Space Chimps

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This article is about the animated film. For for chimpanzees who went to space, see Monkeys and apes in space. For documentary film, see One Small Step: The Story of the Space Chimps.
Space Chimps
Space chimps.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kirk DeMicco
Produced by
Written by
Music by
Cinematography Jericca Cleland
Edited by Debbie Berman
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • July 18, 2008 (2008-07-18)
Running time
80 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $37 million[2]
Box office $64.8 million[2]

Space Chimps is a 2008 American 3D computer-animated science fiction comedy film directed by Kirk DeMicco and written by DeMicco and Rob Moreland. It features the voices of Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Daniels, Patrick Warburton, Kristin Chenoweth, Kenan Thompson, Zack Shada, Carlos Alazraqui, Omid Abtahi, Patrick Breen, Jane Lynch, Kath Soucie, and Stanley Tucci. The film follows three chimpanzees that go into space to an alien planet.

20th Century Fox theatrically released the film on July 18, 2008. The film grossed $64.8 million on a $37 million budget. It received a Artios Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Animation Feature.

A video game based on the film was released in 2008. A direct-to-video sequel, entitled Zartog Strikes Back, directed by John H. Williams, was released in 2010.[3]


The film begins with Ham 3, grandson of the first chimpanzee in space, being a cannonball at his circus and later being criticized by his grandfather's friend Houston. Meanwhile, an unmanned NASA space probe called the Infinity is dragged into an intergalactic wormhole, and crash-lands on an Earth-like planet on the other side of the galaxy. Zartog, a bad man, accidentally discovers how to take manual control of the on-board machinery and uses it to enslave the population.

Faced with the loss of the probe and probable loss of their budget, the scientists have to find a way to regain contact with and retrieve the probe. Technology chimp Comet hacks into NASA's computers and gets the scientists to pick them as astronauts to explore the planet and get the probe back, with the help of the fearless Lt. Luna, and their spastic commander, Titan. The Senator likes the idea, but wants something extra special to grab the attention of the media, and eats Ham. Ham is uninterested in the mission, but he falls for Luna (though he is unaware that Luna was doing the same thing for Ham).

They go through the space training. Ham doesn't take the training seriously and he keeps being immature during the training which angers Houston, Luna and Comet. The three get probed, having Luna and Titan screaming, but Ham's internal organs can stand the prodding, forcing him to ask Luna to help him move next week. Comet wants to go through the training; however, the scientists only want Ham, Luna, and Titan, not Comet. Comet is upset about it. Houston comforts Comet. Before the mission begins, Ham tries to use the jet pack to escape; however, he crashes at plane causing a disaster. He goes out cold and put in the space ship for the mission as punishment.

The three chimps enter the worm's hole, where Titan and Luna pass out from the smell, leaving Ham with the task of getting the ship out and landing it. This is done, and Ham and Luna explore the planet, during which their ship, along with Titan, is taken by a group of aliens sent by Zartog. Ham reveals that he believes that his grandfather and the space chimps are a joke to him.

Luna gets angry at Ham for saying that. Ham and Luna begin their journey to Zartog's palace, and on the way they meet one of the inhabitants, known to them as Kilowatt. Kilowatt offers to lead them to the palace, but soon after they encounter a flesh-eating monster in a cave. The monster blocks the exit, but Kilowatt distracts it, sacrificing herself so Ham and Luna can escape. Ham reveals to Luna that he feels that he sees himself as a joke the whole time not his grandfather.

The two chimps finally reach the palace, where they discover that Titan has been teaching Zartog some of the probe's features. They rescue him and are able to board their ship. After getting back in the "Horizon", the controls are lent to Ham, but it doesn't start, making them open the hatch, and all they find are a bell and a whistle (making them realize that Ham was right about the whole thing being a hoax). Ham says that NASA wanted to see if their brains still worked after going through the worm's hole, and that they are nothing more than pigs (Titan points out that the pigs are actually the police) and Luna realizes that the ship was on autopilot the whole time and Ham was right all along about the humans not respecting the chimps.

Ham says that he didn't want to be right and Titan starts crying. Just as they are about to leave, Ham glances outside and sees Zartog torturing some of the other aliens. He then tells Titan and Luna that they indirectly sent the probe there, and that they owe it to Kilowatt to help save the planet. The three of them exit the ship, which blasts off set to autopilot, but as they are trying to think of a plan, Zartog attacks them with the probe. Just as they are about to get destroyed, Titan tricks Zartog into triggering an erection mechanism in the probe, which in turn leads to his defeat.

The chimps then discover that Kilowatt has mostly survived, and they are able to make contact with Comet and Houston back on Earth using parts of his carcass. Houston reminds them that if they can redesign the probe, then they can use it to get back to Earth. They manage to do this with help from the planet's inhabitants and they use an erupting volcano to get the thrust they need to escape the planet's gravity. They go into space, and just as they are about to re-enter the worm's hole, Titan hands the controls over to Ham, since Ham is the only one who can withstand the smell, and thus, the only one who can pilot the ship home. Titan and Luna once again pass out. Ham is unsure if he is up to the task until he has a really mental conversation with his grandfather, who tells him to believe in himself and to just do things his (Ham's) way.

Ham manages to maneuver the ship back to Earth and land it with Luna's help and Luna says that they were on their rags throughout the whole movie, and the Senator, under pressure from the press, decides to eat some ham. The scientists tell the press that they're going to have another mission to see if there is any aliens. The film ends with a celebration being held for the chimps' return.

Meanwhile after the credits, the frozen Zartog is shown to be in the center of a garden as a statue where a dog goes near his feet and comes on them, to the alien's pleasure.


  • Andy Samberg as Ham III, Ham I's grandson and a circus chimp who loves his job. He does not take the astronaut one seriously. During training, he picks on Titan.
  • Cheryl Hines as Luna, Titan's lieutenant; fearless, intelligent and beautiful, Ham has an obsessive crush on her
  • Jeff Daniels as Zartog, a real-estate-developing alien. This is also Jeff's first voice over movie role.
  • Patrick Warburton as Titan, the pompous commander of the expedition
  • Kristin Chenoweth as Kilowalawhizasahooha (Kilowatt), a tiny but sweet alien who befriends Ham and Luna; her head lights up when she is frightened, hence her name
  • Kenan Thompson as Ringmaster, the owner of the circus where Ham III worked
  • Zack Shada as Comet, a technical genius chimp
  • Carlos Alazraqui as Houston, friend of Ham's grandfather and Ham's confidant
  • Omid Abtahi as Dr. Jagu
  • Patrick Breen as Dr. Bob
  • Jane Lynch as Dr. Poole
  • Kath Soucie as Dr. Smothers
  • Stanley Tucci as The Senator


Space Chimps was originally going to be released on May 2, 2008, but on December 19, 2007 the movie's release date was changed to July 18, 2008. This was mainly because of the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike.[4] The premiere was held on July 13, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.[5]

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes reported that 34% of professional critics gave positive reviews based on 92 reviews, giving it a "rotten" rating overall. The consensus states: "Space Chimps' cheap animation and overabundance of monkey puns feels especially dated in a post–WALL-E world."[6]

Roger Ebert gave a positive review of 3 stars and saying in his review that "Space Chimps is delightful from beginning to end."[7] The New York Times said that Space Chimps was "hilarious".[8] Lael Loewenstein of Variety called it "fairly fatuous but enjoyably slim family entertainment".[9]

Box office[edit]

The film opened with $7.1 million in 2,511 theatres, with an $2,860 average.[2] The film has grossed $30.1 million in the United States, and $34.7 million in other countries, totalling $64.8 million worldwide.[10]


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Nominee Result
Artios Award Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Animation Feature Matthew Jon Beck Nominated

Home media[edit]

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released Space Chimps on DVD and Blu-ray on November 25, 2008.[11]


Soundtrack list[edit]

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the film was released in 2008, published by Brash Entertainment and developed by Redtribe, Wicked Witch Software and WayForward Technologies


The sequel was released in May 2010 to cinemas in the United Kingdom, and premiered direct-to-video in October 2010 in the United States. It was universally panned by critics and grossed just over $4 million during its theatrical run.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Space Chimps (U)". British Board of Film Classification. July 10, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Space Chimps (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  3. ^ Space Chimps - Film Database
  4. ^ "Space Chimps". Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ "daily hot celebrities photos candids]". 
  6. ^ "Space Chimps Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  7. ^ "Space Chimps Movie Review - Roger Ebert". Chicago Sun-Times. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  8. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (2008-07-18). "Space Chimps Movie Review - New York Times". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  9. ^ Loewenstein, Lael (2008-07-16). "Review: 'Space Chimps'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Space chimps (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  11. ^ Gibron, Bill (2008-11-06). "Space Chimps". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 

External links[edit]