Filmmakers Toast Disney's 'Monkey Kingdom' at World Premiere

Courtesy of Disney
A still from Disney's 'Monkey Kingdom'

The documentary is set for release April 17.

Monkey business and more was had at the world premiere of Disney’s Monkey Kingdom on Sunday morning at Pacific’s The Grove Stadium 14 in Los Angeles.

The nature documentary, which follows the story of Maya the monkey and her newborn as they learn to survive in the hierarchical monkey group “Temple Troop,” brought the documentary filmmakers, celebrities and their monkey-loving kids together for the kickoff event.

Those who walked the red carpet included Heather McDonald, Amy Smart, Taye DiggsEric Christian Olsen, designer Rachel Roy and Jhene Aiko, all of whom were accompanied by their families.

“A whole generation, including my kid, are going to become obsessed with monkeys after this,” said Olsen, as his nearly 19-month-old son played with a stuffed monkey doll a couple feet away next to Olsen’s wife, Sarah Wright.

Director Mark Linfield and global conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan made appearances as well.

Sanjayan, who recently wrapped the 2015 PBS TV series Earth — A New Wild, was on set for the filming of Monkey Kingdom as a contributing science adviser. The film hit close to home — his childhood home in Sri Lanka to be exact, where he described growing up surrounded by wild monkeys.

“Monkeys were frequent guests around the house; my 6th birthday cake was stolen by a monkey,” said Sanjayan.

A similar scene happens in the movie in which the group of monkeys invade a home hosting a birthday party and end up eating the birthday boy’s cake.

Although he joked the experience had a huge negative impact on him while watching the film, Sanjayan didn’t let the memory get to him during filming. However, he can’t necessarily say monkeys are his favorite animal nowadays.

“Penguins,” Sanjayan said. “They’re pretty top of the list.”

Disney’s Monkey Kingdom, co-directed by Alastair Fothergill and narrated by Tina Fey, will be in theaters April 17. 

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