Monkey Kingdom ‘worth your dollars’

USI Shield Staff

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Monkey Kingdom is the newest film by Disneynature, an offshoot of the mouse-obsessed film conglomerate.

The films produced by Disneynature operate under a simple premise: Disney pays documentarians to spend several months filming wildlife in far-flung locales, they then bring back the footage to the civilized world and pay an editor to cobble together some sort of narrative for the cuter animals of the film.

So, really, the film is nothing more than an incredibly high-definition version of any episode of Animal Planet’s Meerkat Manor. Excepting the fact that during the first week of release Disney donates one dollar from each ticket sold for a Disneynature film towards a cause relevant to the wildlife in each film.

With Monkey Kingdom, Disney donated a dollar per ticket to a wildlife conservation fund dedicated to protecting the lands inhabited by macaque monkeys in the forests of Sri Lanka.

100% of the profits from every ticket sold for Paul Blartt: Mall Cop 2 are directly deposited into a Scrooge McDuck-style vault filled with nothing but gold dubloons, cocaine and bad film scripts. Adam Sandler and Kevin James hold the only keys to this vault, with Rob Schneider being allowed to look inside for ten minutes on his birthday.

This professionally-produced film playfully stiches together footage of cute animals prancing about nature for an hour and a half, accompanied by snarky yet family friendly commentary by comedic genius Tina Fey.

This film promotes conservation of wildlife to children, shows wildlife many people do not see outside of zoos and investigates the surprisingly dense caste system established by these tiny monkeys.

A crew of professionals risked life and limb for 30 weeks to film this documentary.

Monkey Kingdom made $4 million opening weekend, currently sitting at $10 million gross.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 was shot in 32 days, has been critically panned (including 4% on RottenTomatoes.com) and managed to earn $60 million in the box office.

I’m not saying the mere existence of PBMC2 is enough to invoke a crisis of faith, but it’s a pretty large stepping stone.

If you want to enjoy yourself, if you want your children to enjoy a film, go see Monkey Kingdom. Put your dollars towards a movie that actually tries to achieve something. A movie that has an actual plot. A movie that has genuine emotion on screen.

I’d rather watch a monkey fail at flirting with another monkey than watch Kevin James live out a masturbatory fantasy that Paul Blart is going to be a character people remember in 10 years.

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