Of course this is a Japanese television program, and is an uneasy mix of cruel, touching, and funny all at once. It’s your birthday party, chimp, and all your guests are human, and you are the center of attention and lone source of amusement for all the humans.
It is amazing to watch this young chimpanzee, she reacts very much like a human child, except she is more attentive and affectionate, constantly kissing both the magician and the owner or handler. Surprise and wonder show in her eyes and actions. If anything this video demonstrates how well she understands how things usually work. It seems unfair how much her trusted companion is in on the tricks. Without his adding to the her confusion she would have busted the magician’s tricks a couple of times, for sure. And the owner’s lame attempt at a death rattle during the sword in his neck bit, was a too cruel addition. Her relief when it is revealed he is safe was palpable. But then, after these mind-fucks she does get to eat the watermelon she won earlier.
Without the cheesy music, sound effects and crazy cutting and zooming, it could be a video featured on Nova. In an episode like the ones featuring they crazy psych experiments of scientists now dead, gone and discredited. But those episodes were in black and white and the chimps had wires coming out of their heads.
I think they call her Pongo in the video, and it seems the word ‘miracle’ works in Japanese. I have no idea if Pongo is a boy or a girl. But I can tell that she is still too young to tear your arm out by the socket.