A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's easier to get through tough times when everyone works together. It's important to acknowledge feelings in order to work through them.
Positive Role Models
The main character and his parents stand up for what they believe in, despite pushback from their community. Everyone in the family shows love and concern for one another.
Violence & Scariness
Two boys engage in a physical scuffle; a monkey bites one of the boys. The movie deals with loss/grief; (spoiler alert) the main character's younger sister dies early in the movie.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults kiss and embrace each other affectionately.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character prepares an unidentified drug to give to a monkey to make it sleep during a long plane ride. Obscure verbal reference to adults drinking beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Monky may look like a lighthearted comedy, but it has some very intense dramatic themes that might not be right for all kids. Though much of the plot centers on silly hi-jinks as a family attempts to live in harmony with a monkey, the beginning and end deal with loss (a family member's death) and grieving. Other than that, there's not much iffy stuff: Parents give each other a hug and kiss, boys roll around on the ground in a brief fight; a monkey bites a boy, pees in the sink, and sits on a toilet; and a character prepares some kind of sleeping potion to give the monkey on a flight. The film is available in Swedish or dubbed into Italian. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This seemingly lighthearted comedy about living with a monkey is framed by intense grief and pain, which makes for an odd combination. Take away the themes of death and interspecies reincarnation, and Monky goes for some standard laughs about the perils of living with an undomesticated wild animal. There are the requisite bathroom jokes, the curious and astonished neighbors, and a lot of throwing food. Kids will likely find these parts hilarious. The best character may be the grandmother, who -- despite being set up as the foil who interferes with the family's plans -- consistently shows genuine concern for her family and ends up being perhaps the most logical of the bunch.
And, as sad as it is, the death of the little sister -- and the family's reaction to it -- could actually be something interesting to explore. But it feels as though the movie can't make up its mind. Is it a slapstick comedy for kids, or is it a deeper exploration about the effects of losing a child and how to move through grief? Some may feel uncomfortable about the way Monky mixes the two.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.