Even though this show may be old, it is a classic. The story is about a holy monk, Tripitaka; Monkey, a monkey born out of the Earth; Pigsy, a pig spirit whom was expelled from Heaven for liking girls too much; Sandy, a fish spirit, also expelled from Heaven and the trusty Horse, who was once a dragon, evolving into a human on their way to India to find holy scriptures, to protect the world from demons.
The series, has spared no expense of the special effects/graphic side of the series, but that just makes it all the better! Monkey, has an interesting plot, even though each episode basically is stopping/destroying demons because of the light humour, cheap special effects and the personalities of each of the characters. The acting can be over the top, but you don't really notice it much, because the show keeps you fairly entertained. The actors are Japanese even though its based on a Chinese Novel and set in China. What amused me more is that the actor for Tripitaka was a female. To go with the special effects is the action and magic that Monkey and his comrads bring into the show. Even though the fights scenes can be ridiculous at times, it is funny and just adds to the charm that Monkey provides.
A show that I remember watching as a kid, and a show that I have the complete collection of. A worthwhile show that is sure to keep you entertained.
This show follows the progress of a monk and three bodyguards on their religious mission to India to obtain holy scriptures.
The monk Tripitaka releases Monkey from his punishment - imposed by Buddha to teach him humility. Together with Pigsy (a pig monster), and Sandy (a fish spirit) - both also expelled from heaven - they start their quest, fighting demons and learning lessons along the way.
This was an obviously dubbed, and fairly cheaply produced series, but with lots of action, and dodgy special effects. Monkey had a cloud that enabled him to fly, and to make the cloud he used hair off the back of his neck! Odd!
I thought this show was great when I was a kid, and I agree with a previous reviewer...once you've heard the theme tune, it burrows into your brain forever!!
This series achieved a cult following and for very good reasons. It was wacky, off-the-wall and just plain weird.
The story focused on a small band of pilgrims travelling from China to India to fetch the holy scriptures. Leading the party was Tripitaka, a Buddhist priest and played by a girl, Masako Natsume. Following him was Monkey, Sandy and Pigsy. Apart from the priest, all are effectively spirits, cast out of heaven for causing mischief of various forms, and sworn to help the priest in his quest.
Now, the effects where cheesy, the acting typically overacting, and the script of each episode typically had the band of pilgrims defeating some horde of demons in order to continue on their way. The demons where typically just actors with theatrically painted faces and occasionally horns and goofy teeth.
The English language version was fairly-well dubbed, and you get used to the voices not matching the lips straight off. Of interest to fans of the original LOTR animated movie is the fact that the voice of Pigsy was done by Peter Woodthorpe, who voiced Gollum in the animated film. The voices are virtually identical, except of course, Pigsy never goes on about "his Precious".
Monkey is the main star of the show, and has a number of magical powers at his disposal. His fighting staff can shrink or expand at his command (he often hides it in his ear!) and he can summon clouds to ride around on (which is just plain silliness, and brilliant anyhow!). I seem to recall he could also create duplicates of himself by plucking hairs from body.
Pigsy, as mentioned above, sounds just like Gollum, and is hedonism personified. He constantly craves women, food and alcohol to excess, though he rarely ends up satisfied.
Sandy is a fish spirit and is the only "heroic" character I can think of who goes around sporting a necklace of skulls.
Tripitaka is the priest who tries to keep them all under control. In reality, he only appears to have any direct control over Monkey, and he usually keeps the others in line.
In the second series, the actor playing Pigsy changed, though the voice remained the same. Also a new character appears in the form of Tripitaka's horse, which is apparently a dragon spirit (though he's a pretty cowardly dragon) called Yu-Lung.
The fight sequences are silly, and the weapons are very obviously rubber for the most part. But there is something about "Monkey" that transcends this and entertains you regardless of its technical failings. In the end, all the silliness just becomes part of the fun of the show and you watch it mainly for the interplay between the characters, not the plot or anything else.
There are some shows that you watched when you are a child that still are good now, some shows that are not. Monkey is one of the former. Monkey focuses mainly on a Monk and his 3 deciples (and their horse) on their journey to India to fetch some scriptures. Along the way they generally get to fight demons and monsters, the deciples fall in love with people, help villages etc... generally each program has a moral but the combination of wacky monsters, dodgy special effects (but they are very funny), fantastic acting and character buildup (which really is what makes the show), constant fighting with demons and monsters. This series I cannot get enough of.