Interview with Disneynature Ambassador Dr. Sanjayan on Monkey Kingdom

Experience and travel provided by Disneynature. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Getting the opportunity to learn more about why a movie is made or how a movie is made is always an experience that is exciting and new. A few years ago I was in Florida for Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, and now I’m in Florida for Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom.

Interview with Dr. Sanjayan

As the executive vice president and senior scientist for Conservation International, Dr. Sanjayan is a global conservation scientist, writer and Emmy-nominated news contributor that focuses on the connection between nature and human well-being. Dr. Sanjayan reaches a very large television audience with a variety of series and documentaries including; Years of Living Dangerously, Planet Earth: The Future, Expedition Alaska, Mysteries of the Shark Coast and Powering the Future.

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I’m still smack dab in the middle of all the Monkey Kingdom fun and I wanted to share this fun interview with Dr. Sanjayan on the making of Monkey Kingdom.

Interview with Dr. Sanjayan

Interview with Dr. Sanjayan

How many days did it take to film Monkey Kingdom?

1,003 days.

Fun fact: In filming a normal documentary, one minute of filming is usually about a day of filming. Monkey Kingdom is 88 minutes. You do the math.

Who is your favorite character?


Fun fact: The film crew follows various characters around, but they really lucked out with Maya. She is truly the star of the show.

What was your favorite scene in the movie?

The termite hatch and the monkeys swimming underwater.

Fun fact: The termite hatch only happens once a year so they only had one chance to get it right.

What is your favorite part in working with Disney?

Disney is an unusual company in that everything they do is at a high level.

Fun fact: Dr. Sanjayan worked on Earth, Oceans and Monkey Kingdom.

Interview with Dr. Sanjayan

Another fun fact about Monkey Kingdom is that Dr. Sanjayan had a similar experience to the birthday cake scene in the movie. When he was six, a monkey stole his birthday cake off of the counter in his house and still to this day his family doesn’t entirely believe the story.

Interview with Dr. Sanjayan

I was able to preview Monkey Kingdom earlier this week and while I can’t share my Monkey Kingdom film review just yet, I can say that you’ll want to go see it during opening week (April 17-23, 2015) so that a donation will be made to Conservation International. The donations will help to protect monkeys and other endangered species in the natural habitats.

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Monkey Kingdom opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, April 17, 2015!

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36 thoughts on “Interview with Disneynature Ambassador Dr. Sanjayan on Monkey Kingdom”

  1. Debra says:

    We loved Disney’s Bears last year and we’re all looking forward to this one too. The monkeys are so cute and it’s so interesting to see their habits and how they live!

  2. Jeannette says:

    This movie seriously looks awesome! My four year old asks if he can see it every time the promo comes on and I can’t wait to take him! It’s so much fun seeing behind the scenes and I can’t believe how long it took to film it!

  3. Mitch says:

    Looks like a great movie! And what a great interview score!

  4. Alicia says:

    This movie looks awesome! I love Disney movies, and ones with animals are even better in my opinion. What a neat experience.

  5. jasmine says:

    What a cool opportunity! We love Disney movies and can’t wait to see this one

  6. Pam says:

    This looks like it’s going to be a great movie. It’s on my to watch list!

  7. Lindsey @ Redhead Baby Mama says:

    I can’t believe it took so long to film! Over 1000 days. that’s the longest film contract I’ve ever seen!

  8. Michele says:

    I really want to see this one! It sounds like one I would thoroughly enjoy. I am glad that they will be donating to that animal fund–it makes me want to see it even more.

  9. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says:

    I’ve been looking forward to seeing this ever since I heard about it. I love monkeys, and I love nature documentaries. Plus, being from Disney is a big plus as well.

  10. Liz Mays says:

    I can’t wait to see this movie and learn about these amazing animals. It sounds like the filmmaking team was very invested in the project.

  11. Rachelle J says:

    My daughter is so excited about seeing this movie! I will have to show he this interview!

  12. Jeanine says:

    This is going to be such a great movie I can already tell! Can’t wait to see. Great interview!

  13. Marcie W. says:

    What an inspiring film! I love that they captured and included an event that happens just once a year.

  14. Catherine S says:

    What a great interview and this looks like a great movie. I can’t wait to see it.

  15. Demetra @SweetSavant says:

    This looks like an incredibly beautiful movie, I can’t wait to see it with my family. Taking 1003 days to film the documentary really shows the dedication to making a high quality film.

  16. Sarah says:

    I minute of film = 1 day of filming?! Wow! I’m looking forward to taking my daughter to see this and watching her “meet” each of the main characters. I’m not sure she’ll be able to pick a favorite.

  17. Nina Say says:

    This is my thought exactly! I couldn’t believe it!

  18. veronica says:

    That will be a cute movie! I love that Disney does these nature films every year

  19. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    I can’t argue with him. When Disney does something, they go all out!

  20. Myrah - Coupon Mamacita says:

    Looking forward to watching this awesome Disney movie. I agree, everything Disney does, is at high level!

  21. Kelsey Apley says:

    What a fun interview! I can’t wait to see this movie, it looks so good! I am a major animal lover!

  22. Harriet says:

    that sure sounds like a lot of fun. I would love to visit.

  23. Ellen Christian (@ellenblogs) says:

    What an amazing experience. You must have had a great time!

  24. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    This is going to be a great movie. We are so excited to go see it.

  25. Erica says:

    We LOVED Earth and Oceans so I cannot WAIT for Monkey Kingdom to come out! I didn’t know about it so thank you!

  26. lisa says:

    I can’t wait to see this movie! What a great interview.

  27. Donna Ward says:

    Hi Crystal, What an amazing film this will be – and congratulations on your fabulous interview – really enjoyed your post and both vids – Thank you

  28. Andrea @ Honestly Andrea says:

    This sounds like such a great movie! I know my family will enjoy seeing it. I love that Disney has bloggers that go behind the scenes to learn more about how the movies are made.

  29. Chrystal @ YUM eating says:

    What a great interview. Could you imagine watching monkeys for 1003 days? Wow. I know I can’t.

  30. Chrissy says:

    It’s always fascinating when people submerge themselves in new environments for the sake of science and education. The stories, photos, and video they capture is amazing!

  31. Marina John says:

    Awesome interview! This sounds like the movie to see these days.

  32. Camesha | Mama Motivator says:

    This movie is going to be so good. I can’t wait to see it.

  33. Amanda says:

    What an awesome interview! I cannot wait to take my kids to see this movie!

  34. Carly says:

    I’ve been seeing previews for this everywhere! I really want to see it, it looks awesome!

  35. Brandy says:

    I so cannot wait to see this movie, I love DisneyNature SO darn much, we own quite a few of Disney Nature films. This shall be another wonderful addition to our collection, for sure!

  36. Shannon Gurnee says:

    This looks like such a great movie! That is so awesome that you had the opportunity to participate in this media event!

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