I had the opportunity to see an early screening of Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom while in Los Angeles last week with Disney and Marvel. Travel and accommodations were covered, but all thoughts are my own.
I remember watching nature shows when I was younger. They were the original reality tv…and I still think that the stories that happen naturally (whether with human subjects or with our animal friends as the stars) are some of the most fascinating stories ever.
I was drawn in to the world of Disneynature after I saw my first Disneynature film years ago. I actually look forward to a new installment each year. After seeing behind-the-scenes on Disneynature’s Chimpanzee 3 years ago and talking with the filmmakers involved in the project, one of the things that interests me the most with each new Disneynature movie is seeing how a story enfolds naturally. Filmmakers observe and film the animals, often for very long periods of time, and wait for a story to stand out to them.
The story that enfolded as the Disneynature team observed a group of Macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka was heart-warming and surprising. An under-dog, Maya, rises above her place in life…and without giving away any plot spoilers, the movie has a very happy ending for her.
I found several human parallels with Maya’s story, and not just because the Macaque monkeys look so much like people. Their community has a complex class system. Everyone has their role in the community, and some monkeys definitely have it better than others, from the food they “get” to eat to where they sleep to how they and their children are treated by others in the group.
I loved the story of Maya and her fellow Macaque monkeys of Castle Rock and I highly recommend Money Kingdom as a family-friendly film for ALL AGES. Plus, seeing Monkey Kingdom with your family gives back to Conservation International and is a perfect way to kick off Earth Day 2015! (Keep reading for more details).
I love finding a rated G movie that is equally entertaining for the whole family (and it’s educational, to boot!). Plus, Tina Fey (one of my favorite actresses) is the perfect narrator. I love that she was the voice of the movie!
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. For more information about the film and the conservation program, go to www.disney.com/monkeykingdom.
Celebrate Earth Day with Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom and Give Back!
Did you know that every ticket purchased during opening week (April 17-23) benefits Conservation International? A portion of the proceeds of tickets sales during opening week will go straight to Conservation International. I loved seeing the effect that Disneynature ticket sales have had over the last several years. From trees planted to clean water projects to education and research…seeing a Disneynature film in theaters during opening week is a great way for families to celebrate Earth Day and make the earth a better place for our families.
Conservation International will support programs across Indonesia, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka, including:
- Protect monkeys and other endangered species
- Save and restore forest habitats
- Partner with and support local communities
Further activities in Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Indonesia will include researching, rescuing and rehabilitating monkeys, patrolling protected areas which serve as important habitats for monkeys and other species, planting trees and supporting community education and forest-friendly jobs. See more details on how you can help below and learn more at https://nature.disney.com/monkey-kingdom.
Be sure to print off the free activity sheets and educator and parent guides that I posted here before my trip!
Like Disneynature on Facebook: Facebook.com/Disneynature
Follow Disneynature on Twitter: Twitter.com/Disneynature
Follow Disneynature on Tumbler: https://disneynature.tumblr.com/
Follow Disneynature on Instagram: https://instagram.com/disneynature
Visit the official MONKEY KINGDOM website: https://nature.disney.com/monkey-kingdom
MONKEY KINGDOM is in theaters now!
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