Almost three decades — and several sequels – after its release, “Jumanji” remains one of the most revered family films ever produced. It’s also one of those family films that maybe wouldn’t get made today. It is, at times, a dour, and frequently terrifying little adventure film. For the un-indoctrinated, that adventure finds creatures and characters from a magical board game bleeding through to wreak havoc on folks living in the real world. Among those characters are unsuspecting youngsters Judy and Peter Shephard (Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce) who make the fateful mistake of playing the game, only to find themselves in mortal peril as the madness unfolds.
Swooping in to help the pair make it to game’s end is the crazed, middle-aged man Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) — who got trapped inside the game for decades after playing it himself — and Sarah Whittle (Bonnie Hunt) — who watched her pal Alan disappear into the game decades earlier and never really got over it. With those names fronting the film, “Jumanji” already had an impressive cast in place, with the likes of Bebe Neuwirth, David Alan Grier, and Jonathan Hyde rounding out the cast.
There is, however, one major actor even die-hard fans tend to forget appeared in “Jumanji,” as the great Patricia Clarkson playing a small, but vital role in the action.