maybe anyone that caused stress in the player's life (as this could be verified).
- It could also be that Van Pelt is a human embodiment of the worst fears of the player who rolled the dice. Most people can deal with the stuff that causes them stress as long as it's not a phobia. For example, Alan had a phobia of displeasing/turning out exactly like his dad. That level of fear would not just go away because he fought a few jungle animals. If you think about it, most people who have phobias can trace them back to something another human did to them, or something that happened when humans were present. If humans were not present, as in the case of those who fear being abandoned, then that's still human-driven. Van Pelt then becomes an embodiment and voice for the fears—scarier than any jungle plant or animal because he can talk back and figure out what you're thinking/mess with your head. So another player could roll the dice and get not Van Pelt, but say a witch doctor, a voodoo priestess, anyone that would best fit their fears.
- If Van Pelt is indeed modelled after the player's father, it adds a layer of Nightmare Fuel to his character : Alan was scared of his father, which made Van Pelt scarier in his eyes and motivated Alan to evade him at all costs. But what about players who love their father ? Imagine having a good relationship with your dear daddy and, suddenly, you're chased by a blood-thirsty hunter who looks just like him.
- A good theory, but where was his playing piece? Sarah and Alan's pieces where stuck in their places when Judy and Peter began playing.
- You're assuming there is only one Jumanji Board. We're only shown one—there could be quite a few.
- But didn't he mention that he tried to kill whoever rolled the dice?
- Or perhaps he also had to wait for a 5 or an 8, like Alan, but his game ended without either number showing. No, wait, never mind. This theory is fatally flawed. (Exactly what the fatal flaw is will be left to the other Wild Mass Guessers, but it probably involves ancient unfinished Jumanji games.)
- Actually, this may work if you combine it with the WMG below: Van Pelt gets sucked in but nobody else from his party rolls the needed dice afterwards. To make it worse, the entire group was killed over the course of the game. With no logical way to finish the whole game, Jumanji resets itself, trapping Hunter Van Pelt into it.
Expanding on this:
- Given his immaculately clean appearance (pre-paint can collapse), his lifestyle inside the game would probably be similar to what he was familiar with beforehand. This would make him even more of a Jerkass for hunting poor Alan rather than taking him in.
As already noted, he apparently got himself stuck as a permanent part of the game long ago.
- He may have been the one who thought of the Parrish/Pelt motto of facing danger as a man. Which is why he smiled when Alan decided to do so.
Van Pelt only survived that long in the jungle because his friend died and the game ended in a draw. The next game that took place (Alan, Sarah, Judy, and Peter) concluded itself with a clear winner, which pressed the Reset Button on that game as well as the previous, unconcluded game.
And going off on the previous theory, the boy who became Van Pelt could also be Alan's ancestor.
This has two purposes: it prevents people from abandoning games because they think their victory is trivial; and it punishes players who won't cooperate with the other players.
His disturbed personality traits during OHP make sense. Alan's relationship with his father has severe problems which are resolved only superficially; and nobody could possibly spend twenty-six years, including most of their later childhood, in a terrifying, hostile environment all alone and come out as okay as Alan appeared when Jumanji ended.
- To stop the game from continuing and leaking more destruction into the real world. He was merely stalking Alan in the jungle in an attempt to travel with him and kill the players before they could bring more horrors through and endanger their society.
- To go back to the real world in Alan's place. After all those thirty-odd years of trying, things got personal, so when he became one of the game's perils, he decided he would rather sew his loose ends than try to explore the real world.
- He never wanted to kill Alan. The game created him to help Alan face the fear of his father, and if he actually had stood up against Van Pelt, Van Pelt would have disappeared. His shots were intentional misses (except the one he knew Alan would foil by declaring Jumanji), but Jumanji made him too good, so everyone that got in his way was in real danger of being killed.
- Alan rolled the dice that summoned him. It's just what he does.
- This is supported by the fact that in the real life board game based on the movie, the space for dangers that aren't defeated by the players is called the "Doomsday Grid", implying the end of the world if it's filled.
- There's no indication of alternate timelines existing as alternate universes in the film, it seems like the timeline is completely changed and the "1995 timeline" simply no longer exists.
Someone - something - had to have created the board games in the Jumanji 'verse - something with almost Godlike power, as the games clearly have the ability to augment reality - thus this entity would have had to give them either a fragment of its own power, or be in a position to access something of such immense paranormal force. It would be easy enough to label them as creations of a fun-loving Trickster god, much like The Mask, if not for the fact that these games, while seeming like harmless paranormal fun at first, are very much intended to kill people - particularly, the children playing the game. The fact that the board games don't rack up a bloody death count stems less from their own canonical potential, and more from the fact that these movies aren't rated R (or 18+).
So the logical conclusion remains - just what cosmic horror with a creatively sadistic flair created these games? Perhaps they want man's imagination to be his downfall...
Take note that the Jumanji game must have been created in the 1800s, if Van Pelt is any judge. During the peak of the British Empire, no less. Perhaps it was a horrible punishment for what the British Empire did to a lot of African tribes.Zathura, meanwhile, has aesthetic designs which were very similar to the perception of sci-fi in the 1950s; following this line of thought, it's plausible that the same entity created Zathura as punishment for mankind's unprecedented wars in the first half of that century.
- See below theory pertaining to the True Fae from Changeling The Lost.
- In a way, confirmed in the books.
- Something worth remembering though while in the movies they are clearly different game sets, in the Zathura book, they find the Zathura board underneath the Jumanji board when they find it's theme boring. With this in mind, it's the box itself that is either enchanted or if the box is the maker in disguise. So that being said the box would probably keep spawning game boards that cause the same game just until it finds a theme willing to entice it's players. Jumanji being the default may just be a reflection of when it was made, but it probably could give any theme it wanted to for a game.
- As hinted above, in the movies yes they could have potential that multiples exist. But in the books it's more likely the game box can make whatever theme it needs to entice a player.
- The series actually features "Brantford: The Game", which is a game set in a bizarre/"jumanjized" version of suburban America. Its playing pieces are modeled after people instead of jungle animals.
As Sarah and Alan said, the game thinks. Therefore it's not implausible that the game has a personality. In this WMG, the game acts like an innocent trapped being drumming its heart out to escape. Players are lured by the siren beat of the drums. By the time the board game has wrecked their entire world, it's too late, just like when a human Enfant Terrible throws a raging tantrum. Yet, the game always sucks back its destruction as if to say, "I'm sorry; play again?" Insert Evil Laugh here.
Alan Parrish is a somewhat introverted, shy kid who is easy prey for bullies like Billy Jessup, and whose father is unnecessarily strict. Since he grows up in the late '60s, There Are No Therapists or other traditional means of dealing with this. Under this theory, he actually did find the Jumanji game in the construction site, but the magic it contains is All Just a Dream. That is, Alan's dream begins when he gets sucked inside the game. The 1995 timeline then serves to show him who he grew up to be, what his town became, and what he could be if he faced his fears. The timeline also gives him the opportunity to do that, through the jungle dangers of Jumanji. Once he has accomplished his quest, he "wakes up." Sarah may be going through a similar trajectory. in which Jumanji helps her deal with insecurities, whatever attraction she has to Billy Jessup, and other issues.
- If you're wondering where the 1869 kids fit in, they could be part of the same theory. Or...
- Doesn't explain how Judy and Peter can exist in the future exactly as they were within Alan's "dream."
This is why we don't see anything except the very end of the 1869 timeline. Perhaps as the game ages, it loses power in increments, or else it takes on a more psychological relationship with its players, rather than trying to physically destroy them.
- Perhaps it has a limited power supply? Or rather than losing power over time, it becomes weaker every time its used?
One would think that with as long as Jumanji has been around (over 100 years according to the film) more people would have played it or at least would know of its existence and therefore avoid it. Yet this doesn't happen because Jumanji chooses its players based on their needs. For example, it chooses Alan based on his need to become courageous, and to mend his relationship with his father. It chooses Judy, Peter, and Sarah to help them grow as characters while simultaneously escaping the Bad Future of the 1995 timeline.
- This would also explain why only some people can hear the drums and why said drums get more intense if the chosen player tries to walk away from the game.
(Note:You could make the same assumption about it's related game from long ago, Zathura.)
2009 Tokyo; a bright yet overly imaginative 14 year old boy called Kayaba Akihiko hears mysterious drumbeats coming from a dark forgotten corner in the back of vintage game console store, on the last day of its closing down sale. He nonchalantly picks a moldy paper box from the creaky old shelf, and to his surprise the grey haired owner screamed Take it! I thought I got rid of that evil thing! Have it for free! Just get it away from me!
Akihiko shrugged, went home and blew the dust off the box, illustrated in the style of a 1950s American Jungle Adventure Novel like Tarzan, plugs the suspiciously-clean PlayStation One Console it into his rooms television, and shouts Ill be right down! in response to being called for dinner...
...not knowing it would be the last time he would see his mother for 20 long years.
But moments later for Mrs Kayaba, her son lethargically stumbled to the dinner table, his once-bright and enthusiastic eyes replaced by the tired ones of man twice his age, weary with the ponderous burden of phyrtic victories, meaningless sacrifices, broken dreams and lost love. Akihiko mumbled after all I did, I had to leave her behind, what was all that for. Mrs Kayaba saw the tears welling in her sons hollow eyes and hugged him, thinking he meant he was dumped by a girl at school, not knowing that the heart of the furiously weeping boy had stayed and died in the jungles of Jumanji.
Refusing to reconcile with the reality that his two deaths before being forced to sacrifice the NPC he loved and even married to return to the now meaningless real world was all for noting, Ahihiko took inspiration from his ordeal and voraciously delicated himself to the study of Game Creation, so he may one day re-create a world where death, loss and sacrifice actually HAS meaning, with the ONE life you have and will ever get, and graduated with Honors from Professor Shigemuras University Course....
...on November 6 2022, The Immersive Online Game Sword Art Online was unleashed onto the unsuspecting world.
I beat you, old friend. I finally beat you he bitterly chuckled at the ancient PlayStation One console, form which the drums still mysterious beat as he shouts Link Start.
- Not that they really have to make sense from an evolutionary standpoint, considering they're magical constructs of a supernatural board game.