7 Surprising Movie Facts About the Original 'Jumanji' You Probably Didn't Know

Where was the cult classic movie 'Jumanji' filmed? Plus, check out our wild list of 7 facts about the original 1995 movie you probably did not know.

Gabrielle Bernardini - Author

Dec. 12 2019, Updated 4:39 p.m. ET

jumanji family
Source: TriStar Pictures

Long after Alan Parrish (the late Robin Williams) waited in the jungle until another player rolled a five or eight, a more technologically advanced version of the then-board game Jumanji emerged ... in the form of an '80s video game. In 2017, a sequel to the beloved 1995 classic followed four teenagers who were sucked into the game aka the jungle and had to win the game to escape. Sound familiar?

On Dec. 13, our favorite cast of characters returns in Jumanji: The Next Level. In honor of the third installment of the fantasy franchise that spans generations, we're taking a look back at the original 1995 film. 

After Alan finally emerges from the jungles of Jumanji, 26 years later, he must finish the board game with the help of his childhood crush Sarah Whittle (Bonnie Hunt) and two kids, Judy and Peter Shepherd (Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce). 

Learn where Jumanji was filmed, plus more fascinating facts about the 1995 movie.

Nearly 25 years later, audiences still can't get enough of the action-adventure cult classic. Check out some wild facts about filming the 1995 movie, such as where Jumanji was actually filmed and which actor was considered for the lead role ahead of Williams.

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1. The original 'Jumanji' board game sold for more than $60,000

jumanji  film facts
Source: TriStar Pictures

Apparently, the beating of the African drums was calling to one particular Jumanji fan. After almost 200 bids, the original game board from the film reportedly sold for $60,800 at an eBay auction.

2. Robin Williams wrestled a crocodile on set, or at least a man dressed like one.

jumanji crocodile robin williams
Source: TriStar Pictures

During an interview with Clive Anderson, the late Robin Williams recounted a story about how he got a little too physical with the stunt man dressed as a crocodile on the set of Jumanji. In an iconic scene where Alan Parrish jumps on the reptiles back, Williams elbowed the other actor a little too hard and remembered hearing the man in the costume say, "Hey!"

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3. The ending of 'Jumanji' was actually the first scene shot in the film.

jumaji christmas scene
Source: TriStar Pictures

It's typical for a film to not shoot in chronological order, but you may be surprised to learn that the very last scene in Jumanji was actually the first one shot in the movie. It was crucial for the production team to shoot the Christmas party at the Parrish mansion before it got destroyed during filming, you know, from the stampede, flood, and other things that came out of the game.

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4. 'Jumanji' was filmed in two countries.

jumanji  film facts
Source: TriStar Pictures

The 1995 film was set in a fictional New England town, but most of the scenes were actually shot in Vancouver at Bridge Studios in Burnaby. Though, some of the exterior shots in town were shot in Keene, New Hampshire. A memorial was erected in the small town in Williams' honor after he passed away in 2014.

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5. Scarlett Johansson auditioned for the role of Judy Shepherd.

scarlett johansson tattoos
Source: Getty

Before Scarlett Johansson donned the black leotard for her role as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she was competing against Kirsten Dunst for the role of Judy Shepherd in the 1995 film. Scarlett's audition for the film surfaced on YouTube, showing the former child star reciting lines from the film. 

Though she didn't get the role opposite Williams, we think she did just fine establishing her acting career.

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6. Robin Williams didn't secure the starring role right away.

jumanji robin williams
Source: TriStar Pictures

Surprisingly, Williams was not the first choice to play the lead role of Alan Parrish in the film. It has been reported that the other A-list actor being considered for the starring role was Tom Hanks. Though we are a fan, we're glad Williams got the job.

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7. Bradley Pierce's monkey makeup was not CGI.

jumanji peter shepherd
Source: TriStar Pictures

Bradley Pierce, who played Peter Shepherd, was forced to spend almost four hours a day in the makeup chair for 70 days during the production. In the film, his character attempts to cheat the game and is punished, which results in Peter being transformed into a monkey hybrid. 

Though the film did use a ton of CGI, unfortunately, Bradley had to endure regular movie magic and sit for hours while prosthetics were applied to his face and body.

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