A decade on from Balto, its last foray into 2-D 'toonery, Universal brings out the chimp for this belated adap of Margret and HA Rey's popular '40s picture book. Alas, the years have not been kind to the mischievous simian, whose accident-prone exploits belong to a long-gone era - along with Will Ferrell's jocular vocal stylings, as the 'Man in the Yellow Hat' who lures him from the African jungle to New York.
Director Matthew O'Callaghan retains the source material's primary colours, while Jack Johnson provides melodious, if samey ballads. Where this monkey deserves a spanking, however, is for ditching the book's instructional tone. No one wants to be preached at, but when a kids' movie does things like imply there's nothing wrong with playing in traffic, it brings out the Mary Whitehouse in you. Don't the producers realise children ape what they see?
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