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All Movie GuideAt first glance, Space Chimps seems like the kind of fake title you'd find in a parody of the movie industry; an absurd adjective
oun combo that somehow spells "commercial hit" Beverly Hills Chihuahua, for example. But this animated feature reminds viewers that chimpanzees did indeed play a role in the history of the American space program, and Space Chimps is a reasonable way to channel that history into a viable kids' movie, one that could probably entertain the occasional adult as well. Credentials bolstered by producers Barry Sonnenfeld and John H. Williams the Shrek movies, Space Chimps imagines what it would be like if primate astronauts took a sentient involvement in one of their missions, albeit in a way only known to each other. SNL cast member Andy Samberg voices the daredevil grandson of the first chimp astronaut -- essentially, the simian version of his character from Hot Rod -- who spends his time cracking wise and getting shot out of cannons at the circus. It's a pretty standard setup, as his aptly named Ham must mature into the hero he discovers he can be, while flirting with his female co-pilot voiced by Cheryl Hines and butting heads with his blowhard male co-pilot Patrick Warburton, doing at least his 73rd animated voice-over. Samberg's a pretty hip choice to play the lead, and through his improvisations and some bits of clever self-awareness in director Kirk De Micco's script, Space Chimps avoids slipping into the realm of mere diversion intended for babies. However, the alien planet where the chimps spend most of their time is a little low-rent, its aliens overly colorful and cutesy, so Space Chimps can't exactly be called a full adult crossover either. What it is -- better than it could have been -- is probably good enough.