Happy Lunar New Year friends! We could think of no better way to celebrate the coming of this, the most glorious year of the Fire Monkey than with a list of our favourite on screen monkeys (in no particular order)! Enjoy!
Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Hail Caesar! This special orphaned lab chimp who goes from James Francos primitive monkey BFF to leader of the monkey revolution responsible for the downfall of humanity is hands down the most glorious of all on screen Monkeys. Without doubt. Motion captured by Andy Sirkis and CGI rendered by the wizards of WETA, Caesar is one impressively realistic computer generated primate! From his mastery of the English language to his electrocution of a sniveling Draco (in muggle form), Caesars on screen triumphs in both Planet of the Apes reboots are nothing short of glorious.
King Louie in the Jungle Book (1967)
The Tony Soprano of animated primates, King Louie is one connected orangutan. Leading a gang of jungle monkeys who round up big bear Baloo and his human pet Mowgli to learn the secret of fire, King Louie knows both how to have a good boogie and to make you an offer you simply cannot refuse!
The Flying Monkeys in the Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Wicked Witch of the West’s army of winged monkeys have to be amongst the scariest chimps ever captured on film. Their ear piercing war shriek is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but combined with their blue fur and the fact that they have wings makes them literally our worst nightmare. From nabbing Toto to un-stuffing the Scarecrow, these monkeys have zero remorse and a murderous penchant for violence that will have you wishing you had your own army of flying primates to terrorise neighbourhood children with while screaming “Fly my pretties, flyyyyy!!”
King Kong (1933) and King Kong (2005)
Kong. The original and the best. The Grandaddy and undisputed King of all movie monkeys. Complete with an entourage of swirling airplanes Kong will forever endure as one of cinemas greatest monsters. Both a lover and a fighter… Kong is gentle at heart, but more than willing to crack a few skulls if his loved ones are put at risk. Really, he’s just a pretty misunderstood guy and probably could have gotten along with humans initially, but after the way they treated him, there’s no way he would turn down the chance to destroy them all in favor of an apes-rule-all society. If only he had the chance.
Abu from Aladdin (1992)
Whilst the pet of choice for the homeless gent is usually a three-legged dog or a pigeon of some description, Aladdin has taken the smarter path and gone with the far superior choice of monkey pal Abu. Pilfering from local stall holders is all in a days work for this primate while his master flounces around in a pair of early 90s style parachute pants, singing and generally making a nuisance of himself. Sporting an impressive vest and fez combo Abu might almost make you wish you had your own snazzy monkey confidante to steal apples for you, as long as you’re ok with it having a serious attitude problem and dont mind him making fun of you behind your back it could be a match made in monkey heaven.
The Barrel of Monkeys from Toy Story (1990 – )
Though their time on screen is brief, the monkeys appearances in Toy Story remain as some of the most memorable moments from the franchise. Who could forget Bo Peep, strung up as a prisoner of the evil Dr Pork Chop, staring down the threat of “death by monkeys”. Truly a horrifying concept.
So there you have it friends! In case this list has got you wondering what this glorious year of the Monkey holds for you we strongly urge to check out Lee Lin Chin’s Lunar New Year Zodiac to kick your year off in style!