Jumanji: Learning to Speak Danny Devito



By G.P. Avants


How do I even begin this wild adventure! I feel just like Spencer, Martha, Fridge, and Brittney when the game Jumanji yanks them back into yet another wild and unpredictable story. However, this time, they are joined my Uncle Eddie (played by Danny Devito) and his former best friend, Milo Walker  aka Danny Glover) And talk about putting a twist on the already bizarre board game’s new digital upgrade, when one of the older men comment, “Do you hear drums?”

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Before one enters the virtual and magical world of Jumanji they are given a preset list of character avatars to choose from. The last time our team was here, Spencer chose Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson the Rock), Martha was Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillian)

Fridge became Mouse (Kevin Hart) and Brittney shockingly became Professor Oberon (Jack Black). Can you see this intrepid line up? If you are lucky, like Martha or M, you get your familiar character of Ruby Roundhouse. If you are like everyone else, you are in someone else’s body with a whole different set of parameters. Enter Dr. Bravestone (played by Dwayne Johnson) now having the mannerisms of Uncle Eddie played by Danny Devito.  (We haven’t seen a team up like that since Twins and he was brother to Arnold Schwarzeneggar.)


He and Milo (Now as Kevin Hart’s Mouse) are both excited about having bodies without the aches and pains, ready for action. I need to mention that everyone had to adapt to their Avatar, learning how to function with their strengths and weaknesses. That did not always go too well.


As goes Jumanji’s rule, things can change in a heartbeat. Martha and Fridge  Rudy and Oberon) discover a glowing river that allows characters to swap avatars. For a brief moment Fridge had the time of his life being Ruby Roundhouse, and testing out her fighting skills. It also allowed Spencer to get back into the body of Dr. Bravestone and give Uncle Eddie a chance to step out of the way (because he was accidentally killing off everyone around him). Eddie became the female pick pocket. Are you a little confused? It will make sense, I think when you see Jumanji: The Next Level. Jumanji is a place that gives you time to think, evaluate your relationships and maybe take something of a hero back to the real world.


But that wasn’t really what my point was. But this is.


This is where I as an observer have to drop in my opinion to the characterization. Some may joke that Danny Devito might be lost in a crowded room because he isn’t physically a giant among men. So, the irony of him embodying Dwayne Johnson is fitting. But as we all know from his body of work Mr. Devito is a force to be reckoned with no matter what character he plays. So, if someone knew how to do an imitation of Danny Devito, we would all recognize it. Dwayne Johnson and Akwafina both captured the essence of Danny Devito through their dialog, body language, and grumpy demeanor. That is a sign of a good actor when they learn to emulate the spirit of the person they are portraying.  When each of these actors were “inhabited” by the spirit of Danny Devito, they had him down to a tee. Even we they curl up their face and respond with that confused uncertain word, “Huh.”



I apologize it this piece was a little like an out of body experience. I hope you get the spirit of what I was trying to convey.

This piece is a really a tribute to hard working creatives. Everyone has a talent and it’s a blessing when you get to use it. Some people God has gifted as singers, actors, comedians, musicians, etc. I hope that your inner character can’t be hidden. We are passing through a time when the world was locked away, not unlike the hidden world of Jumanji. In many ways having your world turned upside down might be a way of breaking up the old routine and finding a talent or skill you possess. Maybe you have a little Danny Devito in you and the world needs to see it shine. Many creatives have been pulled from their normal routine and now find time to maybe discover or rediscover hidden talents. I guess the key is once this “game’ is over and you get back into your old routine, how will you change? What will you retain as you move forward?


Be the creative you are inside. Don’t lose that smolder, my friend as you get back to the “real” world out there, my friend.

The Study of the Nerd & Geek in their Natural Habitat




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