Life is an adventure for a young monkey and her son, living among ancient ruins in the jungle. But when her family is forced from their home, she must lead them to safety amidst strange new creatures and surroundings.
A nature documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins found deep in the storied jungles of Sri Lanka.Written by
This documentary is mostly filmed in the sacred city of Pollonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. It is open to the public and admission is free. The iconic buildings that can be seen in this documentary are named Kiri Vehera, Menik Vehera, and Rankoth Vehera (seen on the blu ray/DVD cover art). See more »
At 26:29, the film shows a waterfalls which is actually Jog Falls in Karnataka, India . This is located about 1500 kilometers away from Sri Lanka in a different country. See more »
"Monkey Kingdom" is a wildlife documentary done in the trademarked Disney style - that is, to say, with lots of family-friendly positiveness and unyielding good cheer.
The movie takes us deep into the jungles of Sri Lanka, where a hierarchical society of toque macaque monkeys make their home in the shadow of a long-abandoned ancient city. The main focus is on one female monkey "named" Maya, a low-born member of the community who is consigned to a lifetime of serving those born into the higher strata (the caste system here makes India look like a model of egalitarianism and social mobility in comparison).
"Monkey Kingdom" is obviously aimed at a younger audience, which explains, but doesn't quite excuse, its tendency to talk down to its audience, speaking of the animals' thoughts and feelings in the most blatantly anthropomorphic of terms. It's probably not helped by the jejune Mark Linfield narration (spoken by Tina Fey), which can't resist interjecting corny asides at every opportunity. And a lot of it sure feels staged, especially a trip to a local city and a carefully choreographed raid on a birthday party (how DO they get their cameras in all those different places? Stick around for the closing credits to get an inkling of how it's done).
On the plus side, the high-definition photography is drop-dead gorgeous, and the glimpses the movie provides into monkey sociology - not too far removed from human sociology, I must confess - is often fascinating to observe. Though, I must admit, I frequently found myself wishing the cameras would turn away from the monkeys to explore the nearby ruins - and the history behind them - instead.
14 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this