An early method to entice children into the world of reading may be through picture books, something Chris Van Allsburg seems to have spent a large portion of his life dedicated to. The American author and illustrator published 19 books to date, most notably The Polar Express and Jumanji, both earning him a Caldecott Medal for his achievements. Published in 1981, Jumanji may have been Chris Van Allsburg’s most successful publication, garnering the National Book Award for Book Illustration in 1982 and being adapted to a feature film in 1995. The premise of Jumanji revolved around a mystical board game, which might conjure animals and strange effects into the players’ world. What seemed to make this premise even more intriguing is once players began the game, they had to finish or face unforeseen consequences.
Tapping into the imagination, the board game Jumanji seemed to captivate readers and soon the film rights were picked up by American film studio TriStar Pictures, a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. The film was directed by Joe Johnson (Captain America: The First Avenger, Jurassic Park 3) and featured the talented Robin Williams (Aladdin, Mrs Doubtfire), Jonathan Hyde (Titanic, The Mummy) and Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man, Melancholia). At the heart of Jumanji seemed to be a jungle motif, with wild animals emerging from the board game and the house gradually beginning to resemble a jungle as the game went on. This jungle theme seems to be an aspect something the sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle, aims to take full advantage of. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle aims to continue the legacy established by Chris Van Allsburg while introducing new elements and modernising the franchise.
This 2017 sequel finds Jake Kasdan in the directorial seat and the person responsible for rejuvenating the classic tale of Jumanji. Audiences got their first look at Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle this week when a trailer premiered on YouTube. Uploaded by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the first official trailer gave viewers a glimpse into the new Jumanji film. Presently trending on YouTube with over 12 million views, the new trailer seemed to involve four high school students and their discovery of a past video game console. The console the students stumble upon seems to transport the teenagers into the world of Jumanji, replacing the traditional board game for a video game console.
The trailer depicts the students selecting an avatar before being transported to the world of Jumanji and it seems they embody their new avatars as they explore this new world. The four avatars selected by each student appear to be Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 6, Moans) as Dr Smolder Bravestone, Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Big Short) as Ruby Roundhouse, Kevin Hart (Ride Along, The Wedding Ringer) as Moose Finbar and Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda, School of Rock) as Professor Shelly Oberon. Seemingly bewildered by this transition, the teenagers, now with the appearance of adults, begin their journey through the strange world of Jumanji. Based on this trailer Welcome to the Jungle seeks to reimagine the Jumanji formula while retaining the adventure, unpredictability and jungle motif the series may be known for. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle aims to be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle aims to release worldwide December 2017.
How might Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle continue the tradition the 1995 film began?