Reviews

Feb 12, 2021
AlanDSouza1 (All reviews)
Nonsense Story: Monkey Island is pretty whimsical in its narrative and pretty experimental with its animation techniques. The introduction is particularly breathtaking, with some use of physical particles smudged on celluloid to create sea sprays and chemical processing on film to create rather three dimensional clouds. There's a thematic motif throughout the film, where the sole human has been animated with a frame fluidity that the monkeys have not. The monkeys instead have been animated at half the required frame speed (8 fps) to give them a stop motion like discontinuous motion effect.

The theme of evolution is constantly played with through the runtime, albeit in a Planet of the Apes sort of way. The monkeys think that the human child is an undeveloped form of monkey since it lacks a tail. Its behavior constantly appears primitive to the monkeys who despise its uncivil ways and isolate said human until it grows it's tail.

However, this only breeds hostility within the isolated child, who takes revenge on their celebrations before making his way to the sea - a way of escape from the island and also an escape from the grips of the monkeys.

Could this just be a simple movie about monkeys rearing a mischievous baby? Sure. However, given the time period it would be difficult to ignore the metaphorical allegories in place here. The Japanese - a relatively isolated society think of themselves as superior and when visitors arrive automatically deem them as inferior. They cautiously deal with the visitors (Dutch colonists) until they become big enough to become a nuisance and then kick them out. However, the visitor won't leave them alone to meddle in their affairs and promptly crashes into their celebration with a new round of pranks (or conflict) leading them to eventually be chased out.