A young girl finds and unlikely and uplifting friendship with an adorable monkey in this charming, light-hearted film. Rising star Shelby Lyon heads up an all-star cast, including Peyton Meyere (Girl Meets World), Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), Sean Patrick Flannery (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day) and, of course, Crystal the Monkey (Night at the Museum). The film makes its home debut on August 2nd, when Shout! Factory releases it under the Shout Kids label. It features an array of bonus material, including a half hour set of interviews and clips telling the story of making the film. This family film can be yours by scrolling down below and pre-ordering it from the Amazon link below. C’mon, monkeys, Shannon Elizabeth and gymnastics. You want this!
Katie has lost interest in her school, her friends, and gymnastics following the loss of her mother. But her outlook changes when she is asked to monkeysit Gibby, her science teacher’s capuchin monkey. Taking care of the monkey challenges Katie, but Gibby’s happy-go-lucky personality restores Katie’s zest for life. Gibby helps with with gymnastics, renewing friendships (including finding a potential boyfriend) and overcoming nemesis, a mean girl who is out to beat Katie at everything.
Gibby is another entry in the “But its got a monkey in it!” subgenre that used to be a bit more common. However, the movie kinda needs that, as its pretty terrible. Its way too heavy handed, melodramatic and poorly executed. Its a family/kids film, so its kinda hard to decide whether this film would fall into the “So Bad Its Good” or “Best Worst Movie” category. Those, you usually give some slack to, as adults aren’t really the intended audience. However, this one is kind of begging to be put in that category. And the best part, unlike the Sharknados of today’s landscape, this movie isn’t trying for that and doesn’t at any point realize how low its sunk.
There are two things I want to point out in this movie. First, Sean Patrick Flannery. This guy is going through some weird phase in his appearance in the last couple of years. When he was on Dexter, he looked like the older 2015 version of Marty McFly in Back To The Future – Part II. Here, in Gibby, he takes on the persona of like a Billy Ray Cyrus/Keith Urban looking country artist. And that hair is so ridiculous, I’m to wonder if he might be wearing a wig.
Now for my favorite part of movie. The monkey sneaks over to a neighbor’s kid’s birthday party. When the mother sees the monkey, she flips out. This woman grabs a WHIFFLE bat and then proceeds swing and connect with the monkey. Gibby (the monkey), then falls over and is apparently “dead” from a WHIFFLE bat hit. Our main character, she enters just as the mother is connecting. She goes to cry at the side of the lifeless monkey (FROM A WHIFFLE BAT HIT!) and prays to God to bring him back to life. And wouldn’t you know, the monkey comes back to frickin’ life! I shit you not. This scene may be why I’d submit it for So Bad Its Good status.
Even for a kids/family movie, this one is pretty bad. I don’t know which aspects to point out, but, its often amusing with how not good this thing is. There were moments I found myself getting a good chuckle out of unintentional hilarity, but overall, it just needed to find its closure. What adds fuel to the fire is that both my 4 year old and 2 year old were wildly uninterested in it and I had to beg them to finish. Take what you will from that, but I thought a movie with a little monkey would be good enough to keep them occupied for and hour and a half. There were 2 moments that they got some decent laughs, but overall it just wasn’t their thing. I try and watch these kids things under a very apologetic lens, but this one I couldn’t step outside into that.
Encoding: MPEG-2 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Clarity/Detail: Well, what we have here is one of them old DVDs. You know, 2 formats ago. Weird right? This picture quality is solid, but a little lesser even for the standard definition video. Overall, its as vivid and detailed as one could hope for.
Depth: Depth about as good as you’re gonna get with a middle of the road film on DVD. There’s a weird kind blur/jump when it comes to movments at times.
Black Levels: Blacks are solid. Some detail is lost in dark lit scenes and in dark hair, surfaces and clothing.
Color Reproduction: Colors look natural. There is a good palette registering with all sorts of moments to be bold or faded. Greens appear very good in this transfer.
Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural with a consistent appearance throughout. Facial features come through decent in close-ups but even there things can be a bit smooth.
Noise/Artifacts: Normal DVD compression and distortions.
Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Dolby Digital Master Surround, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Master Stereo
Dynamics: A solid 5.1 presentation sounds about as clear and crisp as you’ll get from a DVD. Effects sound pretty solid, highlighted by a scene in which the monkey messes up a kitchen. Overall, this one works itself out enough to get the job done.
Low Frequency Extension: Not a whole lot in the film demands the subwoofer, but it enhances some natural moments and deep vocals.
Surround Sound Presentation: Not much coming from the rear channels aside from moments during big music numbers that play.
Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is clear and plenty audible
- With Producer Kyle Kernan, Writer Grey Lyon, Star Shelby Lyon
Monkeyin’ Around: A Look Back At Gibby (SD, 31:13) –
On the Gibby Red Carpet (SD, 2:10) – Montage of everyone arrived for the premiere for the film.
Blooper Reel (SD, 6:14)
Crystal’s Audition (SD, 2:32) – A little jokey piece about auditioning a monkey.
“Monkey Business” Music Video (SD, 3:10)
Trailer (SD, 2:13)
Gibby is a movie full of monkey hijinx and ridiculous melodrama brought to life by mediocre and subpar performances. Shout! Factory’s DVD is about as good as you’re going to get with with the old standard definition format. There are plenty of extras too, for the kiddos to enjoy after the film. However, I really can’t recommend it as I thought the film was pretty bad.