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Monkey! - Episodes 1 To 13 [1978] [DVD]

Masaaki Sakai , Toshiyuki Nishida , YŻsuke Watanabe    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £25.02
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Frequently Bought Together

Monkey! - Episodes 1 To 13 [1978] [DVD] + Monkey! - Episodes 14 To 26 [1978] [DVD] + Monkey! - Episodes 40 To 52 [1980] [DVD]
Price For All Three: £83.48

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Product details

  • Actors: Masaaki Sakai, Toshiyuki Nishida, Shiro Kishibe, Masako Natsume, Mieko Takamine
  • Directors: YŻsuke Watanabe
  • Producers: Tsuneo Hayakawa, Yoji Katori, Ken Kumagaya, Kazuo Morikawa, Tadahiro Nagatomi
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Fabulous Films
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Mar 2004
  • Run Time: 585 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008N71W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,091 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Monkey! is a loose (very loose) Japanese TV adaptation of Wu Ch'eng-en's 16th-century collection of Chinese fables, which was re-dubbed into English in the early 1980s and became required viewing for a whole generation of schoolchildren. The titular monkey (played with great enthusiasm, not to mention athleticism by Japanese comic actor and former rock star Masaaki Sakai) accompanies boy-monk Tripitaka (confusingly, a pretty actress called Masako Natsume) on his/her quest for the Indian Sutras. They pick up Sandy (Shiro Kishibe), Pigsy (Toshiyuki Nishida) and a dragon that becomes a horse along the way.

The appeal of Monkey! is easier to experience than explain. It's an occasionally surreal blend of Oriental fable, knock-about martial arts, pop Buddhism and slapstick comedy. The frequent comic fight scenes are accompanied by a 70s disco-fusion soundtrack, and a narrator (English voice: Frank Duncan) uses gaps in the action to deliver inscrutable snippets of wisdom ("Even a starving camel is still bigger than a horse", "Does love mean labour even for the carp-hearted?"). Best of all, though, is the dialogue: without regard to any lip-synch niceties, the English script (by David Weir) is full of idiomatic delights, jokes and double entendres ("I can use it as well", boasts Monkey of his staff that grows from a tiny stick into a big pole. "Ooh, I never doubted it, passionate primate", purrs the Dragon Princess into his ear, "go on, make it bigger"). All are delivered by British actors in hilariously cod-Japanese accents (distinguished thesp Miriam Margolyes is the voice of Tripitaka). Bad special effects crown the show's cheesy, retro appeal. ----Mark Walker

Product Description

The first thirteen episodes of the cult Seventies action series. In 'Monkey Goes Wild About Heaven', King Monkey (Masaaki Sakai) disgraces himself after being summoned to Heaven. He and two officials get into an argument and end up being sent back to Earth as a punishment - Monkey is imprisoned under a mountain, while the others are transformed into a pig monster, Pigsy (Toshiyuki Nishida), and a water monster, Sandy (Shiro Kishibe). 'Monkey Turns Nursemaid' sees Monkey set free in order to help holy man Tripitaka (Masako Natsume) on his quest to save the world. In 'The Great Journey Begins', Monkey protects Tripitaka against both Pigsy and Sandy, both of whom end up joining them on their journey. In 'Monkey Swallows the Universe', Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy must protect Tripitaka from the demonic Golden Horn and his wife. 'The Power of Youth' sees Tripitaka kidnapped by the immature King of Youth. In 'Even Monsters Can Be People', Tripitaka punishes Monkey by sending him away when he thinks his protector has slain an innocent girl and her parents. However, Monkey's victims were in fact demons disguised as humans! 'The Beginning of Wisdom' sees Pigsy offering to sacrifice himself to save a village from a terrible drought. In 'Pigsy Woos a Widow', the porcine Casanova turns the charm on a pretty widow, who, in turn, is infatuated by Tripitaka. In 'What Monkey Calls the Dog-Woman', Monkey discovers the true intentions of a group of bandits, whilst Tripitaka, Pigsy and Sandy are terrorised by a dog-woman innkeeper. In 'Pigsy's in the Well', Tripitaka and his three disciples set out to prove that the man ruling as king of Cickrow is in fact a murderous magician imposter. 'The Difference Between Night and Day' sees Monkey rendered powerless when he falls in love with a pretty young girl, while Pigsy defects to join the evil creatures of the night. In 'Pearls Before Swine', Monkey and company promise to help the inhabitants of a land ruled over by three evil immortals. And finally, in 'The Minx and the Slug', Pigsy disguises himself as the slug monster husband of the beautiful Hai-Min.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Jezz
This DVD set is excelant. The packing and prestation, i.e the menus, are all really well done. There is even a poster/calender included, the only sad thing you learn that the actor who played 'Tripitaka', Masako Natsume died. The calender tells of various events information such as birthdays, you are also told when thev first showing was both in Japan & UK.I am looking forward o purchasing the following sets if they are all of this standard then i will be a happy camper.After i have brought the complete series i shall have a monkey marathone.The extras are great, with things like the closing credits sung in it's origanal language.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sage, equal of heaven!! 3 Dec 2003
By M. Jump
Monkey is a great series to watch when you get home from the pub. The sheer bizarre nature of it makes strangely compelling viewing. Its loosely based on an old folk tale about a journey by some pilgrims to fetch ome holy scriptures, or something. I was much too caught up in the fun of it, cheesy special effects and ridiculous costumes are the order of the day here. Its just about the only foreign show on which I enjoy the english dubbing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars He loved it and cannot wait to watch it 30 Jun 2014
Fathers day present for my Husband from the Kids. He loved it and cannot wait to watch it! arrived in good time and was well packaged in perfect condition
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