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30 Coolest Movie Monkeys

Outbreak (1995)

The Monkey: The host monkey

Why So Cool?
Having seen his animal brethren tortured and experimented upon by selfish old humanity, this little pest turns the tables by carrying an Ebola-like virus to a small town in the US. It isn’t long before all hell has broken loose, with the army pitching up to blow the infected town to smithereens. And all because of one sickly chimp…

If He Was Our Friend: We’d probably keep him at arm’s length, to be honest. We’re all for having a monkey buddy, but we’re not willing to die for one!

MVP: Most Valuable Primate (2000)

The Monkey: Jack

Why So Cool? Jack can play ice hockey, and he can play it like a champ. As in Air Bud , his local league seems to have no problem with an animal joining in, and it isn’t long before Jack is firing his team to glory. Somebody really needs to start tightening up these loopholes in the rules…

If He Was Our Friend:
We’d form an animal talent agency, loaning out Jack, Ed and other talented chimps to various struggling sports teams. Kerching!

Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger (1977)

The Monkey: Prince Kassim

Why So Cool? Prince Kassim is actually a human prince, transformed into a baboon by his witchy stepmother, but he makes for a cracking sidekick to young adventurer Sinbad. The wealthiest, most powerful ape on this list, he ends up as a human again by the time the film reaches its close, but not before a good hour or so of monkeying around. Sterling work, sir!

If He Was Our Friend:
We prefer him as an ape, to be honest, so we’d keep him well away from and passing sorcerers who might be able to reverse the curse. Sorry chum, you’re just too cute as a monkey!

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)

The Monkey: Sydney

Why So Cool? A super-intelligent gorilla who sets about rescuing poor Lily Tomlin from a gang of crazed scientists. To be honest, the film is absolute nonsense, but Sydney is the star of the show, with Oscar-winning effects man Rich Baker donning some nifty (for the time) make-up to bring the gorilla to life.

If He Was Our Friend:
We’d get ourselves shrunk, if only to fulfil the lifelong dream of riding upon a gorilla’s back. One day… one day.

Planet Of The Apes (1968)

The Monkey: Dr. Zaius

Why So Cool? Whilst most movie monkeys are irrefutably loveable, Dr. Zaius is an excellently hissable villain, threatening Charlton Heston with both castration and a lobotomy in order to suppress the revelation of humanity’s illustrious past. That said, he’s not all bad, and even warns old Chuck about what he will find in the Forbidden Zone. Not that he listens, of course…

If He Was Our Friend:
We fear he’d have us banged up in a cage within hours of first meeting him. Oh, stop the planet of the apes! We want to get off…

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

The Monkey: Suzanne

Why So Cool? An orangutan who hitches a ride with Jay and Silent Bob, Suzanne is a supremely loveable customer who narrowly escapes a life of misery in a testing laboratory. So convincing is she in expressing her emotions, that dozy Will Ferrell mistakes her for the child of a couple with an “alternative lifestyle”. Then again, his character isn’t exactly the sharpest…

If She Was Our Friend: We’d get her to beat down all our enemies. The scene in which she wipes the floor with Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek is priceless!

The Barefoot Executive (1971)

The Monkey: Raffles

Why So Cool? Not many monkeys can thrive in the cutthroat environment of the media, but Raffles the chimp takes to it like a duck to water in this daft comedy featuring a young Kurt Russell. Blessed with an uncanny ability to predict which shows will be hits and which will be flops, he’s more clued-up than even the most savvy of TV bigwigs.

If He Was Our Friend:
We’d put him forward for a job at Channel 5 to see if we couldn’t get Big Brother killed off once and for all.

Mighty Joe Young (1998)

The Monkey: Joe

Why So Cool?
Some have written him off as a poor man’s Kong, but we think Joe’s been given a raw deal over the years. That said, we definitely prefer his second incarnation, mainly because he’s much bigger, and consequently more of a badass. He even manages to save a child from certain death at the film’s big finish. Does Kong save any kids? Nope, because he’s too busy chasing skirt up the Empire State Building! The old rogue.

If He Was Our Friend:
We’d be sure to keep him away from any tall buildings. They always spell disaster for an oversized ape.

Project X (1987)

The Monkey: Virgil

Why So Cool?
One of the brightest chimps on this list, Virgil has mastered the art of sign language, allowing him to communicate with humankind. However, he’s not just a performing clown – he has a mind of his own, and he’s not afraid to use it when his fellow chimps fall under threat from a US Air Force research programme. It isn’t long before Virgil is masterminding an uprising that Dr. Zaius himself would be proud of!

If He Was Our Friend: We’d sell him back to the Air Force. We don’t like the idea of a chimp getting too far above his station… we all know how that story ends!

Aladdin (1992)

The Monkey: Abu

Why So Cool?
Whilst the pet of choice for the homeless gentleman is usually a three-legged dog, the most useful companion for a life on the streets would clearly be a monkey! In Abu’s case, he sets about the hard work of pilfering a living from the local stalls whilst his master flounces around singing, dancing and generally making a spectacle of himself. He’d be lost without him!

If He Was Our Friend: We’d get him some baggy pants to compliment that fez / waistcoat combo. It’s a look that needs work…

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.