Jumanji: Deluxe Edition (1995)

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Released 6-Mar-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary-SFX Crew
Game-Secrets And Riddles
Featurette-The Extreme Book Of Nature
Game-Ancient Diversions
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 99:53
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joe Johnston
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Robin Williams
Kirsten Dunst
David Alan Grier
Bonnie Hunt
Jonathan Hyde
Bebe Neuwirth
Case ?
RPI $14.95 Music James Horner


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Dutch
Arabic
Hindi
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
French Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

This latest DVD manifestation of the 1995 film Jumanji (1995) coincides with the Australian cinema release of its follow-up Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005) which is directed by Jon Favreau and takes place 20 years after the events of Jumanji (1995).

On release Jumanji (1995) was ‘the’ special effects film from Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) which used the latest CGI techniques. Unfortunately the Joe Johnston directed film looks somewhat dated a decade later in light of the continuous progression of the technology and the new wave of fantasy and comic book influenced films that have been a staple genre since the late 1990s.

Thankfully Joe Johnston is a director who seems to understand the balance between Special FX and plot; his other films include Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)), Jurassic Park III (2001) and Hidalgo (2004). Jumanji (1995) has a complex plotline which is based on the popular children’s picture book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, who is also the author/ illustrator of The Polar Express and Zathura.

The story revolves around two children, Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) who both discover a mysterious ancient board game called Jumanji. Unbeknownst to Judy and Peter the board game will unleash a real life adventure as Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) is released into their world after he was imprisoned in the game for 26 years. This is largely a family orientated Robin Williams vehicle as the actor portrays Alan Parrish as a man-child who has been stuck in the game from age 12 to 38.

The naïve children, as well as the reluctant Sarah Whittle (Bonnie Hunt) who was Alan’s original playing partner before he was transported into the world of Jumanji, are forced to play the game just as Alan Parrish did, as the jungle from within the game soon becomes their world in 1995. The film is based around various life threatening sequences for the characters including oversized spiders, mischievous monkeys and an elephant stampede but unfortunately for the characters, the game needs to be finished in order to restore reality.

Some themes in the film are adult-orientated but overall this a good family adventure film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The transfer of Jumanji is presented in 1.78:1, a slightly different aspect ratio from its original theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it is 16x9 enhanced.

Unfortunately the picture quality is somewhat dark and murky. A large part of the film is dependant on scenes involving wind, rain and darkness and disappointingly they are not well presented in this transfer as the colour looks faded and undefined and overall the picture seems soft.

There are no major problems with the transfer although there is minor film grain existent.

The average bit-rate is 6.21 Mb/s but this is not consistent.

Also the CGI effects seem even more unrealistic due to the softness of the picture as they seem glassy and hollow.

The subtitles are true to the onscreen dialogue but overall the picture quality is rather underwhelming and quite ordinary.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The audio quality follows suit, also being underwhelming.

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) makes use of the surround sound during selective moments, particularly the stampede at 55:58. Otherwise most of the sound is directed at the front.

Dialogue is clear and James Horner‘s trademark orchestral score suits the extravagance of the of the visuals well.

The audio has no major deterrents and is satisfactory but it is not reference quality. The subwoofer is heard during selective moments during the film. Otherwise, its use is subtle.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

The main menu is well themed as it replicates the board game structure and is animated with scenes from the film and is accompanied by the score.

Dolby Digital Trailer

Audio Commentary

The commentary by the special effects crew is somewhat tedious and repetitive as they explain the process behind CGI. There is no real discussion, only the usual comments on what is real and what is generated in reference to what is on screen.

Game

Secrets And Riddles is a trivia based game in which the player is asked to solve riddles regarding the plot of the film.

Featurette

The Extreme Book Of Nature is an interactive feature in which the viewer can find out facts and figures about selected creatures and animals which featured in the film.

Game

Ancient Diversions is a collection of a how-to of deceptive magic tricks, for example mind-reading and severed finger.

Overall the interactive extras are somewhat pointless as they give no real insight into the production of the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

From what I understand this 1 Disc R4 ‘Deluxe’ Edition is actually Disc 1 of the 2 Disc R1 ‘Deluxe’ Edition Set.

Thus, Disc 2 of the R1 set includes the following extra features:

The R1 packaging - a cardboard slip cover that folds out (including the Jumanji board game and a free ticket to see "Zathura (2005)").

Region 1 is the clear winner.

It also seems the Region 4 ‘Collector’s Edition’ which is reviewed here is somewhat better then this ‘Deluxe’ edition in the extras department and I wouldn’t be surprised if the 'CE' had the same transfer and audio as the ‘Deluxe’ Edition.

Summary

This deluxe edition of Jumanji is released to tie-in with the release of Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005).

The sound and vision is largely underwhelming and unfortunately the R1 is the better ‘deluxe’ version of the film.

The new interactive extras are somewhat pointless and unnecessary.

This is a strange release as I highly doubt those with the R4 CE would need to upgrade to this 1 Disc R4 Deluxe Edition unless they opted for the 2 Disc R1 Deluxe set.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

Other Reviews NONE
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