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Monkeybone (Special Edition)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, John Turturro, Chris Kattan, Giancarlo Esposito
  • Directors: Henry Selick
  • Writers: Kaja Blackley, Sam Hamm
  • Producers: Henry Selick, Chris Columbus, Lata Ryan, Mark Radcliffe, Michael Barnathan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Live, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXIS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,920 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Monkeybone (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Insider's look at the fascinating live action/ animation process
  • Extended scenes
  • Fantasical creature gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It's rude! It's raunchy! It's totally outrageous! Brendan Fraser goes bananas in this comedy that breaks all the rules. After a car crash sends repressed cartoonist Stu Miley (Fraser) into a coma, he and the mischievous Monkeybone, his hilariously horny alter-ego, wake up in a wacked-out waystation for lost souls. When Monkeybone takes over Stu's body and escapes to wreak havoc on the real world, Stu has to find a way to stop him before his sister pulls the plug on reality forever!


Brendan Fraser plays the best-looking cartoonist you'll ever see in Monkeybone. Stu (Fraser) has created an animated character named Monkeybone, who sprang from his repressed sexual anxieties. He's just sold his animated series to a cable channel, and is being bombarded with proposals for toys and other marketing extravaganzas, when he and his girlfriend Julie (Bridget Fonda) get into a car wreck and Stu falls into a coma. But comas are much more complicated than you might expect: Stu finds himself in Down Town, where lives a mixture of other people in comas and figments of these people's imaginations. Naturally, Monkeybone himself is there, and he and Stu quickly start fighting like cats and dogs. When Stu realizes that his sister, due to a pact they once made, is preparing to pull the plug on him, Stu makes a deal with Hypnos, the god of sleep, to help him steal a golden ticket from Death himself (or herself, as Death is played by Whoopi Goldberg). Sound complicated? Well, from there it only gets more ornate. Monkeybone is a bit of a mess, but it's never boring, and every now and then it roars to amazingly dynamic life. Fraser is excellent, and the strong supporting cast includes Giancarlo Esposito (Do the Right Thing), Rose McGowan (Scream), Dave Foley (Brain Candy), and Saturday Night Live's Chris Kattan as a gymnast with a broken neck who... well, it's a bit complicated to explain. A crazy quilt of a movie, chock-full of delirious ideas and inspired moments. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

The art direction is garish but not necessarily interesting.
David Baldwin
There really isn't anything that makes this film stand out, and I can see why some people wouldn't like "Monkeybone".
The effects were good, the story was funny and the characters were all done very well.
Serrell Ross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Berg on July 13, 2001
Format: DVD
"Monkeybone" is the type of experimental, twisted movie that is destined to become a cult classic. Mixing shades of Tim Burton's "Beetlejuice" with an enormous variety of influences such as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "All of Me," "Alice in Wonderland," and even "Regarding Henry," this movie is a stop-motion cartoon, a live-action love story, a dark comedy, a fantasy, a Freudian nightmare, and more. It contains an extremely diverse and unusual cast, including Brendan Fraser as a cartoonist in a coma, Bridget Fonda as his fiancee, Whoopi Goldberg as Death (yes, you read that right), Chris Kattan as the decomposing corpse of a gymnast, Megan Mullally as the cartoonist's sister who is very eager to pull the plug, Dave Foley as the cartoonist's manager, and Rose McGowan as a kitty cat (yes, once again, you read that right)! It also contains bizzare, strange, and cool animation by director Henry Selick, who also directed Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas."
Ostensibly, "Monkeybone" is the story about an artist's struggle between artistic integrity and cartoonish commercialism, about the difference between a work of art and a mere doodle, a satire about the consequences of "selling out." It is also a Freudian fairy tale about a man whose sexual id is represented by a cartoon monkey. Monkeybone is literally this man's erection. The story is an examination of what happens when one lets one's id take over his whole life. It is a psychological analysis of what nightmares are made of. It is a surrealistic comedy containing some of the most startling, visually stunning images you are likely to see on film for a long time, including strange representations of many classical, mythological creatures.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ladylindsay on June 26, 2001
Format: DVD
I have to say I'm surprised and glad to see the praise this movie is getting. I thought I'd have to come in and defend it, but I see you all have some taste ;)
I talked to two people at work about this movie after I saw it. All three of us have different tastes and all three got something different out of it. I am the animation fanatic, and was interested in seeing another film by the director of Nightmare before Christmas. I enjoy Henry Selick's style and vision, and saw it come through quite well at moments in the film. It's funny that the things I did not like so much about the movie were what my co-workers (and some reviewers here) liked best. Bill is an SNL and comedy lover, and watched purely for that aspect. He thought the movie was hilarious but a little too weird. And my film snobby assistant was impressed with the insider jokes and references, half of which I didn't even catch.
This is why I give the film four stars. It is very good. We all liked it. But none of us loved it 100%. Of course, if we had had, one of us would give it five stars and the others would pan it completely. I guess that's the problem with trying to please everyone all the time. At least Monkeybone comes close, and I recommend it equally to animation, cult film, and comedy lovers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2001
Format: DVD
This was a weird movie and very funny. At one point I fell off of the couch laughing and we had to stop the DVD! We were both laughing so hard we couldn't hear what was going on so we had to play it again. We are going to buy this one for sure!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2001
Format: DVD
It is amazing to me that every time Brendan Fraser does an edgy, risky movie, like this one, his audience bottoms out. Yet when he does work that I find barely watchable, like the two "Mummy" movies, he is a huge hit. This film drew few viewers, just like his "Still Breathing," "Gods and Monsters," and "Twilight of the Golds." Here Fraser plays cartoonist Stu who via a coma is transported to Down Town. Other people in comas and people who are created by others' imaginations live in Down Town. They all crave nightmares and dreams. It is a hyper surreal place. Stu's creation, Monkeybone, lives there too and Monkeybone plots to take Stu's place in the real world.

Monkeybone does emerge in the real world in Stu's body and Fraser does a superb job playing a monkey in the body of a man. In fact, his character is the most fun when Monkeybone takes over. I've never seen before "Saturday Night Live's" Chris Kattan. He plays a gymnast with a broken neck whose body Stu inhabits while trying to get his own body back from Monkeybone. He turns in an amazing performance as well and I'd like to see him in more. I do not know the technicalities of animation film making. However, the combination of animation characters with real world actors, like Fraser, is done superbly and seamlessly here. In fact, it might ruin the film for me to know how it is done so I'm just as glad that I don't know.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2002
Format: DVD
When this movie came out, it both garnered a huge number of really bad reviews and inspired very few people to come see it at the theater. The truth is that while it is by no means a great movie, it isn't at all a bad one, either. I might have found it disappointing in the theater, but at home on a DVD player, it provided a quite enjoyable couple of hours.
There is, however, a lot of talent that isn't fully utilized in this film. Most of the weight of the film is placed on the shoulders of Brendan Frasier, and he does his usual excellent job (though I am concerned that, the Mummy series apart, he is starting to get stuck in doofus roles--he is better than that, as GODS AND MONSTERS showed, and I would love to see him in a wider variety of roles). But Bridget Fonda is not really called upon to do much, Whoopi Goldberg has what almost appears as a cameo role, David Foley is a one-dimensional character, and no one else is really called to do very much. The only other actors who really add much to the film are John Turturro voicing Monkeybone and Chris Kattan. I normally loathe Kattan, who is one of the main reasons I haven't been able to watch SNL for several years, but he does a creditable job as an animated corpse in a small but crucial role (the box cover extravagantly exaggerates the size of his role, and seeing him on the cover actually was one of the deterrents to my seeing the film for quite some time).
But the real star of MONKEYBONE is everyone who was involved in the art and set design. Easily the most compelling parts of MONKEYBONE are those where Stu (Brendan Frasier) is stuck in the nightmare world. Harry Selick, the director, also directed both THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, and there is a definite stylistic resemblance between the three films. MONKEYBONE is without question the lesser film of the three, but not at all unwatchable for all that.
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