Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DisneyNature's Monkey Kingdom Blu-Ray Review

Disneynature brings us its eighth film and this time takes us to Sri Lanka where we meet a macaque monkey named Maya. She is an adult with no partner or children, thus making her one of the lowest on the monkey's social ladder. Maya also has to stay on the ground as she is banned from the giant fig tree which is controlled by the alpha-male Raja. Plus, she is harassed by Raja's harem of females nicknamed The Sisters. It's not like Maya does not try to get accepted into higher society but she remains Raja's groomer and is more of a plaything for The Sisters children. Then she meets a rogue male named Kumar. They have a baby named Kip and now Maya has to not only be careful of the dangers of the area but she also has to worry about the safety of her baby.

The movie is narrated by comedienne Tina Fey who brings a fun, light-heartedness to the film. And while there are a few moments of danger and peril with a hungry monitor lizard and a war over territory, it's handled delicately enough for kids without getting too scary.

Video Quality:

The 1080p picture is stunning! Vivid lifelike colors and details will blow you away. Another stunning transfer from Disney that really makes you feel as if you are in the jungles of Sri Lanka.

Audio Quality:

The 5.1 DTS-MA Surround is actually more impressive than the video quality. The ambient sounds of the jungle create an impressive atmosphere. Combine this with Tina Fey's narration and the music score, the surround sound is used to it's full potential.

Bonus Features:

There is a fairly decent amount of bonus features included on the disc:

  • Tales from the Kingdom (12:11) directors Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill discuss what it took to pull off some of the more difficult shots in the film
  • On the Set of Monkey Kingdom with Jane Goodall and Wolfgang Dittus (5:49) - this featurette showcases the two naturalists invited to Sri Lanka to observe some of the filming
  • Disneynature Monkey Kingdom: A Conservation (7:54) - a look at efforts to make a wild "buffer zone" between jungles and developed areas in Sri Lanka and other Asian locales
  • "It's Our World" Music Video Performed by Jacquie Lee (3:15) - a simple montage-driven music video
  • A Special Thank You from Disneynature (2:14) details how some of the profits from each film in the Disneynature series have benefited a specific conservationist movement

Final Thoughts

Gorgeous photography, a beautiful score, fantastic narration from Tina Fey, Monkey Kingdom is an entertaining and educational movie for kids. The video and audio quality is what we have come to expect from Disney. Plus, there are some great bonus features.

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