Youngsters probably don't know that a long time ago, chimpanzees were sent into space in NASA rockets before astronauts got the chance to go. But they will certainly know more about that historical fact after seeing the very clever and funny Space Chimps
, a computer-animated film in which primates are sent off-planet once again by a space agency. When a probe from Earth gets zapped into a wormhole and ends up in the hands of a wannabe tyrant (voiced by Jeff Daniels) on a distant planet, a chimp crew is thrust in that same direction to see what's up. The simian team includes a by-the-book commander (Patrick Warburton), a brilliant scientist (Cheryl Hines), and a wild card named Ham III (Andy Samberg), a circus chimp whose grandfather happened to be an astronaut legend in the old space program. The script by Kirk De Micco and Robert Moreland is like a string of lighted firecrackers: rapid-fire puns, wisecracks, and blink-and-you'll-miss-them visual gags that will appeal to every age. De Micco, making his directorial debut, keeps the comic engine humming, but he also supervises radically different art direction schemes underscoring how different Earth is from the Seussian-like planet on which Ham and the other visitors find themselves. Ratcheting up the humor even more are three NASA-nerds harboring party animals within their pocket-protector-covered hearts, and a funny performance by Stanley Tucci (Big Night
) as an imperious senator. --Tom Keogh
From the producers of Shrek comes the hysterical animated family comedy about an astronaut chimp who must save the world. Fun computer-animated sci-fi tale focuses on Ham III (voiced by Andy Samberg)--the grandson of the first chimpanzee ever sent into space--who gets chosen to join the crew assigned to track down a missing probe. Travelling to a distant galaxy, Ham III and fellow chimps Titan (Patrick Warburton) and Luna (Cheryl Hines) must help the citizens of a far-off planet defeat the evil tyrant Zartog (Jeff Daniels). Also features the voices of Kristin Chenoweth, Kenan Thompson.