Friday, April 17, 2015

Monkey Kingdom provides Ecotainment and Disney charm

Movie:  Monkey Kingdom

G, 1 hour 25 minutes

Grade: A

In a Nutshell:  Disney Nature spent three years filming this lovely movie that documents pivotal moments in the life of Maya, a mother who will do anything to protect and raise her baby son Kip…it’s what mothers do.  This one just happens to be a monkey…a fiercely loyal macaque in Sri Lanka to be exact.

Perfectly timed for Earth Day, this story is heartwarming, true, and touching.  Be sure to stay seated during the final credits to see how the filmmakers actually got some of the amazing shots they did.  Three cheers for Mark Linfield, Alastair Fothergill and their fantastic cinematography crew.  

Uplifting Theme:
·         Don’t forget Earth Day is April 22!
·         Find joy in living.   
·         Love and protect your family and friends.  Be willing to pick bugs off them when necessary.

Things I liked:
·         Who doesn’t love monkeys?  Seriously, you’d have to be a real hater not to like this movie.
·         Tina Fey’s humorous narration connects us to these adorable creatures.
·         Will these monkey’s hairdo’s ever come in style?
·         Tey Fey asks “Did you know monkeys could swim?”  They can!  And it’s a joy to watch!  You can actually see them hold their breath under water.
·         The monkeys are completely adorable when they huddle up to sleep. So sweet.
·         The ancient ruins that become the monkey village called Castle Rock looks like it is right out of an Indiana Jones movie.
·         It was fascinating to watch the monkeys befriend a dog.
·         I thought it was perfect casting that nature provided a “bad” monkey who actually looked bad.

Things I didn’t like:
·         I often wondered how much of the crazy antics were staged.  I mean, it’s awfully convenient to have cameras suddenly inside a house that the monkeys discover and explore during a birthday party where food is set out all over the kitchen table and not a single human around.  Just sayin… It is a pretty cute scene though.
·         I thought it was interesting that male/female stereotypes exist in the monkey world.   Some of the females were caddy and mean, while the males play rough and tumble and want to be in charge.

Funny lines:
·         “No one will ever know we were here.  We are like ninjas.  Is this even food?  I don’t care.  Leave nothing behind!”  Tina Fey voices the monkeys’ thoughts as they steak birthday cake and food from a human’s house.
Interesting lines:
·         “Maya, like most mothers,  probably wants to freeze this moment in time.  This is the perfect age.”  I think I said that every year while my kids were growing up.
·         “If nothing, Maya’s scrappy.  She has a Plan B.”   I’ve learned that all mothers need to have a Plan B.
·         “They’ll fall asleep with an unfamiliar feeling in their bellies…fullness.”
·         “Jack fruit isn’t just fruit.  It’s politics.”

Tips for Parents:   There was a dad sitting behind me in the theater who had to explain a few things to his little girl.  There are some sad and tense moments, but otherwise it is a “safe” movie for all ages.

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