Disneynature | Release Date: April 17, 2015
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 18 Ratings
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Positive:
12
Mixed:
5
Negative:
1
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10
bizzycarlApr 28, 2015
Yikes--some of my fellow reviewers need to lighten up. This is not Citizen Kane, you pretentious 'film reviewers.' What it is, however, is an amazing family-oriented film that had my entire family pretty much transfixed from the beginning.Yikes--some of my fellow reviewers need to lighten up. This is not Citizen Kane, you pretentious 'film reviewers.' What it is, however, is an amazing family-oriented film that had my entire family pretty much transfixed from the beginning. The plot is almost too-good-to-be-true, but if it was manipulated in any way it's hard to see how. Beautifully photographed, and with a pitch-perfect performance by Tina Fey, it's kind of hard to understand why it does not have a higher Metacritic rating. Highly recommended. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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9
DonKnottsGhostMay 9, 2015
Took my kids to see this today and they loved it. Has the amazing animal footage that you would expect from a Sir David Attenborough film, but with a family-oriented theme with central "characters" as they follow the amazing monkeys' trialsTook my kids to see this today and they loved it. Has the amazing animal footage that you would expect from a Sir David Attenborough film, but with a family-oriented theme with central "characters" as they follow the amazing monkeys' trials both in and out of the jungle. A wonderful movie. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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7
wadisplaceMay 21, 2015
This movie is made for children. For parents with small children with them, it's an outstanding movie. If you are an adult, think of it as though you're first grade teacher is telling out a simple story on a 6 year old level.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
Movi3R3vi3werApr 20, 2015
I really liked last years Bears, it was a really fun movie and a big surprise as well so I was fairly excited for Monkey Kingdom. This is in fact a fun movie but isn’t a perfect movie. Monkey Kingdom has some fun characters and has a few jawI really liked last years Bears, it was a really fun movie and a big surprise as well so I was fairly excited for Monkey Kingdom. This is in fact a fun movie but isn’t a perfect movie. Monkey Kingdom has some fun characters and has a few jaw dropping gorgeous shots of the area where they live. But unlike Bears, I had a few more issues with this one. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
DRauchDoes2015Apr 19, 2015
I look forward to Earth Day every year solely on the promise that we'll receive a new film from Disneynature. These movies never make the trek outside their simple nature-doc structure and are often marred by cringe-inducing narration, yetI look forward to Earth Day every year solely on the promise that we'll receive a new film from Disneynature. These movies never make the trek outside their simple nature-doc structure and are often marred by cringe-inducing narration, yet always justify their existence with stunning photography of their subject fauna. This year, we have Monkey Kingdom, another solid addition to what I hope continues to be an annual treat for years to come.

The spotlight family of macaques range from adorable, fierce, loving, and above all, hierarchal - the thematic focus of Monkey Kingdom is Disneynature's most surprisingly politically minded (in a broad and sarcastic sense). The sheer pleasure of voyeuristically observing animal behavior as they instinctively search for food and fight amongst each other is a primal draw, an appeal that encompasses the entire sub-genre of wildlife films. No matter how many of these movies they make, the desire to observe animals we couldn't encounter anywhere other than Animal Planet is universal and inexhaustible. That being said, the end result, forged from the compiled footage of the macaques, is pretty heavy-handed and familiar and is composed with little flair or stylistic deviation

We don't expect this annual churn to innovate, and we shouldn't; part of the charm of a Disneynature film is it's traditionalism. Sure, these monkeys have been filmed with the sheen of HD vibrancy only Disney could afford to lose their investment on, but Monkey Kingdom, like its predecessors, is unwaveringly straightforward in execution. From varying veteran actor narrators, to bombastic and personality-stripped orchestration, to regrettable forays into forced humor, these films remain loyal to every characteristic of wildlife-to-celluloid flicks.

As a viewer constantly subjected to all assortment of cinematic approach, I personally find traditionalism a bit regressive and dull, to be honest. It has it's perks, safety, being one, but I'd prefer to watch something crash and burn than fizzle and grow stale over the span of 82 minutes. Often, Monkey Kingdom is watchable in spite of it's lack of distinction. That is what is so conflicting: It's a movie as generic as they come, yet what is offered for the visual feast is so magnetic that it, at times, it distracts from the stagnant direction. I think, as cruel as it may seem to ruthlessly disparage these adorable simians and the film they are headlining for reasons out of their control, to look at the film honestly, when the gloss fades and the true picture beneath the HD veneer comes to light, Monkey Kingdom is nothing more than commonplace.

The two primary issues I draw with Monkey Kingdom that restrict it's intrinsic quality from surfacing are (1) the overly-explanatory, poorly scripted narration and (2) the cliched Disney-refusal to display content they may deem too unsettling for the tykes they market to.

I place esteem in a narrator capable of conveying necessary information not explicitly discernible in the visual medium, whilst also not making their addition in a picture whose focus should be on the animals seem superfluous. The quality of Tina Fey’s voice doesn’t have the authoritative or postured delivery for this somber, informative role, though it is not her fault, just a miscasting (the only casting they needed to get right). More embarrassingly, the dialogue she is provided fluctuates between intelligent and informative, but also banal, unnecessary, and puerilely juvenile when attempting at humor. There is a scene illustrating a monkey break-in where Fey is forced to over-dub eating and grunting noises, to cringe-inducing effect. When the narration is served in spare, educational necessity, it’s golden, but the constant, needless addition of sensationalism stretches our patience thin.

When you sit down to bask in the glory known as shark week, the program is expected to be informative, yet also ripe with an expected, grisly display of primal violence associated with nature’s deadliest predator. While monkeys are hardly great whites, they both exist in the animal kingdom, a place where death looms over every facet of existence. I appreciate that Monkey Kingdom allows for SOME depictions of this age-old struggle. The inclusion of the battle-torn rival family of macaques donning their bloody scars prominently, as well as a single instance of actual death are nice reminders that there are legitimate stakes at hand, that these aren’t mere characters, but actual living creatures in constant peril. I can’t help but feel like there are some aspects of life in the family of macaques that Disney decided to avoid for the sake of palatability, but the trade-off is something I should have foreseen.

On the whole, Monkey Kingdom is a worthy family outing to the cineplex (MUCH more worthy than half of what is marketed to kids these days), but it likely won’t linger after viewing, in spite of being a pleasant enough screensaver-esque watch.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
LeZeeOct 14, 2015
Every species has their own kingdom and the ruler.

I thought it was going to set in India and a version of 'Monkey Thieves'. I don't recall it from the trailer I saw 18 moths ago. It's good, because Subcontinent does not mean India only.
Every species has their own kingdom and the ruler.

I thought it was going to set in India and a version of 'Monkey Thieves'. I don't recall it from the trailer I saw 18 moths ago. It's good, because Subcontinent does not mean India only. And I also thought it was about the commonly known in Asia, the Rhesus variety. So this story takes place in the Sri Lankan deep jungle of Polonnaruwa. About a small Toque Macaque kingdom established many generations ago in the rock castle surrounded by the ruined ancient temple.

Directed by the 'Chimpanzee' filmmakers, yet another stunningly presented primate genus creature that's specifically made for the little children like all the previous Disney Nature films. Narrated by Tina Fey, in many ways I find much better than John C. Reilly for the 'Bears'. I said that because I am an adult male and I found her voice was sexy, especially the dialogue deliverance. Something like when the film characters funnily talk (the human assumption in the human language) to each other to excite our kids and to be a family friendly film.

The story follows the young female monkey called Maya. Like the majority of the colony she's a low-born, a lower ranked member under the Raja's rule, the alpha male and three royal sisters. Just like any human character films, this too has all the varieties like romance, drama, emotions, wars, survival, a life journey to rediscover and ultimately a revenge. All the above, the rise of the young generation, taking over from once a supreme leader.

"Together, on the edge of their territory,
they wash away the city and relish the jungle around them."

Whatever we saw in the film is not what exactly happened, because we can't understand their language and behaviours. But mostly translated and re-adjusting their acts to our understandable terminology. Somewhat it worked, mainly because it rated General. But in reality, it is always a harsh and dangerous environment in the animal world. Because rules are meant to be broken and challenged if you are strong enough to take the opposition. Physical strength is the most essential in the jungle to survive.

There will be no trials for the crimes, only on-spot punishment or you can expel yourself to avoid it and flee the spot. Only the film crew knows the truth and all these I meant to be for grownups. Because the raw and uncut animal documentaries we see on television hurts us in a way, if you are a light-hearted, especially to know how the food chain works and rivalry within the same species.

As for the kids, it was a finest documentary, very inspiring and knowledgeable. I learnt that monkeys can swim, not on the water surface, but dives to the deep into the bed. So far I am thorough with Disney Nature's production and distribution filmography and now I am eagerly waiting for the release of 'Born in China'. Because I haven't seen documentary films about Pandas, so it will going to be a very exciting one for sure. And another reason to celebrate is that the 'Kung Fu Panda 3' coming out around the same time. So mark these dates and reserve the days fellows, especially for the sake of your kids.

9/10
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