Monkeybone (2001)

Monkeybone (2001)



Critic Consensus: Though original and full of bizarre visuals, Monkeybone is too shapeless a movie, with unengaging characters and random situations that fail to build up laughs.

Monkeybone Photos

Movie Info

This feverishly energetic comedy combines stop-motion animation and live action from director Henry Selick, creator of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and James and the Giant Peach (1996). Brendan Fraser stars as Stu Miley, a cartoonist who created a randy monkey character called Monkeybone that has taken off in popularity, making him a celebrity. Stu's set to launch a TV series based on Monkeybone and marry his beautiful fiancée Julie (Bridget Fonda) when he's injured in a freak accident that puts him in a coma. He travels to Dark Town, a holding area for the comatose who wait to either regain consciousness or move on to the afterlife with the help of Death (Whoopi Goldberg). Dark Town is also a realm where fictional characters reside and before long Stu has met the vulgar Monkeybone, who travels back to the land of the living to inhabit Stu's body. Aided by Kitty (Rose McGowan), Stu must find a way to reclaim his body and put Monkeybone back in his place before the raunchy primate ruins his charmed life. Monkeybone is based on the cartoon graphic novel Dark Town by Kaja Blackley. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
PG-13 (for crude humor and some nudity)
Animation , Comedy , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Brendan Fraser
as Stu Miley
Bridget Fonda
as Julie McElroy
Chris Kattan
as Organ Donor Stu
John Turturro
as Monkeybone
Dave Foley
as Herb
Lisa Zane
as Medusa
Chris Hogan
as Bazoom Toy Representative
Ted Rooney
as Grim Reaper
Scott Workman
as Arnold the Super Reaper
Roger L. Jackson
as Arnold the Super Reaper
Veena Bishasha
as Statue Woman
Doug Jones
as Yeti
Arturo Gil
as Rat Guard
Jody St. John
as Centaur
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Monkeybone

All Critics (112) | Top Critics (31)

You can almost see money dripping off the walls of the sets and cybersets in this special-effects extravaganza.

Full Review… | April 26, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The design is often brilliant, although the film is nowhere near as tasteless or funny as it ought to be.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Why do I still have a soft spot for this flick? Because there are glimmers of intelligence in the mess, because it must have driven the marketing department crazy, and because it fails so differently than all those run-of-the-mill failures.

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

There's unwieldy mess -- but there's also unruly brilliance to this dark and funny story.

Full Review… | March 1, 2001
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

One of those newfangled production design monstrosities that grabs you by the collar in the first ten minutes, then shakes you around like a rag doll until you're ready to drop.

Full Review… | February 23, 2001
Top Critic

The result is a script so needlessly complicated that it defies comprehension.

Full Review… | February 23, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Monkeybone

Based on the comic Dark Town but slightly twisted somewhat, resulting in this film from Selick, which by no means is a bad thing as the film is great fun. When I first saw this it was a straight to video release but I was enticed by the unusual title and colourful film cover, but I must admit after seeing it I didn't really like it that much. The film did bomb heavily in the US and this is why the UK only saw it at the videoshop which is a shame. I think the odd casting of Brendan Fraser (never been a big name really) and Bridget Fonda didn't help as the you don't tend to think of these two for a surreal 'Burton-esq' life after death flick as this. I also think Fraser gave the film a childish outlook due to his previous films plus he's not a great actor anyway so this may have detracted from the film. Upon watching again I must say I've warmed up to this fantasy now big time, it does show tremendous imagination and originality throughout which is unique in itself, add to that some marvellous stop motion animation, cartoon animation and a whole host loony toon rubber masks and suits equalling many strange and bizarre creatures. Selick being the master behind 'Nightmare Before Christmas' shows us again here how that wasn't a fluke, much like 'Beetlejuice' the characters are all suppose to be dead or with this film imaginatively created also. Most of the film is set in a limbo land and this allows Selick to run riot with the creations and utilize his skills in stop motion perfectly, all of which is really nicely done. You really could be forgiven for thinking this was a Burton/Selick collaboration as the film is very dark and off the wall highlighting their fascination of the afterlife being basically a pain in the ass. The whole film is highly colourful, vivid and shows great artistic merit with some nice alternative takes on the look for limbo, death, passing over etc...its not morbid but nicely ghoulish. Must applaud Chris Kattan for a brilliant little role as a dead body that Fraser's character inhabits towards the end, really nicely played and quite believeable as a corpse with a broken neck haha kudos. Worst choice is easily casting Whoopi Goldberg as 'Death', who's decision was that!!?.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

This was an enjoyable ride. It was just funny how the main act was holding his head on with anything he could find. I laughed every time he came up with something new and original to hold it up.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

I watched this because of Brendan Fraser. But this was stupid.

Dead Angel
Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

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