Monkey Kingdom

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Monkey Kingdom
Monkey Kingdom poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Alastair Fothergill
  • Mark Linfield
Narrated byTina Fey
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams[1]
  • Martyn Colbeck
  • Gavin Thurston
Edited byAndy Netley
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • April 17, 2015 (2015-04-17) (United States)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$17.1 million[2]

Monkey Kingdom is a 2015 American nature documentary film directed by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill and narrated by Tina Fey. The documentary is about a family of monkeys living in ancient ruins founded in the jungles of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. The film was released by Disneynature on April 17, 2015.[3][4][5]


Maya is a toque macaque whose world is changed when her son Kip becomes part of her extended family. Maya’s family has its share of diverse personalities and she wishes her son to have the best advantages for advancing within the family's social strata. When their home is overrun by a neighboring tribe of monkeys, the family has to find a new home. Maya uses her inherent smarts to lead the family to new resources, but it develops that the entire group will have to cooperate in order to reclaim their original home, where Maya wishes to advance her son's future within the family.


Monkey Kingdom's major toque macaque characters consist of lead female Maya, her newborn son Kip, the troupe's alpha male Raja, a trio of high status females called The Sisterhood, and Kumar, a newcomer wishing entrance to the monkey tribe.[6]

The film is narrated by Tina Fey.[7]


Monkey Kingdom is the eighth film by Disneynature, the independent film label of Walt Disney Studios.[5][8] It was released in the United States on April 17[3][9] and internationally on April 23 to coincide with Earth Day. A portion of box office receipts was donated to Conservation International.[10][11]

The film is directed and produced by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, who previously co-directed Disneynature's first release, Earth (2007), as well as Chimpanzee (2012). Fothergill also co-directed African Cats (2011) and Bears (2014).[11] Dr. Wolfgang Dittus was the scientific consultant and has been studying the macaque monkeys of Sri Lanka for nearly 50 years. His and Jane Goodall’s study at Gombe are the longest running studies of wild primates. For the film, Dittus helped select the monkey characters and decipher their behavior.[12] The film was scored by British composer Harry Gregson-Williams,[1] and was shot using Sony F65 cameras.[13]


Monkey Kingdom was released on April 17, 2015.[3] The first official trailer for the film was released on April 18, 2014, featuring the song "Team" by Lorde and attached theatrically with Bears.[1][14]

Home media[edit]

Monkey Kingdom was released on Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack on September 15, 2015.[15]

Box office[edit]

In North America, it opened simultaneously with Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Unfriended on April 17, 2015, across 2,012 theaters, which is the widest release for a Disneynature film, earning $1.5 million.[16][17] Through its opening weekend it earned $4.58 million, coming at eighth place at the box office,[18] which is the lowest debut for a Disneynature film behind 2014's Bears ($4.78 million).[17]

The movie begun its international rollout on April 17 in Ecuador, the same day as the US release. The movie debuted in 6th place, earning $17,573 from 18 screens. The movie dropped in its second week to 10th place, dropping -35% and earning $11,382. In its third week, the movie rose to fifth place but dropped -77% to finish with $2,644 from 13 screens. As of June 22, 2015, the film grossed $16,272,000.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Monkey Kingdom received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 94%, based on 52 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "Monkey Kingdom's breathtaking footage of primates in the wild is likely to please animal lovers of all ages."[19] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[20] CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Monkey Kingdom an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[21]


  1. ^ a b c "Harry Gregson-Williams to Score Disneynature's 'Monkey Kingdom'". Film Music Reporter.
  2. ^ a b "Monkey Kingdom (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-01-02.
  3. ^ a b c "Focus Sets Stephen Hawking Pic 'Theory Of Everything' For November; Disneynature Dates 'Monkey Kingdom' For 2015". Deadline Hollywood. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  4. ^ Han, Angie (10 April 2014). "'Monkey Kingdom' Trailer: Disneynature Visits the Asian Jungle". /Film. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b Vento, Dana (3 December 2014). "Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  6. ^ staff. "Monkey Kingdom characters". Disneynature. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  7. ^ staff (11 March 2015). "Tina Fey: My Daughters Are 'Fully Immersed' in the Disney Lifestyle". People. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  8. ^ "A Look at Disneynature Next Film, 'Monkey Kingdom' Trailer,", April 2014.
  9. ^ staff. "Monkey Kingdom". Big Screen. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  10. ^ Taylor, Drew (2 December 2014). "Disneynature's 'Monkey Kingdom' Trailer Offers Up an Insanely Cute Adventure". Moviefone. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  11. ^ a b McDaniel, Matt (10 April 2014). "Disneynature's 'Monkey Kingdom' Trailer Is the Cutest Thing You'll See Today". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Amazing Sony F65 Footage From Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom,", August 4, 2014.
  14. ^ "Visit Monkey Kingdom with a Trailer for the Disneynature Documentary,", April 10, 2014
  15. ^
  16. ^ Pamela McClintock (April 17, 2015). "Box Office: 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' Heads for $22M; 'Furious 7' Stays No. 1". The Hollywood Reporter. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  17. ^ a b Ray Subers (April 19, 2015). "Weekend Report: 'Furious 7' Beats 'Blart,' Passes $1.1 Billion Worldwide". Box Office Mojo. ( Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  18. ^ Brent Lang (April 19, 2015). "Box Office: 'Furious 7′ Out Runs 'Paul Blart 2,' 'Unfriended'". Variety. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "Monkey Kingdom". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  20. ^ "Monkey Kingdom". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  21. ^ "CinemaScore". Retrieved April 19, 2015.

External links[edit]