20 years ago today: ‘Jumanji’ opened in theaters

20 years ago today, “Jumanji” had its theatrical release. Though the film had lukewarm reaction from critics, it was a box office success and has remained a favorite among family adventure movies.

The film is based on Chris Van Allsburg”s children”s book about a game that”s “a young people's jungle adventure especially designed for the bored and restless.”

It”s at once terrifying (those monkeys!) and funny (plenty of laughs supplied by the late Robin Williams) and touching (the relief and joy in Williams” face when he realizes this nightmare of a game is finally over).

A remake is in the works and set for a Christmas 2016 release.

Other notable December 15 happenings in pop culture history:

• 1939: “Gone With the Wind” premiered at Loew”s Grand Theater in Atlanta, the climax of three days of festivities in the Georgia city to celebrate the film”s debut.

• 1966: Walt Disney died in Burbank, Calif.

• 1970: The Monty Python sketch “Spam” first aired in an episode of “Flying Circus.” The word “spam” is uttered at least 132 times in the fan-favorite sketch.

• 1974: Mel Brooks” “Young Frankenstein” had its U.S. theatrical release.

• 1984: U2″s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” reached its peak (No. 33) on the Billboard Hot 100. It spent 15 weeks on the chart.

• 1993: “Schindler”s List” was released theatrically.

• 1995: “Heat,” starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, opened in theaters.

• 2000: “The Emperor”s New Groove,” “What Women Want” and “Dude Where”s My Car” opened in theaters.

• 2004: Clint Eastwood”s “Million Dollar Baby” opened in U.S. theaters.

• 2004: The final episode of the short-lived “Wonderfalls” aired. Its creator, Bryan Fuller, who would go on to make “Pushing Daisies” and “Hannibal.”

Birthdays: “Daredevil” actor Charlie Cox (33), “Project X” actress Nichole Bloom (26), “The O.C.” actor Adam Brody (36), “Fringe” actor Chandler Canterbury (17), “The Carol Burnett Show” actor Tim Conway (82), “Downton Abbey” actress Michelle Dockery (34), “The Blind Side” director John Lee Hancock (59), “Miami Vice” actor Don Johnson (66), “Enlisted” actor Geoff Stults (38)