Monkey Bone is the darkly whimsical
of the graphic novel Dark Town
written by Kaja Blackley. The official release date was Friday, February 23, 2001.
The story is about cartoonist Stu Miley. His career as a cartoonist is about to blossom as his comic creation, Monkey Bone, is about to become a television star on a national network. Also, he is madly in love with his girlfriend, Julie, a dream therapist, and he plans to propose. He's even secured his grandmother's ring for the occasion. But all doesn't go as planned.
While attempting to leave the celebration cum merchandising pitch organized by his friend and manager Herb, a freak accident results in a serious accident sending Stu into a coma.
While his body lies comatose and Julie keeps a constant vigil, Stu's consciousness takes up residence in Downtown. Downtown is a place populated by comatose humanity and gods, demigods and mythical beings who take great delight in watching the nightmares of the living. It's their favorite entertainment.
While there, Stu meets many characters, including Kitty, a winsome maid in the bar, and Monkeybone, his creation come to life. While there, Stu learns that there are two ways out of Downtown. Either you get an Exit Pass and return to the land of the living, or you don't, and when you don't, you're dead.
While there he also learns of his sister's upholding of a childhood vow and that at the end of three months, his time is up. Desperate to tell Julie that he loves her, Stu must come up with a plan to get back to the world of the living, even if it's just long enough to do only that. Help comes in the unlikely form of Monkeybone himself and Stu is glad for the assistance, but is helping Stu all he's up to....
Monkey Bone is directed by Henry Selick, the man who brought The Nightmare Before Christmas to life and the screenwriter is Sam Hamm. Anne Dudley provides the music, which accents the action beautifully.
Everybody is wonderful throughout the movie and the whole production is quite mature while still being a lot of fun. Contrary to what the trailer might indicate, the movie is not for children and is rated PG-13. Most of the themes and action is fairly comical, but there is some serious violence in a few places and Downtown is not a happy place, regardless of the carnival atmosphere.
With delightful lines like, "Show me the monkey" and "Sorry, Kitty, be right back after I choke my monkey," the trailer is a good overview of the movie itself. You could place the maturity level somewhere between Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Cool World. Notably, the cause of Stu's coma in the trailer and in the movie bear no resemblance to one another. Also notable is that the behavior of Kimmy, Stu's sister, is never properly explained in the movie, although it's fairly obvious from other clues as to why she acts as she does.
The trailer can be found through either the official site at www.monkeybone.com or through the Internet Movie DataBase, and for added fun, you can visit the manic monkey himself and www.bitemymonkey.com