Vanguard Animation is a new studio that has attempted, with Space Chimps, to match the success of Finding Nemo and Ratatouille but has failed on multiple levels.
With the enormous success of nearly every Pixar film released, it is no surprise that other animation studios are attempting to jump on the bandwagon to cash in on the popularity of animated children’s movies. Vanguard Animation is a new studio that has attempted, with Space Chimps, to match the success of Finding Nemo and Ratatouille but has failed on multiple levels, widening the chasm between Pixar…and all the rest.
Ham III (Andy Samberg) is a circus chimp who has two claims to fame: being shot out of a cannon night after night and being the grandson of Ham I, the first chimp to be shot into space. He is enlisted to join a team of chimp astronauts to travel deep into outer space where humans can’t travel to retrieve a probe that was lost. His comrades are Luna (Cheryl Hines) and Titan (Patrick Warburton), both of whom have been training their entire lives for this opportunity.
The chimps are sent into space and chaos ensues. There isn’t much worth mentioning about the film except the vocal performances of the actors, especially Jeff Daniels as the evil alien ruler Zartog and Stanley Tucci as the Senator. Both are having a lot of fun, and it comes through in their performances.
The movie itself is quite unimaginative and does little to keep the audience’s attention. The animation oscillates between mediocre and incredibly sophomoric and misdirected. The planet the chimps travel to looks like the animators couldn’t decide on an image; it comes off as an amalgamation of several different styles.
There are charming moments and some good laughs, but they are spread throughout a movie that moves too slowly and follows a formulaic pattern that even the youngest child in the audience will recognize | Matthew F. Newlin