A lot of people will tell you that writing a movie is hard. For the most part, that’s true, unless, of course, you happen to be writing a monkey movie. Writing a monkey movie is so simple… a monkey could do it!

Step 1: Come Up With a Title That Determines the Plot of Your Movie

You see, the only thing that really matters when it comes to writing a good monkey movie is the title. All you need is a title that tells the audience roughly what the plot of the movie will be. There are four methods for generating just such a title.

Method 1: Use Existing Monkey Catchphrase/Cliché (Or a Twist Thereon)

This is a tried and true method to develop an effective monkey movie. Have you seen the 1981 Tony Danza vehicle Going Ape? Did you know that there are at least fourteen movies entitled Monkey Business? Do you see where this is going?

Existing monkey catchphrases or clichés such as “going ape” or “monkey business” are great titles for monkey movies that easily generate a plot.


Brass Monkey — a trumpet-playing monkey becomes the star of a high school jazz band…and prom king.

Monkey See, Monkey Don’t — blind man gets a “seeing-eye” monkey to comedic results.  (note: using the word “don’t” instead of “do” creates a twist that provides even more punch!)

Gorilla War — do you even need a plot explanation?  Talk about “practically writes itself”…

Method 2: Use Regular Non-Monkey Catchphrase/Cliché and Insert Monkey-Based Pun

This is probably my favorite method. It’s just plain fun! Just take a non-monkey related catchphrase or cliché, insert a monkey-based pun, and you’re off to the races…


Let Me Take You to Monkeytown — here, instead of “funkytown,” we have “monkeytown.” Sure, it’s an obscure reference to a bad 80s pop song, but you won’t mind once you see all the monkeys in this town!

Ship Ape — instead of “ship shape.” Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch, but you’ll forget all about the mediocre rhyme and loss of alliteration as soon as you get a load of that ape on a boat…

Chimp Off the Old Block — pretty darn good monkey pun, right? Better yet, this movie is about a high school student named Chip who “switches places” with his pet chimp, you know like in those parent/child switching places movies* (e.g. Freaky Friday, Vice Versa).  

Method 3: Take Title of Existing Movie, Book, TV Show, Etc. and Insert Monkey-Based Pun

Similar to method two, this one needs no explanation.


O Monkey, Where Art Thou? — just like the Coen brothers’ acclaimed Southern Depression Era take on Homer’s Odyssey plus some much needed monkey high jinks.

Apes of Wrath — more monkeys during the Depression, you say? Perhaps it’s a downer? Not when the Joad family of apes leaves dustbowl inflicted Oklahoma for California. Who knows what trouble those apes are gonna get into…**

Chimp My Ride — who doesn’t want someone altering their motor vehicle to permanently include a primate?

Method 4: Think of a Non-Monkey Related Title

This method is for you especially creative types. Take the movies Every Which Way But Loose*** and Dunston Checks In. Both of these were great monkey movies with titles that made no mention of monkeys. Please be advised that this can be a dangerous path to head down which may lead you to your ultimate doom and reveal once and for all that your existence on Earth has been both meaningless and unfruitful!!! Hey, just kidding. Be careful is all. This method is tricky, because you’re gonna need a great idea for getting a monkey on that poster.

Step 2: Write the Movie

Write the movie using the title you came up with in step one. Make sure your screenplay is 90-120 pages long and adheres to standard formatting. That’s it. You’re done!!!

If you enjoyed this guide, try these other titles:

Easy Two-Step Guide to Writing a Ph.D. Dissertation in Applied Physics

Easy Two-Step Guide to Writing a Landmark Supreme Court Opinion

Easy Two-Step Guide to Writing an Easy One Step Guide

*For further reference, see Easy Two-Step Guide to Writing a Switching Places Movie.

**Go ahead and feel free to use this one. You know you want to.

***Even the legendary Clint Eastwood loves monkey movies! Hey, remember Million Dollar Baby — more like Million Dollar Monkey. Boom! Another one! The Good, the Bad, and the Monkey. Yet again!


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