We watched Space Chimps last weekend. We got it from the library, as we have found it easiest to rent/borrow movies from the library than from any other movie places. I hadn’t heard of Space Chimps before, but my wife said that Dove liked it. It was rated G, so I figured it should be okay for the 3- and 5-year-old to watch.
It was almost okay for the kids to watch. There was not much objectionable in the movie, unless your children object to giant carnivorous flowers and vines that try to eat the protagonists. And there’s some bully behavior, which you definitely don’t want your kids to learn. But, of course, everything works out fine by the end of the movie.
But until the kids were sure that everything was going to be okay, the dangerous parts of the movie had the kids moving from their own chairs to my lap, then from my lap to the couch behind me (next to mom). The many-toothed, large-mouthed plants were just the start. It was the long-fanged cave monster, chasing the heroes through the cave, that most affected the kids. But if you stop a movie at the scary part, I think that’s worse than continuing to watch it. If you stop it when they (or you) are scared, you are left with only your imagination. The damage has been done, assuming that it is only a scary part of an otherwise decent movie, and the best way to mitigate the damage is to finish the story.
Of course they make it through the cave okay, and of course the friendly aliens who were dipped into freezing liquid by the bully alien are just covered in a frozen shell instead of being frozen solid. I would not introduce the youngsters to liquid nitrogen after watching Space Chimps, as they may have the mistaken impression that if they get frozen by it they could just break out of it with no ill effects.
At the end of the movie, the kids were laughing and were able to tell me their favorite parts. Their favorite parts of any movie are always the slapstick parts. In this case, it was a chimp falling down on a treadmill.
Jeff Daniels voices the bully Zartog and does a fine job. I had seen his name in the credits and was trying to figure out which character he was, but I could not. Patrick Warburton, on the other hand, is much easier to tell. Maybe his voice is too distinctive, or maybe he gets typecast into these roles. If you know what Patrick Warburton sounds like (especially in other animated films – I’m thinking Bee Movie) then you’ll have no problem figuring out which character is his.
There were enough jokes and stuff aimed at the parents of the kids watching the movie. So it is entertaining for all. I did laugh out loud at a couple of parts, or at least chuckle heartily. Here was my favorite bit (might not be exactly right, but the general idea is there):
Two chimps, Ham and Titan, are in a spaceship heading back to Earth.
Ham, protesting: “But I’m not an astronaut.”
Titan: “Are you wearing aluminum clothes?”
T: “Are you in outer space?”
T: “Are you David Bowie?”
T: “Then you’re an astronaut!”
“But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.'”
– Isaiah 14:13