Monkey Kingdom Movie Review

Adorable monkeys plus a heartwarming underdog story is the recipe for success with Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom. The documentary about a tribe of monkeys in South Asia tells the story of Maya, a scrappy female monkey at the bottom of the family hierarchy. Because of her low position in the class system, she last in line for everything — including food. But when trouble comes to the tribe it is Maya who rises to lead the others and save her young son, earning the respect of her tribe and a seat on a higher branch. 

Monkey Kingdom Maya Kip
Like past Disneynature films, the cinematography in Monkey Kingdom is breathtaking. From closeup shots of the monkey that don’t seem possible to wide shots of the jungle, everything about this movie is beautiful. In my favorite scene thousands of termites take flight like a swarm of butterflies fluttering around the monkeys. 

Nattered by Tina Fey, there is also humor laced throughout the film. Through the use of music and narration there are quite a few chuckles and many “awes” mixed with moments of sorrow and triumph.

Dianeynature Monkey Kingdom
Monkey Kingdom is a wonderful family movie, and my seven year old was mesmerized learning about the monkeys. (She also loved Bears and Chimpanzee.) On the other hand, my cartoon-loving three year old was a bit board. I think five is a great age to introduce kids to Disneynature movies.

Parent tip — There are two scenes in the movie where tragedy befalls members of the monkey tribe, but it is tastefully done. While there were questions about what happened it was not jarring to my girls. 


Protect Monkey Kingdom

When you see Monkey Kingdom opening week (April 17 – 23) Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats. So take the family to see Monkey Kingdom this weekend, everyone will enjoy the movie, learn more about monkeys and support conservation efforts throughout Indonesia, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.

Monkey Kingdom Baby

About Monkey Kingdom

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), Disneynature’s eighth True Life Adventure—the follow-up to 2014’s “Bears”—swings into theaters April 17, 2015. 

Monkey Kingdom Movie Poster

Monkey Kingdom Educational Activities

Disneynature films are an excellent way to teach kids about nature. To compliment the movie, download the free Monkey Kingdom education activity book filled with more information about monkeys and paper crafts. (My daughter loves the “conversation catcher.”) 

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