Cobby: The Other Side of Cute


Roxie Theatre Sun, Jun 3, 2018 2:46 PM
Roxie Theatre Mon, Jun 4, 2018 7:16 PM
Film Info
Director:Michael Vale, Donna McRae
Film Category:Animals
Local Interest
Running Time:85 min.
Year of Release:2018
Premiere:World Premiere


This documentary explores Cobby's Hobbies, a little known 4 minute program of over 100 episodes that features 'Cobby', a chimpanzee who, in each episode, demonstrates a particular hobby. The show, only seen outside of America in Adelaide, South Australia, and Bendigo, Victoria in the late 1960's, becomes the catalyst for this program. When the filmmaker, Donna McRae, finds a photo of 'Cobby' the chimpanzee performing a tight rope walk on Ebay, it rekindles old memories of the show that she had long forgotten. After much internet searching, the only evidence of this show was a forum that mentions an elderly chimpanzee named 'Cobby', living in the San Francisco Zoo, who was rumoured to have had a TV career in his younger days. Donna soon finds the elderly Director and Editor of the show, a zoo friend that visits Cobby in his zoo, various zoo keepers and animal rights activists that help piece together a story of an animal that was stolen from his natural habitat and became a TV star before being retired into the zoo at age 7. Cobby had it lucky - most of the great apes that were in entertainment suffered horrific retirements, becoming research animals or caged in roadside zoos. This documentary examines how we perceive animals in entertainment and how we address their plight now.