I was invited to a complimentary screening of Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom before it was released in theaters. All opinions are my own.
It’s been over six years since I had a newborn baby at home. With the arrival of our new daughter I was quickly reminded just how exhausting it is caring for an infant. Just a couple of days after her birth, attempting to maintain some normalcy for our six year old daughter, I attended a screening of Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom. We had been looking forward to the event for weeks because my daughter passionately loves animals and was intrigued by the story of survival about a baby monkey and his momma. While watching the film I found myself relating to Maya the monkey as she struggled to care for her newborn baby.
All newborn babies, human and monkey alike, have the same basic needs: shelter, food, socialization, and love. When Maya, a monkey at the very bottom tier of her troop’s social structure, has a baby and is all alone to struggle for survival, she perseveres to make sure his basic needs are met. Monkey Kingdom is more than just a movie about monkies, it’s a survival story about a baby monkey and his momma.
Shelter didn’t come easy for Maya. The other monkeys were privileged to live in castle rock, a warm and secluded structure proving protection from the harsh monsoon rains. Maya was left shivering in the cold shielding her baby, Kip, while he clung to her.
Monkeys at the bottom like Maya weren’t permitted to eat plump ripe fruit from the kingdom’s tree. Instead she had to sit below and gather scraps to be nourished enough for nursing baby Kip. When the fruit stopped falling she had to get creative and sometimes ventured to the pond for lily pad pods, also where dangerous predators like monitor lizards seek their prey.
Without the ability to interact with most of the other monkeys because of her forever place on the social structure, Kip lacked the opportunity to play with the other baby monkeys. Maya does her best to help Kip learn his role in the troop.
Finally, love. All babies need love. Maya is a very caring mother; Kip is truly all she has.
Maya faces a series of unique struggles. She is alone, cold, and hungry but manages to provide for Kip. As a mother it was easy to see her devotion and commitment to giving Kip opportunities to thrive.
See Monkey Kingdom opening week (April 17-23, 2015) and Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats.
Do you plan to see Monkey Kingdom this week and help protect animals like Maya and Kip?