- “You think Monkeys, Mosquitoes and Lions are bad? This is the beginning... I've seen things you've only seen in your nightmares...Things you can't even imagine...Things you can't even see...There are things that hunt you in the night...And if something screams, then you hear them eat...And you hope to God that you're not dessert...Afraid?!...You don't even know what afraid is...You will not last five minutes without me.”
- —~ Alan Parrish to Peter Shepherd
Alan Robert John Jason Parrish III is the main protagonist of the first Jumanji film and its television adaptation.
Alan Parrish was a generally well mannered resident of Brantford, New Hampshire who lived with his mother Carol and father Samuel in a large mansion and was positive friends with Sarah Whittle, much to the jealousy of her boyfriend Billy Jessup. He was also friendly with Parrish Shoes employee Carl "Soleman" Bentley, but caused Carl to lose his job after accidentally placing his prototype shoe on a conveyor and damaging the machinery.
Alan's relationship with his father Sam was difficult as Alan always ran away from his fears instead of standing to face them and they even had a falling out after being enrolled into a private school. He had a rather pessimistic outlook on the game at first, but eventually, his years of survival and gained knowledge helped find himself "right at home" with all the familiar things released from Jumanji. The years of loneliness and hard living also made him rather firm and strict, blaming Peter for the Pelican stealing the Board game. Later, he barely gives Peter credit for retrieving the game, until he becomes guilty when Peter began de-evolving, and he becomes more guilty that he became his father even after 26 years in the Jungle.
Since she was the main cause of his troubles, Alan originally also had developed envious feelings of grudge towards Sarah for her former boyfriend and his gang always harassing him, leaving him inside the game for 26 years, and soon getting sweet revenge by dragging her back into playing again, but their relationship healed with time playing Jumanji and their love for each other eventually bloomed into marriage in the restored timeline.
The novel also expands on Alan's outlook of his life as somewhat miserable and even hating his family dynasty due to being harassed without end by Billy's gang and feeling unwanted by his parents when they enrolled him into the Cliffside Academy, dreaming of a more exciting life away from Brantford. When visiting his parent's graves, Alan even whined in grief to himself wishing his family never existed. Nevertheless, he had a great respect for his ancestor, General Angus Parrish; always nodding to his memorial statue when passing on his bike, inspecting the defaced statue in 1995 and apologised to Angus for smashing the case underneath his portrait to get the cutlass inside.
During a bad day with Billy's gang, Alan was coaxed by the sounds of drums in the construction site for the annex of Parrish Shoes. There, buried under the sand was an old chest, inside was Jumanji. He kept it, and, after Sarah came to give his bike back from Billy Jesup, they began playing the game, where bats came out from the game, and Alan was transported to the jungles of Jumanji.
In 1995, when Judy and Peter Shepard discovered the game 26 years later, they too are coaxed into playing Jumanji and unintentionally released Alan as well as a Lion. Alan is astounded when he quickly discovers the state of Brantford, due to the closure of Parrish Shoes and even more devastated by the deaths of his parents, all of which he unintentionally caused. Alan refuses to play the game with the kids, but after reverse psychology from Peter, claims he will watch. But, when the game refuses Judy's dice rolls, he realizes the game is still set on the round he started in 1969, and that means he and Sarah Whittle have to play too.
As the turns roll by, Alan's archenemy Van Pelt is released by one of his dice rolls, although the Hunter claimed to be after Alan mainly because of his dice roll, Alan explained to Sarah that they have been at ends with each other for a while, and that the Hunter desires to take Alan's head as his next prize for uncertain reasons. When Alan was arrested by Carl he tried to explain the unnatural goings on and they eventually managed to put a stop to Van Pelt and return to the mansion to continue playing the game.
After returning to the Mansion, the players followed Alan through the Monsoon and trusted his navigation away from the Crocodiles, but he had to dive back into water to wrestle one away from Sarah. His dice roll in the attic landed him in a pond of quicksand that dragged him through the floors but only stopped when Judy's dice roll froze it, leaving him and Sarah stuck between the floor and unable to repel the Spider attack. Once the earthquake comes to an end however, Van Pelt returns one last time to finish Alan off, demanding him to drop the dice, unintentionally leading to a winning roll, and everything that transferred out of Jumanji were pulled back into the game board and returning Alan and Sarah to their childhood in 1969.
After his return to 1969, Alan reconciled with his father and told him the truth about the incident in the shoe factory. Alan worried about Judy and Peter before Sarah told them that they don't exist in their era, which means they are safe. The two then went on to dump Jumanji, weighted down with bricks, into the river and began dating. By the time Alan reached 1995 again in the new timeline, he was married to Sarah, expecting a baby and in charge of Parish Shoes while his parents were retired but still alive. Alan and Sarah met Judy and Peter again at a Christmas party where neither displayed memories of their time together. To stop Judy and Peter from losing their parents, Alan and Sarah convinced the two not to take the fatal skiing trip.
An abridged version of Alan Parrish appears in the Jumanji animated series. After he discovered Jumanji, he took it home and immediately started to play the game but became trapped inside the deepest darkest jungle dimension, due to not reading the game's instructions and even missed the crystal ball's message as he turned his head to hear his mother calling him down for dinner. Although he is courageous, Alan has a deep personal fear of being trapped forever in Jumanji for the rest of his life and will never escape, since he is very well aware that some players have been known to play the game and not survive at all, or end up becoming Manjis. His favourite dish is tuna casserole and his favourite snack is the candy bar "Crunchy Munchies", delighting in tasting his first one in years when first meeting Judy and Peter.
23 years, 5 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days into his life in Jumanji he meets Judy and Peter instantly on their first visit to Jumanji, where they became fast friends after Alan saved them from a Minotaur and Van Pelt. Following their first adventure and the experience they learned, Judy and Peter both agreed to continue playing the game until they discover Alan's clue to help him escape from Jumanji, while having several adventures by surviving the environments, creatures, inhabitants and learning important life lessons along the way. The kids even end up considering Alan part of their family and give him their fathers pocket knife on his birthday, touching him and giving him hop that h will eventually find his way out of the game someday. His lifelong survival of 23 years inside Jumanji, he became very accustomed to the harsh lifestyle and gained a vast knowledge of every environment, creature and inhabitant. Like the 1995 film, Alan's rivalry with Van Pelt was consistent as ever, even when minding his own business like having a bath or contemplating having nobody to turn to. In the Law of Jumanji, Alan was fed up of being hunted without end and decided to turn the tables on Van Pelt by tapping him, since Alan knew he was unkillable but could be imprisioned. Alan could even understand and speak the complicated tongue of the Manji tribe, making him well acquainted with them but on occasion suffered their wrath when upsetting them. He made frequent deals with Trader Slick but often regretted trusting him, due to his devious ways.
In the final episode, the trio with the clue "When you reflect on actions past, the quest you're on will end at last." Judy, Peter and Alan are chased by a persistent lion and run into a cave when they accidentally cause a rock slide trying to stop the lion. There they find the Crystal of Reflection which contains a record of everything that happened in Jumanji. Touching it, they see a few of their previous adventures in reverse order and realize that watching the Crystal for long enough will eventually show Alan entering into Jumanji and thus give them his clue and allow him to escape. They finally get the Crystal to show them Alan getting sucked into Jumanji, but Alan falls on some ice and the Crystal breaks. However, the broken Crystal still shows what happens and Alan watches as he rolls then gets called away to dinner (the reason why he never saw his clue) and watches as the Crystal finally displays his clue: "An act of kindness where there is no light, will help to save you from your plight." As they celebrate finally knowing Alan's clue, the lion attacks and Alan fights it. It's revealed that the lion has a thorn in its paw that's causing it great pain and Judy realizes that the clue refers to Alan helping the lion. Alan removes the thorn and the lion licks him and leaves. Helping the lion finally solves Alan's clue and he leaves Jumanji and solving Alan's clue solves Peter and Judy's as freeing Alan was the quest they were on.
Alan appears in the 1996 Jumanji PC game.
- Jumanji Treasure Maze (Center): The player plays as Alan Parrish and travel around the mansion maze collecting red gems, while avoiding the poisonous vines and giant spiders.
- Wild Hunter (Elephant Totem): The player controls Sarah Whittle in a jungle, firing oranges to defeat animals as well as the ruthless big game hunter Van Pelt, in order to rescue Alan. The player must avoid projectile strawberries and must also avoid hitting Alan or Peter.
Out of respect to the passing of Robin Williams, Alan is referenced twice in the 2017 sequel. The first being his board game token appearing as a clue, and the second is a direct mention of his name on a carving that reads "Alan Parrish Was Here". It's then explained by a succeeding player, Alex, that Alan Parrish was a previous player stuck in the game, and during his time there, he built a lavish treehouse for himself and other players to live in. Alex himself took over this treehouse while being stuck in the game for twenty years.
- Jumanji Knowledge: Due to Alan's years of survival and lifestyle in Jumanji, it gave him a unique knowledge and wisdom of the game's environments, creatures and inhabitants, which were essential to helping his friends finish the game as he insisted they would not last 5 minutes without him.
- Athletics: A hard lifestyle gave Alan the fitness he needed to be able run from a stampede and Van Pelt's gunshots, handle a sword and even wrestle a swimming Crocodile to save Sarah. As a ten year old, he was an accomplished cyclist as he was able to sty as far ahead of Billy's gang as possible.
- Knife: Alan owned a self made knife that served as his main protection and useful tool while living in the jungle.
Behind the scenes
- Before Robin Williams was cast as Alan's adult self, Tom Hanks was the first choice to play Alan Parrish. His son Colin ended up joining the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
- Bruce Willis was considered for the role of Alan. But due to him shooting Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), he was unavailable.
- Alan's full name was revealed in the animated series episode Perfect Match; Trader Slick attends the wedding of Alan and Gina to announce them, proclaiming his full name as Alan Robert John Jason Parrish III.
|Books||Novel • Film novel • Zathura|
|Media||1995 film • TV Series • Zathura: A Space Adventure • Welcome to the Jungle • Jumanji 3|
|Games||Board Game • Jigsaw • Trading Cards • LCD Game • PC Game • PS2 Game|
|Jumanji 1995 Film|
|Brantford Characters||Alan Parrish • Sarah Whittle • Judy Shepherd • Peter Shepherd • Sam Parrish • Carol Parrish • Carl Bentley • Nora Shepherd • Martha Shepherd • Jim Shepherd • General Angus Parrish • Caleb Sproul • Benjamin Sproul • Mrs. Thomas • Billy Jessup • Ralph Smigel|
|Animals||Rhinoceros • Elephant • Monkey • Crocodile • Lion • Bat • Mosquito • Spider • Pelican • Zebra|
|Vegetation||Pod • Purple Flower|
|Weather||Monsoon • Earthquake • Quicksand • Tornado • Thunderstorm|
|Objects||Jumanji (board game)|
|Locations||Jumanji Realm • Brantford • Parrish Mansion • Parrish Shoe Company • Sir Sav-A-Lot • Brantford Pawnshop|