Is Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle OK For Kids?

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

The following contains spoilers for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Jumanji was a PG-rated family movie whose protagonists were pre-teens, or in the case of Robin Williams, a kid trapped in the body of an adult. It was a family action movie. Since the target audience for the original Jumanji is now much older and may have kids of their own, they might be considering Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as a potential movie outing for the family this holiday. Is the new Jumanji as family friendly? Let's dig in.

The original Jumanji starred young kids in the major roles; Kirsten Dunst was 13 when the movie was released back in 1995. All of the "kid" roles are older in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, as the part of the film not set inside the jungle world takes place in a high school. As such, everything about Welcome to the Jungle is skewed a bit older than the original Jumanji. Even once the adult characters take over, the film's premise is that The Rock, Karen Gillan, and the rest are avatars being piloted by teenagers, so they very much still act like older kids. This shift isn't massive, but it may be enough to leave the youngest part of the audience for the first film behind for this one.

The best example of this is probably a sequence in the first third of the movie when the character of Jack Black, who is being inhabited by a teenage girl, is forced to deal with the fact that he (or is it she?) needs to use the bathroom. What follows is an extended sequence where a character being portrayed as female has to deal with physically male organs for the first time. It's not graphic, visually or in language, and most will probably find the sequence humorous, but it's essentially one long penis joke, specifically regarding the proper techniques for managing one while urinating. It's not a particularly adult scene, but it certainly could be an awkward one for younger viewers, or the adults watching with them.

The language used in the scene, while adult, is not vulgar, and this mostly holds true throughout Jumanji. Kevin Hart uses the word "bitch" as an exclamation at a couple of points but overall the language is mostly tame and while it uses what the PG-13 rating allows, it's not excessive, even in that.

Violence is largely done for comedic effect, but as the plot of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is focused around a video game, we get video game style violence. There a lot of gun violence but it's fairly bloodless. Karen Gillan's character gets shot at one point and while we don't see her get hit, we do see the wound, which probably is the most graphic moment in the film. She "dies" a moment later, vanishing in a cloud of red mist, before reappearing a moment later, because video game.

The Rock has one action sequence where he beats up a collection of thugs. It's also done for comedic effect as everything is over the top, though there is an audible "neck snap" sound effect. Jack Black gets eaten by a hippo on screen and Kevin Hart literally explodes. The Rock gets mauled by a jungle cat and while you never see it on screen, his screams of pain are heard.

There is one scene in the film where the characters drink alcohol. Since the characters are technically underage this could be an issue for some. One character is referred to as being drunk but it's not overdone and isn't particularly glamorized.

Karen Gillan spends the movie in a somewhat revealing outfit, with her being a Lara Croft-inspired video game character. In one sequence she uses her "sex appeal," but again, it's played for comedy and doesn't go nearly as far as a PG-13 rating would allow.

Jumanji's villain won't be an issue for most, though there are some scenes where insects crawl out of his mouth and ears, he has a sort of control over them, which might be scary for little kids.

While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is certainly a more mature film than the original Jumanji, it's only barely so. While only you can know what your kids can handle, Welcome to the Jungle's PG-13 rating is closer to the PG side of the spectrum than it is an R. Even those in the pre-teen years, and potentially younger, will likely be fine with the material and have a good time with the video game-inspired story.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.