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Midvale College is in fear of losing its college football team. The players have grades lower than the norm. Judge Holmesby, the team's biggest fan, is at a loss for what to do. Enter Merlin Jones, a bright college student, and his nephew Stanley, an intelligent chimpanzee. The judge wants Merlin to create an "honest way to cheat". Merlin uses "sleep learning" to help the players pass their exams. This saves the college football program from being banished, but not for long...the college is tempted to receive a $1 million dollar check from a Mr. Astorbilt. The catch is though the college must get rid of football. Judge Holmesby finds Darius Green III, who will pay $10 million dollars to the college if they can get a man to fly under his own power. The task is in Merlin's hands again. Can Merlin win the day and save the football team?Written by
Pat McCurry <email@example.com>
'The Monkey's Uncle' is the sequel to 'The Misadventures of Merlin Jones'. I have not yet re-watched this classic Disney comedy. Have I ever seen it? 'The Monkey's Uncle' is only available on VHS. The only place you can rent VHS nowadays is at the local library. If you're persistent enough you can find many VHS only movies at the local library. The first film is available on DVD and on Netflix but I couldn't find it at my local library and I don't yet have Netflix. So I watched the 2nd one first.
It's a very good and decent OK film. There is nothing outstandingly funny and memorable but there is nothing outstandingly bad worth mentioning either. The monkey in the title does play a central role in the movie but not as central as the title may suggest.
After opening up with the Annette Funicello (who just goes by Annette in the credits) and the Beach Boys, the film centers on Genius boy Merlin Jones. After becoming the Monkey's Uncle in a court hearing he then uses the chimp for scientific experiments. He plays records while the chimp is sleeping and when he wakes up, he thus is able to do what was instructed to him while he slept. Merlin uses this method for some football players to learn English while they sleep so they can pass the big English Test. It is an honest way to cheat.
The 2nd half of the film focuses on Merlin trying to invent a man-made flying machine. If he does his school will get a generous donation from some guy for 10 million dollars. Through the picture is a rivalry between two members of the college faculty which figures very significantly into both plots. One wants to abolish football because he was once rejected from the team and the other wants to keep it, thus relying on Merlin to always save the day.
There are some funny moments and gags. The ending is actually very good compared to the whole movie. It raises the film up a notch. It's an amusing film. Not worth avoiding and worth seeing if you're a Disney enthusiast. It's not on VHS (I think). Is it worth being on DVD? Well there are other Disney films that aren't great that are on DVD and for the sake of completion perhaps it should be. Put Merlin on the job to figure out how.
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