A Monkey's Tale
|A Monkey's Tale|
|Directed by||Jean-François Laguionie|
|Written by||Norman Hudis
|Music by||Alexandre Desplat|
|Release dates||2 June 1999|
|Running time||75 minutes|
A Monkey's Tale (French: Le Château des singes; literally "The Castle of Monkeys") is a feature-length French animated film directed by Jean-François Laguionie. It was released in 1999, and won the Award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 5th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival. It has never been released on American video or DVD, although it has been available in the UK.
Kom is a member of the Woonkos, a tribe of monkeys who live in a canopy and they live in obsessive fear of falling into a nearby pit, which is inhabited by other monkeys they believe to be demons. Kom refuses to believe these superstitions and claims bravery and is rude to the elder of the Woonkos. However, on the way home, he accidentally falls from the trees into the land below. When there, he meets the Lankoo tribe and finds they are in fact very similar to his own tribe. He befriends Gina, a young maid and Master Martin, the librarian and they help teach him to behave like a Lankoo. The Lankoo king is impressed by his actions, although Gina doesn't like it when he tries too hard for popularity, ad briefly forgets her. However, there is also evil afoot. The chancellor Sebastian, the governess and their dim-witted side-kick, Gerard the Gormless, are up to evil plans: they will find a way for the King to die and they are poisoning his already sick daughter, Princess Ida. The King, along with most of his army, die drowning while attempting to reach the "promised land" on the other side of the poisonous lake when it was frozen. Sebastian believes his plan has worked, but the governess (who was giving the princess the poison) is given it herself by Gina and the one remaining soldier, however it is believed she is tough enough not to die, but will remain a "sleeping ugly". The film ends with Sebastian and Gerard in cages, Princess Ida as the new queen and Kom and Gina returning to the land of the Woonkos, while it is clear that the two tribes will unite. It features the song "We Are One" by Westlife.
- Kom- the protagonist, a rebellious, cheeky, but brave young Wonkoo monkey who helps uncover the evil plot. Voiced by Matt Hill.
- Gina- the maid Lankoo, who has realised something is up for a while, but has not been taken seriously. Voiced by Sally Anne Marsh.
- Master Martin- the kindly, wise, but wimpy old scholar, who is a good friend to Kom and Gina, but does not believe in the conspiracy. Voiced by Michael Gambon.
- Sebastian- The main antagonist of the film, he is the chancellor and is feared by many people, although he is trusted by them too. Only the workers building the castle are suspicious of him. Voiced by John Hurt.
- Governess- The princess Ida's malicious governess, who helps Sebastian, is poisioning the princess and realises Gina is suspicious of her. Voiced by Shirley Anne Field.
- Gerard the Gormless- A villainous character, although he is just a sidekick, and does not appear to have many villainous qualities. He is one of the comic relief characters. Voiced by Rik Mayall.
- The King- A kindly, but foolish old man, who lets fantasy rule over fact. Dies by drowning in ice. Voiced by Michael York.
- Princess Ida- The King's sickly daughter who is being poisoned by the governess. By the end of the film, because of the help of Kom and Gina, she has recovered and becomes queen. She is also the one who realises they must give up the idea about the "better world" on the other side, and that the two tribes need to reunite. Voiced by Diana Quick.
- Lionel- A Lankoo soldier, one of the few to trust Kom right from the start. Voiced by William Vanderpuye.
- Gavin- Kom's more sensible older bother. Voiced by Paul Dobson.
- Kom's mum- A kindly woman who loves both her sons. Voiced by Janyse Jaud.
- Korcnak- The pompous, bossy and ignorant elder of the Wonkoos, who warns them about the Lankoos. His views are revealed to be very incorrect. Voiced by French Tickner.
- Lankoo workers- They are surprised about Kom. They provide us with much of the gossip and information that is going on. They are also comic relief characters.
- Narrator- He tells the story right at the start.
- 5. Kecskeméti Animációs Filmfesztivál 2. Nemzetközi Animációs Játékfilm Fesztivál. Kecskeméti Animáció Film Fesztivál. 1999.