Monkey Kingdom

Disneynature presents a true-life G-rated documentary that follows a female monkey (actually a toque macaque) and her newborn baby as they struggle to survive in ancient ruins found deep in the jungles of Sri Lanka. This is the perfect opportunity for a child to see how the "pecking order" works in the animal world. From that, eventually they will see how it applies to humans, not only on the playground, but in the grown-up world as well.

We start with an inspiring report on the many contributions the eight Disneynature features have made throughout the world; a percentage of the money from ticket sales is earmarked for ecological and environ- mental concerns. They have, so far, contributed millions of dollars to various causes. After that report, we switch to "The Monkees," a late '60s pop group which accompanies the title sequence. Other artists will follow....

Warmly narrated by Tina Fey, we watch:
  • Maya, along with her newborn son Kip, as she maneuvers her way from a low ranking semi-outcast, to become the mate of an alpha male which allows her to eat fruit from the top branches of the tree.
  • Raja, the alpha male of the tribe, is catered to and groomed by an adoring entourage. (A macaque's hair is right out of The Three Stooges!)
  • The Sisterhood is comprised of three sisters who, along with their offspring, enjoy the benefits of Raja's status.
  • Kumar is the macho newcomer who wants to challenge Raja.
  • Lex is the horribly disfigured villain of the piece. He's the leader of the tribe of challengers who attack and drive our friends from their home.
We giggle at the scenes in the springtime when all the creatures become "twitterpated" (it IS Disney) and the shots of Maya swimming underwater with Kip clinging to her are astounding. The mama sloth bear toting her cubs on her back (riding "bear-back?) is fun and the leopard leaping up into the tree after the monkeys is chilling. We enjoy watching the youngsters tease the mongoose and the squirrels, the landscapes are breathtaking and the cinematography is the best.

Stay for the closing credits because then you will meet the production crew, hear of their challenges and discover how long it took them to make this marvelous production. You'll be astonished!
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Here is a preview (check out that hair):
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