So the New Year started on February 8th, but I was in the middle of Romance is in the Air: Part IV, my countdown to Valentine’s Day so I had to postpone it until today, the last day of the New Year celebration. This year is a special year because it is my zodiac animal, the year of the Monkey.
Monkeys are intelligent, wise, clever, inquisitive, flexible, quick-witted, innovative, and honest. They are also known to have a temper; along with being cunning, mischievous, and suspicious.
Monkeys can do well in any job they try due to all their positive traits. They work best with Oxen, Rabbits, and Dragons. Their enemies are Tigers or Pigs.
Some famous people born in the year of the monkey are: Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Bette Davis, Annie Oakley, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Betsy Ross.
So to celebrate the year of the Monkey I am going to do my nine favorite monkey moments from film and TV. And I decided to do only Monkeys; no gorillas, orangoutangs, chimpanzees, or baboons. This year is all about the Monkey.
9) The Jungle Book (1994)
The Jungle Book is pretty much what Disney used as their basis for the Tarzan film (both being Disney films). The Jungle Book 1994 version is not the cartoon version, this one is a live action film and the animals don’t talk (hopefully they keep that the same in the new version coming out this year). The film starts out with Mowgli’s father being a guide for some Englishmen who are patrolling India. One night Shere Khan attacks the camp as someone has broken the jungle rules, that is killed for sport instead of food. Mowgli is lost in the confusion and thought to be dead, later raised by animals. He is eventually found by his old compatriots, who attempt to be bring him back into society. He still has feelings for Kitty, a girl he played with as a child, but she is engaged to the hunter/poacher William Boone who wants to use Mowgli as a guide to Monkey City and the rumored King Louie treasure. Adventure ensues
Best Monkey Scene:Monkey Spectators
Instead of lions or dueling ex-soldiers or slaves; this gladiator match pitches treasure hunters searching for the lost Monkey City and the billions of gold, against Kaa the python. For who’s pleasure? None other than King Louie, the Orangoutang, and his subjects ,the Monkeys.
For more on The Jungle Book (1994), go to Redone Done Right
8) Toy Story 3
In Toy Story 3 many years have passed since Toy Story 2. Andy is 18 and heading off to college and doesn’t need his old toys anymore. Destined to reside in the attic until Andy has his own kids or decides to get rid of them; the toys take matters into their own hands. They escape in a donation box for a Children’s Daycare, hoping this would bring fun times and games. Woody however, is not ready to give up on Andy and gets lost trying to find his way home. Back at the daycare center, the toys discover that a stuffed bear is the “Don” of the center and relegates them to being played with toddlers instead of the older kids who care for the toys. When they try to escape, they are punished. Will the toys esacape? Will they be able to get back to Andy?
Best Monkey Scene:Death by Monkeys
This scene is in the opening dream/flashback sequence. The toys are playing a massive game of cowboys and robbers. Woody, Buzz, and Jessie have just defeated the potato pair; when Ham, as evil Dr. Porkchop, comes in: releasing a bomb of a barrel of monkeys. It’s funny, cute, and brings back a whole lot of nostalgia.
7) Dragon Ball
This is actually a anime series based on the classic novel Journey to the West, also known as Monkey, written in the 16th century by Wu Cheng’en.
Goku is a little monkey boy, (as in he only has a monkey tail). He befiends a teenage woman, Bulma, and the two set off to find the seven wishing dragon balls. He becomes a student of the turtle hermit, Kame-Sennin, later entering a huge tournament with some of the most powerful fighters in the world.
He also destroys the Red Ribbon Army single-handedly. When Goku’s best friend, Kuririn, is murdered by Piccolo, then Goku sets out to destroy him as revenge.
Best Monkey Scene: Great Ape Transformation
So as Goku is a monkey boy, when the full moon is out instead of turning into a werewolf, he becomes a giant monkey. A monkey on par with Mighty Joe Young or King Kong. He may be scary and frightening, but also pretty awesome in his menacing nature.
Aladdin is a retelling of a chinese tale in Arabian Nights or A Thousand and One Nights, tales that Scheherazade told her husband to keep herself alive each night, (for more on that go here). Disney disneyfied it into being much happier and brighter, like they do with everything.
In the Disney story, Aladdin is an orphaned boy living with his monkey friend, Abu. The two are street rats, scrounging about for food and hiding from the castle guards. Every night Aladdin goes home and dreams of being rich and living in the palace, never worrying about anything. Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine is in the palace and has to marry by her sixteenth birthday. She hates every prince that has called on her and she feels they all are after her fortune. Also in the palace lurks Jafar, the evil vizier, who wants to take the throne for himself. He also is trying to get inside the fabled Cave of Wonders to get a lamp, but only a pure-hearted, diamond in the rough can enter. These three stories intersect when Jasmine sneaks out of the palace, only to be helped by Aladdin when she gets into trouble. The two run from guards and are caught, Jasmine revealing herself and going home, while Aladdin is sent to the dungeon. Jafar disguises himself and frees Aladdin convinced he is the perfect person to enter the cave. Aladdin is and does, but Abu brings the whiole place toppling down when he tries to take something he is not supposed to touch. Aladdin gets stuck inside the Cave, but there he finds the genie of the lamp and the adventure to capture the heart of the princess is on.
Best Monkey Scene: Anything Abu
Abu is the cutest little monkey. He does have some issues as he doesn’t like to share, is greedy that he almost kills him and Aladdin, and gets jealous easily. But besides that he is kind, loyal, and all around a great little buddy to Aladdin.
5) George of the Jungle
This was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and the film that created my crush and longtime love of Brendan Fraser. He is super hunky in this film.
Ursula Stanhope from San Francisco, CA is traveling throughout Africa. Her fiancé, Lyle Van De Groot (Thomas Haden Church) is a total pompous jerk and has gone looking for her to drag her back to be immediately married, guided by two poachers. The next day when Ursula and Lyle are out, they run into a lion. Lyle takes off; tripping, falling, and knocking himself out. But Ursula doesn’t need to worry, George; a man who was lost in Africa and raised by an ape named Ape, saves her. He cares for her until they are come upon by her fiancé. When he and the poachers attack trying to “save” Ursula and capture the famed “White Ape”; George gets injured and finds himself traveling to San Francisco with Ursula. Is San Fran ready for this Ape-Man? Will his home be okay without the King of the Jungle?
Best Monkey Scene: Monkey Vs. Lion
So George is King of the Jungle, and one of his duties as King is to help his subjects in trouble. One of the baby monkeys, the runt of the litter, keeps getting picked on by all the other monkeys. He goes to George for help, and the two come up with a plan. When a lion comes to “fight” and the monkey pretends to be George”scaring” the lion away.
4) Jumanji (1995)
In 1969, Alan Parish is constantly getting picked on. One day he hears drums and discovers an old game buried in a new construction site. He takes it home and after he gets in a fight with his dad and a surprise visit from a friend, the two accidentally play the game. One of the roles causes Alan to be sucked into the game while bats come streaming out.
26 years later, the Parish house has been bought by a women who has recently become guardian of her niece and nephew: Judy and Peter. The two kids discover the old game and play. What they thought would be a fun game turns out to be a death defying adventure as monkeys, mosquitoes, a lion, crocodiles, and Alan all come out of the game. They have to finish the game, survive whatever comes out, in order to fix everything and send all these creatures and storms back.
Best Monkey Scene: Monkeys Slow the Expedition
The second thing to come out of the game board are a group of monkeys. Not only do they terrorize the the two kids, but they end up running amuck throughout town. Stealing cop cars, ransacking stores, and taking off and causing havoc.
3) Jumanji (1995)
So the summary is the same as before. You might be wondering why I’m doing this film twice, but there was another monkey scene I just love.
Best Monkey Scene: Peter the Monkey Boy
So Alan, Peter, Judy, and Alan’s old friend Susan; have been through the thick of game having faced down monkeys, a lion, giant mosquitoes, human eating pods, poisonous violets, a big game hunter named Van Pelt, and a stampede.
Peter is only a few spaces away and decides to drop the dice, hoping to reach the end of the game and save everyone. Unfortunately, the game does not like cheaters and Peter is turned into a monkey. Sorry Goku, Peter is the cutest Monkey Boy. He’s just TOOOOO adorable.
2) The Wizard of Oz
Dorothy Gale is a young girl in grey Kansas. She lives with her aunt and uncle on their farm, along with the farmhands. When their mean neighbor takes Dorothy’s dog away for snapping at her; Dorothy decides to grab her dog and run away. She gets caught up in a twister and ends up in the land of Oz. She ends up on a journey to find the Wizard to get home; pairing up with a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, a Cowardly Lion; and chased by the Wicked Witch of the West.
Best Monkey Scene: Fly My Pretties, Fly
So the Wicked Witch’s evil minions are the winged monkeys. She sends them out to find Dorothy and destroy her companions in one of the best, and scariest scenes, of the film.
1) The Jungle Book (1967)
This is the original Disney version and based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling. In the story Mowgli is a man cub raised by wolves. Ten years pass by and when news of Shere Khan, the great tiger, has returned to the jungle they decide to send Mowgli back to the Man village. Bagheera, the panther, tries to take him back but they get interuppted by Kaa, the snake who tries to eat him, and Baloo a slothy bear who discourages Mowgli from returning to the world of men. Mowgli meets other crazy charcters such as King Louie the Orangutan, Colonel Hathi the Elephant, and a group of Vultures who act like The Beatles.
Best Monkey Scene: I Wanna Be Like You
So I know you might be questioning why I choose this moment as my number one. Well when I think of Monkeys this is the first thing that always pop in my head. It is one of the best songs in the film, and a whole lot of fun.
So the scene, for those who don’t know, comes in the middle of the film. Mowgli has been captured by King Louie the Orangutan who wants Mowgli to teach him to be like humans, how to create fire. Baloo comes in and sings along to the bopping song, saving Mowgli as well.
So that ends this year’s countdown. I hope you all have a great 2016.
For the 2013 list, go to Snakes on a Post
For the 2014 post, go to A Horse’s Tale
For the 2015 post, go to Well I Feel Sheepish
For more holiday posts, go to To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before
For more Disney posts, go to I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)