Are Chimps Immoral?

Michael Medved

4/24/2012 5:56:44 PM - Michael Medved

The Disney Company’s handsome new nature film, Chimpanzee, features spectacular jungle footage from the Ivory Coast, but it’s coupled with insipid narration that actually ruins the movie.


As delivered by Tim Allen, the script centers around a lovable baby chimp whose mother falls victim to a rival band of chimpanzees described repeatedly as “a mob,” or “gang,” comprised of “thugs.” In fact, no meaningful difference in behavior distinguished supposedly nice chimps from purported meanies—both groups struggle desperately to survive amidst scarce resources.


The movie shows even intelligent animals ruled by instinct, not some code of honor; they are incapable of either morality or immorality. Only human beings, discerning for thousands of years some timeless rules established by a higher power, can exercise real choice, displaying conduct that counts as genuinely good or evil.