Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Gibby Movie Poster Image
Wholesome but uninspired monkey tale.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 86 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Healing from grief takes time, understanding, help from others, and finding new purpose. "Life doesn't stop" when you lose a loved one; you must deal with tragedy, then move forward. "Competition isn't only about winning; it's about doing your best." On the negative side, the very mean-spirited villain who endangered the beloved pet's life is given a reprieve from punishment because, as the heroine says, "The team needs you." For this movie, that means "winning" outweighs values such as honesty, empathy, and fairness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Young heroine is recovering from death of her mom. As the story unfolds she proves to be resilient, loving, responsible, and forgiving. Single dad is understanding, dependable, caring, and unselfish. Central "mean girl" is relentlessly mean-spirited, jealous, and manipulative; her pals participate in the bullying. They suffer no consequences for their behavior. Ethnic diversity throughout.


Frightened mom hits capuchin monkey with plastic bat; Gibby is momentarily dazed but recovers. Mild suspense when the monkey is missing. Bullying.


Figaro's Pizza, Diablo Gymnastics, Cal-Stars Gymnastics.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Dad has a glass of wine with dinner.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gibby is a live-action story with lots of "monkey business." Front and center is a capuchin monkey, whose cute antics and human-like behavior help tell the otherwise conventional tale of a teen who is slowly making her way back to normalcy after the death of her mom. A sweet flirtation unfolds, adding warmth to the events. Several sequences that deal with the aftermath of tragedy faced together by a grieving daughter and her dad are included; however, with the monkey at hand and the mean girls played as exaggerated, one-dimensional bullies, the tone is never truly somber. A few suspenseful moments occur when the monkey's life is threatened due to the sneaky machinations of the chief villain. Still, it's clear from the start that the film will be happily resolved. Fine for tweens and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydaniel g. January 24, 2017
Adult Written byAntely A. October 8, 2016


Watchmen need to understand that Gibby is a genuine to biography with stacks of "stupidity." Front and center is a capuchin monkey, whose beguiling sh... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byaalmur25 August 20, 2020

all about Gibby

i think it is a good movie i like .
Teen, 17 years old Written byWaskind47 October 5, 2016


A youthful young lady, Katie, can not snap out of her dejection subsequent to losing her mom. Katie has lost enthusiasm for school, her companions, and aerobati... Continue reading

What's the story?

Katie Thompson (an earnest Shelby Lyon) has not fully recovered from the death of her beloved mom in GIBBY. She's withdrawn from the world in which she thrived before: school, friends, competitive gymnastics. Her caring dad (Sean Patrick Flanery) is worried as he continues to encourage her. Making matters worse, Katie is continually bothered by Alicia (Ysa Penarejo), a jealous mean girl who, along with her heartless friends, bullies the young teen at every opportunity. Fate steps in when Katie's science teacher has to find a summer home for her pet capuchin monkey, Gibby (played by Crystal the Monkey). Katie is finally motivated to go after something she wants, and it's Gibby she wants to monkey-sit for. Her responsibility for Gibby turns out to be exactly what the doctor ordered -- especially, since Tommy (Peyton Meyer in a solid performance) finds this the perfect time to follow through on his feelings for Katie. With only a few comic mishaps -- Gibby can't wait to get her hands on the makings of a birthday cake in Katie's impeccable kitchen -- and the increasingly self-centered machinations of Alicia, it's a summer of renewal for Katie. With Gibby's help and Tommy's support, Katie is finally able to engage in life again, not forgetting her mom but understanding that moving forward after loss is a necessary part of growing up.

Is it any good?

Kids may respond to the irrepressible, funny monkey and the plight of a likable teen recovering from the death of her mom, despite a production that is both amateurish and predictable. With mostly one-dimensional characters and expected outcomes, the only real surprise comes at the end of Gibby when (spoiler alert) the malicious, unfeeling mean girl gets away with her behavior and appears to be rewarded for it. Other than that, messages are positive if simplistic. Still there are enough laughs and heartfelt moments to make it mildly entertaining for middle grades and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullies as they're portrayed in Gibby. What consequences does Alicia face as a result of her behavior? Do you agree or disagree with Katie's final decision? Do you think Alicia learned anything or took responsibility for her actions? What, if anything, did Alicia's friends take away from the story?

  • Studying one of nature's creatures helps make us more sensitive to and aware of the world around us. Did this film motivate you to find out more about capuchin monkeys? Their origins? Their family lives? How "nearly human" are they?

  • Many animal rights organizations are opposed to keeping wild animals as pets, whether or not they're captured or born in captivity. What do you think are some of the risks and/or difficulties a pet or its owner might face? Where would you go to find answers about this issue?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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