Top 9 Enthralling Movies Like 'Jumanji' (Series) Everyone Should Watch
What Films Are Like Jumanji?
Hollywood loves churning out adventure films. A lot of fantasy flicks have come out in recent years. One of the most epic films in the genre has to be Jumanji. Featuring the late, legendary comedian Robin Williams, the film centers around a board game that comes to life. More recently, in 2017, the much-awaited sequel Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle came out. But this time, it was not a board game. It had taken the form of a video game.
When four teenagers come across the discarded video game, they are sucked into the jungle themed world of Jumanji. The four have to play as their in-game avatars and win the simulation in order to come out of it alive. While the sequel gives us all the 90s nostalgia associated with the original film, it amps things up in terms of VFX, action, and comedy.
Of course, when you have talented actors like Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Dwayne Johnson leading the charge, you can't expect anything less than a transfixing affair. In case you loved both the movies, I have compiled a list of few films in the same vein. So, grab your popcorn and prepare for an adventure. Let's take a look at some movies Like Jumanji that'll catch your fancy.
Movies Similar to Jumanji (series)
- Journey to The Center of The Earth
- Night at The Museum Series
- Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
- The Spiderwork Chronicles
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe
- Where The Wild Things Are
1. Journey To The Center of The Earth
Based on the book of the same name, Journey To The Center Of The Earth is an epic adventure flick that takes our protagonists into realms unknown. As you can see from the self-explanatory title, the story is about a group's journey to the center of the Earth—a world hidden beneath the surface, teeming with prehistoric life.
Brendan Fraser plays a geeky uncle to a teenage boy who has lost his father. All he has is his father's mysterious diary. Stuck with his rebellious nephew for a few days, Brandon drags him to a geological expedition, during which they accidentally discover the lost world.
The film will leave you gasping in awe and wonder, for the concept is nothing short of amazing. The visual effects are simply stupendous, as they showcase a variety of prehistoric life including fauna, deep sea creatures, and dinosaurs. But the best thing about the film is the uncle-nephew dynamic and their witty banter, which keeps things fun and light.
No wonder this film spawned a sequel featuring Dwayne Johnson, albeit a less successful one.
Do any of you remember reading the famous Goosebumps books during your childhood? Filled with all sorts of monsters and things that go bump in the night, it was about time this monumental literary collection from R.L.Stine got a film adaptation. The result was Goosebumps, which came out in 2015 and received a lukewarm response. It is definitely a fun, one-time watch, if nothing else.
Instead of one particular monster, as is the norm in the books, the film features all of them! Vampires, werewolves, witches, giant monsters, possessed puppets, and horrors of all kind terrorize a small town as they come to life, thanks to R.L.Stine. Jack Black plays the famous author in this flick, who creates the entire ruckus.
After his creations come to life, it is now up to him and a few teenagers to save the town from this supernatural menace. As I said, it's no memorable cult classic, but it's an engaging, fun watch from start to finish. You can't really complain when you have Jack Black as one of the leading characters!
If you're looking for some enthralling movies like Jumanji, Goosebumps should be your best bet.
3. Night At The Museum Series
Ben Stiller has done more than his fair share of comedy films in his long career. One of the most famous film franchises of the lot is the Night At The Museum series.
Larry Daley is a single father who's struggling to connect with his son. He needs a job desperately to ensure that his son lives with him. In this desperate situation, he agrees to take up a job at the Museum of Natural History as a night watchman. However, he soon realizes that this gig is way different than any job he's ever done. Due to unknown reasons, all the exhibits in the museum come to life after sunset. Now, it is up to Daley to survive this crazy job, and figure out what brings these wax figures to life.
With such an outlandish premise, you already know that the film is going to be an unforgettable adventure. Ben Stiller's goofy mannerisms and comic timing only make the experience better. Just like all franchises, the first film is the best. All the subsequent parts that followed felt weak in comparison, as the novelty of the whole plot was somewhat lost. In spite of these minor grievances, the series is definitely worth checking out.
4. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
This film is much older than all the others on this list. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids has a really imaginative and innovative storyline. A scientist is working on a shrinking device, with little to no success. Frustrated with his lack of progress, he almost abandons the project.
However, when his kids, along with the neighbour's children accidentally step in front of it, they are shrunk to microscopic size. As the paranoid parents start looking for their missing children, it's now up to the minuscule kids to let them know what has transpired. This is easier said than done, for when you're that small, everything is potentially dangerous.
Witnessing the four teenagers go on an epic adventure in their own backyard is quite an experience. Seeing giant insects tower over the kids really gives us an idea of how tiny they truly are. It's a hearty adventure and it will definitely keep you hooked till the credits roll.
Brendan Fraser seems to be a hot favorite when it comes to fantasy films. Other than Journey To The Center Of The Earth, another such famous film of his is, Inkheart.
Based on the book of the same name, this film can be compared with Goosebumps. In Inkheart too, the characters of a book come to life. They are not monsters, but simply, the inhabitants of a magical realm.
Fraser plays a bookbinder who lives a quiet life with his daughter. The two absolutely adore books, so they are delighted when they realize that they are interacting with the characters of a book. How did this magical situation come to pass? How can they be sent back to their world? All these questions are answered in the film.
Inkheart expertly showcases the chaos and confusion faced by characters of the book. For them, Earth may well be an alien planet, and it's fascinating to watch them interact with this new world. This fantasy film will surely awaken the dreamer in you.
Those looking to catch some flicks like Jumanji will love what Inkheart bring to the the table.
6. The Spiderwick Chronicles
When it comes to fantasy themed films for children, The Spiderwick Chronicles is one of the best. This critically acclaimed feature expertly uses fairytales and folklore to create a world so spellbinding, you would never want to leave it.
Twins Jared and Simon move in with their mother and sister to the Spiderwick estate. Here, Jared discovers a book - a field guide for interacting with fairies, goblins, and all kinds of magical creatures. Originally belonging to his eccentric uncle, Jared gains the vision to see these mythical creatures as he reads from the book. He also uncovers a nefarious plot by an ogre named Mulgarath to get the book and dominate the world. Now, it's up to Jared to convince his siblings about this approaching threat and to try to save the world at the same time.
Fairies, goblins, hobgoblins, griffins, ogres, and all manner of mythical creatures make an appearance in this feature. Using folklore characters to weave an intricate tale truly deserves a standing ovation. What's more, The Spiderwick Chronicles goes to some really dark places, considering the fact that it's a children's film. There's a subtle focus on the emotional turmoils of various characters beneath all the fantasy elements, making it a unique experience.
7. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
The fantasy element might not be as pronounced as the other films on this list, but Lemony Snickets is still a cinematic wonder. It's categorized as a dark comedy, and it certainly lives up to that label.
This sly pic follows the tale of three kids Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, who are orphaned after their parents die in a house fire. They're sent to live with their uncle, Count Olaf. However, Olaf is only after their family's wealth and would do anything to get his hands on the inheritance. He tries all kinds of tricks to achieve his goals, with little regard for the kids. However, the trio has brilliant minds, which they use to get out of sticky situations.
There are a lot of great things going on for this film. First off, Jim Carrey plays the evil Count Olaf and his acting prowess is pretty evident. He's goofy yet creepy, and his demeanor instantly makes one suspicious. Though the plot is dark, it's handled in a lighthearted, fun manner, which is easy to digest. Watch this flick for Jim Carrey, if nothing else. He never disappoints.
8. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
C.S.Lewis' masterpiece, The Chronicles of Narnia, was adapted into a film franchise. The first film was the real winner of the lot and still considered as one of the most epic fantasy films of all time, be it for children, or for adults.
Following the story of four siblings - Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, the kids are sent off to a relative's house in the countryside as a World War looms on the horizon. Living in a sprawling mansion, the four discover the magical kingdom of Narnia when they accidentally walk into a cupboard. However, for all the magic and mystery of Narnia, they discover Narnia to be just as war-torn as the real world.
The world painted by C.S.Lewis was expertly brought to life on celluloid and did full justice to the books. One can't help but be mesmerized by the various creatures living in this magical realm. All the fantasy aside, the four actors who played the siblings are also really convincing performers. To conclude, Narnia is a visual extravaganza that must be experienced first hand.
If you're looking for some light-hearted movies like Jumanji, this capricious flick will not disappoint you.
9. Where The Wild Things Are
Based on a classic children's book, the 2009 film adaptation was actually quite mature. Following the life of a lonely boy named Max, this flick is a journey into his wild imagination. After a bad quarrel with his mother, Max runs off to a pond where he finds a boat. He boards it and is transported to a magical realm, where seven monstrous creatures dwell. Initially, they try to eat the little boy, but when he convinces them that he has magical powers, they make him their king. Together, they engage in a lot of dancing, exploring and fighting, completely undisturbed by society.
Where The Wild Things Are also aptly portrays the frustration of a lonely boy with an overactive imagination. He wants to be free from society and its silly rules, and when he discovers the island, he gets his heart's wish.
The film received critical acclaim for its mature treatment. The narrative is pretty dark and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Did I miss out on any movies like Jumanji? Let me know in the comments section.