May 5, 2020
"Monkey Island" is surprisingly interesting, on a kind of meta level. Because there's a lot of anime from this time period (many of which can be found at https://animation.filmarchives.jp/en/) that have this type of simplistic art and animation, and this style of purely visual, gag based comedy. But unlike its contemporaries, Monkey Island comes across almost disturbingly cynical, in addition to being baffling and insane.
The film opens with a ship at sea, beset by a sudden storm (with cloud and sea spray beautifully rendered by way of what appears to be sand overlaid on the image). An infant in a box goes overboard, and cries/shouts
hard enough to propel itself to shore on a tropical island, whereupon it is adopted by a colony of monkeys, who bring it to "Mother Monkey".
Mother Monkey has tits (yes, this is very weird). He drains one tit till it shrivels up, grows 5 years before your eyes. Drains the other one, he's 10 years old. And he has the haircut of the MC from Koe no Katachi. Then some baby monkey walks over and wants to be fed, but Mom's empty, so it starts crying.
Anyways the human gets into some sort of contest of superiority with two other monkeys, and he's a total asshole. He basically bullies them and laughs at them. And when they demonstrate there are things they can use their tails to do things that he can't, and make fun of him for it, he picks up a crab that had pinched him earlier and weaponizes it, setting it on their tails. He ends up getting expelled from the colony, and rather than trying to make amends, he escalates the situation, using palm trees to sling coconuts at them, until he's forced to flee the island on a raft.
Monkey Island is like Tarzan written from the perspective that humanity is inherently evil. The infant gets in a shouting contest with the entire colony almost as soon as he is discovered on the island. He's selfish, gluttonous, and egotistical. He uses his intelligence to fashion tools and weaponize his surroundings to assert dominance. Even his rapid growth is a trope common to monsters like the Xenomorph.
Anyways I don't expect anyone else to think much of this film or to attribute much depth to it, but I do think it's worth watching.
What did you think of this review?