1. Little Scarlett Johansson auditioned for the role of overall-clad Judy Shepherd.
She didn’t get it, obviously, because only Kirsten Dunst could deliver this riddle with the gravitas it deserves:
“Don’t be fooled, it isn’t thunder / Staying put would be a blunder.”
2. When Van Pelt goes to fetch a new rifle, the Mexican national anthem is playing in the background.
Fun fact: When the film played in Mexico, that track was wisely removed.
3. Oh, and did I mention that Van Pelt is also Alan’s dad?
Played by the incomparable Jonathan Hyde.
4. If you visit Keene, New Hampshire, one of the town’s where “Jumanji” was filmed, you’ll still see this fictional Parrish Shoe sign painted on the side of a building.
It’s still there, just waiting for Alan to come back.
5. “Jumanji” means “many effects” in Zulu.
Kind of like all of the terrible effects the family faces after rolling that fateful dice?! Maybe.
6. David Alan Grier plays Carl Bentley in the film, a man who’s an adult when Alan goes into the game, and is meant to be much older when he comes out. However, in real life, David’s four years younger than Robin Williams.
Age ain’t nothing but a number, babe.
7. This movie messed up with the math, just a bit.
Remember that scene where Judy, Sarah, Alan, and Peter are playing Jumanji in the attic? And Judy says she can win if she rolls a twelve, but then fails when she rolls a three. And on her next roll, Alan tells Judy she can win if she rolls a seven?
Turns out she’d really need a nine, because twelve minus three is definitely not seven. Whoops!
8. “Jumanji” also had some issues with consistency.
Just as an example, when little Alan discovers Jumanji it’s in a dirt wall at a construction site. Then, when little Sarah asks him about it, he claims to have found it inside the factory. Whoops again!
9. “Jumanji” was supposed to be the next big thing in CGI development and had an estimated budget of fifty million.
10. The film definitely earned back that budget, though, and grossed $262,797,249 worldwide.
Plus it gave us this awesome meme.
11. One of the taglines for the film was, “A game for those who seek to find a way to leave their world behind.”
Other taglines used include: “Roll the dice and unleash the excitement!” “Are you game?” and “It’s a jungle in there!”
12. The concept for “Jumanji” was based off of the 1981 award-winning picture book by Chris Van Allsburg.
It won the Caldecott Medal, and also my heart.
13. This is what Roger Ebert had to say about “Jumanji” in his 1995 review.
Read it in full here, especially the part where he blames this all on video games.