monkey kingdom trailerIn 1948 Walt Disney invented the nature movie with his collection of feature films and short programs he dubbed "True Life Adventures." These programs were revolutionary and essential, educational and entertaining. In short: nobody had ever seen anything like them. (It goes without saying that this breakthrough is, in the laundry list of Disney's cultural and technological accomplishments, frequently overlooked.)

Sixty years after the first "True Life Adventure" was unleashed on an unsuspecting world, Disney created Disneynature, a shingle used to produce new nature films for modern audiences. And these films are great. From the oddly emotional family drama of "African Cats" to this year's joyful "Bears," the new Disney nature films usually spotlight an individual animal species, gorgeously photographed and evocatively narrated. The latest Disneynature production is "Monkey Kingdom," out this spring, and we've got the exclusive new trailer.

Monkey Kingdom - Trailer No. 1

The trailer starts out similar to the cheeky teaser, set to Lorde's "Team," before digging into the "story" of the film -- it follows Maya, a monkey who has a newborn named Kip and a very unfashionable bowl cut. After some undisclosed trouble, the movie tracks Maya and her family as they move out of the jungle and into an urban habitat. (How good is that shot of a monkey stealing somebody's tomatoes? Go monkeys!) It goes without saying that some of the images in the trailer are so strikingly beautiful that you might tear up a little bit... Just imagine what the feature-length film will do.

Hitting theaters on Earth Day 2015, when a portion of the opening weekend box office will be redistributed to Conservation International, a group that helps protected endangered species in their natural habitats (good cause alert), "Monkey Kingdom" is directed by Mark Linfield, who worked on Disneynature's terrific "Chimpanzee" and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill, who has had a hand in almost all of the Disneynature features (including "Bears"). And, we suspect, the final film (if the trailer is any indication) will be insanely cute.

Monkey Kingdom Movie Poster
Monkey Kingdom
Based on 21 critics

In South Asia, Maya the monkey and her son Kip struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy... Read More