My Gym Partner's a Monkey
By Larisa Wiseman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Cartoon for tweens is silly but means well.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The main character, Adam, struggles to do the right thing – such as protect an endangered panda – even if it means his animal classmates will gang up on him. Also, when Adam devises a strategy for his football team to win against formidable opponents, he shows how even the smallest animal (an armadillo) can be a valuable asset to the team.
Violence & Scariness
The main character gets pelted with dodgeballs. As with most cartoon violence, the effects are short-lived; the character being clobbered gets a fat lip and black eye for a moment, but appears fine a few seconds later.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sexual content, but the monkey character does have a fascination with his own butt.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show, while occasionally a little bit crude, is basically harmless. Jake the monkey seems to be very proud of his own butt and even makes photocopies of it (some may find this funny, while others may find it offensive). Also, the animals in Adam's class gang up on him and pelt him with gym balls, which momentarily gives him a fat lip and black eye.
Where to Watch
Based on 8 parent reviews
20 out of 10 stars
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Useless and annoying
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What's the Story?
This lively cartoon follows 12-year-old Adam Lyon as he adjusts to his new school. Thanks to a clerical error (his last name was spelled \"Lion\"), Adam gets transferred to Charles Darwin Middle School, where all the students and staff are zoo animals. Schoolwork alone is challenging enough, but now Adam has to worry about fitting in with several other species -- and not becoming lunch for some of the larger ones! Luckily, he befriends a spider monkey named Jake who helps him navigate the vine-laden halls -- for better or worse.
Is It Any Good?
It's difficult to tell what age group the show's producers were aiming at -- the animation style and slapstick by themselves would seem to appeal mainly to grade-schoolers, while the jokes and life lessons are definitely aimed at the tween set. The sly humor may even give some adults the occasional laugh-out-loud moment.
Overall, MY GYM PARTNER'S A MONKEY is commendable for its effort to include a subtle message in each episode (such as sticking up for your friends, learning responsibility, winning a game through teamwork). Younger viewers (ages 8-10) will probably find Jake's sometimes-annoying goofiness amusing, and will definitely find the story lines entertaining.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Adam makes the best of challenging situations because he uses his smarts and knows right from wrong. What kinds of things does he do to set a good example? Another topic of discussion could be Jake's behavior and how he causes trouble by goofing off. What sorts of things does Jake do that are irresponsible? Does he redeem himself in the end by doing something good?
- Premiere date: December 26, 2005
- Cast: Cree Summer, Nika Futterman, Tom Kenny
- Network: Cartoon Network
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Friendship, Wild Animals
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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