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My Rise Of Planet Of The Apes

Updated on August 11, 2011

My Rise Of Planet Of The Apes

I saw the original movie 'Planet of the Apes' in 1968. This was the year I first started working in zoos. It was good for the time and I quite enjoyed it but it was so far removed from reality that I don't recall it making me think about the animals I was working with in the zoo world. These included three, newly imported baby chimpanzees. I named these after characters from the Avengers and spent as much of my time with them as I could. 'Newly imported' is of course part of a cruel exploitative trade in wild animals. Their parents most likely shot and eaten and these three animals probably the only ones to survive out of ten which headed to market. Sadly even one of these tiny beautiful little animals died in my arms in spite of all I tried to do. The zoo I worked in back in those early days was dysfunctional but then back in 1968 most zoos were. We learn, we progress, we move on and go stronger and, in my case more critical and condemning of zoos that do not move forward.

Over the years I have changed, zoos have changed and so too have the movies. In early August of 2011 I went to see 'Rise of Planet of the Apes'. There must have been something about the first movie which really stuck in my imagination or perhaps it was my life in the interim but this was a movie I really wanted to see.

An Emotional Journey

What I had not expected with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was that as well as being an exciting, enjoyable and well made movie that it would take me on an emotional journey.

One of my sons 'Tanner' was a chimpanzee. Abandoned by his mother at two days old I took him home. He lived not as a guest but as a much loved member of the family. He was no novelty, he was completely accepted. Over the years we had Lions, Leopards, Jaguars, Monkeys, Gorillas, Squirrels, Hedgehogs, Oryx, Llamas....and I could go on and on, living with us.

Tanner was part of the family. He slept alongside the bed as my own human children had done. He was bottle fed on demand, burped and nappy changed. His first steps, his first solid food were as important events as they were with the other kids. He was in fact better behaved in some ways to the others. He didn't swing on the curtains. We did not have to move things out of reach and though he did not speak English he understood it very well. Admittedly he did tease the cats a bit, though they tolerated him. He was also a whizz at removing a disposable nappy unless it was put on back to front.

If you do go and see Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes you will, I think, understand part of the emotional turmoil that this excellent movie started in me. I very rarely have wanted to see a movie twice, this one I would because I enjoyed it so much.

Everyone is going to take away something different from watching this film. Some, I imagine will be a little frightened, but most are going to not only enjoy it but be on the side of the Apes. This is exactly as it should be. The Apes, our closest relatives, we are not any more or less special than they, are in trouble. They are under threat because of human greed and ignorance.

Go and see Rise of Planet of the Apes. Enjoy and watch in wonder. As someone who has worked very closely with Gorillas, Orangutans and Chimpanzees over the years I can vouch for how very realistic the movements, actions and behaviours were.

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  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    @socialrafalino - Many thanks.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    @Melissa A Smith - I suppose we all see things through different eyes. I agree that some did not look chimplike but others did. In fact I know some who looked very like the animals here. I enjoyed the movie as a movie...and as I said an emotional journey as well.

  • Melissa A Smith profile image

    Melissa A Smith 

    8 years ago from New York

    Interesting to see your thoughts on the movie. I finally got to see the movie, and the first thing that struck me about it was how the chimps didn't appear to resemble chimps at all. Before I saw the movie I assumed they were supposed to be some genetically altered humanoid apes, so that really threw me off. Also, was this supposed to take place in the 1960's? Because the animal facilities shown sure did look like your mentioned dysfunctional zoos, and the tactics they used to try to control the dangerous animals were laughable. I've never been a fan of chimps, they disturb me on multiple levels. The irony of this movie was its condemning of the actions the apes would eventually commit. It reflects my view of how some people, who are critical of human behavior, will then respect it in a more primitive species.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    @Hello, hello, - Thank you.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    A very well written, informative and lovely hub. I thorouhgly enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    @Alastar Packer, optimus grimlock, dilipchandra12 Thank you for your comments. Glad to learn the movie is popular.

  • dilipchandra12 profile image

    Dilip Chandra 

    8 years ago from India

    Nice hub... I saw the movie and i must say it was the best of all the apes movies i have seen so far. Theme of the movie; absolutely amazing.

  • optimus grimlock profile image

    optimus grimlock 

    8 years ago

    great hub!!!! The movie was awesome you'll love it!

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 

    8 years ago from North Carolina

    Appreciate some of your early bio here Peter and your thoughts and thumbs up on the new flick. Words spreading fast its must-see.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    @ruffridyer - And yet no real apes were used in the actual movie. Digital copies of real animals plus people in costumes. Very convincing.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    @PETER LUMETTA - Thanks. Then I achieved exactly what I wanted to do. I feel you will enjoy it.

  • profile image


    8 years ago from Dayton, ohio

    The movie does look more realistic, using real apes as opposed to people in costume. You bring an interesting viewpoint to your review.

  • PETER LUMETTA profile image


    8 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

    Hi Peter, I usually don't read "movie" reviews but this was not just a movie review it was a lot more. It really didn't tell me anything about the movie but made me want to see it because of your reaction to it. Thanks,



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