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You think Monkeys, Mosquitoes and Lions are bad? This is the beginning... I've seen things you've only seen in your nightmares...Things you can't even imagine...Things you can't even see...There are things that hunt you in the night...And if something screams, then you hear them eat...And you hope to God that you're not dessert...Afraid?!...You don't even know what afraid is...You will not last five minutes without me.
—Alan Parrish to Peter Shepherd

Alan Parrish is the main protagonist of the 1995 "Jumanji" film and its novel adaptation.

Role

Alan Parrish was a generally well mannered resident of Brantford, New Hampshire who lived with his mother Carol and father Samuel in a large mansion and was positive friends with Sarah Whittle, much to the jealousy of her boyfriend Billy Jessup. He was also friendly with Parrish Shoes employee Carl "Soleman" Bentley, but caused Carl to lose his job after accidentally placing his prototype shoe on a conveyor and damaging the machinery. He had a rather pessimistic outlook on the game at first, the novel also expanding on Alan's outlook of his life as somewhat miserable and even hating his family dynasty due to being harassed without end by Billy's gang and feeling unwanted by his parents when they enrolled him into the Cliffside Academy, dreaming of a more exciting life away from Brantford. Nevertheless, he had a great respect for his ancestor, General Angus Parrish; always nodding to his memorial statue when passing on his bike.

During a bad day with Billy's gang, Alan was coaxed by the sounds of drums in the construction site for the annex of Parrish Shoes. There, buried under the sand was an old chest, inside was "Jumanji". In the midst of being spotted by a construction worker, Alan kept the game and ran home with the game to inspect it further. That night, Alan's relationship with his father Sam was already difficult as Alan always ran away from his fears instead of standing to face them, but they even had a falling out after being enrolled into a private school, giving Alan the notion to run away from home. His plan halted after Sarah came to give his bike back from Billy Jessup, as they began to hear the familiar drumbeats emitted from the strange game, leading to Alan inviting Sarah inside to play. Sarah was not convinced and dropped the dice down as she began to leave, but her Rhinoceros token began to slide on its own, drawing her back as the board's crystal ball signaled the arrival of Bats. Terrified by the game's power, Alan began to put the game away but was spooked by the sudden grandfather clock chimes and also dropped the dice down, which the game accepted as a roll. As his Elephant token stopped moving, he read the text on the crystal ball, immediately causing Alan began to evaporate and was transported to the jungles of "Jumanji".

Jumanji Crocodile Alan

Alan tries to wrestle a Crocodile.

In 1995, when Judy and Peter Shepard discovered the game 26 years later, they too are coaxed into playing "Jumanji" and unintentionally released Alan after Peter rolled a five, as well as a Lion. Alan is astounded when he quickly discovers the state of Brantford, due to the closure of Parrish Shoes and even more devastated by the deaths of his parents, all of which he unintentionally caused. When visiting his parents' graves, Alan even whined in grief to himself wishing his family never existed.

At first, Alan refuses to play the game with the kids, but after reverse psychology from Peter, claims he will watch. But, when the game refuses Judy's dice rolls, he realizes the game is still set on the round he started in 1969, and that means he and Sarah Whittle have to play too.

Jumanji Monsoon

Alan swims through the rapids.

As the turns roll by, Alan's archenemy Van Pelt is released by one of his dice rolls, although the Hunter claimed to be after Alan mainly because of his dice roll, Alan explained to Sarah that they have been at ends with each other for a while, and that the Hunter desires to take Alan's head as his next prize for uncertain reasons. When Alan was arrested by Carl he tried to explain the unnatural goings on and they eventually managed to put a stop to Van Pelt and return to the mansion to continue playing the game.

Quicksand Jumanji

Alan is nearly swallowed by the quicksand.

After returning to the Mansion, the players followed Alan through the Monsoon and trusted his navigation away from the Crocodiles, but he had to dive back into water to wrestle one away from Sarah. His dice roll in the attic landed him in a pond of Quicksand that dragged him through the floors but only stopped when Judy's dice roll froze it, leaving him and Sarah stuck between the floor and unable to repel the Spider attack. Once the Earthquake comes to an end however, Van Pelt returns one last time to finish Alan off, demanding him to drop the dice, unintentionally leading to a winning roll, and everything that transferred out of "Jumanji", were pulled back into the game board and returning Alan and Sarah to their childhood in 1969.

After his return to 1969, Alan reconciled with his father and told him the truth about the incident in the shoe factory. Alan worried about Judy and Peter before Sarah told him that they don't exist in their era, which means they are safe. The two then went on to dump "Jumanji", weighted down with bricks, into the river and began dating.

By the time Alan reached 1995 again in the new timeline, he was married to Sarah, expecting a baby and in charge of Parrish Shoes while his parents were retired and moved to Florida, and were due to join them for Christmas. Alan employed Jim Shepherd as an advertising agent for Parrish Shoes and invited him and Martha to their Christmas Party in 1995. Since they brought their kids, Alan and Sarah met Judy and Peter again; where neither displayed memories of their time together in "Jumanji's" timeline. To stop Judy and Peter from losing their parents, Alan and Sarah convinced Jim and Martha not to take the fatal skiing trip, therefore saving "Jumanji's" alternate timeline from repeating itself. Alan and Sarah then proceeded to invite the Shepherds into their house, promising that it was also their house too, in gratitude for Judy and Peter saving them from their previous lives in "Jumanji's" timeline.

2017

Out of respect to the late Robin Williams, his character Alan Parrish is referenced, as the characters rest at the Parrish Treehouse that he built and lived in during his 26-year imprisonment in "Jumanji". Also, one of the game's clues is an elephant idol that resembles "Jumanji's" old game board Elephant token which Alan used in the 1995 film.

Skills

Jumanji Harvest Time

Harvest time!

  • Jumanji Knowledge: Due to Alan's years of survival and lifestyle in "Jumanji", it gave him a unique knowledge and wisdom of the game's environments, creatures and inhabitants, which were essential to helping his friends finish the game as he insisted they would not last 5 minutes without him.
  • Athletics: A hard lifestyle gave Alan the fitness he needed to be able to run from a stampede and Van Pelt's gunshots, handle a sword and even wrestle a swimming Crocodile to save Sarah. As a twelve year old, he was an accomplished cyclist as he was able to stay as far ahead of Billy's gang as possible.
  • Knife: Alan owned a self made knife that served as his main protection and useful tool while living in the jungle.

Behind the scenes

  • Before Robin Williams was cast as Alan's adult self, Tom Hanks was the first choice to play Alan Parrish. His son Colin ended up joining the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
  • Bruce Willis was considered for the role of Alan. But due to him shooting Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), he was unavailable.