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Space Chimps

By Christopher Gildemeister


Release Date: July 18, 2008

MPAA Rating: G

Starring: voices of Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines, Patrick Warburton, Kristin Chenoweth and Kenan Thompson

Recommended Age: 5+

Overall PTC Traffic Light Rating: Green



Mild double-entendre, partial nudity


Crashes, fantasy violence 


“oh my God,” “Lord,” “kick his butt,” “pee,” “dork,” “nerd,” excrement jokes


Showing off and mildly abrasive attitude by hero  


Space Chimps 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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