2001 was a very good year for cinema. It saw the release of the first Lord of the Rings...
and Mulholland Drive...
and The Royal Tenenbaums...
and also... Monkeybone.
Do you guys remember this thing? This was a live-action/stop-motion movie starring Brendan Fraser and I legitimately have not thought about it since the end of George W. Bush's first term.
It wouldn't be unusual to see a movie from the early 2000s and subsequently forget about it... except for the fact that Monkeybone was fucking insane.
The simplest way to explain this movie is "the guy from The Mummy is in a coma and a farting monkey puppet takes over his body.” It cost $75 million dollars to make.
Brendan Fraser plays a cartoonist who gets knocked out by an inflatable raft and has to escape from a dream carnival world run by Whoopi Goldberg and Gus from Breaking Bad.
Brendan Fraser's cartoonist is the creator of Monkeybone, an incredibly annoying cartoon monkey.
Monkeybone manages to escape from the dream world and takes over Brendan Fraser's body in the real world.
It's... insane. And I don't know how in the hell I haven't thought about it in over a decade.
What amazes me most about Monkeybone is just how much time and care went into its physical production.
This is a roller coaster leading to a giant hand that captures souls entering the underworld.
Like holy shit.
LOOK AT HOW BIG THIS CREW IS. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE TOILED FOR MONTHS ON THIS MOVIE.
HOW COULD THIS JUST FADE INTO OBSCURITY?
Monkeybone was directed by Henry Sellick, the man who made The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline.
I mean, when have you ever heard John Turturro talk about Monkeybone? He was the voice of Monkeybone. He WAS Monkeybone, for crying out loud. He does interviews all the time!
The only actor from this movie who's discussed it since 2001 seems to be Rose McGowan.
Which is a shame, because this took an extraordinary level of skill from lots of people to create. And all that skill was applied to a film about a farting monkey puppet.
This is a movie that could have only been made at a time when this country had a $200 billion surplus.
How innocent we were.
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