Making the Grades
Cartoonist Stu Miley (Brendan Fraser) finally gets his big break when the Comedy Channel decides to launch a series featuring his character Monkeybone. But before the celebrations really get underway, Stu and his girlfriend Julie (Bridget Fonda) find themselves in a car accident. A huge balloon version of Monkeybone suddenly inflates protecting Julie, but Stu isn't so lucky, and ends up in a coma.
While Julie and Stu's sister Kimmy's (Megan Mullally) struggle over pulling the plug on his life support, Stu exists only in a strange dream world inhabited by an assortment of bizarre creatures and a few other lost souls who, like himself, are on the brink of death. Monkeybone, now an animated entity of his own, is trapped with him. Desperate to escape this prison of his mind, Stu needs to secure an exit pass from "Death" (Whoopi Goldberg), the judge who ultimately will decide his fate. Unable to get one legitimately, Stu steals a pass, only to have Monkeybone swipe it. With this ticket the sexually obsessed cartoon character gets sent back to inhabit Stu's body, leaving everyone confused as to who the real Stu is.
Considering the number of children in the theater when I screened this film, I can only assume the cute little monkey distracted many parents who missed the movie's rating advisory. Full of sexual innuendo, and many frightening and bizarre visual effects, your youngsters may find themselves having nightmares just like the characters in this movie who succumbed to a gas laced with a psychological drug spewed from flatulent toy monkeys.
Directed by Henry Selick, this film is a darker incarnation of the style presented in his other creations James And The Giant Peach and Nightmare Before Christmas. Selick's work also gives nods to grade school sexual fantasies, bestiality, and violent images including a corpse that pulls organs out of its abdomen and uses them as weapons against a pursuing attacker. Meanwhile, those with religious views may be offended by the God-less world of death.
Our advice: Don't monkey around with this one.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Monkeybone.
If your children see this movie, help them to understand some of the images they have been subjected to. Children will likely need reassurances about dying, death, and illness. They may be frightened by the corpse that comes to life, and many of the other weird fantasy characters. Also, the depiction of a grade school boy being sexually aroused, and sexual comments between humans, will likely generate questions or concerns for young viewers.