When you think of a film based on a comic book, you think of superheroes, Superman, Batman Spider-man, Generally people don’t think about films like Ghost World and Monkeybone. Directed by Henry Selick, the film is shot in live action and Selick’s trademark animation style seen in his more famous films such as James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Monkeybone, is the story of cartoonist Stu who’s cartoon Monkeybone has become a smash hit, Stu is in love with Dr. Julie McElroy, a sleep institute worker who taught him to deal with his terrible nightmares by using his left had to draw. On the night of the cartoons premiere, Stu is about to ask Julie to marry him, Unfortunately a chain of events occur that send him into a coma. Whilst in the coma his spirit ends up in Down Town, a purgatory style carnival land that is the home of his character Monkeybone, the people here watch nightmares for entertainment, and they say that Stu’s were like caviar, This is until Julie fixed his sleeping problems. Stu is later tricked into staying in Down Town, by Monkey Bone, so he can provide new nightmares for the Down Town citizens to watch. As per any film, the next hour or so shows Stu trying to get back to his body, eventually meeting yet again with Whoopy Goldbergs character of Death who decides the fate of our “hero”
Overall the film looks great the animation is dark and signature to the director giving it a familiar feel to his previous films, the chracters costumes look great, and the animation of Monkeybone is spot on. all in all Brenden Frasers monkey antics and Dave Foley’s nightmare scene also helps this film branch in to the comedy catogory
Monkeybone has a strong cult following, and I would go as far as to say it is a film that I would place in my top twennty films. sadly it did not live up to expectations of many who expected another Nightmare Before Christmas or James and the Giant Peach. branching out from Disney could have been Henry Selick’s after all he did go on to direct Coraline. Overall its a fun movie, if taken for what it is a quirky, comedic comic book adaption.