My Gym Partner's a Monkey
|My Gym Partner's a Monkey|
|Created by||Julie McNally-Cahill
|Theme music composer||Tom Sheppard
|Opening theme||"My Gym Partner's a Monkey"|
|Composer(s)||Tom Sheppard (original songs)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Julie McNally-Cahill
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Original release||December 26, 2005– November 27, 2008|
My Gym Partner's a Monkey is an American animated television series that was created by Tim Cahill and Julie McNally-Cahill and produced by Cartoon Network Studios. It premiered on Cartoon Network on December 26, 2005. The story revolves around Adam Lyon, a human who, after a clerical error listed his surname as "Lion," is forced to transfer to Charles Darwin Middle School, a school for local anthropomorphic zoo animals, where he is partnered with Jake Spidermonkey in gym, with whom he quickly becomes best friends.
The series aired 96 episodes, one special and a feature film during its run. The series ended its 4-season run on November 27, 2008. On April 27, 2012, this series returned to Cartoon Network to show reruns on the revived block, Cartoon Planet. Two DVD volumes have been released in 2007 and 2008. The first season was recently put on Netflix, along with other Cartoon Network shows, where it is in its original widescreen format, while the second season is cropped to full screen format.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey was a ratings success for Cartoon Network, gaining millions of viewers. The series was met with generally positive reviews from critics. It was nominated for four Annie Awards and won an Emmy Award.
A boy named Adam is transferred to a middle school established for anthropomorphic zoo animals due to a spelling error making his surname "Lion". There, he is befriended by a mischievous, eccentric spider monkey named Jake, hence the title of the series, along with a sassy toucan named Lupe, a giraffe named Ingrid, who is infatuated with Adam, the intelligent, wise gorilla Windsor, and Slips the easygoing python. In spite of his usual kindness and fondness for his friends, Adam despises being banished to Charles Darwin Middle School because of something beyond his control and longs for his previous humanized middle school.
Usually, the episodes are focused on Adam's experiences at Charles Darwin Middle School due to his inability to fit in with his anthropomorphic schoolmates, the challenges that he must face (such as the presumed stupidity of his peers, being schooled in subjects of use only to animals, the introductions of new students of odd, dangerous, or fictional species to the school or the misadventures that Adam stumbles into with them, or the common affects of adolescence as they are experienced by zoo animals).
- Adam Lyon (voiced by Nika Futterman) is a 12-year-old human boy who was transferred from Chester Arthur Middle School to Charles Darwin Middle School (CDMS) by an accidental misspelling of his last name from "Lyon" to "Lion". As the series title suggests, in gym class, Adam was paired up with Jake Spidermonkey and the two become best friends. Jake's plans have them getting involved in situations which end up with him and Adam in trouble. Adam, being physically weak, is often preyed upon by the other animal students. His personality is downtrodden, due to being in an animal school and he also has a reputation of complaining about his daily experiences at the school. Adam can be arrogant and strong-willed at times. Outside of school, he is often seen with a human girl named Kerry, with whom he has a secret crush. His efforts to impress her end up with Adam's embarrassment. Towards the middle of the series, Adam seems to be on the borderline of sanity. Throughout the series, he is a big fan of his favorite superhero, Captain Clowny, despite the time he didn't get a Captain Clowny action figure for his birthday after making a wish on a star that he would. He eagerly hopes to attend a clown-based summer day-camp and his college of choice is Clown College, as seen on his resume in the episode "My Feral Lyon".
- Jacob P. "Jake" Spidermonkey (voiced by Tom Kenny), as his last name implies, is a spider monkey who quickly became Adam's best friend. He is often very possessive of Adam and hates not having him around regularly. Jake is emotional and goofy, who takes to heart some of Adam's comments and actions, leading to some overly-dramatic and exaggerated reactions. He can be lazy and selfish, but at the same time, he is also fairly sensible. A running gag in the series is his obsession with the well-being of his butt, which he made grow so large that it blocked out the sun in one episode. Along with the majority of the other animal students, Jake lives close enough to the school that he can see it from where he lives. Jake is often depicted as unintelligent. Jake has an older brother who looks like a taller, more stretched-out version of Jake.
- Windsor Gorilla (voiced by Rick Gomez) is a highly intelligent Western lowland gorilla, who serves as the anti-bully at the school and often gives confusing wisdom to people. He speaks in a soft-spoken and nearly monotonous manner, often stringing together technical words as a matter of his normal speech. When he talks, only the side of his mouth closest to the camera moves and the rest of his mouth remains closed. He is usually seen with Slips and is generally shown to be the leader of the two. Windsor tends to relate with Adam's troubles better than the rest of the school, having a good grasp of both human and animal worlds, although he occasionally gives in to his animal instincts as well. Windsor has an older brother in high school who plays for his school's football team.
- Slips Python (voiced by Rick Gomez) is an easy-going, street-talking green tree python. He is an underachiever and excessive daydreamer whose gullibility allows him to believe anything he hears, which makes him a constant source of misinformation. As a snake, he has no limbs, yet wears a T-shirt (why is never explained). Slips has an older sister in high school who, despite being a girl, looks like an older version of Slips with a deep voice. He is usually seen with his best friend Windsor.
- Guadalupe "Lupe" Toucan (voiced by Grey DeLisle) is a female Keel-billed toucan, who is loud-mouthed, acerbic, dominating and materialistic, although she considers herself to be mild-tempered and low maintenance. Her best friend is Ingrid, who she dominates more than anyone else. Lupe loves popular culture, such as celebrities and fashion, though not being fond of clumsy toucan celebrity Kiki BonBeaky (despite this, she said later on that she was one of Kiki's biggest fans). She does not like milk. She speaks with a somewhat exaggerated, but fake, Chicano dialect and is known to have some issues involving what she sees as her overly large beak. Lupe has an elder sister who is in high school. She has a boyfriend named Corey Vulture, who is seen in the episode "Lupe in Love".
- Ingrid Giraffe (voiced by Grey DeLisle) is a female Masai giraffe and the tallest student in CDMS. Her towering height only adds to her feelings of insecurity, as she tries desperately to blend into the background. She is often seen with her neck going up then heading down on the screen in an exaggerated hunch, since it is very long and is often seen from the neck down. Lupe, Ingrid's best friend, often hushes her when she gives advice and basically runs the whole "friendship". Ingrid has a crush on Adam Lyon, of which he is mostly unaware, or is actively frightened by her advances. She is also considered to be the weakest in the group.
- Principal Poncherello Pegone Pixiefrog (voiced by Maurice LaMarche), as his last name implies, is a Pixie Frog and the CDMS principal. As a strict, but fair, administrator, he runs a tight ship, which is somewhat remarkable, considering he could easily be squashed underfoot by most of his students and the rest of the faculty; for instance, when he was forced to watch the cheerleading practice, he ended up being crushed under LaTanya Hippo's foot with the weight of the entire team. Principal Pixiefrog always dodges lawsuits, is terrified of lawyers and is scared when anyone in the school could get sued (he is shown to have Liticaphobia). He talks similarly to Windsor, only moving part of his mouth, but his voice is much louder. Adam always asks him if anything bothers him, this frog principal will always help him to see. It is also revealed that Principal Pixiefrog has a mother, who bothers him.
- Mrs. Geraldine Sharon Warthog (voiced by Grey DeLisle) is Principal Pixiefrog's assistant; she does all of the filing and is a warthog. Ironically, she never works. Completely fed up with her job and her employer, she always has an air of complete exasperation about her. Her voice is identical to that of Nurse Gazelle.
- Virgil "Bull" Sharkowski (voiced by Phil LaMarr) is a bull shark who enjoys beating up smaller kids and stealing their lunches. His intimidating presence, however, is offset by a high-pitched, squeaky voice that sometimes lessens the impact of his verbal threats. Despite being a bully, he also has a soft humane side that he does not usually realize he is revealing. Due to Bull being a water creature, he wears water-filled headphones over his gills to help him breathe; when he talks, he will stop as his gills suck up the water with a loud noise. Bull has a big sister, Euripedes, who graduated CDMS prior to the beginning of the show and left a lasting impression in the school, a fact that has caused Bull to develop an inferiority complex at the mere mention of her name (despite the fact she is not only half Bull's size, but bullies via feminine taunts instead of physical abuse).
- Henry Armadillo (voiced by Tom Kenny) is an armadillo who speaks in a thick southern drawl.
- Coach Tiffany Gills (voiced by Brian Doyle-Murray) is a female goldfish. Coach Gills is the school's tiny, deep-voiced PE and health teacher who instructs her students from inside her fishbowl. She often pesters Adam when he does not perform as well as his fellow students. In "Le Switcheroo", she and Adam trade roles for a day. After experiencing some trouble, they later reconciled. She has mentioned several times in the series that she has no friends. She once had a crush on Mr. Cheetah, an athletic individual who plans to succeed her and Principal Pixiefrog in their careers. Ironically, though she is a fish, she apparently cannot swim.
- Miss Chameleon (voiced by Nika Futterman) is a female chameleon who is the drama instructor and art teacher. As expected from a drama teacher, she is a drama queen, who speaks overly melodramatically and will often have stereotypical horror music playing when on-scene. She can blend into her surroundings and turn invisible, although in reality, that is a popular misconception about chameleons. She holds class while perched on a twig located under a warming lamp.
- Dickie Sugarjumper (voiced by Tom Kenny) is an Australian-American sugar glider. He made a successful career as a writer for the school's greatest class clowns. His catch phrase is "Hello! How's your trousers?"
- Endugu Elephant (voiced by Phil LaMarr) is a Jamaican-American African elephant.
- Kerry (voiced by Cree Summer) An African-American girl attending Chester Arthur Middle School who Adam has a secret crush on.
After a pilot airing on December 26, 2005, the series began its regular run with a two-episode premiere on Cartoon Network's "Fridays" block on February 24, 2006. The My Gym Partner's a Monkey-based television film The Big Field Trip aired on January 14, 2007, as part of season 3. A special episode, "That Darn Platypus", aired on Cartoon Network on May 18, 2007, as part of Cartoon Network Invaded, a mini-series that aired 5 specials of different series from May 4 to May 28, 2007. The series ended its 4 season-run on November 27, 2008, with the episode "A Thanksgiving Carol". Reruns of the series are shown on the revived block Cartoon Planet since April 27, 2012. In Latin America currently airs on Tooncast since 2013.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey was a ratings success for Cartoon Network. On the series' Cartoon Network "Fridays" block two-episode premiere at 9:00 and 9:30 P.M. EST, the first episode was seen by 1.2 million and the second by 1.3 million children ages 2–11, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research. The 9:30 P.M. telecast ranked as the #1 telecast on all television, broadcast and cable, with both boys 6–11 and boys 2–11 in the time period. The series went on top the Fridays block ratings, gaining millions of viewers.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey received generally positive reviews from critics. William Barker of Web Wombat gave the King of the Jungle DVD a positive review, awarding it with a score of 70%, saying: "With an original – dare I say unique? – premise, My Gym Partner's a Monkey makes for a somewhat refreshing change from super heroes and mutants, and the cut-out animation style is captivating, though far from novel. It's not the most impressive cartoon show I've ever seen, but it's quite cute and fairly amusing – even for the older primates among us." Larisa Wiseman of Common Sense Media awarded the series three out of five stars, saying: "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. Younger viewers will probably find Jake's sometimes-annoying goofiness amusing, and will definitely find the story lines entertaining."
Awards and nominations
|2006||Annie Awards||Writing in an Animated Television Production||Tom Sheppard
for "Nice Moustache"
|Production Design in an Animated Television Production||Dan Krall
for "Grub Drive"
|2007||Emmy Awards||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Narina Sokolova
for The Big Field Trip
|Annie Awards||Writing in an Animated Television Production||Tom Sheppard
for "The Butt of Jake"
|Best Animation Production Artist||Jim Worthy
for "Meet the Spidermonkeys"
Two DVD volumes of the series have been released in Region 4. The first, My Gym Partner's a Monkey – King of the Jungle (featuring 6 episodes, a total of 150 minutes), was released on April 4, 2007, and the second, My Gym Partner's a Monkey – Monkey Business (featuring 7 episodes, a total of 154 minutes), on January 23, 2008. Both are available for purchase on Amazon.com. There have been no further volumes released. All the seasons are available for purchase on the iTunes Store.
- Yesterday's Funny Monkey
- Basic Jake
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<ref>tag; name "TVGuide" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- Zedd (March 3, 2006). "My Gym Partner's a Monkey Delivers Ratings Gains for Cartoon Network". ToonZone. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey Seasons at the iTunes Store: 1, 2, 3, 4. Retrieved June 12, 2012
- "Cartoon Network Scares Up Halloween Programming". Animation World Network. October 27, 2005. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- "Cartoon Network Brings Back 'Powerpuff Girls,' 'Dexter's Laboratory' And More With 'Cartoon Planet' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post (AOL). March 29, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- Zedd (March 18, 2006). "CN's My Gym Partner's a Monkey Tops Fridays Ratings in Third Week; Toonami Ratings". ToonZone. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- Barker, William. "My Gym Partner's a Monkey". Web Wombat. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- Wiseman, Larisa. "My Gym Partner's a Monkey". Common Sense Media. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- "Legacy: 34th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2006)". Annie Awards. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- "Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Announces Emmy® Award Winners in Costumes for a Variety or Music Program and Individual Achievement in Animation". Emmy Awards. August 21, 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- "Legacy: 35th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2007)". Annie Awards. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- "My Gym Partner's a Monkey – King of the Jungle (Volume 01)". Madman Entertainment (Funtastic Ltd.). Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "My Gym Partner's a Monkey – Monkey Business (Volume 02)". Madman Entertainment (Funtastic Ltd.). Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "My Gym Partner's a Monkey – King of the Jungle – Season 1 – Episodes 1–6". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "My Gym Partner's a Monkey – Monkey Business – Season 1 – Episodes 7–13". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
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