The opening scene of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is set in the year 1996. Alex (Nick Jonas) is a teenage boy who plays a lot of video games. He’s given a strange old board game called Jumanji, but complains that nobody plays board games anymore. At this point the board game magically transforms into a Jumanji video game. When Alex turns on the game, a strange green light emanates from his house and the scene ends. We hear later that Alex disappeared that night, never to be seen again.
The movie jumps forward to the present day, where it focuses on four high school students who’ve received detention for varying offences. Bethany (Madison Iseman) is the self-absorbed ‘most popular girl at school’; Spencer (Alex Wolff) is the school nerd; Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) is the school football star; and the fourth student is the reserved Martha (Morgan Turner). As part of their detention the four are sent to a deserted room and told to clean it. While cleaning the room Spencer and Fridge discover an old Jumanji computer game in a donations box and convince Bethany and Martha to play it. When they turn on the game, each player chooses an avatar. When the last avatar is chosen, green light bursts out of the console and the four players are vaporised and sucked into the console and the gaming land of Jumanji.
Spencer is transformed into a muscle-bound hero and archaeologist, Smoulder Bravestone (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson); Fridge become Bravestone’s comical side-kick Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart); Martha is the ‘man-killer’, Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan); and Bethany has a gender change to become cartographer Professor Shelly Overton (Jack Black). Each player is given special abilities and weaknesses and three lives. If they lose their lives in the game, they’ll die in the real world. To leave the game and return to the real world, the players must work together to complete sets of tasks and defeat their nemesis, Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale).
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Video gaming; relationships; social media
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle contains extended sequences of video game violence, including some gun-related violence. In several cases, the characters die violent deaths and are then brought back to life. This lessens the impact of the deaths on older viewers, but not on young children. Minimal blood and gore are shown. For example:
- A motorcycle chase features bikes fitted with machineguns and rocket-launchers. Bullets hit the ground and rockets explode loudly in clouds of smoke as they hit the ground close to the players. One of the players leaps into the air and kicks one of the pursuing men from his bike, all in slow motion. The players are chased until they reach a cliff and waterfall, where all four players jump off the cliff to fall down the waterfall. After the fall one of the players holds her side and we see a bullet wound. The woman disintegrates in a swirl of red light, then immediately falls from the sky to land on the ground uninjured.
- A man apparently murders a second man by pushing him off a cliff. But the murdered man falls and lands on the ground unhurt.
- A man eats a piece of cake and explodes in a flash of smoke. He then falls from the sky to crash through the roof of a building and land on the ground unhurt.
- During a fight one man punches a second man under the chin. The force of the punch hurls the second man up into the air through the roof of a building and out of sight.
- A young woman distracts some soldiers by dancing in a sensual way. Then she uses stylised fighting to punch, kick and elbow the soldiers. She also smashes a wooden chair over the head of one soldier and a light over another.
- A biker lassoes a woman’s foot with a rope and drags her along the ground behind his bike. She’s rescued by another Jumanji player, who knocks the biker from his bike with a tree branch.
- A player is pushed out of a helicopter and lands on the ground. He’s chased by a herd of stampeding giant rhinoceroses that trample over him.
- A man holds a knife to the throat of a second man and threatens to kill him unless his demands are met.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- Four teenagers turn on a video game, and each chooses an avatar from a menu. The console begins to spark and smoke, and one teenager tries to turn off the console but it continues to glow green. Their bodies begin to glow green and then disintegrate, and the particles are sucked into the video console. When we next see them, they fall from the sky to land hard on the ground, each transformed into their chosen avatar. No injuries are shown.
- A gigantic hippopotamus jumps out of the water, attacks a man standing on the riverbank and eats him. The hippo has four large tusk-like teeth protruding from its jaws. The man’s legs dangle from the hippo’s mouth, and the hippo shakes the man’s body as it opens and closes its mouth several times, gulping the man’s body down. A short time later the same hippo chases the four players through the jungle as they run and scream.
- In one scary scene, the players walk across a wooden log over a pool filled with snapping alligators.
- A man opens the lid of a basket, and a large poisonous snake rises up and leaps towards a man and then a woman.
- A gigantic elephant with massive, long tusks threatens a man.
- A jaguar attacks a man. It bites the man’s face and head and kills him. The man is returned to the game unhurt.
- A player falls into a pit of snakes and sacrifices her life for the other players by deliberately stepping on a snake and being bitten. The player is returned to the game unhurt.
Children in this age group are likely to be scared by the violent and scary scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group might be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has suggestive sexual references and innuendo throughout. For example:
- A male avatar is described as having ‘smouldering intensity’ and speaks in a masculine, husky and sensual voice.
- There are references to penises, penis size, urination and, on one occasion, an erection, particularly in relationship to the female player with a male avatar.
- A young man refers to a young woman as ‘pretty fly’ and says that some guards she was trying to flirt with would like to get ‘jiggy’ with her.
- A man who’s trampled by rhinoceroses talks about the rhino genitals that he felt on his face. He says he’ll never be able to erase them from his memory.
- Young women talk about the tactics of flirting.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle shows some use of substances. For example, teenagers who haven’t drunk alcohol before make and taste margaritas. One of them gets drunk.
Nudity and sexual activity
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle shows some partial nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- A conservative teenage girl wears modest clothing in real life. But her Jumanji avatar is a sexy-looking young woman, who wears a leather halter top and tight shorts. She borrows a jacket from a team member and ties it around her waist saying, ‘I feel like I’m wearing a bikini at school’. Her companion says, ‘You’re a babe – own it’.
- A muscular male avatar touches the left side of his chest and a drop-down menu appears on the screen. When asks how he did this, the man says, ‘I pressed my enormous left pec’. Another male avatar says to a female avatar, ‘Here, like your boob – let me’. As the man attempts to touch the woman’s breast, she smacks his hand away.
- A teenage boy and girl in adult avatar bodies try to kiss and make a terrible job of it. In a later scene the pair, now in their own bodies, kiss again passionately.
The following products are displayed or used in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: brand-name cars, appliances, phones and social media.
There is some coarse language and insults in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fantasy action adventure movie targeting teenagers, younger adults and fans of the first Jumanji movie.
The plot is predictable, and the movie relies to some extent on sexual humour and innuendo for laughs. The movie also has some scary and violent scenes, which are likely to disturb younger children, so it isn’t recommended for children under 12 years. We recommend parental guidance for children aged 12-14 years.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- By working together, you can achieve far more that what you could achieve by yourself. Sometimes survival depends on using other people’s strengths.
- We have only one life to live and we must decide how to live it.
You could talk with your children about the messages the movie sends about flirting tactics, and what might happen if you used these tactics in real life.