Details At A Glance

Category Fantasy Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - CT DVD Trailer
Year Released 1995 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 100 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Joe Johnston

Columbia Tristar
Starring Robin Williams
Kirsten Dunst
David Alan Grier
Bonnie Hunt
Jonathan Hyde
Bebe Neuwirth
RRP $34.95 Music James Horner

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (MPEG 2.0 )
English (MPEG 5.1)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles English

Plot Synopsis

    Jumanji is based around a board game of the same name. Alan Parrish finds this game, which was previously deeply buried, and he and his friend Sarah begin to play the game. The game is magical, however, and pretty soon very bad things start happening; bats appear, and Alan gets sucked into the game.

    We then skip 26 years into the future, where the game is rediscovered by Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce). They begin to play as well, and bad things start appearing for them as well. One good thing that happens is that Alan Parrish returns from the world of Jumanji as an adult (Robin Williams). They quickly determine that they must finish the game in order for everything to be made alright again, but they need Sarah as an adult to help (Bonnie Hunt). The game conjures up more and more nasties as they progress through the game, which is what the movie is all about.

    There are some spectacular visual effects in this movie, and there are some very cheesy ones as well, such as the very fake-looking lion. However, viewed as escapist entertainment, this movie succeeds admirably, aided by a very aggressive sound mix and a nice musical score.

Transfer Quality


    This transfer is an early Columbia Tristar effort, but is up to their usual high standards.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear throughout, except for a very few shots which looked a little grainy. I felt that some of the movie was perhaps a bit darker than I would have expected given the footage, but this was a minor issue. Shadow detail is excellent and there is no low level noise.

    The colours tended to be a little on the muted side at times, though at other times they were quite vibrant.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts were non-existent. Film artefacts were generally few and far between, though there were more of them present in this transfer than is usually the case for contemporary transfers.

    There are three subtitle faults in this transfer, where subtitles come on and are superimposed over the burned-in subtitles on the image itself; at 1:43, 2:03 and 14:45. This is a mastering fault, but is only a minor annoyance.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD - English MPEG 2.0, surround-encoded, English MPEG 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. In the style of most other Columbia Tristar DVDs, the English MPEG 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack is the default soundtrack.

    I felt that the level of the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was set quite high, but listened to it at my usual listening level nonetheless.

    Dialogue was mostly clear, though there were a few times when loud dialogue sounded slightly distorted.

    There were no audio sync problems.

    The score by James Horner was frequently used, and accompanied the on-screen action admirably.

     The surround channels were very aggressively used, with frequent use of split surround effects. The most remarkable use of this is when things are swirling into the game, where you can hear the sound swirling around you in 360°. They are frequently active at other times as well, however, and create a highly enveloping experience.

    The .1 channel was used very aggressively for music and special effects.

    If not for the slight distortion on dialogue, this soundtrack would have received a reference rating. Nonetheless, it is an excellent soundtrack that is ideally suited for showing off your sound system.


    As is the case with all the early Columbia Tristar DVDs, the extras are extremely limited, with only the Columbia Tristar DVD trailer present. This one is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced with MPEG sound. The running time of this movie is given incorrectly on the DVD casing as 104 minutes. It is actually 100 minutes.


    The menu design is a standard Columbia Tristar menu. Functional, but virtually devoid of features. It is not 16x9 enhanced.


    Jumanji is an excellent movie. It has generally excellent special effects, with great sound, and is great fun entertainment, and suitable for younger people as well.

    The video quality is very good, but perhaps a bit dark overall.

    The audio quality is excellent, and virtually perfect. It has a very aggressive surrounding presence.

    The extras present are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Extras nil

© Michael Demtschyna
24th February 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer