Zathura is Jumanji, Jumanji is Zathura!
Okay, okay, I know children's movies are based around 2 or 3 main ideas. I know that the same story can entertain children over and over. But in the case of Zathura, it has some how tricked some critics into thinking that this is a new and wondrous concept.
While watching TV I caught the ad for Zathura - Kids playing a board game get transported into space where the game world becomes reality - I thought "wow, this is very much like Jumanji but in space". Lo and behold, the story was written by the same author as Jumanji, Chris Van Allsburg. It took him about a decade to come up with Jumanji in space ( Jumanji released in 1995, Zathura in 2005).
Then the most aggravating part of the ad appeared the quotes from critics. "The most original movie of the season" it claimed and I laughed heartily. Jumanji in space? Give me a break. Next thing you'll know, they're going to be saying that the next American Pie is imaginative or XXX3 is unique. I can't disagree with the fact that in the trailer the effects look great and the backdrop of space is rather amazing. A more apt quote would have been something along the lines of "a tremendous visual journey" or "special effect mastery at its best" I know Hollywood has been releasing far too many remakes and reinterpretations of the classics and not so classic films but there has to be somebody doing something original, am I wrong?
Regardless of originality or not, the film looks good and kids will probably end up loving it.