Mark Linfield, Alastair Fothergill
Tina Fey (Narrator)
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Date/In Theaters
-by Ginger Shelby
Monkey Kingdom is part documentary, part story. This tale takes the audience into the wilds of South Asia with real world photography. This story documents the life and struggles of a young mother monkey Maya and her rambunctious offspring, Kip. This family movie review thinks that this educational and entertaining film earns the family friendly movie seal of approval.
Maya is a clever, intelligent blonde-bobbed monkey with more than a great haircut. Life for the Temple monkeys is complicated. They have a strict social order and rules. When Maya’s son, Kip, is born, her life becomes even more complicated. She must compete to place her son in a place of power. Their home at Castle Rock is taken over by neighboring monkeys, forcing Maya’s family to relocate. She must use her resourcefulness to lead them into a new place to live. They must work together as a unit to reclaim their Castle Rock home.
Finding appropriate movies for the youngest members of the family can be challenging. Standards have changed over the years, and parents often find themselves in shock as to how the movie making industry views family films. This is one movie that is truly appropriate for the entire family. The monkeys are adorable and have unique personalities, just like humans.
You will not find any talking monkeys or trained monkeys. This film features monkeys in their natural habitat doing what they do every day. This lack of language does not cut back the ability to follow the story. It speaks in a language that is universal. This movie instills a sense of oneness with nature. All of the animals in the movie are seen as beautiful living creatures, all of which have a story to tell that is as unique as our own. Unlike, some nature films, this one does not over exaggerate the personification of the animal characters, but allows their natural unique personalities to stand out. The audience gets to know the unique personalities of the animals without the use of human intervention.
This film helps every member of the audience at any age develop a greater respect the creatures with whom we share this planet. Both adults and children will come away from this film with deeper respect for the truly magnificent animals and their unique stories. It sends the message that animals are not that different from us. They have daily struggles, agendas, and complex social interactions. They experience joys and sorrows, just as we do. The overriding theme of the film is that no matter where we go, it is family that makes it home.
This parental guide to the movies thinks that this is a must-see film for everyone, and there is an extra bonus. Set to be released on Earth Day 2015, a portion of the proceeds from this film will be donated to Conservation International, which helps to protect wildlife in its natural setting. This gives you an even better reason to go see this film and celebrate Earth Day with some family fun for everyone.
Read more family movie reviews by Parental Guide.