Australian Council on Children and the Media

Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle

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Not recommended under 12, parental guidance recommended 12 to 14, due to violent and scary scenes, sexual references and coarse language.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle
  • a review of Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 January 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to violent and scary scenes, sexual references and coarse language.
Children aged 12 to 14 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and sexual references.
Viewers aged 14 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy violence, sexual references and coarse language
Length 119 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film’s opening scene is set in the year 1996. After being given a strange old board game called Jumanji, a video game playing teen Alex (Nick Jonas) complains that nobody plays board games any more, at which point the board game magically transforms into a Jumanji video game. When Alex turns on the game, strange green light emanates from the house and the scene ends: we hear later that Alex disappeared that night, never to be seen again.

The film jumps forward to the present day where the film focuses on four high school students who have received detention for varying offenses. 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 instructed 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 take part in the game. The game is turned on with each of the players choosing an avatar to represent them in the game. Once 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 the muscle bound hero, 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) while Bethany has a gender change to become cartographer Professor Shelly Overton (Jack Black). Each player is given special abilities and weaknesses and three lives, the loss of which in the game results in them dying 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).

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Video gaming; relationships; social media

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains extended sequences of videogame-like violence, including some gun related violence. In several cases, the characters die violent deaths and are then brought back to life, which lessens the impact on older viewers, but not on young children. Minimal blood and gore are depicted. Examples include:

  • A motorcycle chase involving bikes fitted with machine guns and rocket launchers. Bullets hit the ground and rockets explode loudly in clouds of smoke as they hit the ground close to the players. At one point we see one of the players leap into the air and kick one of the pursuing men from his bike; all in slow motion. The players are chased until they reach a cliff and waterfall at which point all four players jump off the cliff to fall down the waterfall. After the fall we see one of the players holding 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. However, we see the murdered man fall and land on the ground uninjured.
  • 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 uninjured.
  • During a fist fight one man punches a second man under the chin and the force of the punch hurls the man up into the air through the roof of a building and out of sight.   
  • A young woman distracts soldier by dancing for them in a sensuous manner, then uses stylised fighting to punch, kick, elbow the soldiers, smashes a wooden chair over the head of one and a light over another.
  • A biker lassos a woman’s foot with a rope and drags her along the ground behind his bike until she is 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 is chased by a herd of stampeding giant rhinoceros 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.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Four teens turn on a video game with each choosing an avatar from a menu. The console then begins to spark and smoke, one of them attempts to turn off the console but it continues to glow green. Their bodies begin to glow green and then disintegrate, the particles being 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 depicted.    
  • In one scene 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. We see the man’s legs dangling from the hippo’s mouth and see the hippo shaking 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 game the players walk across a wooden log thrown over a pool filled with jaw 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 man player is threatened by a gigantic elephant with massively long tusks
  • A man is attacked by a Jaguar which bites his face and head to kill him. The man is returned to the game uninjured.  
  • A Jumanji player falls into a pit of snakes and sacrifices her life for the other Jumanji players by deliberately stepping on a snake and being bitten; the player is returned to the game uninjured.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children is this age group are also likely to be scared by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

Brand named cars, appliances, phones and social media

Sexual references

The film contains suggestive sexual inference and innuendo scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • A male avatar is described as having “smouldering intensity” and speaks in a masculine, husky and sensual voice.
  • Discussion of 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 a “Pretty Fly” and says that some guards she was attempting to flirt with would like to get “Jiggy” with her.    
  • A man who was trampled over by rhinoceroses makes reference to the rhino’s genitals that he felt on his face and that he will never be able to erase from his memory.
  • Young women discuss the tactics of flirting.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • An avatar in a video game represents a conservative teen girl who wears modest clothing in real life. Her avatar is depicted as a young sexy looking woman, wearing a leather halter-top and short 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”. In a discussion about this her companion says, “You’re a babe - own it”.    
  • A muscular male avatar touches his left breast and a pop down menu appears on the screen. When asks how he did it the man states “I pressed my enormous left peck”. 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 teen boy and teen girl both in adult avatar bodies attempt to kiss and make a terrible job of it. In a later scene the pair, now in their own bodies, kiss again passionately.

Use of substances

  • making and tasting of Margaritas (by teens who haven’t drunk alcohol before) and one player becoming drunk

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  •  “arse” used multiple times in a variety of contexts and situations; “hell”; “O my God’; “ Holy God”; “fricking”;  “boob”; “shit”; “Jesus”; “screwed”     
  • insults such as “old fat guy”; “ bitch”; “nerd”; “freak house” 

In a nutshell

Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle is a fantasy action adventure film targeting  teens, younger adults and fans of the first Jumanji film. The plot is predictable and the film relies somewhat on sexual humour and innuendo for laughs.  It also has some scary and violent scenes  which are likely to disturb younger children, so is not recommended for children under 12 and parental guidance is recommended for 12 to 14 year olds.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • Working together enables people to achieve far more that what they can achieve by themselves. Sometime survival depends on using each other’s strengths to succeed where an individual would fail. 
  • We only have one life to live and we must decide how to live it.

 Parents may wish to discuss the types of messages that may be sent as a result of the use of flirting strategies suggested in the film and the dangers that such strategies may attract.

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