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Film Reviews Monkey Kingdom: Documentary captures Kip’s quest to the throne

The story involves a hierarchical society, including three senior “mean girls,” and the efforts of low-born mom, Maya, to help her irrepressible son, Kip, become a mighty king.

Disneynature 2015

2.5 out of 4 stars

Directed by
Mark Infield and Alastair Fothergill
Classification
G
Country
USA
Language
English

Disneynature's latest creature feature, set among a colony of toque macaques living around abandoned temples in Sri Lanka, involves the usual trade-off between cinematographic pizazz and cornball narration (this time from Tina Fey).

The story involves a hierarchical society, including three senior "mean girls," and the efforts of low-born mom, Maya, to help her irrepressible son, Kip, become a mighty king.

The story of the colony's exile and return feels like a dull sermon, but the animals themselves, with their expressive faces and Moe Howard hairdos, can switch from slapstick to pathos faster than Charlie Chaplin.

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Set pieces range from a scene of monkeys leaping balletically to feast on termite flies to outright horror-comedy when the troupe enters an empty house where a child's birthday party has been carefully prepared, and go full Jackson Pollock on the scene.

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