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Western Animation: Space Chimps

Space Chimps was a 2008 All-CGI Cartoon movie about astronaut chimpanzees sent on a mission to outer space. It was produced by Vanguard Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox.

In the movie, a NASA space probe called "Infinity" that was sent to look for life in other planets falls through a wormhole and lands on the planet Malgor. A Malgorian called Zartog then uses the Earth vehicle to force his people to obey him, on threat of being dipped by its robotic arms into a substance that turns them into living statues.

Meanwhile, a US Senator decides to have the have the wormhole studied, but in order not to expose humans to the wormhole's possible dangerous effects, they decide to instead send the chimpanzees that they have been training. The chimps (who didn't know that their training was purely a show to entertain tourists; humans cannot understand what they say) are elated. However, the Senator wants more publicity for the event, and forces Ham III, the grandson of Ham, the first chimp in space (in real life as well) to join the mission against his will. The group is composed of: Titan, a large, boastful male chimp; Luna, a female, wise one, and Comet, a young one who is an expert with technology. Comet is forced to stay on Earth since Ham was given his seat. Ham starts hitting on Luna, who dislikes his immature attitude, and Titan is mocked openly by Ham.

When their ship reaches Malgor, it is captured (along with Titan) by Zartog's forces, and Luna and Ham are forced to hide in the dangerous alien wilderness. There they meet a small alien they name "kilowatt" because of its lightbulb-like head. Kilowatt helps them find the way to their ship but is apparently eaten by a monster on the way. Ham eventually confesses to Luna that the reason he acts like a clown is because he feels he cannot live up to his late grandfather's name.

Meanwhile, Zartog forces Titan to tell him more about the Infinity probe. It turns out that the planet's three suns are about to align, and when that happens, the local volcano (which spits out the "freezing" substance Zartog has been using rather than normal lava) will erupt and its flow will destroy the aliens' village (because the building Zartog forced them to build will divert the "lava" their way.) Luna and Ham rescue Titan but find that their ship is actually on automatic pilot (they never really piloted it) and will soon return to Earth on its own. They decide to stay and help the aliens defeat Zartog. The ship leaves without them.

Zartog captures all of them but Titan tricks him into ejecting himself out of the probe; he falls into the solidifying liquid. Then, with radio instructions sent by Comet (and help from the grateful aliens) the chimps disassemble Zartog's palace and turn the probe into a spaceship, then use the volcano's explosion to launch themselves back into space. Ham is forced to pilot it, thus finally redeeming himself in his own eyes. They arrive on Earth just as the Senator was about to cancel the space program. They are received as heroes, their status as true astronauts finally confirmed.

Oh and Kilowatt turns up alive.

Now has a sequel, entitled Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back. Don't watch it.

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alternative title(s): Space Chimps
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