Do you love movies about real, live animals? Then get ready for Monkey Kingdom, the new movie from Disney! Monkey Kingdom tells the story of Maya, a toque monkey who just became a new mother. Maya is considered low-born in her tribe, but when a tribe of neighboring monkeys pushes them out of their home, she proves that she will do everything she can to make sure her son Kip has a better life.
Monkey Kingdom is a documentary(true story) about real monkeys, and it took over three years to make! The movie is filmed in the jungles of Sri Lanka, among the ancient ruins of a temple. The director of the movie, Mark Linfield, says that he first discovered the site for the movie nineteen years ago. He had always hoped to go back to Sri Lanka and film a big budget movie there, and Disney gave him his chance.
So how do you film a movie about the real life of monkeys? First of all, you have to get there. The film crew had to carry all the gear they needed deep into the jungle, where they would live near the monkeys. Linfield says that one of the challenges of making the movie was that the crew had to be watching the monkeys all the time, just in case something happened. He says, “…with monkeys, at any moment they can just do something incredible, and being prepared for that is really mentally exhausting.”
Linfield also asked primatologists (people who study primates) to help out in the field. These primatologists are able to understand the monkeys’ calls and what they mean, and so they were able to explain the monkeys’ behavior to the film crew. This helped the film crew tell the real story of Maya, Kip, and her tribe of monkeys!
So if you’re ready for an exciting, real-life nature story, check out Monkey Kingdom, and see what happens when talented people—and monkeys!—work together.