Monkey Kingdom (2015)

Monkey Kingdom

Monkey Kingdom Review

Monkey Kingdom is a 2015 Disneynature documentary movie which is their eighth in the series and it follows the family of toque macaques and focuses on motherhood. It is quite a good movie that has its stunning moments.

This is a very good film when documentaries are concerned. But from the storytelling point of view, it surely is flawed. Let me explain. It is definitely Disnified which is evident from the beginning. There is no real danger and everything is sugar-coated and super unrealistic. And the story while sweet and kid-friendly is maybe too childish and also very typical for this kind of film. However, it is always engaging and the narration is really good. Tina Fey did a surprisingly good job as a narrator and lends some really humorous lines and moments, albeit too family-friendly.

But the reason to see this movie, besides the arresting visuals and more on that later, is definitely its emphasis on motherhood that gives us some powerful sequences of true beauty and utter delight. The moments between the mother and baby macaque is absolutely mesmerizing and it is just so beautiful to behold that can induce even crying. It shows that animals like us are real parents and that love is universal and I really appreciated that message.

And the whole movie is just so uplifting and really makes you feel special and somehow different after you see it. It explored its intriguing subject matter in a good way and you learn a lot about this species. And you get a glance at other animals as well. But the highlights are the scenes with monkeys grooming and playing around. Those are just so sweet and wonderful. Also the sequence when they have an insect feast is just mesmerizing to behold. And the scenes where they are on ruins reminded me so much of ‘The Jungle Book‘ as it is very similar in setting.

Now, the photography is absolutely stunning! I saw it on TV and the picture is just so magnificent that it is unbelievable how good it is. The scenery here is so incredible from the forests to the trees to the animals with great close-ups. It is so bright and shiny and just wonderful to watch. They captured the monkeys wonderfully with cameras and there are some incredibly well shot sequences that just lift Monkey Kingdom to whole new magical levels. There really are moments of magic here. The score is also really beautiful to listen and the editing is mostly good as is the message and narration for the most part.

It does have its storytelling problems, but it is still one of the finest Disneynature films I’ve seen thus far. It is definitely better than ‘Chimpanzee‘ and it is even better than ‘Bears‘ which was really sweet as well. They are really good at these high-quality, incredibly well filmed documentaries and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next. This surely is a wonderful time for the whole family, especially great for the younger ones.

Monkey Kingdom has its problems mainly in the storytelling department with an overly cute approach, but the photography is excellent with absolutely beautiful to behold scenery, the score is really well done, the narration by Tina Fey is solid and there are some moments here that are even magical how sweet they are with the theme of motherhood wonderfully explored. And it explores its subject matter in a good way and it is overall a really endearing and fun flick to watch with a lot of heartwarming and playful moments.

My Rating – 4

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