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Summer of the Monkeys [VHS] (1998)

Michael Ontkean , Leslie Hope , Michael Anderson  |  G |  VHS Tape
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

List Price: $9.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Summer of the Monkeys [VHS] + A Bug's Life [VHS]
Price for both: $8.24

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  • A Bug's Life [VHS] $3.25

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Ontkean, Leslie Hope, Wilford Brimley, Corey Sevier, Katie Stuart
  • Directors: Michael Anderson
  • Writers: Greg Taylor, Jim Strain, Wilson Rawls
  • Producers: Chris Harding, David Doerksen, Ellen Freyer, Michael J. LeGresley
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, HiFi Sound
  • Language: English
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 22, 1998
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305009589
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Twelve-year-old Jay Berry Lee has one goal this summer: to buy his own pony. He plans to work long hours in his grandfather's general store to earn the money for it. But business is slow in this Great Plains farm town circa 1910, and his dream seems unreachable until the day he discovers a group of escaped circus monkeys. Despite his father's warnings and his mother's anger over his irresponsibility, Jay Berry tries everything in his power to capture the comical monkeys and claim the handsome reward offered by their owner. During his efforts, he learns important lessons about tenacity, charity, prioritizing his values, and, yes, monkeys.

Based on the award-winning novel by Wilson Rawls, Summer of the Monkeys brings together a snug ensemble of capable actors. The most recognizable cast members include Wilford Brimley (Cocoon) and the mild-mannered Michael Ontkean (Twin Peaks). Corey Sevier handles the role of Jay Berry Lee with the right blend of preteen adrenaline and emotion. Under the direction of Michael Anderson (Around the World in Eighty Days) the characters treat this moderately paced period piece with great care. Both the story and the dialogue are sensible without being sentimental, a quality that should appeal to all family members. Its clean, upbeat style may remind adult viewers of Disney's wilderness family classics of the 1970s. --Liane Thomas

Product Description

Based on the award-winning novel by Wilson Rawls, Disney's classic coming-of-age adventure offers a humorous and heartwarming story that spans generations. Beautifully filmed, SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS is an unforgettable tale about Jay Berry Lee, a 12-year-old boy growing up on a farm who dreams of buying the pony he loves. When his dog Rowdy wants to investigate a strange noise in "the bottoms" -- a place Jay is forbidden to go -- he reluctantly follows. Incredibly, they discover a band of four runaway circus monkeys who prove to be clever and elusive troublemakers. Once Jay learns there is a handsome reward for their return, the chase is on for a summer of fun, thrills, and danger. Along the way, Jay learns a lot more about monkeys and what's really important in life than he ever imagined! Including wonderful performances by veteran actors Wilford Brimley (COCOON, THE NATURAL), and Michael Ontkean (SLAP SHOT, POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE), SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS is a classic story of life-changing experiences your whole family will love!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie June 24, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Like a previous reviewer stated, the title didn't catch me. The cover (I was 8 and judging by the cover was the way to tell) looked bored and showed off a boring deal. It didn't help that it looked rural. It just looked dull!
How wrong I was! I haven't watched this movie in probably five years, but I remember it's magic. It was just a great, simple movie. You could relate to Jay-he was the troublemaker, yet often felt ignored. Corey Sevier is one of those actors that you see everywhere but you can't quite put your finger on it--but he's great!
The highlights of this movie are simple scenes, really. Unlike most, there's no HUGE event that leads the movie. That said, it's a simple movie that even young kids can enjoy. Kids who's favorites movie list upon the Fast and the Furious, may not like it because it's not that kind of movie-but sensitive children are sure to love it!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie for the Entire Family August 25, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I went to the mall and saw this movie sold at Best Buy. I had the priviledge to watch it on cable just today. We need more movies like this to instill family values. I think this is a super movie for the whole family. Have some tissues ready.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie with a sweet message October 15, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is not really about monkeys but a story about a young boy growing up and out of selfishness. It's wonderful to watch this boy take a big step to becoming a man by the things he experiences one eventful summer. I was satisfied to have my children watch a film with such a great message.It was also nice to watch a film with clean language. You won't be sorry you watched it.
A Concerned Christian Mom
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but shouldn't be rated G! November 24, 2009
By Jen B
I have not read the book, so I have no point of reference there, but I did enjoy the movie very much.
It really is touching, and I thought it was well done all around.
HOWEVER, there is no way I'd give this a G rating. I was pretty regretful to have let my child watch this one, without skipping over parts. I don't think she caught the part where an old bootlegger is described as one who would shoot you and put your head up on a stick as a warning to others, but I am sure she did notice the dead body shown later in the film. It was unnecessarily gruesome, imo, panning slowly up the cold, pale hand, over the body, crushed by a tree, and focusing on the horrible, pale, dead face, with eyes open. I didn't say anything and I hope it won't haunt her. It probably will me though!
I'm learning the hard way that just because a movie is rated G, doesn't mean it is suitable for young kids. There was a lot to love about this movie and it provoked lots of good family discussion about unselfishness, love, forgiveness, and so on. There was also a lot of fighting and many scary moments, including a storm scene. The overall lessons are positive though, just beware of certain parts, if you have a young, or sensitive child
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Summer of the Monkeys September 30, 2007
Over all good family movie for children to watch with their parents. Somewhat of a Life on the Prarie type movie with good Ideals and values for both the parents and their children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie. April 2, 2007
Format:VHS Tape
I liked this movie. Great for children.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Corey doesn't disappoint March 6, 2000
By Zane
Format:VHS Tape
Great family movie----Corey Sevier does a 1st rate job playing Jay Berry. Why he doesn't get more recognition is beyond me. In my opinion he is just as good an actor as JTT.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter LOVES this movie. January 20, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I haven't had a chance to watch yet but my daughter loves this movie. She watches it all the time. When I couldn't find it in stores, I knew I'd be able to find it on Amazon.com. Thanks Amazon!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother.
I loved the book, strongly disliked the movie. My sixth grade class felt the same way. A wonderful boy is turned into a spotty brat in the movie. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
good movie
Published 1 month ago by jeffmork
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the movie!:)
Published 1 month ago by Courtney C Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Family Movie!
This movie was a favorite for me and my grandchildren, so had to get the DVD for my new step-grandchildren. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rose Ann West
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked the book better
This was a good movie, but I enjoyed the book so much more. I imagined things so differently than what was portrayed in the movie.
Published 3 months ago by Melinda
2.0 out of 5 stars Summer of the Monkeys
The DVD was in good shape but the movie did not follow the book's storyline. It was very disappointing. Stick to the book, much more entertaining.
Published 5 months ago by shirlene fitzwater
1.0 out of 5 stars Great book, crappy movie!
Disney destroys another classic book with over religious garbage and complete rewriting of story line. Great book, crappy movie! Not worth the money, just get the book.
Published 8 months ago by reader9
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Family Movie
This is a great family movie. Love the actors they choose for this movie. Would recommed to anyone with kids!
Published 10 months ago by Mitchell S Bell
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed!
So disappointed. I just finished reading "The Summer of Monkeys" with my child and order the movie for family night. We couldn't believe how different they are. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Erin Seay
5.0 out of 5 stars "Best Kept Secret" Movie!
Not only is this book one of my absolute favorites of all time, the movie is well done and worth buying. So glad it is a ails me on DVD! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Devmonkey
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