Space Chimps Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Deep space travel isn’t monkey business unless it involves a handful of chimps commissioned to retrieve a lost probe. Strapped into a powerful rocket are Titan (voice by Patrick Warburton), Luna (voice by Cheryl Hines) and Ham III (voice by Andy Samberg), the grandson of an illustrious early interplanetary animal explorer.
Hurtling through a wormhole on the trail of the probe, the threesome crash on an alien planet best described as the land of mutant Teletubbies. There, the inhabitants’ leader, Zartog (voice by Jeff Daniels) has taken control of the lost space vehicle and is using it as a throne of intimidation.
Back on earth, mission control loses contact with the orbiting primates once they enter the wormhole. Despite the pleas of the classic scientific nerds (voices by Omid Abtahi, Patrick Bean and Jane Lynch) who are in charge of the launch, a boneheaded Senator (voice by Stanley Tucci) is ready to pull the plug and leave the capsule careening through the galaxy.
Unable to reestablish communications with the command center, the stranded chimp-o-nauts don’t monkey around. Confronting Zartog, they attempt to retake the probe and retrofit it for a bumpy ride home. However, a budding romance between Luna and Ham, and the increasingly hostile intentions of Zartog threaten to leave the hairy space travelers marooned on the strange orb forever.
Staying true to his name, the protagonist frequently “hams” it up as he shifts his confidence into overdrive. Later he (and young viewers) learns a few lessons about teamwork and humility. The intervening comedic moments may not be entertaining enough for adults to go ape over but there are some fun moments for baby chimps that, thankfully, don’t all involve bathroom humor—although a couple of questionable moments include a veiled sexual remark and some terms of Deity.
Probably more appropriate for the 12 and under crowd, Space Chimps tells a reasonably engaging story in spite of a few social and ethnic stereotypes (like bespectacled nerds and white, middle-aged politicians). Luckily for little ones, the banana-eating heroes come up with the right stuff.Starring Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines, Patrick Warburton, Kristin Chenoweth.. Theatrical release July 17, 2008. Updated April 1, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Space Chimps rated G? Space Chimps is rated G by the MPAA
Despite their professional careers in the space industry, these chimps resort to name calling, veiled sexual comments, occasional bathroom humor and the use of terms of Deity. One character accuses an alien of being drunk. Moments of peril include characters being chased through a cave (one is eaten), attacked by giant aliens and shot at with barbs (one character is hit). Characters also engage in other risky behavior. Some aliens are frozen in a lava-like liquid. Animated characters include stereotypical depictions.
Page last updated April 1, 2009
Space Chimps Parents' Guide
Courage is an important characteristic for the men and women who face the unknown and travel into space. What other careers would demand this same quality? What situations may require a show of bravery?
What stereotypical portrayals do we see in this film?
What challenges does Ham III experience while trying to live up to his grandfather’s heritage?
Dogs, monkeys and mice have all played a vital role in space exploration. Their involvement in the program allowed scientists to prepare for human flight. For information on these animal astronauts, visit NASA’s historical page at http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/features/F_Animals_in_Space_9-12.html.
The most recent home video release of Space Chimps movie is November 24, 2008. Here are some details…
Release Date: 25 November 2008
The Space Chimps blast onto DVD on a flipper disc, which offers the movie in both widescreen and full screen presentations. On board are a casting session featurette, a still gallery and some TV spots. Audio tracks are available in 5.1 Dolby Digital (English) and Dolby Surround (Spanish and French), with subtitles in English and Spanish.
Space Chimps is also being released on Blu-ray. This format is authored in BD-Java with AVC (MPEG 4) compression on a single-layer 25 GB disc. This version provides the same bonus materials as the DVD edition, plus a Trivia Blast Off track sporting on-screen facts about outer space, space travel and the US Space Program. The movie is presented in widescreen with 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Audio (English) and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks (Spanish and French). Subtitles are available in English and Spanish.
Related home video titles:
Chimps also star in films about a hockey-playing monkey in MVP: Most Valuable Primate, and a skateboarding monkey in MVP2: Most Vertical Primate. The classic children’s character, Curious George, comes to the big screen with his friend the Man in The Yellow Hat in the animated film named after the character.