Monkey Kingdom

Not rated yet!
Director
Mark Linfield, Alastair Fothergill
Runtime
1 h 21 min
Release Date
17 April 2015
Genres
Documentary
Overview
A newborn monkey and its mother 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.
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(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Cinderella Story Gets Delightful Simian Spin in Monkey Kingdom
    Movies DVD Release Date: September 15, 2015Theatrical Release Date: April 17, 2015Rating: GGenre: DocumentaryRun Time: 81 min.Directors: Mark Linfield, Alistair FothergillNarration: Tina Fey Let’s face it, cute and camera-friendly animals can't help winning over even the crankiest of critics. Regardless of this easy-to-love subject matter, however, Disneynature has done an exceptional job of showcasing the splendor of nature for the past nine years. From the lush cinematography to the filmmakers' inherent knack for catching the spontaneous moments that can't be storyboarded in a traditional script, it’s easy to see why these family-friendly Disneynature productions have become a welcome yearly tradition in conjunction with Earth Day. But as good as everything from Bears to African Cats to Oceans have been in the past, 2015's Monkey Kingdom is easily the best of the bunch. With a strong storyline anchoring the production, not to mention lively, and of course, very funny, narration from Tina Fey (Muppets Most Wanted), Monkey Kingdom is not only a valuable educational experience but is downright entertaining to boot. Set in the jungle of Sri Lanka, Monkey Kingdom immediately draws you into the surprisingly complicated fight for survival in the simian world, proving that class warfare isn't just a human thing. Viewers are immediately introduced to the monkey chain of command. There’s the king of the jungle, an alpha male named Raja, and for added intimidation, Raja is flanked by a trio of faithful females dubbed "The Sisters." Just like the wicked stepsisters in Cinderella, plus an extra instigator of snobbery for good measure, the sisters, along with Raja, basically want all the good stuff in life for themselves. In their world, that means the tastiest food, the best sleeping spot, and for everyone else in the kingdom, they’re relegated to scraps and discomfort. The Cinderella of this story is a feisty bottom-dweller, Maya. Maya knows her place from a very young age, and just in case she ever questioned her rank, Raja and the sisters are happy to remind her with a well-placed slap, push or taunt. They’ll even steal food straight from her mouth if they have to. So for any shot at a good meal or a decent place to rest, Maya and the rest of the lower class have to get creative. And oftentimes, the quest for a better existence requires quite a bit of bravery.SEE ALSO: Disney's Bears a Thrilling Journey into Nature googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); But before Monkey Kingdom starts feeling like a total downer, an unexpected visitor shakes things up. Introduced as "one hunky monkey," Kumar immediately takes a liking to Maya. In one of the movie's funniest scenes, Kumar's flirting techniques may be more than a little obvious, but Maya plays it cool. Knowing Raja and the sisters would never allow her to have a mate, Maya has to let Kumar know she likes him in secret. Before long, Maya finds herself pregnant, and Kumar is chased out of the kingdom. Now forced to find sustenance for two, Maya's life as a single mother has grown increasingly more challenging but equally rewarding once her son arrives. Adding another layer of complexity to the proceedings, Raja and the sisters also find their charmed existence in flux when a group of rival monkeys takes over Castle Rock, the place they've ruled and reigned for so long. The fight for survival is a universal one, of course, and it’s incredible how much the monkeys' behavior and emotional capacity is eerily human. Seeing how they respond to new challenges and how much they care for their loved ones is just one of the many rewards of watching. Humor, a strong sense of pacing, the aforementioned camerawork and a fun soundtrack also helps this Cinderella story come to life. But like the best stories, having someone to root for is paramount to its success. Not surprisingly, Monkey Kingdom has that in spades with Maya and her young son who can't help but win you over right from the start.SEE ALSO: Alpha Male Makes a Comeback in Chimpanzee CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers): googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Drugs/Alcohol: None Language/Profanity: None  Sex/Nudity: References to giving birth Violence/Thematic Material: Discussion of death and a few dangerous moments involving predators when the monkeys search nearby waters for food. Some of the "high class" monkeys are particularly cruel to monkeys they deem lower in importance. One such instance involves the kidnapping of a newborn monkey to get back at his mother. Publication date: April 16, 2015 SEE ALSO: Felines Rule in Disneynature's African Cats ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

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(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Monkey Kingdom
    Documentary We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewDeep in the heart of tropical Sri Lanka, there once was a kingdom where humans erected buildings and temples and gigantic statues of the Buddha. The kingdom was eventually overrun by the forest. And the people abandoned it. But nature, as has often been said, abhors a vacuum. And there's no reason why a perfectly good kingdom should go to waste. At least that's what the troop of toque macaque monkeys who moved in seem to think. For generations, the macaques have made their home in these verdant relics, as well as in a huge granite outcropping overlooking this inherited kingdom, named Castle Rock. It's called Castle Rock by humans, not the monkeys, of course. The monkeys are content to spend their days collecting figs, grooming one another, napping and frolicking. And if that sounds like primate paradise, well, it is ... at least for those at the apex of this particular monkey kingdom. Macaques have a rigid social order. Members of the privileged elite, ruled by an alpha male (Raja) and his three queens (The Sisterhood), have dibs on all the best food. And they treat "lesser" monkeys like servants. Among those in the hardworking underclass is Maya, an outcast of sorts whose destiny seems to be to serve her betters all of her long life—just as her parents did before. But when a new male (Kumar) shows up to plead for entrance into the monkey tribe, he develops a "thing" for Maya. Soon Maya's got an infant (Kip). But Raja and his queens, well, they don't think much of Kumar. And he's driven off. If all this sounds like a primate play on 90210—or maybe we should call it Mean Monkeys—it kind of is. Presented in an adorable, Disney kind of way, of course. Monkey Kingdom follows the narrative template of previous Disneynature species-focused offerings: African Cats, Chimpanzee and Bears, with the directors from those films (Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill) helming this one, too. Maya fights for survival, fights her fellow monkeys and fights to keep Kip alive. An invasion of rival macaques is led by a disfigured (isn't he always!) bad monkey ominously named Lex. Raja fails to repel the invaders, leading to a brief exile in a nearby city while the troops heal their wounds and regain their strength. Eventually, the displaced monkeys reclaim their ancestral homeland. Quick! Somebody cue up "Hakuna Matata," because as with all of Disneynature's G-rated offerings, there's a whole lotta mild monkey business aimed at young viewers here. These playful primates are irrepressibly social. And when they can't find their own kind to play with, well, mongooses, dogs and bears will do, too. And when the monkeys forage for food among human habitats, their cute "thieving" is played strictly for laughs. (But I can't help but think that the people of Sri Lanka view these intrepid, highly anthropomorphized interlopers much less sympathetically than will American youngsters.) When the monkeys aren't looking for food, they're trying to keep from becoming a meal themselves, evading leopards and monitor lizards. Parents should know that one unsuspecting primate gets taken by surprise by a seven-foot monitor, and we see the poor creature's lifeless body getting dragged into the undergrowth. And there's another death in one of two clashes between the tribes, with the macaques all looking "mournfully" upon the lifeless body of their fallen "friend." (These brief nods to the reality of life in the jungle aren't too graphic or lingering. And the same applies to shots of the monkeys' anatomy, by the way). Along the way, in its own odd, monkey-minded way, Monkey Kingdom demonstrates the virtue and stability of an intact family—and with nary a word about evolution, too. When she temporarily becomes a "single mother," Maya has a hard time protecting Kip and finding food for both of them. But when Kumar returns and is ultimately embraced by the tribe's aging leadership, it means greater security for Maya and Kip as well. Though the movie's talking about animals, not people, you walk out of the theater pondering the fact that vulnerable young 'uns do better when mom and dad are both present to protect and provide.Positive ElementsSpiritual ContentSexual ContentViolent ContentCrude or Profane LanguageDrug and Alcohol ContentOther Negative ElementsConclusionPro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

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