While our family has been spending so much time at home together lately, we’ve been revisiting a lot of older movies, and “Jumanji” was one of them. I realized I knew nothing about the house in the original 1995 film about the cursed board game, so I decided to do some digging and see what I could find out.
Most of the action revolves around this large, stately older home locally referred to as “the old Parrish place,” known as the finest house in Brantford, New Hampshire.
Is it a real house, though? And if so, did it really get destroyed when the kids played the Jumanji game? Is it still standing today? I had to know! Read on to find out what I learned about it.
Note: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post that may earn me commission. There also may be some mild spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie.
The Jumanji House
The 1995 movie “Jumanji” was loosely based on a children’s picture book, and there have since been sequels and an animated television show.
It’s about a supernatural board game that sucks players in (literally!) as soon as they begin to play and refuses to release them until they successfully finish it.
In 1969, young Alan Parrish discovers the game buried in the ground and begins to play with his friend Sarah (Laura Bell Bundy).
After seeing him disappear into the board game, she runs out of the house without rolling the dice again.
Little does she know that this means he’ll be stuck inside the game until the Shepherd family moves into the Parrish Mansion 26 years later…
When Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the mansion in the 1990s, they find the game in the attic. After they roll the dice, the game kicks back into gear, and a fully grown Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) is finally able to return home.
Now the three of them must work together to finish the game and end it once and for all.
The Parrish Mansion
Although the story takes place in a fictional New Hampshire town called Brantford, and some of the scenes were filmed in the city of Keene, New Hampshire, the house wasn’t even in the same country.
The street address in the film is 1356 Jefferson Street, but the exterior of the Parrish Mansion was really just an empty, temporary façade they built on a vacant lot in Vancouver.
The empty lot was at 1438 Balfour Avenue in British Columbia, to be exact. A real house has since been built on the site.
You can see the current home, as well as some of the houses that appeared in the movie, on Google Streetview.
According to Redfin, the house that sits where the Parrish Mansion once stood was built in 2008 and last sold for $11.8 million.
The Entry Hall in 1969:
Twenty-six years after Alan vanished, the house has fallen into disrepair. Nora Shepherd buys it to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast and moves in with her recently orphaned niece and nephew (played by a young Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce).
The Entry Hall in 1995:
The Entry Hall After the Jungle Takes Over:
No houses were harmed during the filming of “Jumanji.”
The interiors were sets built at Bridge Studios in British Columbia.
No animals were harmed, either. Despite rumors that an elephant was killed during the
filming of the stampede scene, all the animals in the movie were created with CGI.
The Abandoned Living Room in 1995:
Bebe Neuwirth played Aunt Nora, who sees the potential in the house and begins fixing it up.
Little does she know the game is about to destroy it!
The Formal Dining Room:
Patricia Clarkson and Jonathan Hyde played Alan Parrish’s parents, who tell him
they think he’s finally ready to go to boarding school. He disagrees and decides to run away.
The original Jumanji board from the film reportedly sold on eBay for $60,800.
Did you ever notice that Jonathan Hyde, who played Alan’s father,
was also the nefarious hunter Van Pelt in the game?
According to the “Jumanji” page on Wikipedia, the special effects were “a combination of more traditional techniques like puppetry and animatronics (provided by Amalgamated Dynamics) with state-of-the-art digital effects overseen by Industrial Light & Magic.
“ILM developed two new software programs specifically for Jumanji, one called iSculpt, which allowed the illustrators to create realistic facial expressions on the computer-generated animals in the film, and another that for the first time created realistic digital hair, used on the monkeys and the lion.”
The Kitchen Overrun by CGI Monkeys:
Although a lot of moviegoers were convinced the animals in “Jumanji” were real when the movie premiered in 1995, our modern eyes aren’t quite as fooled by them!
One thing that was real, however, was the (awful) makeup and prosthetic monkey face and fur they made the actor who played Peter wear. He spent three hours a day in a makeup chair for weeks of filming.
The Jumanji Wiki page goes into detail about the Parrish Mansion:
After the civil war ended, the three-star cavalry hero General Angus Parrish used his spoils from the war to build a mansion that became a popular tourist stop spot as the largest, finest and oldest house on the highest point in Brantford.
Angus spared no expense, adding carved oak doors with bronze door knockers in the shapes of Lion heads, a grand entry foyer and vaulted living room, a fireplace large enough to roast a side of beef, an antique grandfather clock the size of a small tree, enough bedrooms for a large family and servants, and a tremendous attic.
In honor of the Parrish ancestry, a bust of General Parrish with an imposing stern glare was kept on display in the extensive library. A long cutlass belonging to General Parrish was encased in a glass display on the fireplace in his honor. Portraits of Parrish ancestors were held up on walls or kept safe in the attic. The marble floor united all ground floor rooms.
Staircase After the Jungle Takes Over:
Robin Williams played the grownup Alan Parrish, who is happy to finally be home…
at least until he discovers that 26 years have passed and his parents are long gone.
Robin Williams was reportedly beloved by the people of Keene, New Hampshire, where the town scenes were filmed: “He was presented with the keys to the city by Keene’s mayor in 1994. After his death in 2014, Keene residents crafted a makeshift memorial of flowers and candles below the Parrish Shoes sign, and even organized a public screening of the film.”
Additional filming was done in North Berwick, Maine, where the Olde Woolen Mill stood in for the Parrish Shoe Factory.
Discovering the Jumanji Game in the Attic:
The kids are in the attic when the house starts to split apart:
The Parrish Mansion at the Beginning of the Movie, in the 1960s:
By the 1990s, the Jumanji House Had Fallen into Disrepair:
The Exterior as the Jumanji House Starts Splitting Apart (with CGI):
The final Christmas scenes in “Jumanji” were actually the first ones to be shot
at the Parrish Mansion, while it was still in good shape:
The movie was based on a children’s picture book by Christopher Van Allsburg (Amazon affiliate link)
that was originally published in 1981:
In the book, the two children who find the game at the end are Walter and Danny,
the main characters from Zathura, another book Van Allsburg wrote that became a movie:
Every day I get emails from readers asking me to feature their favorite movie houses, and most of the time I already have! You just need to know where to look for them. Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see the others I’ve got the scoop on, listed A-Z.
Zathura is one of them! 🙂