Zathura Is A Space Adventure is a film directed by Jon Favreau, based on an illustrated book by Chris Van Allsburg, author of Jumanji. It starred Jonah Bobo as Danny and Josh Hutcherson as Walter. Tim Robbins also had a small role as the divorced father of Walter and Danny. The film also gave a sister to the boys, introduced a derelict astronaut to the plot, and multiplied the number of the Zorgons and Zorgon ships. This movie is considered as the first of a series, being a prequel to Jumanji despite being released ten years afterwards.[1] The film was released on November 11, 2005 by Columbia Pictures.

Two boys, Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo), discover a space themed board game from the basement, where everything inside it becomes real. The boys are eventually drawn into an adventure when their house is magically hurtled through space. The story is similar to Jumanji, another illustrated book by Van Allsburg (in the book, the Zathura game is contained inside the Jumanji one, although paradoxically the astronaut is revealed to be the creator of Jumanji. Likewise in the movie versions Zathura takes place in the 1970's and Jumanji takes place in the 1960's).

During the course of the story, the boys must overcome their personal ill-feeling held toward one another in order to survive. They are aided in this by an astronaut (Dax Shepard) who appears as a result of the game. This astronaut is eventually revealed to be an older version of Walter, who had been trapped as a character in the game's world as a result of causing the disappearance of Danny, without whom he was no longer a player. Thus, the game could not advance without Danny taking his turn. This backstory becomes the basis, although the viewer only sees its role as such in retrospect, of parallels drawn between the two versions of Walter, including a revelation of the backstory without mention of his name or that of his brother. He is finally released when Walter summons his brother back to him. Both he and his brother seem to merge with Danny and Walter (after the astronaut turns back into another version of Walter) now that the future caused by Walter wishing Danny away has been erased.

Accompanying Danny, Walter, and the astronaut is their cantankerous elder sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart), who while not a player is as vulnerable to the dangers present in the game. She is placed in cryogenic freeze for five turns. She develops a crush on the astronaut, and is thus horrified when she finds out that she fell for an older version of her brother Walter.

The main villains in the movie are the Zorgons; reptilian, biped tool-users who are fond of heat and are attracted to a heat source much like bees are attracted to nectar, because they are cold-blooded. The Zorgons, having burned their own planet to obtain more heat, are nomads who travel through space seeking more to burn and who keep a flock of four-eyed goats on their ship.

Another character, a robot (Frank Oz), first appears as a wind-up tin toy that quickly becomes life-size. It is supposed to defend the players, but as it is malfunctioning it mis-identifies Walter as an alien life form and begins rampaging through the house. Walter uses a "Reprogram" card on the robot, and it instead sets its sights on the Zorgons. A single Zorgon survives the robot's kamikaze attack and sneaks up behind Walter and Danny as they are wondering where Lisa is. Just as it's about to kill them, it is crushed and killed by Lisa with Danny's piano. Unfortunately, a massive Zorgon fleet arrives and attacks after Walter frees the astronaut and his brother.

Danny eventually completes the object of the game, whereupon the house is drawn into a roaring black hole, which Danny realizes is Zathura. The Zorgon fleet is pulled into the black hole, as are Lisa and Walter. Moments later, they have returned to Earth. All the "pieces" of the game (the house, its furnishing, and the players) have been replaced as they were before the game began. The brothers are thereafter much more cooperative with one another. The boys, and Lisa, retain their memories of the game's events in which they all agree never to speak of Zathura again.

As the kids get in the car with their mother and drive away, one of their bicycles which drifted off into space falls back to the lawn.

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