Maya is a toque macaque whose world is changed when her son Kip becomes part of her extended family. Maya’s family has its share of diverse personalities and she wishes her son to have the best advantages for advancing within the family's social strata. When their home is overrun by a neighboring tribe of monkeys, the family has to find a new home. Maya uses her inherent smarts to lead the family to new resources, but it develops that the entire group will have to cooperate in order to reclaim their original home, where Maya wishes to advance her son's future within the family.
Monkey Kingdom is the eighth film by Disneynature, the independent film label of Walt Disney Studios. It was released in the United States on April 17, and will be released internationally on April 23 to coincide with Earth Day. A portion of box office receipts will be donated to Conservation International.
The film is directed and produced by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, who previously co-directed Disneynature's first release,Earth (2007), as well as Chimpanzee (2012). Fothergill also co-directed African Cats (2011) and Bears (2014). The film was scored by British composer Harry Gregson-Williams, and was shot using Sony F65 cameras.
Monkey Kingdom 's major toque macaque characters consist of lead female Maya, her newborn son Kip, the troupe's alpha maleRaja, a trio of high status females called The Sisterhood, and Kumar, a newcomer wishing entrance to the monkey tribe.
Monkey Kingdom was released on April 17, 2015. The first official trailer for the film was released on April 18, 2014, featuring the song "Team" by Lorde and attached theatrically with Bears.
In North America, it opened simultaneously with Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Unfriended on April 17, 2015, across 2,012 theaters, which is the widest release for a Disneynature film, earning $1.5 million. Through its opening weekend it earned $4.58 million, coming at eighth place at the box office, which is the lowest debut for a Disneynature film behind 2014's Bears ($4.78 million).
Monkey Kingdom has received critical acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 93%, based on 46 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's consensus reads "Monkey Kingdom 's breathtaking footage of primates in the wild is likely to please animal lovers of all ages." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Monkey Kingdom an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.