Brow Beat

This Jumanji Game Had Better Work

An image from the video game version of Jumanji, showing digital versions of Karen Gillen and The Rock.
Karen Gillen and The Rock explore the mysterious Uncanny Valley.

Jumanji, Chris Van Allsburg’s hauntingly illustrated children’s book about a jungle-themed board game that comes to life, has had a lot of incarnations since its original publication in 1981. There was the original book, the 1995 film adaptation with Robin Williams and a very young Kirsten Dunst, the 1995 Milton Bradley board game, Van Allsburg’s 2002 outer-space-themed sequel Zathura, Jon Favreau’s 2005 film adaption Zathura: A Space Adventure, and of course, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with the Rock, Jack Black and Kevin Hart. What’s the one thing all of these Jumanji-related media have in common? They have utterly failed to magically transport me to a whimsical but still mildly-threatening jungle fantasyland to take part in a thrilling adventure. No stampedes, monsoons, or lions have unexpectedly appeared in any of my residences between 1981 and today, no matter which Jumanji-related products I purchased. I’m just stuck here in early 21st century America and Donald Trump is president, which violates any number of implicit and explicit promises from the makers of Jumanji. Worse still, representatives from Houghton Mifflin, TriStar Pictures, Milton-Bradley, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, the and the Los Angeles Zoo have stopped responding to my letters about this wholly unacceptable situation. Anyway, it looks like Sony is taking one last shot at living up to decades of broken promises with a video game adaptation of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Per the trailer, it’s for “those who seek to find a way to leave their world behind,” which is a pretty big demographic these days:

The seventh time had better be the charm, Jumanji!