aka LE CHATEAU DES SINGES
Movie Review by Amy Castle
Starring (voices of): John Hurt, Michael York, Michael Gambon, Rik Mayall
Director: Jean Francois Laguionie
A MONKEY?S TALE is the story of two tribes of monkeys the Woonko and the Lannko, separated years ago by a major disaster and now live apart in fear of one another. Ignorance and superstition are inbred in the generations of monkeys, and the two tribes live in contempt, fear and hate.
A curious young monkey named Kom, from the Woonko tribe who inhabit the treetops, becomes curious to know what lies beneath the trees. An adventure goes terribly wrong when he accidentally plunges to almost certain death to the woods below. However, falling luckily into the path of a kind Lannko King, Kom?s life is saved. He is taken to the King?s court and examined as an example of the Woonko tribe. Kom is soon accepted by most of the tribe, especially by the young maid monkey, Gina, who falls for the rebellious stranger. One member of the Laanko?s is not so accepting of Kom – the evil Sebastian, the King?s Chancellor who longs to be King – and it is down to Kom and Gina to reveal his sinister plot?
Steve Walsh?s animation is a fairly fun-filled musical adventure, however it?s formulaic storyline suffers as it cannot match the superior quality of any Disney production. In comparison to the new Disney picture “Tigger” which will be showing in theaters around the same time, “A Monkey?s Tale” is not as beautifully drawn, the music not as well composed, and the story does not evoke as many laughs or tears. Furthermore, the story is rather complicated with the feud between the two tribes not cleary explained. Without catchy music or stunning animation, this poses a problem for its intended viewers who are not old enough to understand a complicated plotline.
Nevertheless, with many established actors from the British camp supplying the voices – John Hurt, Michael York, Michael Gambon, Rik Mayall and Diana Quick (the Canadian actor Matt Hill provides the voice of Kom) – together with the theme tune “We Are One” performed by Westlife, this is sure to be a hit amongst children during their Easter and/or Summer holidays.