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Hey, hey, we're the monkeys

a review of Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom

I haven't done a movie review in a while, but then, I haven't had a whole lot of time to go see any movies.
I managed to squeak out 89 minutes to go see Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
It's definitely aimed at young children: the kind that will ooh and ahh and scream, "Look!! A monkey!!" at their closest loved one. Luckily, I saw this on a Monday evening and there were only two other people in the theater with me, neither of which were a small child. 
I'm always in awe of nature films, I think because I can't even imagine making a movie where your stars don't know you're there or don't understand why you're there if they do happen to notice you. I mean, documentaries about people are one thing: there's a story that kind of known at the beginning, it's a specific angle where you start. In animal movies though, what is going to  happen is a complete mystery. How do you get cameras in there without scaring off your subject? How do you get the shots? It boggles my mind.
And this is a truly beautiful movie. The shots, the setting, the backgrounds are beautiful. Even the storyline (and yes, there is a story) is endearing. 
The film follows one female Macaque monkey at the bottom of the totem pole, so to speak. She mates with an outsider and alpha male of their troop drives him off, but things happen and she winds up closer to the top by the end of the movie.
It's a Disney movie, what did you expect? There's always an underdog, a fairy tale ending, and all that. The movie are meant to sugar coat the world to make kids think that the world is all happiness and desserts. The old fairy tales told to children before bed were gruesome, full of death and unhappy endings. The original Little Mermaid story ended with the prince marrying someone else and she was turned into seafoam. While she was human, walking felt like she was standing on knives. In versions of Cinderella, the stepsisters each cut off a piece of their foot to try and fit into the slipper.
Wow, I'm feeling cynical tonight.
All cynicism aside, it's a good movie for the under 10 crowd, and anyone who loves animals. It's a bit cheesy in the story-telling, but still enjoyable for anyone else.
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