Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE fantasy

Whatever Happened to the Kids from Jumanji?

Catching up with Kirsten Dunst and crew — nearly three decades after those spooky jungle drums went quiet.

By Benjamin Bullard
Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce play the board game outside in Jumanji (1995)

It’s hard to believe we’ll soon be closing in on the 30th anniversary of Jumanji (streaming here on Peacock!), the late Robin Williams’ wild fantasy-film rampage that dragged a gang of small-town kids across an epic jungle adventure — all rattling to life from the should've-stayed-buried depths of a supernaturally mysterious board game

Williams starred as the movie's grown-up version of Alan Parrish, a 1960s kid who gets stranded inside Jumanji’s other-dimensional world for more than 25 years and has long since been presumed permanently missing (or worse). Alan at last leaps back to the present only after a new brother-sister kid duo (Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce) activate his still-unfolding game of Jumanji when they rediscover his dusty game box inside a long-abandoned attic… and that’s when things start to get really interesting. 

RELATED: Is Jumanji Based On a Real Board Game?

With established grown-up stars like Williams alongside Bebe Neuwirth, Bonnie Hunt, and David Alan Grier, Jumanji already had tons of box office firepower heading into the 1995 holiday season. But it’s the movie’s youth — including Dunst’s sassy turn as a supposedly spoiled rich kid who makes up tragic lies to entertain herself by befuddling confused adults — who carry Jumanji across the finish line. Which of course has us wondering: What are they up to almost 30 years later? Dunst’s high-profile career hasn’t exactly been hard to follow, but you might be surprised at where you’ve perhaps seen (or heard) the rest of her child costars in the decades since Jumanji’s 1995 jungle tussle. 

Where are the kids from 1995's Jumanji now?

Kirsten Dunst

A side by side comparison of Kirsten Dunst in Jumanji (1995) and in 2023.

When your extensive film résumé includes milestone cinematic moments like kissing an upside-down Peter Parker in 2002’s Spider-Man and wearing a heavy French crown in Marie Antoinette (2006), it's tough to put a tidy bow on everything an Oscar nominee like Kirsten Dunst has been up to since 1995. Barely in her teens in Jumanji, Dunst played Judy Shepherd, the hilariously sarcastic and slightly-older sister of bereaved little brother Peter (Bradley Pierce). Dunst already had enjoyed breakout success for her tender-age portrayal of young fanger Claudia in 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, and the trend hasn’t really let up ever since. She won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her 2016 role as Vivian Mitchell in Hidden Figures and a Critics' Choice Television Award for her riveting turn as Peggy Blumquist in the 2015 second season of Fargo, but we’re really just plucking random high points out of the air here — after all, Dunst has been earning accolades all the way back since her earliest Interview days. 

Since everybody’s more or less aware of Dunst’s star power, we’ll try to keep things genre-focused here: She voiced the young Anastasia in the 1997 animated movie of the same name; served as the English voice star of the Hayao Miyazaki animated classic Kiki’s Delivery Service (1997); and played Erin Randall in 2000’s The Crow: Salvation (the same year as her standout performance in cheerleading wars smash hit Bring It On). All of that was before her monumental turn as MJ opposite Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man (2002), as well as its two sequels. Most recently, Dunst picked up an Academy Award nomination for her role as Rose Gordon in 2021’s The Power of the Dog, and is set to appear next in director Alex Garland’s 2024 dystopian feature film drama Civil War.

RELATED: Our Favorite Board Games That Deserve a Fresh Turn at the Movies

Adam Hann-Byrd

Young Alan (Adam Hann-Byrd) appears with a black eye and busted lip in Jumanji (1995).

Carrying equal screen weight in Jumanji as the childhood version of Alan Parrish (played by Williams in the movie in his adult form), Adam Hann-Byrd already was familiar to 1990s moviegoers as the title character starring opposite Jodie Foster in the 1991 child-prodigy drama Little Man Tate. The 1990s were a productive period for the young actor, who also starred opposite Leslie Nielsen in the Canadian comedy Digger (1993); alongside Sharon Stone, Kathy Bates, and Chazz Palminteri in dark thriller Diabolique (1996); and in Ang Lee’s 1997 family freakout classic The Ice Storm, a movie that boasted an enormous star cast including Sigourney Weaver, Christina Ricci, Kevin Kline, Elijah Wood, and Katie Holmes.

Hann-Byrd hasn’t been seen in major movies or on TV since the late 1990s (he appeared in a 1999 episode of the Sci-Fi Channel’s The Outer Limits only a year after his last major U.S. film role, which came in 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later). But aside from some more recent showings in a handful of low-profile short films, he’s been far more prolific on the unseen, creative side of the camera. Since joining the Fringe TV writers’ room as a production assistant for a pair of seasons early in the sci-fi series’ run, he spent most of the 2010s writing for small-screen and web projects that include YouTube’s fright-focused BlackBoxTV channel, the fan-made Batgirl: Spoiled web series, and, most notably, the pop culture news series The Morning After. Hann-Byrd can even claim a recent Wizarding World writing credit — thanks to his contribution to the 2018 video game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.

RELATED: The Best Fantasy Movies Streaming on Peacock: From Highlander to Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

Laura Bell Bundy

A side by side comparison of Laura Bell Bundy in Jumanji (1995) and in 2023.

Active on the stage from an early age, Laura Bell Bundy already had a major off-Broadway credit to her name as Tina Denmark in Ruthless! The Musical (debuting in 1992) and as part of the touring adaptation of The Sound of Music (debuting in 1993), all before she starred in Jumanji as the young version of Alan’s friend Sarah Whittle (played by Bonnie Hunt in her adult form). Bundy has remained active across the broader entertainment spectrum ever since, with early-2000s starring turns in musical stage smashes like Hairspray and Legally Blonde (which earned her a Tony nomination for her leading role as Elle Woods).

While maintaining her ongoing Broadway ties (including the 2023 debut of comedy play The Cottage), Bundy also embarked on a successful studio musical career from 2007 onward, building a discography that, to date, includes five full-length albums (most recently 2021’s Women of Tomorrow). Throughout it all, she’s continued to act on screens both big and small, mounting a five-episode appearance arc on How I Met Your Mother, tackling lengthier recurring stints on Hart of Dixie and Anger Management and, in recent years, on The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder (2022) and the made-for-TV Nickelodeon comedy film Snow Day (2022).

Bradley Pierce

A side by side comparison of Bradley Pierce in Jumanji (1995) and in 2018.

Bradley Pierce’s highest-profile acting role might’ve come as Peter, the animal-cursed kid (and younger brother to Dunst’s Judy Shepherd) in Jumanji. But whether you’ve known it or not, you’ve likely seen (or at least heard) Pierce across the dial in the decades since the movie’s release. After a string of childhood appearances in films including 1991’s Beauty and the Beast (as the voice of Chip), Miyazaki’s animated Porco Rosso (1992), and 1997’s The Borrowers (opposite John Goodman), Pierce pivoted in the mid-2000s toward producing as well as acting. He was both behind and in front of the camera for the religious-themed 2018 horror mystery film Deacon, and has provided a ton of miscellaneous voice roles for a long string of recent animated projects including, to name the most recent, Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019). 

Pierce’s voice has been more front-and-center elsewhere, though. Gamers have heard his work in Kingdom Hearts II (2005), Peter Pan (2007), and The Lego Movie Videogame (2014), complementing earlier TV turns on animated series like Sonic the Hedgehog (as the voice of Tails) and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. And Trekkies take note: Pierce turned up in a Season 5 episode of Star Trek: Voyager (1999) opposite Kevin Tighe (Henry Janeway) in the role of Janeway’s son, Jason. 

Jumanji is streaming here on Peacock. 

Read more about: