High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Jumanji is the title of a 1981 children's illustrated short story and fantasy story written and illustrated by the American author Chris Van Allsburg. It was made into a 1995 film of the same name. Both the book and the movie are about a magical board game that implements real animals and other jungle elements as the players are playing the game. The troubles which the players have to overcome appear in real life, not only in the board game. "Jumanji" is a Zulu word meaning "many effects."