Jumanji (1995) – James Horner Blogathon


Many thanks to Bex of Film Music Central for organising such a cool blogathon in tribute to the film composer James Horner.

Horner scored soundtracks to many well-loved movies and the one I’m going to be talking about today is Jumanji – a film that I still enjoy watching to this day.  I was nine or ten when I went to see this in the cinema with my dad but though there’s nostalgia attached I still think it’s a good movie to this day.

Jumanji (1994) – Film Review


The story – that I’m assuming ignorantly most of us know – is about a crazy board game that basically ‘comes to life’ bringing with it scary creatures, near death situations and the like. Robin Wrs_1024x759-150806050445-1024-Jumanjiilliams plays Alan Parrish who was sucked into the game as a teenager, re-emerging decades later when the game is found by siblings Peter and Judy (who is played by a young, sweet Kirsten Durst).

Once again drawn into the world of Jumanji, they are forced to keep playing, each roll of the dice bringing a new danger to face.

There’s giant spiders (INSERT TERRIFIED FACE), a biblical style flood, a crazy hunter who’s also pretty funny, giant mosquitoes that can crack car windows, huge poisonous plants – basically a lot of unpleasant stuff. I always found the lion walking down the piano quite scary.

His fangs are sharp, he likes your taste. Your party better move poste haste.

It actually has a decent story too and as corny (!) as it might sound the film tries to deal with things that kids (and adults) can relate to. Such as not being listened to and feeling lonely. Dealing with your parents divorce.

And shock horror, even Robin Williams too annoying. Alan is actually quite mean and standoffish when first escaping the game. Though who could really blame the poor guy, I know teenage years are difficult, but most kids would rather deal with body hair and mood swings than fighting for survival in a deadly jungle where there’s no toilet roll.

Especially when you’re being relentlessly chased by a crazy hunter who looks like your dad.


Horner scored the entire Jumanji soundtrack – some pop songs were included in the film, but not on the official OST. As you’d imagine the soundtrack is both dramatic and adventurous – the perfect accompaniment for a film of mayhem and survival.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that one of the best remembered things from the film are the drums that play loudly from the game itself. Listen to them here.

The drums are extra cool because they make the game seem even more ‘alive’. Alan – and years later Peter and Judy – only find the (usually buried) game because of hearing the drums which get louder and louder the nearer someone gets to it.

And the rest of the soundtrack is just as good. Listen to this short (0.48) track entitled ‘I’ve Seen Things’ where Alan makes his famous “you don’t know what afraid is” speech to an already petrified and possibly-disturbed-for-life Peter and Judy.

jumanji (1).jpg

So most of us know that Jumanji is being remade for 2017. Oh no sorry, re-imagined. Or is it a reboot? Who cares. You say tomato, I say tomato (let’s call the whole thing off).

But it would be easy to be nasty about this film – starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Kevin Hart and ‘Most Irritating Person On The Planet’ Jack Black – and I think let’s not. It’s actually a great premise for a family adventure movie and I’m sick of dumb films about talking animals. Of course it won’t beat the 1995 original (at least for us oldies who remember it well the first time round) but it could be fun.

But judging by the “petition to stop the movie from getting made” IMDB message boards, I could be alone in thinking this.

About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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45 Responses to Jumanji (1995) – James Horner Blogathon

  1. Jay says:

    You’re such an optimist 😉

    Nice post. You can talk about Horner all day long as far as I’m concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those drums freaked me out when I was a child!! Loved it all the same, though. 🙂 I didn’t realize James Horner wrote the music for this one, though, so it’s a perfect excuse to revisit the film soon!

    I have to admit to feeling pretty dubious about a remake, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Christina! They freaked me out too lol 🙂

      I think a remake COULD be fun, so long as they are respectful to the original. Nothing will ever beat Jumanji 1995 though 🙂

      I didn’t realise Horner did the music for this either, until I looked it up for the blogathon! But it’s actually a soundtrack I wouldn’t mind having, it’s very suspenseful and adventurous! 🙂


  3. Ben says:

    Not sure what can be gained from remaking this film or specifically with those three characters. It works well because there are two kids at the centre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      I’m sure there will still be kids in the movie, I assume these actors are just playing the ‘adult’ parts. I guess The Rock would have the starring role but hard to imagine Jack Black playing the bad guy. Kevin Hart would have to be a comedy part?

      Hmmm! Lol.


  4. Kevin says:

    Did you ever see the Jumanji spinoff cartoon? It was perhaps even more mental than the film. I do love the hell out of the film, though, but it has Robin in it, and I love everything he’s in! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Remembering James Horner Blogathon: Day Three Recap | Film Music Central

  6. vinnieh says:

    I love the hell out of Jumanji.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. beetleypete says:

    I think it’s a good film for kids of a certain age, but i wouldn’t want to watch it myself. (I have seen some of it on TV, but I was 43 when it was released!)
    As for a re-make- NO NO NO. I would like to ban all re-makes, starting now. If an original is good, why do it again? If an original is crap, why add to the crap pile? (A Star is Born coming up too…)
    As ever, Pete. XXX (And one more, because you cheer me up X)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Jumanji! Have read the book Ems? It won the Caldicott Award for its gorgeous illustrations by author Chris Van Allsburg. Anyway, I didn’t know James Horner wrote the score. I remember those drums though! I’m not sure about the whole remake thing. Especially since this is a Robin Williams movie. Hmm. We’ll just have to see.😕

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed Jumanji, too. I remember taking my kids to see it and we all enjoyed it. Great blogathon, and entry, Emma.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      Aww thanks Cindy! Really pleased to read that 🙂

      It’s a great family film isn’t it, I think perhaps there aren’t enough of these action / adventure films now days for families to enjoy! That’s why I say do the remake, let’s see if it’s any good!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. mikeladano says:

    NO MORE REBOOTS! Noooooo!

    Never liked the original though. The CG left me very detached from the viewing experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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