Koko: A Talking Gorilla

Watch Koko: A Talking Gorilla

  • NR
  • 1978
  • 1 hr 20 min
  • 7.3  (930)

The movie Koko: A Talking Gorilla is a groundbreaking documentary film from 1978 that explores the relationship between a scientist, Penny Patterson, and a gorilla named Koko who has been taught to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL). Directed by Barbet Schroeder, the film follows the fascinating journey of Koko and her human companion as they embark on an unprecedented experiment that challenges our understanding of animal cognition and communication.

The movie begins with a brief introduction of Penny Patterson, a young graduate student who has been working with Koko since 1972 at the San Francisco Zoo. At the time, Koko was a baby gorilla who had been taken from her mother for medical reasons, and Patterson became her caretaker and soon began teaching her sign language. The film shows the incredible progress Koko has made over the years, and how she has learned to express her thoughts and feelings using ASL, including words, sentences, and even complex concepts such as humor and sarcasm.

The movie highlights several key moments in Koko's life, including her interactions with other animals, her experiences with human visitors and celebrities, and her emotional reactions to various stimuli. Throughout the film, we see Koko engage in playful interactions with Patterson, as well as express her desires and preferences, such as her love of kittens and her dislike of insects. We also witness Koko's unique abilities, like her ability to create and name her own sign language words.

One of the most striking aspects of the movie is the deep emotional connection between Koko and Patterson. The film shows how their relationship has evolved over the years, from Patterson's role as Koko's caregiver to her becoming her teacher and mentor. We see how Patterson's love and devotion to Koko has transformed the way she sees animals, and how it has impacted her life goals and ambitions.

Another notable aspect of the movie is the scientific significance of Koko's language abilities. The film features commentary and interviews with experts in animal behavior and linguistics, who discuss the implications of Koko's communication abilities for our understanding of animal cognition and language. They also explore the ethical questions surrounding Koko's life, such as her living in captivity and her use as a research subject.

Overall, Koko: A Talking Gorilla is a captivating documentary film that offers a unique glimpse into the life of a remarkable animal and her extraordinary human companion. The movie offers a fascinating blend of science, emotion, and storytelling, and is sure to inspire viewers to think differently about our relationship with animals and the mysteries of animal communication.

Koko: A Talking Gorilla
Koko: A Talking Gorilla doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 20 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (930)