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Zathura (Special Edition) (2005)

Josh Hutcherson , Jonah Bobo , Jon Favreau  |  PG |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)

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Zathura (Special Edition) + Jumanji (Collector's Series)
Price for both: $19.69

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Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Tim Robbins, Kristen Stewart
  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Writers: Chris Van Allsburg, David Koepp, John Kamps
  • Producers: Louis D'Esposito, Michael De Luca, Peter Billingsley, Scott Kroopf, Ted Field
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000DBHX4M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,505 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zathura (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Jon Favreau and Peter Billingsley commentary
  • Featurette: The Making of Zathura
  • Visual Effects Documentary
  • The Cast of Zathura
  • Zorgons, Robots and 'Frozen Lisa'
  • Making the Game
  • Miniatures and the World of Zathura
  • The World of Chris van Allsburg

Editorial Reviews

In this heart-racing science fiction adventure, ZATHURA, two squabbling brothers are propelled into deepest, darkest space while playing a mysterious game discovered in the basement of their old house. On their fantastic journey, they are joined by a stranded astronaut and must survive meteor showers, hostile lizard-like aliens, a rocket-propelled robot who runs amok and an intergalactic spaceship battle. Unless they finish the game and reach the planet Zathura, they could be trapped in outer space forever.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent November 11, 2005
Yes, it does have the same basic premise as Jumanji (both books were written by the same guy, after all!)-- board game wreaks havoc on innocent children who happen to have a few problems other than an insane board game. But Zathura is about 100 times better. First of all, the characters aren't overshadowed by 1) huge special effects and 2)big name actors who take over the movie. This is a movie with heart, and a great way to start the holiday season, I might add. Remember how surprisingly good the fun, holiday movie Elf was? This is like that, and both are directed by Jon Favreau. This film does a marvelous job of making an implausible situation seem plausible, while giving the characters some realness.

Two young boys, Walter (age 10) and Danny (age 6) are constantly fighting. Danny just wants someone to play with. Walter could care less. Their father (played by Tim Robbins) is newly divorced, which only adds to this family's stress. There's also an older sister, Lisa, who sleeps until 2 pm and doesn't care about anyone but herself. When Danny finds a mysterious game in the basement called Zathura, he begs Walter to play. Walter doesn't feel like it, so Danny begins to play anyway. On his first spin, the game spits out a card that reads, "Meteor Shower. Take evasive action." Danny can't really read, and it's not until their living room is being pelleted with meteors that the boys take evasive action. Danny runs in circles screaming. Eventually, when the house if floating in the middle of space, they rescue a stranded astronaut (played wonderfully by Dax Shephard!), who reveals that he also once played the game and that's why he's a stranded astronaut. There's actually a twist in this movie about the astronaut, which I totally didn't see coming.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun and pleasing on the eye March 30, 2007
Format:DVD
A highly entertaining family film about the inadvertant adventure of two boys and their teenage sister, "Zathura" is a space game the bumbling brothers find one day while stationed at dad's house (the parents are divorced and dad gets parenting time in this flick.) After about 15 minutes setting the scene of the brothers intermittently fighting, cutting down each other, failing to get along, and being bored at dad's house, dad goes to the store, the younger borther finds the game and, wow, does the movie go into outer space.

The game requires each player to turn a knob which tells them where to move, after which their spaceship correspondingly advances on the board, and a card pops up with a message. Essentially, whatever comes up on a popup card in the game happens to the boys in real life. Right away, their dad's house is hoisted to the universe where they are variously attacked by spacecraft, hone in on and rescue a lost astronaut, try to survive a deranged robot, fail to be fried by passage too close to somebody's sun, and a half-dozen other calamaities. Oh yeah, their sister becomes cryonic during one of these gambits and spends time as a frozen statue. That astronaut turns out to be somebody pretty special, too.

Jon Favreau's direction, the outer space staging, and the set designs are all sumptuous in this highly-evolved film that is basically for kids...but my wife and I laughed throughout and stayed involved all the way to the end. There's a moral to this tale, of course, that is predictably homespun. Tim Robbins plays the dad in the opening and closing scenes; he must have been filming elsewhere when he made this flick.
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66 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would you take a child in kindergarten to see this? November 13, 2005
I took my 5 1/2 year-old nephew, a kindergartener, to see "Zathura". I expected Michael, as someone who's been exposed to a steady diet of Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Spider-Man, as well as to Peanuts, the Wiggles and the Muppets, to enjoy the sci-fi elements. Predictably, he spent the second half of the film cowering in his seat, latched onto both of my arms... and he walked out of the theater at the end loving every minute of it, completely jazzed about the experience. We spent most of the 10-minute walk back talking about outer space, aliens, and how it was all fiction, and he drew a lot of pictures of aliens (most of whom looked like Muppets) once he got home.

As others here have said, the language used by the two boys in the movie (10 and 7) is a little disconcerting. However, they use the same words I was exposed to at that age, and comparable to the language Michael is exposed to at home. Michael didn't walk out of the theater cursing, so that part of the movie did not bother me.

The scare factor is somewhat intense. The predictable monsters don't show up until the final two reels and aren't what I'd call terrifying, although that's the part of the movie that had Michael cowering. There's also a big clunky '50s-style robot, but when you find out who provides the voice you'll realize that this wasn't meant to be terrifying -- not if anything to say about it Jon Favreau had. The images of the house floating through space, alongside asteroids and suns, is what will really stand out for the younger viewer.

This is basically a kids' movie directed by Jon Favreau, so naturally it's going to seem odd.
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