Don’t go all crazy on this Jon Favreau (Chef, Iron Man) helmed film thinking it is an obvious rip off of the Robin Williams film Jumanji. It is actually a sequel to that film. Author Chris Van Allsburg wrote both books plus the novel Polar Express. The game Zathura is the flip side of the game Jumanji and is what happened to it after it was hidden away after the ending of that film.
Brothers six-year-old Danny (Jonah Bobo – Crazy Stupid Love, Choke) and ten-year-old Walter (Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games, Bridge to Terabithia) argue all the time. Their parents are divorced and they live part time with their father (Tim Robbins – Mystic River, Shawshank Redemption) and part time with their mother. It is normal older brother, younger brother stuff with Walter finding Danny to be a pain and Danny feeling like he always comes second to his older sibling.
While over at their father’s for the weekend they are left with their older sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart – Still Alice, Twilight) as he has to go to work. Walter just tries to ignore Danny and Danny gets bored. In the basement Danny finds an old board game called Zathura. He brings it upstairs and tries to get Walter to play with him. From the first move they are launched into outer space and with each subsequent move they have to deal with gravity, out of control robots, aliens that look like lizards and a stranded astronaut (Dax Shepard – from television’s Parenthood). The tricky part is that no matter how scary or dangerous things get it will not stop until they finish the game.
Target audience for the film is 6 to 10-year-olds as they will be entertained by all the crazy goings on. Adventures in the film will tap into the imaginations of younger viewers. It is an open invitation to leap into a new world. Space adventures are always appealing to young people. Like Jumanji before it the film, once the action begins, propels forward like a whirlwind of constant action. The sci-fi stuff is not too complex and easy enough for young people to follow along.
Older viewers might be a little bored with the film besides a little marveling at the special effects.
-Zathura Motion Storybook as Read By Author Chris Van Allsburg
-Race Through Space: Virtual Board Game
-Goosebumps Sneak Peek
-The Cast of Goosebumps Reflect on Zathura
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Race to the Black Planet
-The Right Moves
-The World of Chris Van Ausburg
-Zorgons, Robots and Frozen Lisa
-Making the Game