Parents' Guide to

Monkey Up

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Predictable talking-monkey comedy has mixed messages.

Movie PG 2016 83 minutes
Monkey Up Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 5+

Monty the monkey

age 6+

Lame but the kids enjoyed it

The vilification of the mum because she's successful is terrible. Also the way the dad is presented as being as competent as one of the kids is terrible. On the upside there's a focus on family and taking care of each other. The other positive is the monkey constantly reiterating how terrible sugary caffinated are is great! Those drinks are indeed full of muck and not suitable for children.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (4):

Talking animal movies are usually pretty harmlessly formulaic, and this one is, for the most part, no exception. But Monty is a bit edgier than other talking animals, calling women "toots," making egotistical claims about his abilities as an actor (his trainer needs to remind him that he isn't a Shakespearean actor; he merely watched Shakespeare in the Park), and telling everyone what to do. He basically helps the boys in the Andrews family cheat their way to success by dictating all of Ethan's lines to him via microphone (the boy is starring in a version of Romeo and Juliet) and literally writing all of Mr. Andrews' manuscript (about a monkey, of course), which ends up earning a lucrative advance. Sophie, meanwhile, actually practices to get better at gymnastics.

And Mrs. Andrews? Well, there's the movie's biggest problem. While her husband is home napping (and somehow, ludicrously, believes he has written pages and pages about a monkey's coming-of-age story), Mrs. Andrews is off running Hartz Toys. Despite her obvious business success, she's depicted as a domestic mess, putting a carton of eggs in the oven, forgetting to pick up her daughter at gymnastics (even though she had told her husband to do that), and seeming perpetually conflicted and guilty about not being there for every little thing her kids are doing -- again, even though her husband isn't working and is in fact napping or jogging most of the time ... not to mention unknowingly allowing a monkey to babysit his children. That's not a message that may seem obvious to kids who'll be too busy laughing at monkey poop jokes, but, parents, beware: This monkey comedy has some off-putting, if subtle, sexist messages.

Movie Details

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