Archives - 2008
What's it all about? (July)
Monkey Movie! (May)

Old Crusty News Archives - 2007
Monkey Opera (April)
It's here! (March)

Older Crustier News
Archives - 2006
Monkey re-made! (June)

Pearls of wisdom from the shows philosophisers!

" It's a cheerful philosophy and i've heard it from people before... they're all dead now though" (Sandy)

"Just because you're a Dragon it doesn't make you better than me." (Monkey)

"Defeated, the God of Fertility turned over a new leaf. This is why, today, very few men have babies." (Narrator)

"The Great Chinese Sage, Lao Tzu said words that are beautiful are seldom true." (Narrator)

News and stuff

News - 01 March 2007 finally online!

Well girls and boys, it's been a long time coming, but it's finally here. The very first page of my spangly new website! I've got to say i'm pretty chuffed with it, bearing in mind i know absolutely nothing about web site design. No doubt some expert will take a look under the hood and laugh at what i've done, but hey, that's fine, it's all about the content, baby! But, obviously, if any pro' out there wanted to set it up properly FOR FREE, then i'm more than happy to listen...
Just as i thought.. The sound of silence is deafening! smiley

Drum roll please.... behold my new website..

'Monkey - Great Sage equal of Heaven'


"As a kid, 6.00 pm on a Friday was my favourite time, something i looked forward to all a free treat. There was a half hour long Japanese Kungfu series on tv, that has since aquired a cult following. The dubbing was terrible to say the least, but grossly exaggerated accents only added to the entertainment value. After the show I would wrap a cloth, a tie, or whatever I could find, around my head while I whistled, frantically waving my fingers in front of my mouth to summon an imaginary cloud - then came the insults - 'Oi.. Pigsy !' was always directed at people i didn't like much, and then the crowning glory.. my very own pilgrimage... to the tool shed.. for broomshanks to spin around my head, kungfu style! Now, there's a 'knack' to spinning a 'magic wishing staff', and sadly, as i hadn't been trained by a Taoist Master, i didn't have it. But that didn't stop me... 'Oi.. Demon.. Pooftah!' BANG..the cat would get it. 'I love to fight'.. CRASH.. over went my mams best vase. Oh, the fun. Inevitably, the games would stop due to injury, normally to myself.. or a friend.. or relative. I would've happily carried on tearing around like a Kungfu loon with my head bandaged, and i wasn't the only one, but unlike Monkey, i had parents to contend with!

The show brings back fond memories of countless hours of mischief. It was all good.

Monkey or Monkey Magic as i always referred to it, was based on Wu Cheng en’s legendary 630 ad Chinese epic - Journey to the West, also known as Saiyuki, Hsi Yu Chi, or just plain old Monkey - from the abridged Arthur Waley version, about Tang Monk Xuanzang (Tripitaka ) and his pilgrimage to india. Apparently the Journey really did take place, although the book makes the tale fantastical with the addition of Chinese fables, fairy tales, legends, supersitions, popular beliefs, monster stories and anything else the author could find in the Taoist and Buddhist religions.

For anyone not familiar with the story, it goes something like this...

Dismayed that the land of the South knows only greed, hedonism, promiscuity, and sins, Buddha instructs the Bodhisattva Guānyīn to search Táng China for someone to take the Buddhist sutras of transcendence and persuasion for good will aka the great vehicle scriptures back to the East for translation. The Bodhisattva finds four willing disciples for the monk along the way, who agree to help Xuánzàng in order to atone for the sins of their past lives :

Sūn Wùkōng or Monkey, previously Great Sage Equal of Heaven, and God of God knows what, trapped by Buddha for rebelling against Heaven.

Zhū Bājiè, sometimes translated as Pigsy, or Pig, was previously Marshal Tīan Péng, commander of the Heavenly Naval forces, banished to the mortal realm for flirting with the Princess of the Moon, Chang'e.

Shā Wùjìng - The river monster, also translated as Friar Sand or Sandy, was previously Great General who Folds the Curtain, banished to the mortal realm for dropping and shattering a crystal goblet of the Heavenly Queen Mother.

Yùlóng Sāntàizi - The third prince of the Dragon-King,  was sentenced to death for setting fire to his father's great pearl. He was saved from execution by Guānyīn, to stay and wait for his call of duty. He was later turned into a horse for Xuánzàng.
Throughout the journey, these four brave travellers have to fend off attacks on their master and teacher from various monsters and calamities.

The pilgrimage takes an arduous fourteen years to complete, after which, each traveller is promoted to a higher post in the bureaucracy of the heavens.

Hats off to David Weir, who brought out the personality of the characters perfectly when he wrote the script for the English dubbed version of Monkey, without the luxury of having even the most basic grasp of the native language … Pure Genius.  

Looking back, it’s amazing how the show wasn’t subject to some kind of censorship. Monkey’s rebellion against the gods, heaven and authority in general, and the fact that he ‘loves to fight’, would have the powers that be screaming ‘holy war’ these days.
Of course, I was too young to understand any of this back then, in fact, apart from the odd word that I could pick out…. pigsy, fool, oi !, sissy, demon, pooftah..(my parents had a right old squirm explaining that one)..the rest was lost on me. Still, I found ‘the way’ they spoke hilarious and the funky disco music that played as battle commenced, courtesy of Godiego, was the best thing ever ! Hey..I was only eight !! The theme tune too deserves a special mention - 'born from an egg on a mountain top, funkiest monkey that ever popped..'. It was never going to win any awards, but boy once it got in your head it stayed there!

But what really drew me in was the visual content -The wonderfully o.t.t. facial expressions of the characters, everyone of them larger than life,  the fact that at any given time they could break out into dance for no particular reason, and the ‘special’ effects. Sure they were cheesy, tacky, certainly not up to the standard of todays tv shows, but the series probably wouldn’t have achieved the cult status it has if they were.  Demons, Gods, Spirits, cloud flying, Kungfu, vampires, witches, beautiful old Chinese costumes, talking horses and dragons... The stuff that feeds a young boys imagination. In the world of Monkey, anything is possible.

It wasn’t until I watched the series again as an adult that I realized what my dad found so funny, and why my mam would throw sideways glances at him several times during the course of the show !
It is absolutely packed with thinly veiled adult humour, innuendo, double entendres and political incorrectness :  

‘Alright! Let battle commence! Wine and... bananas! Bring on the dancing girls!

‘Grow stick….Grow again stick….Grow nice and big for King Monkey ! ’

Or the scene where a pig monster tries to get some sweet lovin’ from a fairy in the belly of a giant fish !!

Totally madcap, the situations the characters find themselves in make no more sense to me now than they did back then, but that’s Monkey. Don’t try to make sense of it, just roll with it.
If you haven’t seen any of the series since you were a kid, I strongly suggest you go and buy a dvd now, you’ll love it in a completely different way.  

So, here we are, 2007. What has possessed me to lash together a page about my all time favourite kids show, 26 years after the last of the original series was shown on British Tv? (the series ran from 1979 to 1981))

Well,...I watched the movie ‘Monkey King’  recently and the memories came flooding back. Having a little time on my hands it seemed like a good idea to put them here to share.

I’ve tried to break it down into sub pages which are easy to follow, and not too hard on the eyes, including episode guides, pictures, clips and anything else I could get my hands on. I'm no web designer, so bear with me - i'm having real problems getting my site to display correctly in Internet Explorer yet no such problems with any other browser. Personally, i think everyone should use Firefox, as i do, no problems with displaying the site as it should be, therefor making my life so much easier - i'm all for that! smiley

It’s very much a work in progress, so I don’t know when, or if, it will be finished, but hey, just like the show, the destination isn’t the important thing, it’s the lessons you learn and adventure you have trying to get there !!  


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"I'm still not immortal yet! What's mortal must die and i hate that idea!" - Monkey
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