spacechimpsbluAfter viewing the entire ‘Planet of the Apes’ films on Blu-ray over the last few weeks, it was a bit ironic that I get to review another film based on primates. This time it is the animated feature length film ‘Space Chimps’. While chimps in space may sound a bit odd to the average person, there is some fun in an animated feature of this kind. ‘Space Chimps’ would bring in a total worldwide box office gross of $54 million dollars. While the film received some unbalanced reviews, it still did very well in the theaters.

The story of ‘Space Chimps’ revolves around the loss of a space probe in the farther out reaches of outer space. A space expedition is planned to go and retrieve the missing space probe. The scientists are of utter concern that the space probe may have been lost way to far out in space. There is concerns that if they send astronauts to find the probe, they may end up losing the astronauts in the process. The decision is made to send the next best thing, a trio of trained chimpanzees will be sent. How more inhumane can the human race be that they are sending off animals to do their dirty work.

The Senator decides to spice things up for this mission by adding a famous chimp to the group for PR reasons. We have the ever so strong and macho Titan, the intelligent Luna, and the chimp that was used as part of the PR marketing, Ham III. The decision to use Ham III is that he is the grandson of the first chimp to ever go into space many years ago.

As the chimps are on course to find the missing space probe, their ship gets over taken by an alien race. This alien race is ruled by dictator Zartog. The chimps are not the only ones that have been taken out of orbit by Zartog via a hostile takeover. The chimps are not going to stand being taken over by the aliens. They receive some help from Kilowatt which is a small creature on the planet. She is a very unique little character as she lights up anytime her emotions pour out. They must defeat Zartog and his minions if they will escape making it back home.

This is a film that the children will enjoy, but I do see a problem where it may not be for everyone in the family. To be a successful animated film, it is important to have a central target audience but also cater to a larger audience. There are times during the film where I felt like the chimps were just used as a marketing gimmick to fit in with the other dozen or so animated films starring animals.

The voice talent in animated feature length films is very important. We have Patrick Warburton, Jane Lynch, Adam Samberg, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Daniels and Stanley Tucci as part of the voice over talent. While this isn’t the greatest voice talent used in an animated feature length film, they have experience having voiced over many children’s films over the years.
Movie Content: 3.5/5


Print/Audio Quality
The print is presented in 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The print looks good, but I didn’t find the animation to jump out at me. Colors were strong but they also looked rather saturated. Blacks were deep. With colors not being as strong, there were some lacking details. I didn’t feel that this print was as detailed as it could have been. In no way do I want to undermine the picture quality, as it was still fairly presentable for a Blu-ray release.
Video Quality: 3.5/5

Audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix. With this film being primarily a dialogue heavy film, the soundfield is not in use at all times. The rears get minimal usage when there are sound effects as the chimps are in outer space, their battle to escape from Zartog, and music from the soundtrack. Dialogue comes through the center channel very clear and crisp as expected. This is not the type of film that you will break out the next time your friends come over to showcase your audio setup. The sound is adequate enough for the nature of the film.
Audio Quality: 4/5


Special Features

  • FOX Movie Channel Presents Casting Session [SD]
  • Sill Gallery [HD]
  • TV Spots [SD]
  • Trailers [SD]

The special features are lacking a bit for this release on Blu-ray with only a handful of extras. There was a good mix of standard and high definition content here with the special features.
Special Features: 2/5

Final Thoughts:
In no way is ‘Space Chimps’ a bad animated film. The target audience is geared toward the younger crowd, while leaving everyone else behind. Video quality could have been a tad bit better while the audio is sufficient for this animated adventure. Special features are a bit on the lighter side. I would recommend ‘Space Chimps’ as a rental that the children could enjoy, but not something that an adult can enjoy.
Overall Rating: 3.5 (Rental)