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Zathura is the sequel to Jumanji, penned by Chris Van Allsburg and adapted into a fantasy film in 2005. The story picks up where the previous one left off: two boys discover the Jumanji board game where it was hidden and take it home. However, Danny, the younger of the pair, discovers another game also hidden inside the box: the sci-fi based Zathura. Despite their ongoing rivalry, Walter and Danny find they must work together if they're ever going to beat the game and get back home.
Note, the book is a direct sequel to the book Jumanji, but the film is a Spiritual Successor to the film Jumanji.
Much like its predecessor, the film heaped on plenty of details that weren't in the original 32-pager, such as adding Lisa, Walter and Danny's older sister, and a mysterious astronaut who becomes a gruff mentor to the boys. It's also worth noting that, excluding voice actors or people wearing alien costumes which cover their whole bodies, the film has a cast of exactly five, one of whom is barely in the film. There are no extras, crowd shots, or other group scenes.
While moderately well-reviewed, it ended up being a box-office flop, mostly because it was released a week before Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire hit cinemas. Nowadays, it's mostly remembered for being featured in a fourth season episode of The Apprentice, where none of the candidates could pronounce the film's name correctly.
Zathura contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Perhaps it was unintentional, but:
Walter: I'm not mean, Danny, I'm in fourth grade, I have a girlfriend.
- Adaptation Expansion - The boys gained a sister and an experienced astronaut mentor in the film, among other things.
- Aliens Are Bastards: The Zorgons.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Danny. To the point that in another time line Walter actually wished Danny away.
- Apologizes a Lot: Danny, especially after he did something horrible.
- Artifact of Doom.
- Ashes to Crashes: When the game creates a meteor shower one of the meteors hits an urn on the mantlepiece. Danny shouts "Grandma!"
- Be Careful What You Wish For - Especially on shooting stars.
- Big Eater The astronaut.
- Big No: Danny when Walter is sucked into the black hole.
- Big Shadow, Little Creature: When the robot first appears. It gets big pretty quickly though.
- Brick Joke: The bicycle seen orbiting the house while in outer space, which then crashes back to earth after they return home through Zathura.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Lisa develops a crush on the hunky astronaut, who turns out to be an older version of one of her brothers. Once she learns this, she is, understandably, squicked out.
- Brown Eyes: All of the main characters.
- Cain and Abel: Walter in another Time line actually wishes his brother out of existence. He wised up the second time though with a little help from his future self.
- Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: "It's just a goat..." Except it has four eyes on stalks.
- Cassandra Truth: The boys try to tell Lisa what is happening but she quickly brushes them off. Their dad also wasn't any better about believing them.
- Chekhov's Gun / Foreshadowing: A couple. For example, the Reprogram card, and the Astronaut also having a Fleet Admiral card.
- When after insisting on allowing the astronaut to stay against his wishes, Walter asks Danny, "Who's brother are you, his or mine?" The correct answer is both.
- Curtains Match the Window: All of the main characters.
- Expy - The astronaut seems to be there just as Alan's counterpart. He played the game long ago and got trapped in, the younger of the two brings him out, he knows about one of the things in the game, he gains a love interest, and is reset back to his younger self by the end.
- Lisa for Sarah, ending up as the astronaut's love interest. Walter for Judy, as his attitude is "Let's play and it'll all disappear" and Danny for Peter, as his attitude is "I'm not playing that thing".
- Future Badass: Walter.
- Harmless Freezing: Lisa gets frozen pretty early on for five turns and once those turns were up she unfroze without any problem, not even noticing that she had been frozen.
- Heel Face Turn: The robot after it was reprogrammed.
- I Hate Past Me - The astronaut is noticeably a lot harder on Walter than he is on Danny. At first it seems because this is simply due to Danny "rolling" him out of the game, but actually the astronaut is a time-looped older version of Walter, who in his timeline wished his brother out of existence in anger after an argument and regretted it ever since. After years of reflection, he's more than a little resentful towards his past self's brotherly callousness, but ends up being very proud that the current Walter learned his lesson where he did not.
- The Homeward Journey
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold - The film makes Walter out to be rather bullying and demanding towards the younger Danny. The astronaut also has his jerky moments, but has the benefit of experience.
- The Astronaut is notably only really a jerk towards Walter. See directly above.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Lisa does this trope at the end, telling the boys to never mention what happened in Zathura.
- Mundane Wish: The game has a card called Shooting Star, which grants a wish. When Walter got one of these cards and had to come up with a wish fast, he panicked and wished for a signed football.
Astronaut: You wished for a football?
Walter: Signed by Brett Farve.
- No Fair Cheating: Try moving a piece backwards or forwards to cheat? Out the airlock you go!
- Planet Looters: The Zorgons.
- Raygun Gothic - The eponymous board game is full of it.
- Jumanji IN SPACE!
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The robot.
- The Reptilians: The Zorgons.
- Reset Button - Actually a pretty scary method of resetting, in fact...
- The Reveal - The astronaut is a former player... In fact, he's actually Walter, who wished away Danny only to find he couldn't complete the game without him.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong - The astronaut prevents Walter from making the same mistake he once did: wishing away his younger brother.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The players manage to survive all the hazards and dangers and make it to their destination, Zathura, which turns out to be a black hole. The fact that it's actually the Reset Button makes this a Subversion, but until the moment everything suddenly returns to normal, there's zero indication that they aren't about to die pointlessly.
- Sibling Rivalry: Between Danny and Walter. They work out the differences eventually though.
- Spiritual Successor: The movie, to Jumanji.
- Surprise Incest: Lisa is obviously attracted to the astronaut before she finds out he's a future version of her brother.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: "Get me a juice box, biatch!"
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Caught Cheating. Automatic Ejection.
- A Villain Named Zrg: The Zorgons
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Lisa at one point gushes over the Astronaut's eyes... too bad he's her brother all grown up.
- Yellow Brick Road: In Jumanji style.