Space Chimps
G
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +1/2

Voices of Andy Stamberg, Patrick Warburton, Jeff Daniels. Action/animation. Written by Kirk de Micco, Rob Morehead. Directed by Kirk de Micco.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Three NASA chimps are sent to a galaxy far, far away where they find themselves on a strange, uncharted planet, having to save its inhabitants from a tyrannical leader.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Due to weather and freeway construction problems (something we never have a shortage of here in Kansas) I was unable to attend the screening of Space Chimps. By the time I went, I had heard nothing but negative about this kids animated film. Can you imagine how thrilled I was to be going to a movie aimed at little kids, one everyone said was mediocre at best? But the film critic trains himself to leave prejudice outside the theater door (there is always hope). Fortunately, the late afternoon matinee was barren; therefore I didnt have to explain to any worrisome mothers why this middle-aged man was attending a computer generated-animated film aimed at the littlest of family members.

Disappointed that I would not get a vocal reaction from little kids, I had to imagine how they would react to the proceedings. My conclusion is that undiscerning kindergartners and their slightly older siblings may enjoy the animated antics of talking monkeys. As for accompanying adults, its a watch-watcher.

Kirk De Micco was also responsible for the family pleaser Racing Stripes a few years back. Though most of my colleagues squirmed in their seats over that one, I found it to be a delightful kids film that parents could enjoy, mainly because of undiscerning early graders fascinated by the animated antics of talking barnyard animals. That film was made for them. So is Space Chimps.

Its really not awful. But because of its out-of-date references, which seem to be there for no other reason than to amuse the moviemakers, and jokes and puns that needed a little more refining during the writing process, it will be quickly forgotten. Theres little originality and with Pixars Wall-E in the very next megaplex theater to show the brilliance of the art form, Space Chimps is simply lost in space.

DVD Alternative: In the Shadow of the Moon. Okay, this is not one for Space Chimps intended audience. But for older kids and adults, In the Shadow of the Moon is amazing. This incisive documentary features the accounts of the surviving members of the Apollo teams who walked on the moon, giving a fresh perspective of those achievements, and allowing for the spiritual implications that affected the men on those explorations. At one point, we hear Charles Duke from the Apollo 9 mission give his testimony. I couldnt believe my ears; a man was declaring his faith in Jesus Christ and there were no snickers from audience members. Indeed, my fellow moviegoers were moved, realizing that there is something far bigger than man, or even space itself. In the Shadow of the Moon engages, uplifts and unites.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Summary
Crude Language: Some veiled sexual comments meant to amuse adults; a couple of standard kid-pleasing poop jokes; some sarcasm and a great deal of bad attitude.
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Three or four variations of oh my God seemed out of place in a G-rated kids film.
Violence: Cartoonish peril as our primate principals must contend with a space villain and his cohorts.
Sexual Intercourse: One phrase in particular stood out as inappropriate: It's not the size of the beast, it's what you do with it. There were other sexual quips that may go over the heads of little ones.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Brief, veiled sexual quips
Drug Abuse: A couple of jokes about drinking.
Other: None
Running Time: 85 minutes
Intended Audience: Preschoolers and their captive families

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