Jumanji has had several successful sequels with Dwayne Johnson at the helm, but no one can match the comedy of Robin Williams in the original film.
The first Jumanji movie came out in 1995 and to some, it will be considered the only true Jumanji movie. Since then, there has been one sort-of adaptation/sequel to the film based on the second book and three proper film sequels that have been met with varying amounts of enthusiasm. When it comes to sequels, there will always be things that are done better or that miss the mark completely — but one thing that can’t be matched or replicated is, of course, Robin Williams’ role as Alan.
Williams bursts onto the screen with the youthful enthusiasm of a little boy — appropriate, since Alan’s life was cut off from human interaction when he was snatched into the board game in his boyhood — but this was also true to the signature energy of most of Robin Williams’ performances. He brought a playfulness and emotional intensity to anything he touched, seeming to often speak straight to viewers.
10 “Thanks For Sticking Around This Time.”
This seems like a nice thing for Alan to say to Sara, and it’s certainly meant to be — but at the same time, it also works to emphasize her failure to stick around the last time Alan needed her when she could have stayed and rolled the dice, continuing the game until Alan was saved. But instead, she ran down the street, never to return.
9 “Stop Giving Me Things That Fall Apart!”
Leave it to Robin Williams to make a scene where his character is literally falling through a floor whilst trying to stave off massive spiders, something worth laughing about.
Alan has mere seconds until his body sinks through the wood that has now become quick-sand, and his comrades try desperately to hand him anything that he can grasp onto — but the things keep breaking in half, making the scene more stressful. But then, with this comment, things suddenly turn hilarious.
8 “No, I Grew Up In This. It’s Out There That Scares Me.”
The group suggests that they take the board game outside. The inside of the Parrish house has become a jungle, infested with vines clinging to the walls and riddled with various creatures.
It’s an intimidating scene to all but Alan, however, who has lived most of his life confined in the jungle of the game, showing how home is not a universal idea, but rather what one gets used to.
7 “It Ruined Your Life? I Was Alone For 26 Years, Sara.”
Sara keeps asserting that the board game ruined her life, a statement that, while true enough from her perspective, is a bit of a slap in the face for Alan to hear.
Both of them were traumatized by the game, but Alan was the one pulled into a completely different world, with nobody to keep him company and no knowledge of his loved ones left behind.
6 “We Just Have To Keep Our Heads And Roll With The Punches.”
Alan proves that he can keep his cool, as well as be off-beat and unpredictable. This line reveals the mantra that Alan must have used on himself for the years he spent all alone in the jungle — otherwise he wouldn’t have lasted very long there.
While viewers don’t know exactly what went on there, this subtle allusion is enough to reveal the dark times behind the lessons learned.
5 “You Don’t Even Know What Afraid Is.”
Peter tries to bait Alan to get him to play the game with them, accusing him of being too afraid to play. Alan doesn’t respond well to this, shifting into a darker mood and relaying some aspects of what it was like to have lived the life he did while stuck in the board game.
This throws into light the utterly different lives people can lead and the danger of making assumptions, even if in this case the example is far-fetched.
4 “She Probably Married Billy Jessup And They’re Living In A Trailer Park.”
The movie isn’t exactly a romance, but it isn’t devoid of romance, either. Alan and Sara left things off as kids, when Alan clearly had a crush on her.
Twenty-six years later, she is the only person he ever liked in this way, and it’s obvious he’s had plenty of time to build up bitterness for the boy Sara used to date when he guesses what kind of life she might be living now.
3 “26 Years Ago, We All Started Playing A Little Game. And Now We’re Going To Sit Down And Finish It.”
The kind of line you might hear in an ominous trailer, this quote truly does encompass the atmosphere of the movie. There’s an element of foreboding when referring to finishing what they started, stirring a sense of dread mixed with duty.
None of these people want to do what they’re doing, but the knowledge that they all have to is a weight they must bear.
2 “26 Years In The Deepest Darkest Jungle And Still I Became My Father. I’m Sorry. It’s Alright To Be Afraid.”
It quickly becomes clear that there’s an odd dynamic going on between Peter and Alan. Peter is eager to please Alan and speaks to him when he has refused to speak to any other adult in the movie up until meeting Alan.
Alan shows a lack of affection, even disdain, for Peter — which reveals itself to be a display of his insecurity that can be tied back to his own father’s emotional stuntedness.
1 “I’m Terrified. But My Father Told Me You Should Always Face What You’re Afraid Of.”
It’s interesting that this line should come at a later point in the movie than the one where Alan admits that his father was the one who influenced his toxic masculinity.
However, the key difference seems to be that while Alan emphasizes the importance of one feeling fear and admitting to it, he also takes away some helpful parts of his father’s lesson while combining it with his own advice — to face fear without being ashamed that one is afraid.
NEXT: Jumanji: 10 Most Hilarious Moments In Jumanji: The Next Level
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