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Producers: Mark Linfield, Alastair Fothergill
Directors: Mark Linfield, Alastair Fothergill
Voice Cast: Tina Fey
Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematographer: Gavin Thurston
Synopsis: A nature documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins found deep in the storied jungles of South Asia.
MPAA Rating: G
10 / 10
- Great cinematography work. The framing of each shot really pulls your focus into the movie itself, while making you feel like you're right there with the monkeys.
- Tina Fey's commentary was colorful and quite amusing to listen to
- "Monkey Kingdom" manages to be informative, while still conveying a great emotional story revolving around these monkeys.
- Pacing was great, and never feels rushed; in spite of it's short eighty minute run time.
- Unless you don't like monkeys, I honestly don't see why anyone would hate this film.
Hey, hey, we're the Monkees, and people say we monkey around. But we're too busy singing, to put anybody down.
Like last year's Disneynature documentary, we're treated to another fabulous story involving some of our majestic creatures of the wild. This latest movie depicts a story revolving around a bunch of monkeys residing in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. Unlike most documentaries that you'd find on the Discovery Channel or something, this one uses a narrative story using real life animals, in order to educate it's audience on the lifestyle of these monkeys. While I can't say this is the most informative documentary that I've seen, it's certainly the most entertaining one that I've seen so far this year.
The story follows a young monkey named Maya, who fights her way through the lower ranks of her tribe in order to support her newborn baby. Throughout the documentary, we're shown the various hardships that Maya and her newborn are forced to endure ranging from harsh weather conditions to dangerous predators. And to make matters worse, her higher ranking tribesman don't exactly make it easy for her to survive such harsh conditions either. Disneynature seems create an intriguing movie that's both educational and fun to watch.
One moment, you'll find yourself laughing at some of the exploits these monkeys get into, as they invade human territories. The next minute, you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat, as the lives of these monkeys are constantly tested by the harshness of nature itself.
The cinematography was excellent throughout this movie. Every frame that was shot throughout this film makes you feel as if you were right there with the monkeys themselves. Even when they were swimming underwater, the camera would still be able to follow them; hence adding a great immersive experience for the audience. It was almost breathtaking to see unfold on the big screen.
Like the last few Disneynature documentaries, this one features a celebrity narrator to tell the story, and this year it happens to be "Saturday Night Live" alumni, Tina Fey. And similar to John C. Reilly from last year's "Bears", it seems like Tina adds her own subtle humor and commentary to the story, which makes "Monkey Kingdom" enjoyable to watch.
While I can't say the cinematography and scope of the movie is anywhere near as impressive as Disneynature's "Earth" or "Oceans", "Monkey Kingdom" offers more of an emotional experience that sticks with you long after you've seen it.
The pacing for the movie is excellent, and never feels rushed considering it's rather short eighty minute run time.
If you're a huge nature lover, then you'll probably love every single minute of this documentary. Everything from the way it was shot, to the charm of these creatures will entice you from beginning to end. Seriously, I can't say enough how great this movie was, and it's probably one of the best nature documentaries that I've ever seen.
Definitely worth taking a look at if you love nature documentaries. All I can say is if this is the type of movies that we can look forward to from Disneynature in the coming years, then we should be in for a treat for quite some time. Now, we only have to wait for next year's Disneynature documentary entitled, "Born in China."
Since the film is about monkeys, I felt it was appropriate to add this video to this review. Enjoy
© 2015 Steven Escareno