Monkey? Magic!

Seems the BBC have decided to eschew soft-focus patriotism and medal-clutching for their idents for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And what they have replaced it with is the utter dog’s bollocks, I reckon. Full video after the jump.

Rather than the usual sightseeing-tour bland rubbish, Auntie Beeb has comissioned Damon Allbarn and Jamie Hewlett (of Gorillaz fame) to re-imagine characters from Wú Chéng’ēn’s 16th Century Chinese tale “Journey To The West” (西遊記) Or, for people my age, the old Japanese “Monkey Magic” TV series.

The tale – as we knew it on TV – of the seemingly endless journey of Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy and Bhuddist priest Tripitaka was absolutely fantastic, and I don’t know anyone who didn’t love it when we were a kid. Gods, fighting monsters, with cracking humor and cheesy dialog, not to mention the worst lip-synch ever? It was great. The film presents the familiar characters – and pretty much the same opening scene – and shows our three friends meeting up and fighting monsters to get to the Olympic stadium – and doing events on the way (swimming, boxing, javelin etc.). More of a Journey To The East, but spot on nonetheless.

It’s nice to celebrate a different culture rather than simply get all Daily Mail patriotic and flag-wavy. After all, they are covering all the Olympics, not just “the stuff the British atheletes do”.

The two-minute film below will be shown tonight (24th July) at  7:30PM GMT on BBC1, and will announce the BBC’s coveage of the Beijing Olympics. The characters will feature as our “official mascots” for the coverage of the whole event.

Animated series, BBC? Go on go on go on…



  1. mart
    Posted July 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s just freakin’ awesome!

  2. Posted July 28, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    animated series = required

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