Charlie Ridgway grew up in the circus; at age 16 he was training lions. This documentary explores the lives of three chimpanzees, each born into captivity, but leading very different lives. Mr Muggins, star of Charlie's circus, is fully bonded to his human carers, and showered with attention; Buddy was rescued from neglect and lives with other chimps in a Zambian animal orphanage; and oldest brother Sonny is also a circus performer, but leads a lonely life with little social interaction. The Ridgways feel their circus brings joy to rural kids; others argue they are a relic of the past. The documentary sold well internationally.
It's the child that Charlie and I didn't have.– Carolyn Ridgway on her close bond with chimpanzee Mr Muggins
Made with funding from NZ On Air