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Comedy Movies - Space Chimps

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Space Chimps
Voices of Andy Samberg, Stanley Tucci, Jeff Daniels
Directed by Kirk De Micco
Fox Home Video 2008
81 minutes

Many of the 3-D animation DVDs that have come out in the last few years have proven to be as popular among young children as with their parents. In fact many adults without children will admit to watching and enjoying them. Space Chimps should turn out to be one of these.

For the interest of young children, the movie has space exploration, the discovery of a new planet filled with strange colorful creatures and of course talking monkeys! For adults, Space Chimps has plenty of references to old series like Star Trek and a mention of “Chimps gone wild”. There is also a group of NASA scientists who are under the control of a senator who is using the space program to further glorify himself (insert political satire here).

The DVD tells the story of Ham the third, grandson of the first space monkey. Ham is now the cannonball man in a circus and you can see he’s a bit of a rebel. When NASA loses one of its space probes in a wormhole near the moon, they decide to send space monkeys to test if humans could withstand a trip through it. The senator in charge of the project decides to recruit Ham to be part of the mission so that the glory of his grandfather may bring attention to the space program.

Throughout the rest of the story, we follow Ham and his two astronaut monkey friends in their adventure on a foreign planet, where they will try to save themselves, and maybe discover their full potential in the process. In order to recover their ship and come back to earth, they will first have to defeat Lord Zartog. This Zartog controls the planet by using the rover that was part of the lost space probe.

Space Chimp uses chimp puns like “to be chimp martialled” or “chimp my ride” a little too much, but it is something to be expected of such a movie. The Indian scientist, the overweight cynical one and the woman scientist made me laugh the most. They fully represent the nerdy rocket scientist type that we can imagine.

Technically, the 3-D animations are really pushing the envelope. The textures and reflections on the alien creatures are nicely done and the hairy chimps are rendered to perfection, hair by hair. If you’re looking for a fun little story to occupy a weekend afternoon, Space Chimps may prove to be the right movie for you.

Vincent Lemire

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