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The New Jumanji Movie Showed Me How I Should Have Gotten Through My Youth

No teen should ever feel like quitting. *Spoiler-free thoughts*

We all go through it. Some of us have regrets. But youth, and specifically high school, can be seen as an adventure. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle expresses how trust, openness and friendship can be the biggest weapon against social anxieties. It’s the characters’ teamwork in the movie that highlights how youth need support from their peers, not just from adults or the internet.

Teens can be pretty cliquey and alienate anyone trying to connect with others outside of their group. It’s just not cool. But what’s cool in the new Jumanji is when the characters put aside their differences. They need to if they’re going to survive the deadly jungle world they’ve been throw into. And if they’re going to survive high school life, too.

They are all going through similar things, just in different ways. The movie uses archetypes that contrast each other incredibly well to balance out the cast, giving audiences an inclusive look at the youth they were, or still are, depending on your age.

It’s nice to be rooting for every character, even after identifying which speaks most to you. When they fail, you remember how you failed. When they succeed, you remember how you could have. It’s behavioural nostalgia, not just cultural.

The movie is universally uplifting and doesn’t preach its message too strongly. There is so much fun being had in each scene that there really isn’t any room to preach. It’s just nice knowing that the filmmaker’s purpose has a meaningful focus among all the entertainment it achieves.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a clever, well-written sequel filled with action and laughs that uncover a heart of gold. It we replayed youth all over again, we’d do a lot better keeping in mind that high school survival is more cooperative than competitive.

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