Jumanji is the title of a 1981 children's illustrated short story and fantasy story written and illustrated by the American author Chris Van Allsburg. It was made into a 1995 film of the same name. Both the book and the movie are about a magical board game that implements real animals and other jungle elements as the players are playing the game; thus the dangers which the players have to overcome in the game also appear in real life. "Jumanji" is a Zulu word meaning "many effects".

Fritz, a bull terrier in all of Chris Van Allsburg's books, appears as a toy dog on wheels in the third illustration.


While their parents are out for the evening, Judy and Peter Shepard are bored and don't know what to do, so they go to the park. There they find a jungle adventure game called Jumanji, which seems to have been abandoned. They take Jumanji home and start playing it, only to discover that the game is alive: any dangers encountered in the game spring to life somewhere in the house. When Peter rolls on a lion, a real lion appears, which Judy and Peter trap in their mother's bedroom. Judy rolls on a stampede, Peter rolls on a monsoon, Judy rolls on an explorer -- each appears in real life to wreak havoc in the house. Still they continue to play, hoping that by finishing the game everything will go back to normal. The game finally ends when Judy rolls on a volcano and yells "JUMANJI!". In an instant everything is back to normal, and the siblings quickly return the game to the park before their parents finally return. The story ends when Judy and Peter look outside and see their neighbors, Danny and Walter, excitedly returning from the park with Jumanji in their hands -- two boys who never bother to finish the games they play.



Zathura, another short story written by Van Allsburg, has also been adapted to film; its story also involves children who find a magic board game, but the theme is science fiction rather than jungle fiction. The book picks up where Jumanji left where, where child brothers Danny and Walter discover the Zathura game, revealed to be on the inside of Jumanji's box.

Jumanji, a film based on this book. Unlike the book, the film has new characters like Alan Parrish, Sarah Whittle, and the Guide's place is taken by the Hunter Van Pelt.

In 1996, a cartoon adaptation known as simply Jumanji was released. It is an abridged adaption of the 1995 film with some elements also taken from the original picture book were added. The gameplay of Jumanji is an alternative method to the film, while Sarah Whittle did not appear.

In 2005, an adaptation of the original Jumanji book's sequel Zathura, was released. While the movie does not make any references to Jumanji, it is advertised as being a spiritual sequel to Jumanji, taking place within the same universe.

In celebration of the book's 30th anniversary, an audiobook read by Jumanji film star Robin Williams was released.

Finally, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was released in December 2017. It serves as a sequel/soft reboot of the series, being in continuity with the original film, but not featuring any of the characters.

The 2018 HMV Jumanji Steelbook, which was deliberately released to coincide with the new Jumanji film, included the 1995 Jumanji film, an animated edition of the original Jumanji storybook read by author Chris Van Allsburg, the first two episodes of the Jumanji animated series and a sneak peek at Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.


Jumanji (Read by Robin Williams)

Jumanji (Read by Robin Williams)