For die-hard fans of the 1995 original, the news that a sequel to Jumanji was in the works was not the most welcome news. The adventure classic, starring the late, great Robin Williams, was a beloved childhood movie, and for many it was untouchable.
Very much a sequel rather than a reboot, and with an all-star cast headed up by the unstoppable Dwayne Johnson, Welcome to the Jungle undoubtedly looks a little bit different, but early buzz indicates it might just be a bit of a surprise. Step aside sceptics, here's why Welcome to the Jungle will be the sequel we've all been waiting for and how it plans to enter exciting new territory...
New and improved graphics
Let's face it, however beloved the original is, there is no escaping that the CGI effects are not quite up to today's standards, and do look somewhat dated now. Whilst the rampaging rhinos and mischievous monkeys might've blown our minds in 1995, now it's a different story.
Of course, Robin Williams is utterly irreplaceable, but seeing an improvement in the special effects will be a welcome change. Huge advancements in technology and computer effects have happened in the last 22 years, and Welcome to the Jungle certainly looks new and improved in this sense. Expect wild action, tons of explosions and badass fights – in terms of pure escapism, the movie ticks all of the boxes.
It's no longer a board game...
As Christmas is approaching, it is time once again to dust off your box of Monopoly and wait for the fierce rivalry to ensue. However, over in the Jungle, things are looking a lot more 21st century.
The original of course centred around a mysterious board game, which, when played, brings the terrifying creatures of the jungle alive in your own house. Whilst the board game makes an appearance in Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji now primarily takes the form of a video game, meaning the characters are whisked away to the jungle and take on the form of different avatars.
These characters manifest in the form of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, playing, respectively, the impervious Dr. Smolder Bravestone, weapons valet Franklin 'Mouse' Finbar, cartographer Professor Shelley Oberon and dance-fighting expert, Ruby Roundhouse.
Video games have come a remarkably long way since 1995 (just one year after the original PlayStation launched) and it seems like this updated format will really work, particularly in the sense that it transports the characters to another world. In a video game world, normal rules don't apply and we can't wait to see who comes out victorious.
Body swap comedy + adventure = genius!
This sequel takes the basic idea of Jumanji and adds in an extra layer of hilarity in the form of a body swap comedy. Helped by the all-star cast, we can't wait to see the rivalry between Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as they bicker about their height difference, and Jack Black coming to terms with being a teenage girl in a middle-aged man's body.
Welcome to the Jungle looks like the perfect combination of funny and exciting and we're on 'board' for all of this. (Sorry.)
Yet it also pays tribute to the original...
Again, early reviews indicate that Welcome to the Jungle isn't going to crush all of our memories and ruin our childhoods, so there is no need to worry on that front. Instead it reportedly pays tribute to the original with some Easter eggs included that only a true fan will be able to spot, including a loving tribute to the late Williams' legacy.
What better time to give the first movie a rewatch – you'll be poised and ready to find all the hidden gems that this sequel offers...
Check out what Unlimited members made of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and prepare for its release on 20th December.
Sarah Buddery is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.