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July 18, 2008
voices of Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines, Patrick Warburton, Kristin
Chenoweth and Kenan Thompson
Overall PTC Traffic Light Rating:
double-entendre, partial nudity
Crashes, fantasy violence
God,” “Lord,” “kick his butt,” “pee,” “dork,” “nerd,” excrement jokes
Showing off and mildly abrasive attitude by hero
tells the story of Ham III, a chimp whose grandfather was an astronaut in the
early days of the space program. In contrast to his famous ancestor, Ham III
makes his living being shot out of a cannon at a circus. Ham’s life changes when
the U.S. space program’s new probe is lost in a space warp. Since the journey to
recover the probe is too dangerous for humans, the space program recruits Ham to
lead a team of “space chimps” who have been trained to fly a rocket. Ham’s
hotshot attitude irritates his astronaut teammates, especially the lovely girl
chimp Luna. Launched through the warp, the chimps land on an alien planet. They
learn that the probe has been turned into a fearsome weapon by the evil Zartog,
who is using it to dominate his fellow aliens. Facing many perils, Ham and Luna
are faced with the challenges of overcoming Zartog, getting back to earth…and
admitting that they might even like one another.
There is no overt
sex in Space Chimps, though there are a number of double-entendres: at
one point Ham, remarking on their space capsule, states, “It’s not the size of
the beast but what you do with it that counts.” This and similar remarks will
draw chuckles from adults, but will probably go over the heads of small
children. The romance between Ham and Luna is cute, flirtatious and teasing but
not openly sexual. When the probe crashes on the alien planet, it subjects
Zartog to a “full body exam,” during which he comically covers his crotch.
Violence is mostly
limited to cartoon slapstick similar to that in the old Road Runner cartoons.
One recurring joke is that Ham, supposedly an expert in skydiving, always misses
his target and crashes into the ground…but remains unhurt. Zartog uses the probe
to dunk his fellow aliens in “freznar,” a kind of frozen lava. The other aliens
are covered with silvery ice and frozen in place, but it is later revealed that
they are still alive, and once the ice is chipped away they are unhurt. Ham and
Luna are chased by various monsters which shoot quills, try to eat them, and
similar fairy-tale perils. Zartog uses the probe to grab, shake and threaten the
space chimp Titan, but this is constantly done in a slapstick and comedic
manner. There are also several scenes of various spaceships crashing, and Ham
causing comic mayhem at Earth’s rocket base.
There is no
profanity in Space Chimps. When rejecting the space program’s offer, Ham
tells a woman, “Don’t let the door hit you on the –“ but the sentence is not
completed. During various crashes characters exclaim, “Lord!,” and “Oh my God!”
Several times Ham and others say they will “kick your butt.” In space, Ham
exclaims “I gotta pee,” after which the sound of a gurgling toilet is heard on
the chimps’ rocket. There is also a scene in which the chimps’ alien friend
Kilowatt is swallowed by a monster. When she later reappears unhurt, the chimps
ask how she escaped. She is shown in silhouette passing through the monster
towards its rear, then says, “Don’t make me go there.” Both the chimps and a
group of scientists back on earth are repeatedly called “dorks” and “nerds,” and
there is much humor mocking “nerdy” scientific types.
Early in the movie
Ham is a bit abrasive towards his fellow chimps; but though he continues to act
like a hotshot he gradually becomes kinder and acts like part of the team, who
is willing to sacrifice himself to help others. The ideals of kindness,
friendship and self-sacrifice are dealt with throughout the movie.
Space Chimps is a delightful romp filled with adventure and good lessons for kids, but with enough sly humor to be enjoyable
for adults. Because of this, the Parents Television Council is proud to award
Space Chimps with the PTC Seal of ApprovalTM. The PTC
does not recommend this movie for children under the age of five.
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