30 Coolest Movie Monkeys

King Kong (1933)

The Monkey: Kong

Why So Cool? The granddaddy of all movie monkeys, Kong is both a lover and a fighter… gentle at heart, but more than willing to crack a few skulls if his loved ones are put at risk. Granted, his over-protective nature might be a bit suffocating for some tastes, but if you like your apes strong and simple, you won’t find a more loyal specimen than Kong.

If He Was Our Friend: We’d make sure he was out of the house if we had a girl visiting. He can get a bit jealous when it comes to women…

Ed (1996)

The Monkey: Ed

Why So Cool? Sick and tired of being stuck on mascot duty, Ed manages to increase his share of the limelight when he’s given a try at pitcher for his local baseball team. Somewhat surprisingly, he turns out to be a natural, upstaging an embarrassed-looking Matt LeBlanc in the process. Who says there’s a glass ceiling for apes in sport?

If He Was Our Friend: We’d try and teach him cricket. A chimp might be able to play a bit of rounders, but would he be able to do it in a five-day Test match?

The Jungle Book (1967)

The Monkey: King Louie

Why So Cool? Certainly the funkiest monkey on this list, the regal King Louie likes nothing better than a good old boogie, a refreshingly unstuffy quality in a monarch. Top marks for ambition too – how many monkeys do you know willing to capture a child in order to work out the nature of fire?

If He Was Our Friend: We’d give him a box of matches and tell him to knock himself out.

The Hangover pt. 2 (2011)

The Monkey: Crystal

Why So Cool?
After the loveable baby from the first movie, Crystal had a lot to live up to in the cutesy sidekick stakes. However, unlike a baby, she’s extremely adept at stealing, capering and simulating sexual acts for the amusement of her human companions. We know who we’d prefer to knock about with!

If She Was Our Friend:
We’d task her to sit on our shoulders in order to appear quirky and mysterious. Check us out, ladies…

The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

The Monkey: The Flying Monkeys

Why So Cool?
The Wicked Witch of the West’s army of winged monkeys have to be amongst the scariest chimps ever captured on film. Their piercing war-shriek is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but combined with their blue fur and the fact they have wings… well, let’s just say they instinctively have us retreating behind the sofa.

If They Were Our Friends: We’d use them to terrify the neighbourhood children. Obviously.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The Monkey: The ape with the bone

Why So Cool? Stanley Kubrick’s early primates aren’t as intrinsically cool as some of the others on this list, but the scene in which they feature certainly is. As an angry ape chucks a bone up in the air, the scene changes seamlessly to somewhere in outer space, the primitive bone replaced by an advanced space station. How far we’ve come, eh Stanley?

If He Was Our Friend: Nobody would want to mess with us, that’s for sure. This ape is a pretty fearsome customer!

Every Which Way But Loose (1978)

The Monkey: Clyde

Why So Cool? Not many humans could keep up with a brawling boozer of Clint Eastwood’s pedigree, so full credit must go to plucky orangutan Clyde for being every bit as badass as old granite-features himself. Our favourite moment is when he gives a pair of trash-talking bikers the finger at a set of traffic lights. A monkey flipping the bird can never not be funny.

If He Was Our Friend: We’d have to up our intake of fags and booze for fear of losing face in front of him!

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)

The Monkey: Jack

Why So Cool? He’s a light-fingered little blighter, and a useful aide to piratical owner Captain Barbossa. However, the coolest thing about him is the fact that he’s a member of the undead. That’s right, we’re talking about a zombie monkey here! It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

If He Was Our Friend:
We’d head out to sea and embark upon a life of piracy. Do the Somalians have any zombie monkeys to back them up? Do they hell!

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

The Monkey: Master Monkey

Why So Cool? A fun-loving prankster, Master Monkey might be well-versed in the arse-kicking discipline of Kung Fu, but he still can’t resist the more basic pleasure of ripping a person’s trousers down for comic effect. So essentially, you have a monkey who de-bags people, knows martial arts and is voiced by Jackie Chan… a winning combination if ever we heard one.

If He Was Our Friend:
We’d make a fortune from You’ve Been Framed

Space Chimps (2008)

The Monkey: Ham 3

Why So Cool? He comes from a family of great ape achievers, his grandfather holding the prestigious distinction of being the first monkey in space. Ham initially spends his days acting as a cannonball for his local circus (pretty cool in itself), before heading off to space in order to save the Earth from imminent doom. We’d say he’s done quite well for himself!

I f He Was Our Friend: We’d persuade him to rejoin the circus. We’d never see him if he was jetting off to space every five minutes!

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.