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Monkey Magic with newly translated never-before-seen episodes

On May 6th Fabulous Films will release the first two DVD volumes of Monkey - each will feature 180-minutes of entertainment for their £19.99 RRP. For the complete story take a look at the full Press Release...

Available for the first time on DVD Even more Monkey Magic with newly translated never-before-seen episodes

‘In the worlds before Monkey, Primal Chaos reigned. Heaven sought order. But the Phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown. The four world's formed again and yet again, as endless aeons wheeled and passed. Time and the pure essences of heaven, the moisture of the Earth, the powers of the sun and the moon worked upon a certain rock, old as creation. And it became magically fertile. That first egg was named "Thought". Tathagata Buddha, the Father Buddha, said "With our thoughts we make the world". Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch. From it then came a stone monkey. The nature of Monkey was irrepressible.' Thus begins Monkey, a television programme that defies description but we'll give it a go: a bizarre combination of spectacular acrobatics and martial arts; tacky special effects; magic tricks; 70's disco music; hilarious dubbing; crazy storylines; the odd bit of Buddhist philosophy thrown in for good measure and an unforgettable theme song.

Monkey followed the incredible adventures of three fallen angels: Monkey (Masaaki Sakai); Pigsy (Toshiyuki Nishida) and Sandy (Shiro Kishibe). Thrown out of heaven for various acts of sacrilege and general misbehaviour they hook up with a young Buddhist monk, Tripitaka (Masako Natsume) and embark on an epic, adventure-packed pilgrimage to spread the teachings of Buddha on the path to true enlightenment.

Made by Japanese television and broadcast in the UK by the BBC, Monkey became a staple of the early evening schedules where it attracted a dedicated following of (mainly) children who would rush home after school to catch the latest instalment of these surreal adventures.

Monkey's UK success was due as much to the hilarious dubbing and narration as the spectacular visuals. David Weir, a Londoner with not a drop of Oriental blood (he didn't even speak Japanese or Chinese) was given a translation of the original dialogue and re-worked it for a British audience, incorporating idiomatic English humour and numerous double entendres, often with no equivalent in the original

In total, two series' were made, but only 39 of the original 52 episodes were dubbed for the BBC. However, for the DVD release, Fabulous Films have searched the archives and re-discovered all the original materials. The remaining never-before-seen episodes are being painstakingly translated and each DVD volume will contain a new, never-before-seen, episode and even more Monkey Magic!

Available to buy on DVD from 6th May 2002, (Volumes 1 & 2, £19.99 each) this incredible, fantastical and completely hilarious programme is truly one of a kind and is actually more enjoyable to watch as an adult than as a child. It's still completely incomprehensible but nonetheless completely brilliant entertainment.

Volume 1

Mischievous King Monkey is summoned to heaven, where he steals the heavenly peaches, and eats them to gain immortality. He fights two of the Emperor's officials, and all three of them are expelled to Earth. Monkey gets imprisoned under a mountain of rocks, while the other two are transformed into a pig monster (Pigsy) and a water monster (Sandy). Buddha says that a holy man must be sent to fetch the Holy Scriptures from India to save the world. "How long must a fool who misses the way wander through his many lives?"

Buddha sends a messenger, the Boddhisattva kuan-yin the Compassionate, to find a holy man to make the journey from China to India to fetch the large vehicle scriptures. She chooses the boy priest Hsüan Tsang, and bestows upon him the name Tripitaka. Joined by the irrepressible Monkey - with his magic wishing staff and magic powers - and a talking horse, this could be a journey to remember..."We want so much when we need so little. But the illumined man wants for nothing."

Tripitaka and the ever-impatient Monkey begin their perilous journey. Arriving at a village terrorised by a greedy and lustful monster, Monkey thus faces the wrath of Pigsy and his deadly muckrake. To cross the Mighty River of Flowing Sands, they must first pass the cannibalistic water monster Sandy. A sandstorm, an army of tiger ghosts - will Tripitaka end up as cat food, or will Monkey save the day? "You may run from tigers, but where can you hide from your own fear? Desire is unquenchable - you can only free yourself from it."

Plus a previously unreleased, never-before-seen, newly translated Monkey episode


Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy, Tripitaka and the horse enter a land ruled by the demonic Golden Horn and his wife, Silver Horn. Bewitched by a beautiful lady, Pigsy discovers that all is not what it seems. An old woman proves too much to handle even for Monkey. Tripitaka and Sandy find themselves a bit tied up when left to their own devices. When a mysterious Taoist magician causes Golden Horn to lose his bottle, things start to look up.
"When what is indestructible meets what is irresistible, the female all too often wins."

In his mountain kingdom, the immature King of Youth dictates that everything old is useless. When the pilgrims approach, he decides to kidnap Tripitaka to gain the attention of Heaven and Earth, in attempt to stop living in the shadow of his father, the King of Ox. When Monkey's powers prove no match for the King's fiery temper, and Pigsy and Sandy are otherwise engaged, who will save Tripitaka?
"Does love mean labour even for the carp-hearted?"

When Monkey kills a girl and her elderly parents, Tripitaka is left with no choice but to punish him and send him back home to his mountain of fruit and flowers. No one believed Monkey's story that the people he killed were red, blue and yellow demons disguised as humans. When the pilgrims later discover that Monkey was telling the truth, Tripitaka finds himself in grave danger, and wishes he'd never denied the demon's existence.
"To straighten out the crooked, you first do a more difficult thing - you must straighten yourself."

Plus a previously unreleased, never-before-seen, newly translated Monkey episode

Last updated: 19/04/2018 18:05:35

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