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Movie Review

Monkey Kingdom

Reviewed by: Gabriel Mohler

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens Adults
1 hr. 21 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
April 17, 2015 (wide—2,012 theaters)
DVD: September 15, 2015
Copyright, Disneynature click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Disneynature Copyright, Disneynature Copyright, Disneynature Copyright, Disneynature
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Disneynature

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

fall of man and our world of sin

animals in the Bible

Toque macaque (Macaca sinica) monkeys (Wikipedia)

filmed in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka (Wikipedia)

Kid Explorers™
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.


langur monkeys


monitor lizards

Featuring: Suraj Sharma … Narrator
Tina FeyNarrator
Director: Mark Linfield—“Chimpanzee” (2012), “Earth” (2009)
Producer: DisneyNature
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Distributor: DisneyNature

“Adventure is in full swing.”

If you don’t love monkeys, I can all but guarantee this film will teach you to! Narrated with perfect added drama by Tina Fey, this nature documentary proves two things. 1) Unfortunately, the fall has affected nature. Though animals don’t have morality like humans do, they still behave violently. 2) Fortunately, the fall did not remove all goodness from the world! All the world’s zones still offer breathtaking beauty. These two things make for a very uplifting message: if you’ve been greatly affected by the fall, there is still hope for a better life in this world!

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

The educational plot follows Maya, a monkey of the lowest class in her kingdom. She gets the worst food, worst treatment, and least of everything. But life gets better when she has a baby to love and be loved by. And the good will increase if the male interested in her can outsmart those in the higher class! But, one day, the monkeys are attacked by an enemy kingdom, and all must learn great skill.

The Creator is not specifically acknowledged, but neither is He by any means denied. Of course, monkeys don’t have spiritual, prayerful lives, like we should. But the principle of fighting for freedom and the pursuit of happiness can be applied to the viewers. In fact, the Bible encourages us to learn from animals. This film proves that monkeys are another creature for us to learn from!

There is no profanity or sexual content. You don’t expect strong language or inappropriate sexual content in a nature documentary, but you do expect Evolution agenda—especially in a documentary about monkeys. But I am so happy to say that this film is free of even that! I found zero references to Evolution. In one scene, the monkeys enter a village, and the humans are referred to as predators. This may be questionable, but the story is told from the monkeys” perspective. Environmentalism is not taught by the film.

There are some scenes of fighting and meanness among and within the kingdoms. There is also some peril from other animals such as monitor lizards. It’s mentioned that two monkeys die, and we see their bodies from a distance. No blood is shown. The violence is kept family-friendly.

In addition to the stunning jungle scapes, the monkeys do the most adorable things. Especially since there are no negative elements, this is refreshing to watch. It’s also often hilarious. As of today—early September, 2015—this movie comes out on DVD in a little over a week. My advice: Don’t wait for the DVD release! See it in a cinema! And bring the kids!

Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Recommended animal films:

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Movie Critics

…The cheekiest, funniest, and most purely entertaining entry in the Disneynature series. …
—Andrew Barker, Variety

…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. …
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In

…their expressive faces and Moe Howard hairdos, can switch from slapstick to pathos faster than Charlie Chaplin… [2½/4]
—Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail

…rarely has a narrator been so attuned to her subjects’ innate physical comedy as Tina Fey… you couldn’t do much better than “Monkey Kingdom” to get kids invested in learning about, and protecting, the natural world. [3/4]
—Sara Stewart, New York Post

…“Monkey Kingdom” is a simian “Cinderella”… stays in safe territory with kitschy pop songs and kid-friendly narration…
—Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

…Disneynature documentary has some awesome footage—a monkey stole my birthday cake! – but a forced narrative creeps in…
—Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian (UK)

…what is this—a nature doc or a soap opera? Well, a little of both… It’s pleasant fun, and often beautiful…
—Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

…As a fascinating and delightful wildlife documentary, “Monkey Kingdom” swings with the best of them…
—Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times

…parents are cautioned about some scary content and some liberal political undertones of class warfare within the monkey pecking order. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide

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