Cobby: The Other Side of Cute

1 x 90'

Donna McRae


The search for the star of a 1960's children's TV program, "Cobby's Hobbies", featuring a young chimpanzee, uncovers surprising results. 

What happens to animal TV stars when they're no longer cute enough to amuse us? A documentary by Donna McRae and Michael Vale explores the consequences of using chimpanzees for our own entertainment. 

As a child, Donna was a fan of a little-known US children's series called "Cobby's Hobbies" featuring Cobby the chimpanzee. Joyful memories of the show stayed with her so when several years later she discovered a forum devoted to the little chimp, she decided to see if she could track him down. 

We follow Donna's long journey to find Cobby and along  the way reveal an incredible story about his life: from his birth in the wild, his TV stardom and his eventual home in the San Francisco Zoo. 


What we discover is an emotional story that challenges our perception of animals in entertainment and how we address their plight now. We learn that despite the increase in knowledge, chimps are still bred for pets in the US and are constantly under threat of extinction through habitat destruction

We also undercover the incredible life of the man who brought Cobby to the screen and his two daughters who grew up with Chimps as siblings and the challenges that presented to their own development.