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The magnificent Lion is the second largest cat in the world, only the Tiger is bigger. Lions can grow to be more than 11 feet. Running away is difficult, because a Lion can run up to 40 miles per hour. Did you see that jump?, that’s for real! A Lion can easily leap across a 20 foot river. So what does Alan do when he comes face to face with this Lion? He stares it down! Some claim that a Lion will only think you’re prey if you act like prey. Whoops, I guess Alan lost his nerve! Lucky escape!
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Lions, nicknamed "King of Beasts", are big cats that have been an icon for humanity for thousands of years, appearing in cultures across Europe, Asia, and Africa.

In the dimension of Jumanji, Lions are one of the many animals that inhabit the jungles, as very dangerous predators.

Behavior

Jumanji TV Lion Roar

A male Lion roaring.

Lions are immensely strong cats, with powerful claws in their paws and teeth in their jaws that they use for hunting prey and battling enemies in competition. They are characterized by having tufts of fur on the end of their tails, while males are famed for their distinctive manes that grow with maturity. Lions of both genders are capable of making roars that can be heard from up to five miles away. Although Lions can be active at any time, their activity spends much of their time resting and inactive for about 20 hours per day. Of all wild cat species, the Lion is the most social cat, living in groups of related individuals with their offspring, called a pride. These prides number from 15 to up to 40 or more cats.

Jumanji TV Lion Mohter & Cub

A Lioness defending her cub.

Hunting is generally performed for the pride by the Lionesses, which will cooperate to execute short but powerful hunts by stalking then followed by strangulation, which can also be killed by the Lion enclosing the animal's mouth and nostrils in its jaws. Prey is typically eaten at the location of the hunt, although large prey is sometimes dragged into cover. Lions tend to squabble over a kill, particularly the males. Because of their role as generalist hypercarnivores, Lions are extremely dangerous and will pursue anything they desire to hunt and eat to survive, females pursuing such prey as zebras or gazelles while males are needed to bring down larger and tougher prey (although they generally avoid healthy adult elephants, hippopotamuses and rhinoceroses). Lions will kill other predators to reduce competition for food, such as leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas, but they seldom devour them. Lioness mothers are extremely protective of their cubs and will protect them with ferocity, even against armed hunters like Van Pelt.

Appearances

Jumanji Book Lion Stuck

The stuck Lion illustration.

In the original picture book, the first roll made by Peter lands his piece on the square which reads: "Lion attacks. Move back two spaces". When the children turn their heads, they are astounded to see a real Lion sitting onto of the piano, gazing at Peter, who licks his lips and lets out a roar before he gives him chase upstairs but gets stuck under the bed. The Lion stays stuck under the bed, scratching and clawing but does not bother the children again, eventually disappearing when the game is completed.

Jumanji-1995-Lion

The Lion rests on the master bed.

In the 1995 film, like the picture book, one of Peter Shepherd's dice rolls summoned a male Jumanji Lion into the Parrish Mansion, where Judy and Peter ran for their lives until the Lion cornered them, but they were saved by Alan Parrish whom they also unintentionally released. Alan attempted to scare the Lion away with his knife, but the Lion had more power in his clawed paws and did not back down, leaping at Alan as he jumped and skidded into the master bedroom. The Lion dug his claws into the door and scratched to try and get out but by the time Alan and the kids returned from their trip of discovery, the Lion gave up trying to get out and curled up on the bed to save his time and energy.

After the monsoon, Nora Shepherd came home and opened the master bedroom to see the Lion waking up, where he roared at her and she shut the door on him again. Due to the earthquake, the Lion finally got out of the bedroom and tried to take a vengeful swipe at Alan as he swung on the vines but missed him. Once Alan Parrish finally reached Jumanji's crystal ball and called out the name, the Lion and other animals were pulled back into the game's dimension and everything from the altered timeline was undone.

Jumanji Milton Bradley Rear

A Lion's shadow on the rear artwork.

Board Game

  • Secret symbol: Open Door
  • Number: 3

In the Milton Bradley board game, a Lion's portrait is on the side of the game box, a shadow on the game box's rear artwork, while having it's own danger card. Rolling an Open Door on the rescue die within 3 seconds will defeat the Lion threat.

Jigsaw Puzzles

In 1995, Milton Bradley produced three variant Jigsaw Puzzles as promotional tie-ins for the 1995 Jumanji film.

  • Jumanji Animals
Jumanji Animal Jigsaw 100pc

A collection of different Jumanji animals that appeared in the 1995 film. Against a red background, the scene depicts the Jumanji board game and the dice in amongst a Rhinoceros, Elephant, Lion, Crocodile, Pelican and Bats emerging from a gap in the Parrish Mansion's Library wall, as a reference to the iconic Stampede scene.

Jumanji TV Lioness

The Lioness searches for her cub.

In the animated series, Lions are prominent animals within Jumanji's dimension, although Tigers seem to be more common than they are.

In The Master of the Game, the trio come across the wrath of a being referred to as the Master of Jumanji who dwells in a temple that has decorative murals of various animals, including Lions, one of which comes to life and attacks them. The "Master of Jumanji" could also summon Lions to attack any infidels that angered him, however the Lion fell of the balcony after chasing Alan and Judy.

Jumanji Van Pelt Lion Cub

Van Pelt awaits being mauled by a Lioness due to holding her cub.

In Brantford: The Game, Judy and Peter enter the game directly in the midst of a Lion cub, which they dread since they know the mother should be nearby, proving them right when she emerges to protect her cub. When they leap over a cliff but run into Van Pelt, Alan arrives in the nick of time on a vine, lifting the cub and handing it to Van Pelt, who awaits his inevitable mauling from the Lioness since he was holding onto her cub. Later inside the Brantford game's inner dimension, this incident is directly mirrored when Van Bentley is mauled by a Lioness.

There is a Lion statue in The Palace of Clues with ruby eyes, that can reveal mural recordings of every Jumanji game player's clue, should they need to find it again. However, the clues cannot be seen without the Lion's ruby eyes, which were stolen by the greedy explorer Aston Philips and their removal cause the Palace of Lost Clues to start breaking down.

Jumanji TV Lion

Peter (Judy) uncovers a Lion (Antelope).

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 that has been after Alan since his arrival in Jumanji 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. Alan watches as he rolls then gets called away to dinner (the reason why he never saw his clue) and watches as the Crystal when 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. The Lion turned out to be the catalyst for helping finally solving 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.

In the 2017 film, Lions are replaced by Jaguars as Jumanji's main big cats.


Trivia

  • The large oak carved doors of the Parrish Mansion have bronze door knockers in the shape of Lion heads.
  • Conceptual art for the 1995 film’s logo reveals that a fifth token in the shape of a Lion idol was planned for the game, but ended up being unused in favour of a 1-4 player game.
    • In the 1995 film novelisation, the Jumanji game board’s painting has a different layout, adding Lions to the scene.

References

  1. The Extreme Book of Nature