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Monkey Kingdom Blu-ray Review

Monkey Kingdom Blu-ray

“Monkey Kingdom” is another rewarding Disneynature documentary.

“Monkey Kingdom” (the latest in the Disneynature documentary series) focuses on the hierarchy of Macaque monkeys in the Sri Lanka jungle. More specifically, the movie centers around the eventful life of a “low class” female Macaque (affectionately known as Maya). As the documentary follows Maya, we learn about the social ladder of Macaque monkeys, her tight knit group (led by Raja), food hunts, quarrels with a rival group of Macaques, families, and Maya’s lover (Kumar) and her eventual baby son (Kip). Note: The film is superbly narrated by Tina Fey. I dig the fact that she was humorous without ever resorting to “Saturday Night Live” level shenanigans. She took the gig seriously and gave a proper narration.

While some folks may criticize the Disneynature documentaries for being a bit watered down, you have to consider the fact that these are intended to be family friendly nature documentaries. Sure, certain elements such as the pop songs (The Monkees? Seriously?) will make you want to shake your head, but those moments are easy to overlook amidst the incredible footage and the heartfelt story that has been constructed from the countless hours of material. On top of all of that, the Disneynature documentaries are certainly not always rosy. There are several very real DARK moments in “Monkey Kingdom” that fully illustrate the dangers and tragedies of the natural world.

Going back to the footage, there are so many jaw-dropping moments captured on film here. From the monkeys in the city to the hilarious sequence with Kumar trying to win Maya over, the documentary is nothing if not fascinating.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The transfer is breathtaking, but I expect nothing less from a Disneynature production. The underwater monkey footage is particularly amazing.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The narration, music, and nature sounds are all sharp.

Extras:
* DVD copy and Digital HD copy.
* Disney trailers.
* Jacquie Lee’s music video for “It’s Our World.”
* A special thank you from Disneynature.
* “Disneynature Monkey Kingdom: The Conservation Story”- A featurette about conservation efforts in South Asia.
* “On The Set Of Monkey Kingdom With Jane Goodall and Wolfgang Dittus.”- A behind-the-scenes featurette with Primatologist Wolfgang Dittus and the legendary Jane Goodall.
* ‘Tales From The Kingdom”- An in-depth 12 minute making of featurette about the 3 year production of this film. Easily the best extra on this disc.

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September 5, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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