The original Jumanji film, starring Robin Williams, is easily one of the most fun kids’ movies of all time, if not one of the most fun movies period. The 1995 film took audiences on an intense adventure inside a board game that transcended time and reason. For those of us who grew up in the ’90s, it was a staple movie that everyone knew inside and out. Movies like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games owe quite a bit to this trailblazer for setting the stage back before CGI was what it is now. The film was a blockbuster but it wasn’t until more than 20 years later that Jumanji got an unofficial sequel in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (followed by even more sequels) that put a modern spin on the classic story. Though the cast of characters changed, the adventure at the root of the film stayed the same.
If you love the thrill of these movies and want to bring more of it into your life and into your TV screen, we’ve rounded up a collection of adventure movies like Jumanji that you can check out ahead. All of them tie back into the nostalgic film in some way or another and evoke the suspense you’re looking for.
Movies Like Jumanji
1. Night at the Museum (2006)
The whole series can really fit this recommendation, but the first one is the true gem. Night at the Museum, starring Ben Stiller, is suspenseful, absurd fun. Stiller plays a museum overnight guard who finds out the exhibits come alive at night. This movie will bring a lot of the same adventure as any of the Jumanji films, and Stiller delivers the exact right amount of comedic timing.
2. Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
This film, starring the affable Brendan Fraser, actually feels pretty similar to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in its setting especially. The characters journey into — you guessed it — the center of the Earth to track down a missing family member, which means you’re in for thrills, suspense, and outrageous scenery akin to what the crew gets into in the 2017 Jumanji film. There may not be a game at play in this movie, but they still have a problem to solve.
3. Zathura (2005)
Zathura is actually part of the Jumanji universe, just not by name. Written by Chris Van Allsburg as a sequel to his Jumanji story, Zathura followed right after the original story and had the same idea just with different kids and a different setting. In Zathura, the group of kids play a game that sends them into outer space — but they have to work together and figure out how to get back home, just like in Jumanji.
4. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
Based on the popular children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are sees Max feeling lost and left out in his world so he escapes to another one. Much like the way the kids in Jumanji escape, Max finds himself in a faraway place that’s something out of his wildest dreams — it is where the wild things are, after all. This movie’s definitely more on the kid friendly-side of adventure than the original Jumanji, though.
5. The Neverending Story (1984)
The Neverending Story is one of those movies that has so much going on that you have to just watch it to understand. It’s a vivid fantasy about a real-life boy named Bastian who finds himself lost in a book that transports us to a faraway place. The fantasy world features The Childlike Empress, a flying dragon dog named Falkor, and so many more wildly fantastical things — plus the boy at the center of it all, Atreyu.
6. The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
Freddie Highmore leads the cast of characters in this adventure movie. It feels much the same as Jumanji though with more fantasy. Three kids find themselves peeking into a faraway world of fantastical creatures, and while it is adventurous and full of whimsy, it’s a little less scary than Jumanji, so it’s a great option for young viewers!
7. The Haunted Mansion (2003)
What we love about the Eddie Murphy-fronted film based on the Disney ride is that it’s just plain fun. Where Jumanji might be a little more on the scary side of suspense, The Haunted Mansion is on the scary side of playful. Like you’d expect any movie led by Murphy, it’s full of lightness and comedy, but don’t worry, the ghosts will still try to get ya!
More Movies Like Jumanji to Add to Your Queue
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)
- Goosebumps (2015)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
- The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
- The Jungle Book (2016)
- Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
- Ready Player One (2018)
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Inkheart (2008)
- Spy Kids (2001)
- Time Bandits (1981)
- Hook (1991)
- Willow (1988)
This article was originally published on