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Space Chimps Movie Website: Failure to Launch

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Space Chimps MovieThe new movie trailer (or is it a teaser trailer?) for Space Chimps (view Space Chimps movie details here) is now online in all its glory, but before I get to that, let me touch on the Space Chimps official site. What a frikkin’ disaster.

I don’t like wasting time, especially when it’s for watching a movie preview that should take up at most two-and-a-half minutes of my life. I also don’t like jerky loading times, video that pauses mid-stride and so on and so forth. So, I headed over to the official movie website to check out the new Space Chimps trailer, and this is my encounter:

  1. I hit a very slow-loading Flash intro screen that takes abnormally long.
  2. This leads to an intro screen with some guy in a lab dance doing a weird dance and talking (singing?). Unfortunately, the video is so choppy I can’t understand what he’s saying. I should have hit “Skip.”
  3. I am then funneled into the actual official site, where the movie trailer begins to load. Good, I think.
  4. Except that after another long Flash loading screen, things are still problematic. I can see in the play bar that trailer is loading at a decent clip, but not only does it not start playing automatically, when I click on the play button, nothing happens.
  5. Frustrated after about a minute of this, I open up Internet Explorer to see if I can get better luck in there. Just as I do that, the trailer starts playing in Firefox.
  6. The trailer comes to an abrupt halt about four times during its short running time, even though it had fully loaded a couple minutes earlier.
  7. I’m waiting so long that I switch screens to start working on something else. The trailer starts playing and, with the audio at its normal level, I nearly have a heart attack each time it resumes from a pause.

I don’t know who to blame here. Maybe I’m on a bad connection, but I doubt it. Maybe the server administrators are to blame for underestimating the amount of bandwidth needed to host the website. Maybe the Flash designer coded something poorly so everything takes a really long time to load. I don’t know, but this isn’t a great first impression for a movie in the year 2008.

As for Space Chimps the movie, it looks decent enough. The trailer, which I’m pretty sure is actually a teaser trailer, has its moments as we get to see some animated chimpanzees prepare for lift off. It appears as though they end up traveling through a wormhole, though that’s as far as we get to see initially. As a teaser, this works, though you can certainly tell this is not going to be an animated classic by any stretch of the animation. The visuals are pretty decent, but appear to be made more to make a quick buck than win any awards. The humor should appeal well enough to young children.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movie Trailers
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