If there’s one thing we’re thankful about in 1995, it’s the release of the late Robin Williams’s cult hit Jumanji. The film centred on a couple becoming trapped in the Jumanji board game in 1969, only to be brought out of it decades later and having to team up with a pair of teenage siblings in order to beat the game and reverse the carnage they unleashed. But, much to the excitement and trepidation of our nostalgic inner child, we are even more excited about the upcoming Christmas 2017 reboot.
The reboot, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, will star The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan as four teenagers who abandoned the game, only to have it come back to the bite them on the proverbial. Except, this time the game is a video game lost in the annals of a school detention, and the adult actors are the avatars chosen by the four miscreants serving out their trouble time. The update of the film is apt, given how much technology has changed – reflected in the inspiration of the film, such as a slot game on an online casino, which would have been unheard of back in the 1990s – and ties in perfectly with the necessary adaptations we run into in everyday life. The film as a board game was characterised by Robin Williams, which is why the film can garner the nostalgia and not the wrath of fans – because it’s not a remake, it’s another branch on the Jumanji tree.
The Rock commented that the film is inspired by 1990s video games, which is interesting given the spawning of video games from the Jumanji franchise. Indeed, the trailer showed the pop-up stats screen that each character will have, listing strengths and weaknesses – note how one of them was cake, which gives us an indication that the jungle’s cakes are definitely not for eating. The three lives each player is allowed are an obvious nod to the games in the 1990s that gave players multiple lives to tackle each level, such as the original Crash Bandicoot game. These themes are then borrowed in spin-off of the game, such as the online slot.
But, Jumanji has not been lost in the sand as the ending of the original film led us to believe. In fact, Jumanji spawned a series of video games taking the ideas of the game being a part of real life. For example, the 1996 Jumanji PC game comprised of mini-games and puzzles took the direct inspiration from the puzzles in the film. While franchise fellow and spiritual sequel Zathura, released in 2005, gave us Zathura themed video games on the PS2 and Xbox. More recently, Jumanji has come alive in online slots, as the Boomanji online slot review shows us by borrowing its name and spoofing it for the slot game. Indeed, the franchise lends itself well to the puzzle play that is involved in slots, and the fundamentals of the board game act as a good frame of content for the game, evoking memories of the 1995 film. The 3D slot has 10 paylines and 5 reels, and allows for frequent, small payouts as well as a fixed jackpot of 250 coins.
The online casino version of the game came at the right time, as the sequel will no doubt bring people back to Jumanji, who will now be at an age where they are looking to interact with the franchise further. The casino game allows this and will bring a new generation of fans to Jumanji should they stumble upon it.
We cannot say how excited we are to lose ourselves for a few hours in an old classic – and undoubtedly the success of Jumanji’s adaptation into the modern day may give filmmakers an idea to investigate what fans loved about other classic franchises and give them a modern twist. This is one rumble in the jungle we are very excited for.