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The series aired 96 episodes, one special and a feature film during its run. The series ended its 4-season run on November 25, 2008. On April 27, 2012, this series returned to Cartoon Network to show reruns on the revived block, Cartoon Planet. Two DVD volumes have been released in 2007 and 2008.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey was a ratings success for Cartoon Network, gaining millions of viewers. The series was met with generally positive reviews from critics. It was nominated for four Annie Awards and one Emmy Award, winning the Emmy Award.
The series revolves around a boy named Adam who is expelled to a middle school established for anthropomorphic zoo animals due to his surname sounding homophonous to the word "lion." There, he is befriended by a mischievous, eccentric spider monkey named Jake, hence the title of the series, along with a sassy toucan named Lupe, a giraffe named Ingrid, who is infatuated with Adam, the intelligent, wise gorilla Windsor, and Slips the easygoing python. In spite of his usual kindness and fondness for his friends, Adam despises being banished to Charles Darwin Middle School because of something beyond his control and longs for his previous humanized middle school. Usually, the episodes are focused on Adam's experiences at Charles Darwin Middle School due to his inability to fit in with his anthropomorphic schoolmates, the challenges that he must face (such as the presumed stupidity of his peers, being schooled in subjects of use only to animals, the introductions of new students of odd, dangerous, or fictional species to the school or the misadventures that Adam stumbles into with them, or the common affects of adolescence as they are experienced by zoo animals).
The series was created by husband and wife, Timothy and Julie McNally Cahill. After a pilot airing on December 26, 2005, the series began its regular run with a two-episode premiere on Cartoon Network's Fridays block on February 24, 2006. The My Gym Partner's a Monkey-based television film The Big Field Trip aired on January 14, 2007 as part of season 3. A special episode, "That Darn Platypus," aired on Cartoon Network on May 6, 2007 as part of Cartoon Network Invaded, a mini-series that aired 5 specials of different series from May 4 to May 28, 2007. The series ended its 4 season-run on November 27, 2008, with the episode "A Thanksgiving Carol". Reruns of the series are shown on the revived block Cartoon Planet since April 27, 2012.
Two DVD volumes of the series have been released in Region 4. The first, My Gym Partner's a Monkey – King of the Jungle (featuring 6 episodes, a total of 150 minutes), was released on April 4, 2007 and the second, My Gym Partner's a Monkey – Monkey Business (featuring 7 episodes, a total of 154 minutes), on January 23, 2008. Both are available for purchase on Amazon.com. There have been no further volumes released. All the seasons are available for purchase on the iTunes Store.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey was a ratings success for Cartoon Network. On the series' Cartoon Network Fridays block two-episode premiere at 9:00 and 9:30 P.M. EST, the first episode was seen by 1.2 million and the second by 1.3 million children ages 2–11, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research. The 9:30 P.M. telecast ranked as the #1 telecast on all television, broadcast and cable, with both boys 6–11 and boys 2–11 in the time period. The series went on top the Fridays block ratings, gaining millions of viewers.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey received generally positive reviews from most critics. William Barker of Web Wombat gave the King of the Jungle DVD a positive review, awarding it with a score of 70%, saying: "With an original – dare I say unique? – premise, My Gym Partner's a Monkey makes for a somewhat refreshing change from super heroes and mutants, and the cut-out animation style is captivating, though far from novel. It's not the most impressive cartoon show I've ever seen, but it's quite cute and fairly amusing – even for the older primates among us." Larisa Wiseman of Common Sense Media awarded the series three out of five stars, saying: "It's difficult to tell what age group the show's producers were aiming at – the animation style and slapstick by themselves would seem to appeal mainly to grade-schoolers, while the jokes and life lessons are definitely aimed at the tween set. The sly humor may even give some adults the occasional laugh-out-loud moment. Overall, My Gym Partner's a Monkey is commendable for its effort to include a subtle message in each episode. Younger viewers will probably find Jake's sometimes-annoying goofiness amusing, and will definitely find the story lines entertaining."
Awards and nominations
|2006||Annie Awards||Writing in an Animated Television Production||Tom Sheppard
for "Nice Moustache"
|Production Design in an Animated Television Production||Dan Krall
for "Grub Drive"
|2007||Emmy Awards||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Narina Sokolova||Won|
|Annie Awards||Writing in an Animated Television Production||Tom Sheppard
for "The Butt of Jake"
|Best Animation Production Artist||Jim Worthy
for "Meet the Spidermonkeys"