Review: Ape Escape / Cert: U / Director: Various / Screenplay: Various / Starring: Annie Mumolo / Release Date: February 18th
Ape Escape started life as a videogame for the Playstation. For anyone who's somehow missed out on this epochal franchise, the set-up is this: An ape has been transformed into an evil genius thanks to a special helmet. This high-tech hat also makes him look human, and said super-ape (called Specter) proceeds to enhance monkeys via similar technology. These monkeys then run amok, and a young boy called Spike has to clean up after them.
As you would expect, the cartoon version is aimed squarely at littluns, and what you get is a series of very short, very silly episodes in which dumb (yet cute) monkeys run round covering things in mess. These are shorts in the vein of Batfink. The gags are simple and repetitive, the animation is nice and bright, and all in all it presents no challenge to the viewer in any shape or form.
The wandering adult mind might suspect that there is a subtext here to do with iniquities in the funding of contemporary scientific research (after all, this is a world where the only available lab assistants are cybernetically altered chimps and young children,) but that would probably be reading too much in to it. Ape Escape has no layers. No complex narrative. Just silly monkeys going bananas.