Why, 2K?!- “Max Keeble’s Big Move” and “Monkeybone”

The first decade of this millennium is often heralded as some sort of golden age for children’s films. Sure, most of Pixar’s best flicks came out in this period, and there were some winners in general, but I think people tend to view the films of their own childhood with rose-colored glasses. Most of these films are goddamn godawful. Just HOW goddamn godawful, you ask? Let’s find out together by checking out EVERY kids film between 2000 and 2009. From theatrical to direct-to-DVD to Disney Channel Original, we’ll look at ’em all because I am a glutton for punishment.

This week, one that surprised me and one that straight up is NOT for children.

MAX KEEBLE’S BIG MOVE

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Huh, so apparently this ISN’T an official Disney Channel Original Movie? Even though everything about it feels like one?

Weird.

Although, here’s the thing about this movie, and hear me out on this one:

I kinda liked it.

I kinda liked it a lot.

Look, it’s dated as hell and based on the soundtrack alone you could probably guess the release date down to the day, but it’s fun and better made than most of these things.

Our protagonist is the titular Max Keeble. Max starts middle school only to find that it really sucks. The principal is a super villain, bullies abound, teachers are garbage and Jamie Kennedy is the local ice cream man. That last one is less a problem specifically with middle school and more of a “why is there an evil ice cream man?” thing.

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Why yes, that is Josh Peck in that last image. Why no, we are not going to dress that any further. 

But when Max learns that he’s going to be moving to Chicago and the end of the week, he decides to do whatever the fuck he wants for the remainder of his time at the school.

This movie is weirdly stylized in a way that appeals to me. One of the bullies is also a talented investment banker who themes his bullying around investment banking. That’s a fucking WWE theme if I’ve ever heard one.

THE OTHER BULLY ANNOUNCES WHO HE’S GOING TO BULLY EACH DAY BY WRITING IT ON HIS SHIRT. THAT’S FUCKING PHENOMENAL.

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Only weird thing is that the red herring love interest is like clearly at lest fifteen while Max appears to be nine so that’s weird.

Also, show gets infinity points for MacGoogle the Highlander Frog, who is an in-univeerse children’s show character. That’s brilliance.

But yeah, maybe my expectations were just considerably lessened, but I had fun with this one. If you’re picking something to watch, you could I guess do worse.

Speaking of worse…

MONKEYBONE

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I have no mouth yet I must scream.

So this is just straight up NOT a kids movie. It’s included on Wikipedia’s list of children’s films, but it absotively should not be. Here is a short list of a couple of things that happen in this movie.

Brendan Fraser does a striptease. Brendan Fraser becomes aroused by Animal Planet footage of monkeys having sex. A dog has a nightmare about being castrated. Brendan Fraser makes out with an Orangutan. In animated form, an elementary schooler gets an erection brought on by his elderly teacher. The erection turns out to be a cartoon monkey.

Peak children’s cinema right there.

The film follows cartoonist Stu Miley, who is behind the hit comic strip Monkeybone. Monkeybone is being adapted into a television series and this has brought on a whole new level of fame for Stu, who is currently planning on proposing to his girlfriend. After a car accident, Stu is plunged into a coma where he encounters a horrifying nightmare world of terrors and nightmares.

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Here, he meets the actual Monkeybone, a vile little piece of shit who’s job is to be a figment, a creature who only exists in Stu’s imagination. On his way out, Monkeybone knocks him out and takes over his body, returning to the real world to go be gross and villainous and make all the money. Oh, and also to gas half the world with nightmare poison so they all get plunged into the nightmare dimension as well.

This movie sure is a thing that exists. Directed by The Nightmare Before Christmas’s Henry Sellick which SHOULD make this better.

It doesn’t, but it should.

Also, Bob Odenkirk manages to be the out-and-out best part of this movie. By SO MUCH.

The worst part is everything else. But maybe I’m just mad that I had to watch a thing that is NOT A KIDS MOVIE IN MY FUCKING KIDS MOVIE REVIEWING SEGMENT.

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Next week, they both better be fuckin’ kids movies.

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