If you grew in the '90s, than you've likely seen the original Jumanji. It was one of those films that was often watched in class when there was a substitute teacher, or at a family movie night. The Los Angeles Comic Con sneak peek for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle pays tribute to Robin Williams, and it will make fans of the original so happy. In the 1995 version of the film Alan Parrish, played by Williams, becomes trapped in a magical board game. When a brother and sister find the game 20 years later, they accidentally let Parrish, and some wild jungle creatures, out and must solve the game to undo all the destruction. In this sequel, the script is reversed, and a group of teens in detention find Jumanji but this time it's a video game. Instead of releasing the world, they are brought into the game as avatars instead.
The sequel looks action-packed and the comedic story is in good hands with actors like Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart. If you grew up watching the original film and are concerned about the sequel, take comfort in the fact that the story will do it's best to honor the 1995 film, and more specifically, Robin William's iconic role. In a new clip that premiered at Los Angeles Comic Con on Saturday, Oct. 29, the Rock discussed what drew him to this project and the inspiration of the original. "I have such a tremendous amount of love and reverence for the original movie and what Robin meant to my family," he said. "I loved it. The world loved it. We wanted to make sure that the spirit of the original movie flowed through this continuation of the Jumanji story."
Robin Williams' portrayal of Alan Parrish was one of many performances that made the comedian beloved. His hilarious, but nuanced portrayals of characters like Parrish often made movies like Jumanji truly special to the families who watched them. It's a big legacy to follow, but it's clear from this short interview that the cast and crew understand the importance of the original work as they bring this tale to new audiences. The Rock also spoke of the beauty of the story, and how this sequel tried to capture that same magic. "The movie encapsulates what the holiday spirit really means," he said. "The spirit of wonderment, discovering who you are." Welcome to the Jungle premieres on Dec. 20, so it will be a holiday film to see with the fam.
In addition to the whimsy of Chris Van Allsburg's story, recreating the comedy in the first Jumanji movie was a priority for this cast as well, which features noteworthy funny people. The plot is pretty funny — when four high school students in detention are tasked with cleaning out the basement, they stumble upon an old video game console. It's labeled "Jumanji," and they plug it into an old television because they clearly did not see the 1995 version of the film or read the book. The game then transports them to the forest, but instead of themselves, they're avatar video game characters
Football star Anthony "Fridge" Johnson is, to his dismay, a much shorter Moose Finbar, played by Kevin Hart. Spencer, a skinny nerd, is now Smolder Bravestone, played by The Rock. Popular girl Bethany accidentally chose the "curvy scientist" Shelly Oberon, played by Jack Black. The nerdy Martha Schwartz becomes Ruby Roundhouse, portrayed by Karen Gillan. This new snippet and plot details also reveal the story behind Gillan's controversial non-outfit. The character had no say in the look, as it was pre-programmed into the video game. It doesn't exactly justify the impractical look, but it's good to know that there is a story behind it.
It's a difficult task to make a sequel a film driven by a charismatic force like Robin Williams was, but if there's any actor who could do the comedic actor justice it's Dwayne Johnson. It's obvious that the cast as a whole understands the legacy they're reckoning with, and that this new film, while bringing the story into the 21st century, will do its best to pay homage to the original.