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The Orchard Gets Into “Monkey Business”

Dec 20, 2016

Los Angeles, CA — December 20, 2016 — The Orchard announced today that the company has closed a deal for worldwide distribution rights to the documentary Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators, directed by Ema Ryan Yamazaki and narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Sam Waterston. The film, which is currently in post-production, will be released by The Orchard in 2017.

With more than 75 million copies sold in over 20 languages, the stories of Curious George have endured for 75 years. Most people know the stories of the adventurous little monkey who frequently finds himself in trouble. But, Monkey Business chronicles the largely unknown and extraordinary story of George’s creators, Hans and Margret Rey. From fleeing Nazi-occupied France on handmade bicycles to encounters with exotic animals in Brazil, the Reys lived lives of adventure that are reflected in the pages of one of the most treasured children’s book series of all time. Having arrived in America as immigrants and then ultimately attaining the American dream, the film honors the legacy of the Reys by interweaving archival footage and interviews with them, their friends and experts, along with animated sequences in a style inspired by the world of Curious George. The unique documentary captures the creative spirit and resilient attitude of the couple that produced a monkey loved by the world.

“Curious George is a universally beloved children’s icon who is familiar to millions, yet it’s the story behind his creators that is even more amazing,” said Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s EVP, film and television. “We are proud to partner with Ema to bring the inspiring story of Hans and Margret Rey to those same audiences around the world in 2017.”

Said Yamazaki: “From the moment I learned of the Reys’ journey and their inspiring approach to life, it has been my ultimate wish to share about their adventurous, creative, and resilient spirit to as many people possible. I am thrilled to be working with The Orchard in getting their incredible story out to the world.”

The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo, vice president of acquisitions for The Orchard.


The Orchard is a pioneering independent film, TV and music distribution company that operates in over 25 global markets. The company, founded as a music distributor in 1997, is a groundbreaking leader in the film and television distribution space, known for its innovative technology that provides filmmakers with up-to-the minute trending data and analytics on their projects. The Orchard’s film division has enjoyed such recent successes as the Academy Award-nominated documentary Cartel Land, Taika Waititi’s The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Roger Ross Williams’ Life, Animated, Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville’s The Music of Strangers, Alex Lehmann’s Blue Jay and Antonio Campos’ Christine. The company is currently in theaters with Pablo Narrain’s critically acclaimed Neruda.