Who played Alan Parrish in Jumanji?

Robin Williams and Adam Hann Byrd as Alan Parrish in Jumanji
Robin Williams and Adam Hann Byrd as Alan Parrish in Jumanji

Robin Williams played the older version of Alan Parrish, the boy who had been stuck in the game for 26 years. Adam Hann-Byrd played the young version of Alan Parrish.

Little needs be said about the iconic Robin Williams. He graced the screen in over 100 movies/shows and won an Oscar and numerous other awards before taking his life in 2014 at the age of 63. Few people have ever made as many people laugh as Robin.

Adam Hann-Byrd got his first acting gig in the movie Little Man Tate, with Jodie Foster, when he was only 9 years old. Four years later he played the young Alan Parrish in Jumanji. Since then, Adam picked up a few roles here and there, like Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, where he played the character Charlie — but he only has 14 acting credits listed. However, Adam also has 4 writer credits to his name, including 56 episodes of The Morning After.

Movie Review – Jumanji: The Next Level

Movie Review - Jumanji: The Next LevelSo here we go again! If you saw Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle you’ll know what to expect: action, thrills, and humor in abundance, but with enough tweaks to make things interesting.

If you’ve seen the trailers and, to be honest they’ve been difficult not to see, then you’ll know the premise is the same as before: a group of friends get sucked into a game and have to win to get back home.

They’re ascribed avatars with varying strengths and weaknesses, and a lot of the humor comes from the mismatch between the real world person and the character they’ve been landed with. This time around the characters are enhanced by another generation, and this leads to more comic situations.

Once again, the CGI is flawless and the action is very well choreographed. The animals are believable and the fights are exciting. The humor is pitched at the right level so it doesn’t distract from the story.

Enough is the same that you know what’s going on, but enough is different to make it interesting. All in all, it’s a brisk romp and the two hours flies by. I’ll be seeing it again within the week!

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I’ve managed to find a few Peetimes which can either be easily described or appeared in the trailers. Be warned though…there is action throughout this film, and it starts pretty soon after each of these Peetimes!

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Jumanji: The Next Level. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for adventure action, suggestive content and some language
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Jumanji Character Names and Skills

cast of jumanji 2 and 3
Pretty easy to guess who is who.

Just to get you quickly up to speed, Jumanji 3 will reprise the adult “avatars” from Jumanji 2, although there’s a new twist in the characters who play them. Happily, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black are back. Do you remember the Jumanji skills for each character?

Here’s a reminder of the Jumanji 2 foursome’s skills, strengths, and deadly weaknesses, with some Jumanji 3 updates:

1. Dr. Smolder Bravestone (The Rock)

jumanji 3 the rock
Yeah, yeah. You’re good at everything. We know.

Legendary Adventurer
Explorer
Archaeologist
Hero

Strengths  

Fearless
Strength
Speed
Climbing
Boomerang
Smoldering Intensity (yes, he uses this one the most)

Weaknesses

None known…yet

2. Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan)

karen gillan ruby roundhouse
Who isn’t allergic to venom?

Commando
Deadly Dancefighter

Strengths

Dance Fighting (Seriously… Awesome)
Karate
Tai’Chi
Aikido
Nunchucks

Weaknesses

Venom

3. Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (Kevin Hart)

kevin hart jumanji 3
Too bad about that cake.

Zoologist
Expert Weapons Valet (Backpack Man)

Strengths 

Zoology
Weapons Valet
Linguistics

Weaknesses 

Cake (Really!)
Speed
Strength (Strength is his weakness. He doesn’t think that makes sense either. )

4. Professor Shelley Oberon (Jack Black)

jack black jumanji 3
Jack Black playing a young girl in Jumanji 2 was actually awesome.

Renowned Cartographer & Cryptographer

Strengths

Cartography
Archaeology
Paleontology
Geometry

Weaknesses

Heat
Sun
Sand
Endurance

Here’s the scene from Jumanji 2 where the characters discover their strengths and weaknesses — the 3rd film seems to have added a few, if you study the photos above.

Where were the Jumanji house and jungle scenes filmed?

Movie Review – Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle

First View Movie Review – Jumanji (1995)

Where were the Jumanji house and jungle scenes filmed?

parrish house jumanji
The beautifully creepy Vreeke/Freak house in Jumanji 2 is alive and well in Georgia.

With Jumanji 3: The Next Level coming out, it’s time to catch up on Jumanji 1 (1995) and Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle (2017). In a nutshell, the game is adaptive for its era, and may or may not be evil. It’s certainly sentient on some level, although we never learn why. Will we learn about that in Jumanji 3?  In the meantime, this is a thing:  Zulu peoples believe in cursed games. In Zulu, the word Jumanji means “many effects.” And that’s all we can go on at this point.

Back to facts. Want to know where the most iconic Jumanji scenes were filmed?

Jumanji 1 in Studio and On Location

There’s a few houses in play, but most of the interior set work for the 1995 film was filmed in in British Columbia, at the Bridge Studios in Burnaby, south east of Vancouver. Movie Locations adds these nuggets:

  • Go to Central Square in downtown and visit the brick wall where West Street begins. Here you’ll see the sign for Parrish Shoes, the fictional company that is the namesake of Robin Williams’ character Alan Parrish. The wall had been painted for filming and was left up after production had wrapped.
  • The grown-up Parrish finds the graves of his parents in Mount Caesar Cemetery.
  • The ‘Parrish Shoe Factory’ is North Berwick Woollen Mill10 Canal Street, on the bank of the Great Works River, an historic landmark in North Berwick, south of PortlandMaine, near the New Hampshire border.”

They say the scene with (CGI) animals running down the street was filmed at an intersection near Diefenbaker Park.

jumanji 1 house parrish
The Parrish house in New Hampshire from Jumanji 1.

The Jumanji House (there’s more than one)

  1. The Parrish Mansion from the first film, also known as the Old Parrish Place, was the finest house in Brantford, New Hampshire. Its address is 1356 Jefferson Street. The entire series at this point is focused around Brantford, NH. Why? We don’t know that either.

 

2. The exterior of Alex’s house for the 2017 sequel is located at 1646 Friar Tuck Rd NE, in Atlanta, GA. This is the mansion the kids called “the Freak House.”

Interior Sets in Jumanji 2

The Jumanji 2 sets were filmed in Atlanta, GA. Many films are, these days. What’s so special about Georgia? It’s about tax breaks for the industry. At least it’s not always Hollywood, Hollywood, yada yada.

Here’s a great look at the lush Jumanji 2 locations we can expect to see more of in Jumanji 3:

Jumanji 2 Jungle Locations

I LOVE that Jumanji 2 sent the actors into the game, instead of the game encroaching on Earth as we know it. It seems Jumanji 3 will continue this trend.

The Waterfall jumping scene was filmed at Kawainui Falls, on the big island of Hawaii.

According to the Wikipedia, principal photography for Jumanji 2 began on September 19, 2016, in Honolulu — primarily at the Kualoa Ranch nature reserve.

Islands.com reports Kualoa Ranch is “the “backlot of Hawaii,” adding, “You may recognize the famous Kualoa Mountains from Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and the Lost television series, just to name a few.”

Jumanji 2 and 3 star Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, is a man of Polynesian descent. It was meaningful to him to see Jumanji 2 filmed in Hawaii, saying, “On a personal note, it’s such a cool thing for me to bring the production of this movie to Hawaii. The positive ripple effect it has on local businesses and families in terms of creating jobs and additional income makes me very happy. I grew up on the island through hard times and good times, so it means a lot to this local boy.”

If you want to take a Jumanji-themed jungle trek of your own, Hawaii tourist bureaus are happy to help you in great detail.

First View Movie Review – Jumanji (1995)

Movie Review – Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle

 

First View Movie Review – Jumanji (1995)

jumanji-game-box
Would you play this game? Like, ever?

Adoring as I do Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle — my favorite film of 2017 — I looked forward to finally watching the original Jumanji with Robin Williams. My understanding was the game updates itself for its era, meaning the 1995  game would be a vintage style board game — with an actual ‘board’ and dice. The kind of game where you move little pieces around, and the winner is the one who gets to the end first. (Warning: spoilers follow for Jumanji 1 &2.)

Problems with the Jumanji Board Game

What I didn’t expect was…well, several things. It doesn’t take place in the Jumanji world — a fantasy element I loved in Welcome to the Jungle. Instead, the jungle elements come to Earth, but only in an’ immersive’ way at the climax.

Second, I didn’t expect the original game to be so ludicrous and mean-spirited. The board game makes no sense. NONE. You have to randomly survive each roll of the dice, and it doesn’t seem like either skill or chance is involved.

In a typical board game, some turns reward the player. In this Jumanji sequel, every single die roll is a nightmare. Some player results are merely bad; others are downright demonic. I guess that fits in with the opening scene in historical times, where the sentient game is actually implied to be evil.

In Jumanji 2, it became an interesting video game, with lots of cool clues for each gamer. I like clues, especially ones the viewer can follow along and guess at. J2 didn’t cheat, although misdirection was in play. But the game didn’t seem sinister.

And lastly, there’s the reset-button ending. This isn’t how the game ends in J2, which confused me. If that was true, then none of the kids in Jumanji 2 would still have been around at the end. (J2 is a direct sequel, not a reboot.)

Back to Jumanji the First

To be fair, Jumanji 1 had some incredible set-pieces. The CGI looks as bad as one would expect of the time, but you get swept away (and the characters literally do get swept away) by the creative sequences. I think the indoor lagoon was my favorite, but also loved the lion in the bed, and the vicious man-eating vine plant scenes. It killed me when the vines crunched the police car.

And the monkey scenes? Meant as comic relief, they totally tanked. They looked bad, acted like Gremlins on speed (and that’s saying a lot)…and maybe were hilarious at the time? The mosquitoes were much, much more cool.

Robin Williams (and the Rest)

Unfortunately, Williams wasn’t exactly funny in this film. I’d say he was even subdued, and I wonder if this part of his life was more about his internal demons than creative work. The younger version of his character had more life to him.

I get that 26 years in a alternate world will change you, but I don’t think that’s what happened here. Normally Williams brings nuance and a sparkle to any role, but even his ‘silly’ Jumanji scenes felt off.

Knowing in hindsight Williams was deeply unhappy makes watching this 1995 movie painful, but he seemed to enjoy roles like The Genie in Aladdin (1992) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) so much more. Maybe the subsequent years took their toll on him.

Of the other actors, the little boy was often delightful, and the movie was much better for it. A young Kirsten Dunst was…fine. Her best scene involved swatting giant mosquitoes with a tennis racket, but she seemed to just screech her way through the rest of the film.

Altogether, I was surprisingly bored by Jumanji 1, since it was mostly a series of wild set-pieces barely stitched together with dysfunctional plot-lines and nonsensical game rules. I expected more fun. Maybe you had to grow up with this Jumanji to appreciate it.

I did like the coda, implying that you can’t get rid of the game, and Jumanji 2 picks right up on the beach where it leaves off.  And the drum sounds are used to great effect. If you listen through the credits, you can softly hear them right there. That was a nice stinger in an era where after-credit extras were barely a thing.

Movie Grade: C+

Movie Review – Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle

And there’s news! Here’s a clip where the Rock discusses the upcoming Jumanji 3 (Release date December 13, 2019):

Movie Review – Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle

This sequel version of Jumanji is adorable and funny. Predictable, yes, but the story is based on a video game plot, so it’s kind of a baked-in thing.

It’s also bit too pat in how each teenage character gets the perfect game avatar to grow as a person, but this is yet another thing that can be explained away in-universe: it’s a magic game, and that’s what it does. So I guess we can make allowances for this too. It’s all in good fun to service the adventure story.

This movie is very like a fantasy-version of The Breakfast Club, updated for the cell-phone/video game era. It’s got detention, stereotypical teens from different cliques, and the theme is an exploration of how their characters learn to work together. They become close through their experiences. So, yeah, the same concept.

The plot is paper-thin, which is, again, part of the conceit. [pullquote]What the film really sells are the sweet character interactions, tons of gorgeous visuals, lots of humor, and the swashbuckling tone. I’ll say it: this could become a lightweight adventure/humor classic. [/pullquote]We’ll see, over time. The audience enjoyed it — they were laughing and clapping throughout. There’s also a good message for young people about tolerance and acceptance. Nothing world-changing, but I’m glad I got to see this.

Everyone in the film was just great — the actors seemed like they had a blast. Jack Black was fantastic, and I normally don’t enjoy his brand of broad humor. He had the obviously funny part, but didn’t oversell it, even when teaching “Martha” how to flirt. Dwayne Johnson was super playful, and pulled off a believably bashful teen. Kevin Hart was a crack-up as the “backpack guy.” Karen Gillan has nice comedic timing, and it was good to see her actual face without the blue makeup of Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy. At some points she still channeled Nebula, but her physicality as a warrior served her well in both roles. Everyone played off each other very well. The ensemble was just too damn cute, and they knew it.

Do you need to see the original Jumanji to follow along? In a word, no. Somehow the old one never pinged on my radar. I think I should catch it now; Jumanji 2 was that much fun. I laughed almost the whole time, and enjoyed these veteran actors doing their campy best of reviving the old “body swap” tale. It made me forget about life for a few hours, and that’s what a movie can do at its best.

Movie Grade: A-

Virgin Movie Review – Jumanji (1995)