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My Gym Partner's A Monkey

Review by William Barker

Unlike Ren & StimpyMy Gym Partner's a Monkey is tailored specifically for younger audiences out there, dealing with issues such as bullying, competitiveness and other wholesome themes that won't upset parents.

And speaking of themes, the back story to MGPaM is simple:

My Gym Partners A Monkey

Adam Lyon is a normal human being. He likes food, and TV, and stuff like that, but one day his name is mispelled at school - Lion, instead of Lyon - and he is then taken out of school and re-enrolled at a new school, the all-animal Charles Darwin Middle School. A typical day for Adam involves learning to stalk, eating bug soup for lunch and hanging out with giraffes, monkeys, toucans, seals, elephants and even sharks.

But Adam doesn't mind it, particularly as his best mate is Jake, a spider monkey with a hilarious laugh and long arms.

This collection of episodes from the Cartoon Network series is quite a lark, and runs for about 150 minutes - enough time to keep the little whipper-snappers entertained while you compile code or try to decipher hyeroglyphics.

But when it comes to reviewing kids shows, such as this cartoon - entitled My Gym Partner's a Monkey - one has to be aware that the target audience is not the 25-40 year old demographic. Indeed, I watched a few of the six episodes contained on the DVD in the privacy of own home, with no one else around and found the series to be mildly entertaining at best. It's no Ren & Stimpy or Futurama.

Perhaps I set the bar too high, but I will admit the sound effects were very amusing, with some great screeching monkey samples used liberally and to good effect.

But when I took the DVD over to a friend's house with two kids - one four-year-old and another seven-year-old - the atmosphere was quite different. We all ended up having a great time, because as the kids starting laughing, so did the adults in the room, and though I knew most of the stories and whatnot, it was an altogether more enjoyable experience.

There is a bit of Ren & Stimpy rubbing off on this Cartoon Network production - such as the odd hand-illustrated (and sometimes gross) close up shot - but it's not quite as obtuse and tends to feature easy-to-understand and follow plot lines.

With an original - dare I say unique? - premise, My Gym Partner's a Monkey makes for a somewhat refreshing change from super heroes and mutants, and the cut-out animation style is captivating, though far from novel. It's not the most impressive cartoon show I've ever seen, but it's quite cute and fairly amusing - even for the older primates among us.

DVD Extras

As this is "Volume 1" there is very little on offer here aside from a slew of episodes.

Conclusion: Movie 70% Extras: N/A

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