Some random thoughts about this monkey business. Billy saves Mac and Mac saves Billy. A true friendship that any child would love. The training chimp is full of mischief and simple passion. Billy tries to fit in to his school surroundings but is bullied. What better way for a child to deal with his hurt than to rise above the immediate and dream about the race to space and get involved in a project where bullies are not- even though Billy is not allowed in at first. We see bully adults too. Along the way Billy helps his headstrong father get clued in to his new culture. His father accepts the responsibility of fatherhood when he sees his son in the arms of an American astronaut hero. I like the transition from the Volkswagon to the Corvette. The Florida Thanksgiving was sentimental as I watched this film on the other side of the planet on that holiday with a class that is to learn English. Teaching is my job. I feel less impressed with the first human astronauts when learning about the animal test subjects used to make their 'passenger ride' a common routine. Pets do teach a child responsibility and Billy matured in more ways than one. I liked his collection of baseball cards and how some inanimate objects can be a friend as well. We see how the film is active in portraying women as active in science and sports which was blossoming for them during the 60's.
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