"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Monkeybone

Here’s a story I may or may not have told before. It takes place on February 28, 2001. A few minutes before 11 am there was a 6.8 earthquake epicentered in the southern Puget Sound. I was at work and I saw some shelves wobble and a few things fall down, but nothing serious. Downtown there was some damage – some vehicles got crushed by falling bricks, and I remember a couple clubs where bands used to play in Pioneer Square (OK Hotel and Fenix Underground) were wrecked enough they went out of business. I called my roommate at home to make sure none of my stuff broke, and he made fun of me.

After work I went to Pacific Place to see this movie MONKEYBONE. All the advertising looked cheesy, but I was hoping it might be interesting because it was from Henry Selick, the director of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Unfortunately the advertising was pretty accurate. I remember a couple times during the movie something playing on a bordering screen made a loud rumble that vibrated the whole row I was sitting in. I thought about the three escalators I took up through the mall to get to the theater, and the fourth escalator inside the theater that goes up to the floor where this one was showing, and I thought, “That’s an aftershock, and the building is gonna collapse, and I’m gonna die watching fucking MONKEYBONE.”

Luckily the building and I both survived. But 20+ years later I was watching Henry Selick’s WENDELL & WILD and I thought, “I wonder if it would be worth rewatching MONKEYBONE? Maybe I’d like it better now? At least if I go in expecting it to be terrible, and without the fear of death?”

Poster for 2001 film MONKEYBONE by Henry Selick.MONKEYBONE stars holy lord and savior of all millennials Brendan Fraser (CRASH [the bad one], BEDAZZLED [the bad one], THE MUMMY [the… one that people like]) as beloved genius iconoclastic underground cartoonist and “creator of America’s most disturbed comic strip” Stu Miley, who everyone knows for sure is about to be a huge fucking mainstream deal because he made a cartoon out of his strip Monkeybone and “the Comedy Channel has picked us up with an order of six episodes.” They do a big premiere event for the “pilot,” which is actually a 2 minute cartoon narrated by him explaining the premise that when he was a kid he got a boner in class and tried to cover it with his backpack and then a monkey named Monkeybone jumped out and danced around and stuff.

Everyone loves the “pilot” and seems to understand how this counts as a TV show and will definitely catch on huge – so much so that Stu’s agent Herb (Dave Foley, POSTAL) has already gotten companies to manufacture Monkeybone dolls, bop bags, backpacks, slippers, and telephones, and is working on a deal with “Burger God.” Stu makes exaggerated expressions of disgust to show he’s above all this, though he apparently has taken no steps to prevent it.

He hates all the attention and wants to get away from the event because for some reason he’s chosen the same day to propose to his girlfriend Julie (Bridget Fonda, KISS OF THE DRAGON), who of course is also the sleep institute doctor who cured him of his lifelong horrible nightmares (?). But as they’re driving away a giant Monkeybone balloon inflates in the backseat causing an apparently-supposed-to-be-funny car accident that puts him in an apparently-supposed-to-be-sad coma. Then at last, about ten minutes in, we get the first cool thing in the movie, when his spirit sinks into the stretcher.

He wakes up on a rollercoaster, depicted partially in Selick’s usual medium of stop motion animation, and holy shit when I was watching WENDELL & WILD it didn’t occur to me that it was kind of a redo of MONKEYBONE. In the newer one, “souls of the danged” are brought to an amusement park to be tormented, here it’s sort of a limbo for the souls of people in comas until they die or wake up. There are sub-BEETLEJUICE type jokes like there’s some suitcases next to a sign that says “psychological baggage,” with a notebook explaining the things that scared him when he was a kid (cyclops, minotaur, roadkill), which he then briefly encounters in this world of nightmares, and then the concept is mostly forgotten.

The place is called Down Town. There’s an old theater called the Morpheum where they watch people’s nightmares, and a bar called Coma Bar with bumper cars connected to i.v.s and a, uh… sexy cat-person waitress named Miss Kitty (Rose McGowan, CONAN THE BARBARIAN 2011) who seems to fall in love with him at first sight? (I’m not sure why there are animal people. If the theming of this thing ever made sense it was developed into mush.)

In the bar, an elephant plays piano and Monkeybone (stop motion, and voiced by John Turturro, BARTON FINK) dances and dresses as Marilyn Monroe and does boob jokes. You see, because the character inspired by Stu’s childhood boner is alive in his coma nightmares and he does wacky horny rascally stuff. Years before Pixar asked “What if emotions were people?” Selick asked “What if a boner was a monkey?”

When Monkeybone kisses Stu it’s possibly a reference to WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. The character of Roger Rabbit is intended to be a pain in the ass to Eddie Valiant but endearing to most of the audience. For Monkeybone they don’t even feint at the endearing part, they just make him hyper and aggressively unfunny. But well animated.

Meanwhile in the real world Stu’s older sister Kimmy (Megan Mullally, RISKY BUSINESS) is for some reason desperate to pull the plug on him, but agrees to allow him 3 months. And Julie discovers the Rube Goldberg device Stu set up to propose to her (featuring a cartoon painting of the two of them with Monkeybone – living happily ever after with his anthropomorphic hard-on). We learn that when Stu suffered from nightmares it inspired some great, surreal paintings (we see one that’s actually by Mark Ryden) but when she told him to try drawing with his left hand he created Monkeybone. Julie’s friend Alice (Sandra Thigpen, THE RING) seems to think the Ryden painting is garbage and it’s great that he switched from that to crude drawings of a dickmonkey.

When I say that Monkeybone represents Stu’s erection that is not some show-offy reading-too-much-into the movie thing. That’s seriously the premise. At the Coma Bar, Stu grabs Monkeybone saying “You have humiliated me in public for the last time” and demands he get into his backpack, a reference to the covering his boner with a backpack in class. He tells Miss Kitty that Monkeybone is “being repressed” but when she purrs at him Stu gets lusty and stares at her cleavage and Monkeybone climbs out.

There’s a part where the lights in the bar turn dramatically blue and an imposing Grim Reaper type figure enters, approaches an old man (Harper Roisman, “Mountain Man,” HALLOWEEN 5) and says his name. But the old man says, “Can’t hear you, young fella. Speak up.” I was genuinely laughing at the idea of Death not being able to take a guy because he doesn’t understand what’s being said, but it turns out it’s the opposite – the guy is given an “Exit Pass” to wake up from his coma. He puts on an astronaut helmet and gets fired from a highstrike into the glowing mouth of a stone Abe Lincoln. I liked the randomness, so Monkeybone ruins it by saying “Ah – honest Abe, The Great Emancipator.”

Stu gets invited to a pajama party held by Hypnos, the God of Nightmares (Giancarlo Esposito, NIGHT ON EARTH), where Medusa (Lisa Zane, FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE) is singing “Love is the Drug,” a Yeti (Doug Jones, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER) is dancing, and Stu accidentally sits on a bug with a human face. As stupid as all this is I do have to appreciate that Esposito is playing a satyr with little puppet goat legs and he has a bee-woman girlfriend. Also Stu watches Julie’s nightmares on an orb and in the nightmare they cut the plug on him and his body deflates.


That’s definitely the best thing I can say for this movie: there’s way more random cool shit in it than in most movies.

Hypnos gives Stu and Monkeybone the idea to go to the Land of the Dead to steal an Exit Pass from Death (Whoopi Goldberg, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2014). They steal a shroud and line up with the souls waiting in a train station to be approved by Death, but a pug (a real one, not a dog-person) wearing a luchador mask pulls it off and exposes them as frauds. There’s some really embarrassing physical comedy in the scene, but Thomas Haden Church (SPIDER-MAN 3) is funny as Death’s right hand man, who for some reason notes that one of the deceased is a Seagal fan.

All they do is grab the pass and fly off on a sky-sled thing and then we have my favorite scene in the movie when Stu gets thrown against the Ryden painting and is briefly sucked into a three-dimensional live action/cg re-enactment of it. So it’s one of the few movies where there’s a Brendan Fraser face on a creepy root or larva baby body. I think it might’ve been him she gave birth to at the end of THE LORDS OF SALEM.


And shortly after that we have my second favorite scene, when Stu decides that because he briefly ran around with Monkeybone that he now loves him – “you’ve been a hell of a figment, pal” – and wishes he could take him back with him (!?!) and Monkeybone responds by hitting him over the head with a wrench and snorting “Love you too!” as he runs away with the pass, laughing. It’s the one and only time in the movie when I liked or agreed with one of these two characters.

Using the Exit Pass, Monkeybone is able to enter Stu’s body and wake up from the coma, pretending to be him. So in lieu of animation or cool sets we get Fraser pretending to be a horny monkey (with a soul patch) and poor Fonda has the impossible task of trying to seem like a reasonable adult while being in love with this annoying dickhead who smashes the cake she made for him, jumps around on top of the furniture and drools at nature documentaries.

While Monkeybone-as-Stu dreams about chasing women in bikinis wearing high heels running across a golf course and creates a purple hallucinogen to squirt out of farting Monkeybone dolls, the real Stu figures out how to return to the live world by taking over the body of a recently deceased gymnast (Chris Kattan, DELGO, FOODFIGHT!). So the climax is live action slapstick with stuff getting wrecked at a charity banquet and Kattan-Stu battling Fraserbone on top of a Monkeybone parade balloon.

Also we get two things that should’ve never happened after the ‘90s: a Harry Knowles cameo, and a scene where Fraser performs “Brick House” in a Guy-Fieri-ass-shiny-suit and everybody is really into it (except Julie, because keeps hip thrusting and looking up the dancers’ skirts).

Kattan was an SNL cast member I couldn’t stand at the time, but it’s honestly an impressive physical comedy performance, running around flopping parts of his body as if they’re broken. Isn’t it kind of crazy, though, that they replaced Fraser with a different actor for both the comedic and emotional climaxes of the movie? He doesn’t even dub the voice! Kattan gets to do his version of Sean-Archer-inside-Castor-Troy-talking-to-his-wife from FACE/OFF.

I do want to note that Bob Odenkirk (NOBODY) is funny as a doctor about to take organs out of the dead gymnast when he comes back to life. “Those are our organs – get back on that slab!” He chases the body around in a van and when he gets it back at the end he says, “All right, smartass, you prepared to cooperate now?” It’s such a relief in a movie like this when one of the things they put in there to be funny actually does make you laugh.

As always, Fonda gives a very heartfelt performance, despite playing this nothing character saddled with having to fiercely love a preposterous and annoying one. She had two more movies released later in 2001, but hasn’t done any movies since. Draw your own conclusions.

Acting!

These things can change at a moment’s notice, but as of this writing I believe Fraser is considered this year’s best actor frontrunner for his performance in Darren Aranofsky’s THE WHALE. So maybe he can take the hit when I admit that I unfortunately think he is flat out bad in MONKEYBONE. That’s more negative than I like to be these days and it won’t win me any points with the millennials, but you can’t honestly talk about how much this movie sucks without admitting that even if it was good his performance would ruin it. He never seems like he becomes the character, he’s always visibly acting. When he’s the shy cartoonist hunching over and making awkward gestures I guess that’s what he’s going for, though he’s the dorkiest Cynical Gen-X Artist Unimpressed By Capitalism you’re gonna find. But in Down Town he’s mugging and yelling and doing his weird nasally grunts. His primary approach to comedy in this one is a less sophisticated version of David Seville yelling “AL-VIN!

Usually when a movie is about an artist I assume it’s somewhat autobiographical for the director. For a second I considered that Selick might see himself as an artist from the counterculture struggling with whether or not it’s selling out to make mainstream stuff like this. But then I remembered he started as an animator on THE FOX AND THE HOUND and shit. About as underground as he gets is the creepy short Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions – but that was shown on MTV. We know him for NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a movie that could not have been made without the resources of Disney. And I doubt he feels it was cheapened by all the merchandising; most of that came years later when the studio finally caught on that people loved the movie.

So no, I don’t think the story of Stu Miley creator of Monkeybone (as written by Sam Hamm of BATMAN fame) comes from the heart and soul of Henry Selick. It also doesn’t come from Dark Town, the comic book by writer Kaja Blackley and artist Vanessa Chong that Selick optioned even though it only had one issue and never continued. The comic has the premise of a guy whose soul is trapped in a strange world while he’s in a coma and he must escape before his plug gets pulled. But he’s not a cartoonist and there’s no irascible farting penis monkey.

In the comic, everybody in Dark Town (not Down Town) is a wooden puppet or marionette, which is why Selick wanted to do it. As he tells it on the DVD commentary (suspiciously left off of the blu-ray), it was originally planned to star Nicolas Cage as a puppeteer. That’s why when he goes into a coma he wakes up as a puppet and the movie becomes stop motion. Unfortunately, producer Chris Columbus (CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS) insisted that (get a load of this) audiences can’t relate to an animated character, so the lead would have to be live action the whole time. If he’s in live action the world of puppets thing is out, so they made him a cartoonist whose character becomes real (like COOL WORLD). And since it’s not a world of puppets anymore they figured they should save money by ditching most of the animation and having guys in costumes. (It still cost $75 million.)

Knowing that story, of how it went from a cool, straight forward premise to this messy jumble of compromises and penis jokes, I just don’t know how to not hate MONKEYBONE, everything it wastes, and everything it represents. But I know I shouldn’t. It’s a terrible comedy or fantasy, but it undeniably has more artistry and strangeness than even many actually good movies. The bits of stop motion are beautiful. Most of the sets and characters look cool, and the ones that don’t (mostly the animal people) are at least freaky. Some props look like something out of Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and the general vibe reminds me of Alex Winter’s FREAKED. But sometimes a little more like THE MASK. In its best moments it’s like a Richard Elfman movie but using literally 750 times the budget of FORBIDDEN ZONE. Unfortunately it’s those things crossed with one of those shitty ‘90s Disney Channel movies that my generation can’t understand, and a bit of, like, a Pauly Shore movie, or whatever type of comedy thinks the funniest thing in the world is Dave Foley running around a fancy party naked with his face painted purple from getting farted on by a toy monkey. Do you get it though? You see his butt. All that and it’s got the Squirrel Nut Zippers stuck in my head.

It’s definitely fascinating that MONKEYBONE exists, but it’s not pleasurable to watch. Not as a whole. You can get some good screengrabs out of it. I guess I do like it more than COOL WORLD.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2022 at 1:46 pm and is filed under Reviews, Comedy/Laffs, Fantasy/Swords. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

21 Responses to “Monkeybone”

  1. They really missed a trick by releasing a movie in 2001 with “monkey” and “bone” in the title and not making any Kubrick reference.

  2. One thing that I do like about this movie is how it kinda predicted the tasteless not-for-kids cartoon stuff. Granted, when it came out, BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD had already happened and we were a few years into SOUTH PARK, but by now, thanks to Adult Swim, Seth MacFarlane and co, there is a whole industry made up of badly drawn cartoons around boners, farts, even going further than anything in MONKEYBONE by adding racism, sexism, anti-semitism, rape jokes, you name it, and people eat it up! When the movie came out, the idea that anybody would like that cartoon seemed far fetched, but that was before Seth MacFarlane sang a song about seeing actresses’ boobs at the Oscars.

  3. I just realized something. This movie has the the two most famous examples of actors, who were screwed over in a divorce so badly that they couldn’t afford to say “no” to whatever shitty script was handed to them for a long while: Brendan Fraser and Dave Foley. Not sure if MONKEYBONE was already part of that stretch, though. But thankfully both of them don’t have that problem anymore and seem WAY happier with their lifes now.

  4. I haven’t seen this since it came out and I was fine with it then. It definitely reminded me of Cool World both in premise and messiness.

    I maintain that Fraser is the best actor we ever had at reacting to CGI tho I have no doubt he went off the rails or had poor direction in this. Sounds like it was the part with other actors that went overboard.

  5. I don’t know anyone who liked-liked this movie – and I went to see it at the theater with a Nightmare Before Christmas superfan. I kind of enjoyed it because it’s got so much cool stuff buried under all the miscalculation… which seems to be the majority opinion.
    Wonder if Peele is a fan?

  6. Deadguacamole- Did you see this in the UK? I wasn’t following releases at the time and I’ve never been able to figure out if this played in theatres here or went straight to video (yet on good nights, I do still manage to get some sleep)

    I was always a bit confused by the cartoon at the start of the film, it looked like a kids’ cartoon but obviously the content is not really appropriate. I suppose that it airing on “The Comedy Channel” is meant to imply that it’s like SOUTH PARK, which is confirmed to exist in the MONKEYBONEverse via dialogue; I wonder if in the BONEverse PARK is also on the Comedy Channel or if they and Comedy Central are bitter rivals? Thinking about it it looks kind of similar to the “Zebras in America” bit from the same year’s FREDDIE GOT FINGERED, also from Fox and which I feel is grouped with this in some ways. There’s probably a good essay to be written by someone who isn’t me about America in the specific window of time when these movies and maybe THE ANIMAL or JOE DIRT or something were made and released.

    I can’t find any information about this (including anyone else who might have played the character) but it sure sounds to me like Robin Williams is voicing the psychiatrist. Given his relationship with Columbus, it doesn’t seem particularly far fetched this was an uncredited cameo. If true, even more of a mystery why this didn’t do ALADDIN numbers.

    The extended version of the cartoon on the DVD is a little better, even more tasteless but less choppy and it has an actual ending of sorts. Most of the extended scenes on the DVD (including one which explains why Fonda was unharmed in the car crash) would have made the film a little less choppy, and a little better I think, although I suspect “longer MONKEYBONE” could never be better MONKEYBONE for most people.

    That the DVD was so revealing about the production and even what (kind of) went wrong made quite an impression on me in my early DVD-watching days. I did like the film at the time, although in those days I would often half-decide I liked a film before I watched it. I think main character is a cartoonist+ weird, cool imagery was enough for me back then. Having just rewatched it for the first time since around 2005, I must admit I do still like it, although I guess a lot of that might be that it already imprinted on me. Some random thoughts:
    – I wonder if Monkeybone is your favourite comic strip what your #2 is, is it Marmaduke or is it Zippy the Pinhead? It could go either way.
    – It’s weird that Monkeybone lusts after Fonda (and other women) in Coma Town, and dreams about chasing women when in the real world but seems to prefer monkeys to Fonda when he sees them on TV. Always greener I suppose.
    – I’m surprised Vern didn’t mention that Stephen King (a pretty good lookalike) and Edgar Allan Poe (played by a descendent!) are characters in this movie. Just the kind of movie where enough is thrown at the wall you can write a detailed review and don’t even necessarily mention that.
    – The promotional tagline for the MONKEYBONE TV show is “it’s his world, we just live in it” which was then actually used as the tagline in our world for the first GARFIELD movie.

    Despite his cameo Harry gave the movie a particularly vicious pan. That almost certainly was because they didn’t give him enough of the purple farting Monkeybone plushes as pwesents, but I have to admit his still easily stumbleonable review does have some interesting titbits about earlier drafts he was privy to.

    The promotional website was called bitemymonkey.com, for reasons that I’m sure made sense to someone. There are a couple of Monkeybone Flash cartoons that were uploaded to Internet Archive just a few days ago. They are short, mean and not funny, but still kind of cool to see.

    With the discussion recently about the draw of Stars vs The Draw of Characters & Franchise Branding recently it’s perhaps worth noting that a couple of months before Fraser stared in the #6 film for 2001, he starred in the #146 one, this.

    There were Monkeybone toys and even plushes; here you can even see a photo from a Toy Promo Fair where Monkeybone in his classic Fez and Vest is whispering something to Prison Oufit Monkeybone; I wonder what those two scamps were thinking of getting up to!

  7. Yeah, the Stephen King thing is weird. I was worried it was a reference to when he got run over a few years earlier, but he doesn’t seem to have gone into a coma. I don’t get it. (IMDb trivia claims the real King was supposed to cameo but then wasn’t able to. Not sure if that’s true.)

    I like the bobblehead-style Stu Miley figurine. Surely a beloved toy for many children in the aughts.

    According to Wikipedia the psychiatrist is voiced by the artist Lou Romano, later production designer of WENDELL & WILD but forever best known as the voice of Linguini in RATATOUILLE.

  8. Sellick does say on the commentary that it was meant to be King himself and that they started shooting a fortnight after his accident. Weird they didn’t just cut it, or use someone else (was Koontz busy?).

    He does mention disagreements with the execs (including Columbus by name a few times, at the end flat out saying they were “not a good combination” with “no real common ground”) and bits he feels don’t quite work, but is quite defensive of the film on the commentary (including that he feels critics exaggerated the quantity of farts), don’t know how much of that he stands by now. He also goes on a few seemingly random, sometimes somewhat bitter tangents about what he thinks of films these (2001) days, which is pretty funny.

    Also the Squirrel Nut Zippers song was suggested by Whoopi!

  9. @Pacman – no, I was still in Argentina back then; The first movie I watched in theaters here in the UK was the third Matrix movie. According to filmdates.co.uk Monkeybone did get a cinema release in the UK on the first of June, but no idea how wide it was. In Argentina it got a fair bit of promotion, with posters out and everything… must have been a really slow month. And a lot of upset parents.
    My choice to replace to replace King would have been Clive Barker, and if not available, by transitive law one of his co-cameoers Tobe Hooper, John Landis or Joe Dante.

  10. I saw this movie I guess when it first came out for rental. I remembered almost nothing about it and after reading your very interesting review I found I remembered nothing about it. Loved your review though. As for King at that time, I thought Bag Of Bones saw him going to new places. After the accident he wrote Dreamcatcher etc. He also rushed to finish the Dark Tower series. Sorry for the tangent.
    We all feel our mortality sometimes.

  11. Thanks dreadguacamole. I suspect it may have had a planned release here that was quietly cancelled, but it’s also possible it had a small release.

  12. I’m a confirmed Fraser apologist and even I have to admit that this is the most tedious performance he’s ever done. So much floppy haired mugging. But your undying grouchiness at millennials Claiming him genuinely tickles me to no end. Especially in movies like this where my boy is just indefensible.

  13. Thank you, PJ. You are my #1 go-to expert on the appeal of Fraser and I would’ve tried to respect it if you said he was good in this.

  14. I know we clown on movie executives insisting that every main character has to be relatable and sympathetic, but you watch this movie and the protagonist gets turned on by arm fat and okay… that’s a win for the soulless corporate exec. Major L for artistic integrity.

  15. I’ll stick my older millennial neck out (would that turn Stu on?) and say that I think Fraser does pretty well in making StuBone a distinct character from ComaStu, but I can’t deny PreComa Stu and ComaStu also feel like completely different characters in a way that does not feel intentional.

    I listened to Sellick’s recent interview with Double Toasted where he talks about MONKEYBONE, and he says if he were to do a Director’s Cut (which he would still like to do) he would cut down some of Fraser’s schtick, and that he thinks Fraser’s comfort zone as a comedian was GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE, and that he was a bit out of step with this and BEDAZZLED. Meow, as Miss Kitty might say! He wanted Ben Stiller to play Stu originally, but was turned off when Stiller wanted to bring in some of his own writers to (Ben) Stiller it up, which he now wishes he’d gone along with.

    I also learned from other research (busy weekend as you can tell) that Sam Hamm originally wanted Coma Town populated with “retired advertising mascots” like Speedy Alka Seltzer and the Esso Tiger, so if that vision had been seen through to fruition MONKEYBONE could have prevented FOODFIGHT! Maybe.

  16. Yeah Ben Stiller is actually a pretty great writer. I enjoyed meet the parents and I remember later finding out that the big signature funny scenes were mostly his ideas. Like the car chase that was start and stop.

  17. “Usually when a movie is about an artist I assume it’s somewhat autobiographical for the director. For a second I considered that Selick might see himself as an artist from the counterculture struggling with whether or not it’s selling out to make mainstream stuff like this. … About as underground as he gets is the creepy short Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions – but that was shown on MTV.”

    At this point it’s easy to forget that in the 1990s (and into the very early 2000s) being edgy and/or offensive WAS what was considered mainstream and cool. In addition to the above-mentioned South Park and Beavis and Butt-Head, there was also Ren and Stimpy and the MTV series Liquid Television.

    So “edgy Gen-X-er not wanting to sell out” is an attempt to be hip and cool and down with the kids. In an equivalent modern movie this character would be a TikTok “influencer” with his phone out all the time.

  18. I’ve never seen this– I only vaguely remember the poster from comic book ads and a brief clip on a roller coaster that was probably from a commercial. Heck, all these years I thought Chris Kattan played the monkey! But now you’re going to force me to eventually watch this by revealing it’s technically based on a comic book. Thanks! Though your screencaps are kind of selling me on it.

    Maybe the writers of Pixar’s SOUL were also big MONKEYBONEheads.

  19. The comic is on Internet Archive, you can find it if you search Monkeybone, it didn’t come up for me when I searched Dark Town for whatever reason. To be honest as part 1 of 12 where parts 2 thru 12 were never made, it’s a bit of a bust. Also I don’t know if this is a scanning issue but the font choice and for and presentation of the text was rather unusual and sometimes hard to read.

    It would be funny if they made a film now where a TikTok influencer worries about selling out, and in the end they realise they need to follow their true passion which is YouTubePoops or Angry Reviews of old video games or something.

  20. Artwork is cool though.

  21. I wanted to love this back 20 years ago, the art and stop motion seemed like a load of fun and the screen grabs show it off well too. Unfortunately this is one of those movies that is much better watched as a highlight reel. It is terrible and I am happy to agree for the thousandth time with Vern’s assessment. Don’t watch this crap thinking you missed out on a misunderstood classic. It will just make you angry. Look on YouTube for the good scenes.

    I feel much the same way about most Gondry films. They often seem like they would be way better with a competent director in charge and the director being in charge of FX. They should stick to their strengths.

    I still think Fraser would have made a great Anakin Skywalker.

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