Set in the storied jungles of South Asia, “Monkey Kingdom” showcases the adventures of new mom Maya, a clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey who’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world.
Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in “Monkey Kingdom,” Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya’s whole family retreats, and she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to uncover untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings. Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future.
Featuring a rich variety of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, “Monkey Kingdom” is narrated by Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), directed by Mark Linfield (“Chimpanzee,” “Earth”) and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Chimpanzee,” “Bears”). With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Shrek” movies)
I had the pleasure of attending an advanced screening of Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom, while in LA last week. Already a fan of Disneynature films, I was pretty excited.
Monkey Kingdom was filmed as a documentary. The Disneynature crew spent over 1,000 hours over a span of two years gathering the footage. I was told that the film makers worked hard to not interact with the monkeys, to film them honestly without interruption, or guidance, even when events look otherwise on screen (hello birthday cake!).
The story, narrated perfectly by Tina Fey is truly captivating. So captivating that half way through I was so sucked in, that it felt much more movie like, than documentary. Even though I was still learning something new about these amazing, and intelligent animals, my feelings were invested in Maya and her family, and I found myself routing for them while awaiting the outcome of several aspects of the story. Filled with a heartwarming story, plenty of laugh-out-loud scenes, even a little suspense – Monkey Kingdom has all the makings of a good movie. I enjoyed it so much that I’m looking forward to seeing again, with my daughter. Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom is rated “G”, and is a fun movie for the whole family.
I highly recommend see Monkey Kingdom during opening week (April 17-23)! Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats. Learn more in my previous Monkey Kingdom blog post.
MONKEY KINGDOM (Rated G, in theaters 4/17/15)
FTC Disclosure: Travel, lodging, and meals were provided in exchanged for #MonkeyKingdom coverage. I was not asked or influenced to write a positive blog post. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own.