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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44 Responses to Jumanji (1995) – James Horner Blogathon

  1. Pingback: Remembering James Horner Blogathon: Recap | Film Music Central

  2. I loved the first film too! I was actually quite surprised they didn’t make a whole load of sequels because it was left completely open to it, with the game left in the world and all. I hope they do a really good job of it. 🙂

  3. Great post and great movie!

  4. filmsCine says:

    Really cool post!! I don’t have much hope for the re-imagiboot with The Rock and Kevin Hart. But I’d like to see something like a Christopher Nolan version… or picture a Tarantino Jumanji?!

  5. If The Rock’s in the reboot, it’s bound to be good. Right? 😉

  6. That Other Critic says:

    I’m down to see a remake of Jumanji. Why not? Then again, we already have Zathura. Do we really need 3 movies about board games coming to life? (4 if you count Ouija :))

    • emmakwall says:

      Why not exactly! Dwayne the Rock Johnson won’t be used in vein 🙂

      Yes that’s a good point! When are they going to make the movie about Hungry Hippos then?!!! 🙂

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