Jane Goodall talks about the beautiful new ‘soap opera’ Monkey Kingdom

Would you ever pass up a movie described as “Downton Abbey meets Game of Thrones”? Of course not!

Larry Flick sat down with Jane Goodall and Dr. M. Sanjayan to talk about Monkey Kingdom (narrated by Tina Fey!), the new documentary that follows a young female monkey, Maya, and her offspring.

“I was so struck by the precision of the story line. It plays out like a soap opera,” Flick said. “It’s like Cinderella!”

Dr. Goodall explained that all the beauty and drama captured on film is “a real life story. Nothing has been contrived.”

“This young male comes in. They have a love affair. She gets pregnant. He gets thrown out. She struggles to keep her baby well-fed because the nasty sisters who are the top-ranking ones take food from the lower-ranking females. Then her male comes back and takes over, gets high rank and she goes up in the world and does well for her kid. That just happened!”

Dr. M. Sanjayan said the mesmerizing movie speaks to all humans with that common and very identifiable desire to want the best for their children. “You see that in this film and you don’t need to explain it. It just comes out.”

And, of course, an important part of this documentary is the awareness and funds it will raise for the monkeys and other conservation.

Both environmentalists remain optimistic.

“Everywhere I go, there are incredible programs of restoration. There’s amazing new awareness,” Dr. Goodall said. “There are young people rolling up their sleeves and getting out and saving animals and restoring habitats.”

Hear the entire interview here:

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