Ham III (Andy Samberg), is the grandson of the famous first chimp in space, Ham, whose space exploits made him a hero. His grandson, however, is a good natured goofball working as a chimpic cannon ball in a circus - until NASA decides they need him for a mission to trace a missing intergalactic probe; a mission no human could undertake. He is shoved into the program to accompany fellow chimp Luna (voice of Cheryl Hines), a well trained, disciplined, company woman, both under the command of Titan (Patrick Warburton). Rocketed into space and steered into a wormhole, they discover a magical planet inhabited by a host of wonderful animals but ruled by Zartog (Jeff Daniels), a vicious king. To make things worse, their spaceship crashes and their return to earth is in jeopardy.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A sweet and harmless family film, Space Chimps finds a story excuse to send three chimps into space in search of an unmanned NASA probe that was gobbled up by an intergalactic wormhole. Don't you hate when that happens? Anyway, we first meet Ham III, grandson of the first chimp to go into space (Jan. 31, 1961, and his name is the acronym for Holloman Aerospace Medical Centre, where he was trained and prepared, if you want the facts).
But we fly far away from the facts of anything with these chimps, to a magical planet where blobs do wondrous things, a nasty king freezes anyone who gets in his way, and Kilowatt (voice of Kristin Chenoweth) steals the show with her large, glowing head and cutesy voice. All the voice work is excellent, and there are a few adult gags which makes the film acceptable for accompanying adults, including a series of lame puns on the chimp word.
The animation is fluid and inventive, the pace is well maintained and the characterisations deliver recognisable human elements in chimps' form. Safe enough for youngsters, short enough for their adult minders.
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SPACE CHIMPS (G)
VOICES: Jeff Daniels, Andy Samberg, Patrick Warburton, Stanley Tucci, Cheryl Hines
PRODUCER: Barry Sonnenfeld, John H. Williams
DIRECTOR: Kirk De Micco
SCRIPT: Kirk De Micco, Robert Moreland
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jericca Cleland
EDITOR: Debbie Berman
MUSIC: Chris P. Bacon, Blue Man Group
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Matthias Lechner
RUNNING TIME: 81 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Tas: September 4; Vic, QLD: September 18; NSW, WA,SA: September 25, 2008