Space Chimps

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Space Chimps Movie Poster Image
Silly space adventure has peril, some scares.
  • G
  • 2008
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 15 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

A cocky, self-absorbed irresponsible person can become upstanding and generous. People, and chimps, can rise to the occasion. Science nerds can be cool. Being extra smart can help in difficult situations. The chimps use teamwork to find solutions to various problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ham is a brassy, risk-taking showboat with little respect for authority or rules. He gains a sense of responsibility for others after an alien saves him. An alien who has been scared her entire life learns to control her fear. The commanding officer is an overbearing blowhard but reveals himself to be a decent guy.

Violence & Scariness

An unmanned spacecraft looking for life crashes through a wormhole onto Malgor, the far-off planet with intelligent life in the form of odd-looking aliens. A nasty alien named Zartog learns to use the craft and its powers to dominate his people cruelly. He dips fellow citizens in a freezing solution called Freznard. A large volcano is about to blow throughout the action. Flesh-eating plants and animals threaten the chimps and others. Characters fall from high places. One of Ham's irresponsible stunts ends up knocking down four large rockets. Large birds catapult sharp spikes at people. A character appears to be dead but isn't. A monster appears to eat a character.

Sexy Stuff

Astronaut chimp Ham is attracted to Luna, his female co-astronaut, and flirts obnoxiously with her. Even though she can't stand him, he asks, "What should we name our kids?"



Made-up alien words are used in place of actual swear words.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Space Chimps is an animated chimp comedy that's straightforward and age-appropriate for the young kids it's targeted at. There's some mild peril on an alien planet (an alien tyrant terrorizes his fearful followers by threatening to permanently freeze them). There are creepy-looking aliens that may scare kids, and there's constant peril. A character appears to be dead but isn't. A monster appears to eat a character. Astronaut chimp Ham is attracted to Luna, his female co-astronaut, and flirts obnoxiously with her. Even though she can't stand him, he asks, "What should we name our kids?" Positive messages about teamwork and courage.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 1-year-old Written bylshweky July 30, 2009
Way too frenetic, too loud, too much action and craziness for young kids. Characters are often rude, obnoxious. And finally, most of it is way over the heads... Continue reading
Parent of a 3 and 7-year-old Written bybaxcat May 11, 2009

Too Scary for Preschoolers

The movie had a lot of scary looking alien monsters with big teeth that gave my 4 year old night mares. My 7 year old daughter enjoyed the movie & thou... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 17, 2021

fine too silly

Hay hmm it’s a good movie. funny. Is freak a bad word?
Kid, 10 years old April 21, 2017

Is it a good or bad movie, I'm not sure!

To be exactly honest I’m not sure if I should label it good or bad. Well, I think kids 5-7 will enjoy this film, tweens not so much. At first I was going to cal... Continue reading

What's the story?

The nation's space program is in jeopardy after an expensive rover unexpectedly goes off course through a wormhole too dangerous for astronauts to navigate. Mission control concocts a last-ditch plan to send chimps on the retrieval mission. Since the first chimp in space, Ham, is long dead, the powers that be select his grandson, wisecracking circus performer Ham III (voiced by Andy Samberg) to join trained chimp crew members Titan (Patrick Warburton) and Luna (Cheryl Hines). Things get a bit tricky when they eventually find the rover on a pastel-colored planet where a tyrant named Zartog (Jeff Daniels) is using it to enslave his fellow aliens.

Is it any good?

The combination of space exploration and talking animals should make this appealing for the elementary school set. Not every animated movie has to be a sophisticated masterpiece, and sometimes a goofball chimp and his buddies are good for laughs. With Pixar creating thoughtful, memorable animated films such as WALL-E that even childless adults love, it's hard for a regular old cartoon comedy to compete. But once your initial surprise at the Care Bears-level animation wears off, you may find that it's easy to enjoy SPACE CHIMPS' silly jokes. The references to The Right Stuff, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Apollo 13 are obvious but still clever.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Ham doesn't take anything seriously at first. Is it difficult to live up to accomplished relatives?

  • How does teamwork save the day? What else do the chimps learn in this movie?

  • Families can also discuss whether the high standards set by Pixar's Oscar-winning movies have made other animated films less enjoyable. Do you expect more from animated movies now? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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