Monday, March 31, 2014
There's really only one reason to watch The Monkey's Uncle, unless you're a big fan of Annette's, Tommy Kirk's, or Monkeys. Luckily for those not interested in any of the aforementioned, you can catch the real reason to watch The Monkey's Uncle in the first few minutes of the movie. That's when Annette and The Beach Boys duet on the title song....heck you don't even have to watch the movie at all, since that clip is on Youtube.
The title tune is a catchy little number written by The Sherman Brothers, who wrote many of Annette's songs. The Beach Boys look like they're having fun performing with Annette, and Brian Wilson has said it was a real thrill. Mike Love even gets to do a little bit of dancing with Annette. I'm not sure all of "the boys" thought it was as thrilling as Brian, if you check out the studio photo below. Dennis appears to be wishing he was somewhere else, while Carl studies the floor and Mike appears to be using his time to study the bored Dennis and Carl. Only Brian and Al Jardine appear to be engaged in the process.
The rest of the film is made up of what is basically three different movies. First, we have Tommy Kirk becoming the guardian for Stanley, the monkey, so he can raise him in his home. Kirk uses sleep learning on the monkey, which leads into the second part of the movie, where Kirk uses the same methods on some "not so bright" football players to enable them to pass their exams. After that The Monkey's Uncle moves into its third act, with Kirk trying to win a $10 million dollar endowment for the college, if he can prove a man can fly on his own power.
The movie isn't bad and some of the plot for the film was obviously taken from "the beach party films", which were still pretty popular at the time. Not only does The Monkey's Uncle have the club scene at the first, but the first part of the film also has Annette talking marriage, pouting when Kirk doesn't show her enough attention, and jealousy over the monkey's baby sitter becoming too chummy with Kirk....all of these things could have been part of the plot of any of Annette's "beach party films". About half way into the film, most of this is dropped and you get your basic Disney family movie. So check out the first of the movie for The Beach Boys and Annette's song, and if you've got nothing better to do and you're in the mood for some mindless entertainment, stick around for the rest of the film