Space Chimps is a 2008 3D computer-animated comic science fiction film directed by Kirk DeMicco in his directional debut, 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.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kirk DeMicco|
|Edited by||Debbie Berman|
|Box office||$64.8 million|
The film follows three chimpanzees who 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 also released in July 2008.
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, an evil minded inhabitant, 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 the probe, to help retrieve the wayward craft. Technical genius chimp Comet 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 bombastic commander, Titan. The Senator likes the idea, but wants something extra special to grab the attention of the media, and picks Ham. Ham is uninterested in the mission, but he is launched into space despite his best efforts to escape the scientist's training facility.
The three chimps enter the wormhole, where Titan and Luna pass out from the pressure, 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 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.
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, but 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 ejection mechanism in the probe, which in turn leads to his defeat.
The chimps then discover that Kilowatt has survived, and they are able to make contact with Comet and Houston back on Earth through a walkie-talkie. 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 wormhole, Titan hands the controls over to Ham, since Ham is the only one who can withstand the pressure, 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 mental conversation with his grandfather, who tells him to believe in himself and to just do things his (Ham's) way.
Ham manages to manoeuver the ship back to Earth and land it with Luna's help, and the Senator, under pressure from the press, decides to dramatically increase the space program's funding. The film ends with a celebration being held for the chimps' return.
In a post credit scene, Zartog is frozen, and is peed on by the family's dog.
- Andy Samberg as Ham III, Ham I's grandson and a circus chimp.
- Cheryl Hines as Luna, Titan's lieutenant; fearless and intelligent.
- Jeff Daniels as Zartog, a real estate developing alien. This is also Jeff's first voice over movie role.
- Patrick Warburton as Titan, the flamboyant commander of the expedition. He has a great love of chimp puns.
- Kristin Chenoweth as Kilowalawhizasahooza (Kilowatt), a tiny alien who befriends Ham and Luna; her head lights up when she is scared, hence her name.
- Kenan Thompson as Ringmaster, the owner of the circus where Ham III works.
- Zack Shada as Comet, a technical genius chimp.
- Carlos Alazraqui as Houston, friend of Ham's grandfather and Ham's caretaker.
- 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
- Wally Wingert as Splork, Infinity Probe, and Pappy Ham
- Tom Kenny as Newsreel
- Jason Harris as Guard
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. The premiere was held on July 13, 2008, in Los Angeles, California.
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." On Metacritic, the film holds a 36/100 based on 16 critics, signifying “generally unfavorable reviews”.
Roger Ebert gave a positive review of 3 stars and saying in his review that "Space Chimps is delightful from beginning to end." The New York Times said that Space Chimps was "hilarious". Lael Loewenstein of Variety called it "fairly fatuous but enjoyably slim family entertainment".
The film opened with $7.1 million in 2,511 theatres, with an $2,860 average. The film has grossed $30.1 million in the United States, and $34.7 million in other countries, totalling $64.8 million worldwide. The film was released in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2008, and opened on #7, grossing £563,543.
|Artios Award||Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Animation Feature||Matthew Jon Beck||Nominated|
- Sexy Reggae – Performed by Curt Sobel and Gary Schreiner
- Axel F – Performed by Rufus Watermelone
- Macarena – Performed by Blue Man Group
- Pops Got The Measles – Performed by Curt Sobel and Gary Schreiner
- Do You Want To Rock – Performed by David A. Stewart, Neil Case, Ned Douglas and Blue Man Group
- Another Postcard – Performed by Barenaked Ladies
- All Music – Composed by Chris P. Bacon and Blue Man Group
A video game based on the film was released in July 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.
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- Space Chimps - ComingSoon.net Film Database
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- "Space Chimps Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
- "Space Chimps Movie Review - Roger Ebert". Chicago Sun-Times. July 17, 2008. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
- Genzlinger, Neil (July 18, 2008). "Space Chimps Movie Review - New York Times". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
- Loewenstein, Lael (July 16, 2008). "Review: 'Space Chimps'". Variety. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- "Space chimps (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
- "Weekend box office 1st August 2008 - 3rd August 2008". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- Gibron, Bill (November 6, 2008). "Space Chimps". DVD Talk. Retrieved February 7, 2016.