WTF Bezos ?
WTF Bezos ?
“The nature of Monkey was … irrepressible!”
That sentence will either get you jumping up to start shadow kung-fu fighting the person closest to you, cause you to break out into kitschy song or make you go, “pardon?”.
There are basically two types of people in the world; those whose childhood afternoons were spent watching Monkey and those who have no idea what’s going on right now.
If you’re part of the former group, prepare for a walk down memory lane. If you’re in the latter, you are about to get educated.
Because Monkey is being rebooted in a new series called The Legend of Monkey, which will appear on ABC, TVNZ and on Netflix around the world in 2018. Production is already underway in New Zealand.
Inspired by the 16th century Chinese fable, Journey to the West, the 10-part half-hour series will follow a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods on a perilous journey as they attempt to bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance to their world.
The series is an official New Zealand/Australian co-production.
“The mythical tale of the Monkey King is a story that continues to captivate global audiences,” said Michael Carrington, Head of Children’s at ABC Television.
“Our production partner See-Saw Films is bringing The Legend of Monkey to life through incredible locations and sets, an acclaimed production team and an exciting diverse young cast.
“We can’t wait for fans to see this new series that features the heroes they love and we are just as excited to introduce this re-imagined magical and exciting world to a whole new generation of viewers.”
Where to begin?
Firstly, it was very easy to get yourself hooked on Monkey, the Japanese television series created between 1978 and 1980 which was later dubbed shoddily (brilliantly?) into English and Spanish and broadcast to wide-eyed kids around the world in the early ’80s.
It was produced in a golden age of TV in which the entire premise of shows (The A-Team, Knightrider, Airwolf, The Mysterious Cities of Gold) was explained during the intro sequence.
You didn’t need hours of background reading to understand what was happening, Game of Thrones style.
And Monkey’s intro sequence was surely among the greats in the history of television.
It begins at the start of time and basically explains the key points in the history of the world in about 55 seconds, culminating with the emergence of Monkey from a stone egg.
Monkey’s rocky origin story then kicks into a fantastically funky musical number which made the show worth watching all on its own.
The opening song is the reason most people incorrectly called the show Monkey Magic.
Born from an egg on a mountain top,
The punkiest monkey that ever popped.
Those are lyrics created by the mind of a troubled genius.
Well, Monkey demands a gift of a magical staff from a Dragon King and is given the task of guarding the Peach Garden of Immortality, but he eats the peaches and becomes immortal, and that’s why he is buried under the mountain.
Come to think of it, the plot doesn’t matter much at all.
The important part is that Monkey is joined by a monk and two other fallen deities and has to embark on a pilgrimage that involves lots of loopy adventures and full-throttle fighting. It’s basically a buddy road adventure with monster gods.
The one you chose to be in the playground said a lot about you.
Tripitaka: The super laid-back monk (so calm, so wise) who leads the pilgrimage is the sensible friend among a bunch of loose cannons.
Monkey: The star of the show. He’s flawed and very cheeky but ultimately means well. The original anti-hero.
Pigsy: As you can probably guess by his name and piggish features, a pig monster who is pretty stupid and very greedy. He seems to cause a lot of the team’s problems while they are adventuring, without really pulling his own weight.
Sandy: A reformed cannibal and water god, Sandy is a fairly mopey Scarecrow-from-Wizard-of-Oz type character who at least comes in quite handy in an all-in brawl with evil monsters.
Each character carried around a bespoke staff for fighting demons but it was the little touches that really completed the look; Sandy’s mini-skulls necklace, Pigsy’s beret, Monkey’s fancy yellow scarf.
Monkey himself also had a trademark gold headband which Tripitaka used to remotely squeeze his brains when he was playing up, like an ancient Chinese Jedi mind trick.
Monkey’s staff was also pretty cool. He could shrink it and grow it whenever he wanted, storing it in his ear for safe keeping when he wasn’t bashing monsters.
Best of all, and the one thing everyone remembers, is Monkey’s ability to summon his magic cloud to surf away on, using his trademark two-finger, wind-blowing call signal.
We can’t wait to see how the reboot handles all this awesomeness.
The Stad Penninsula in Norway has one of the most dangerous coastlines in the region. As the meeting place between the Norwegian Sea and North Sea, the turbulent waters have claimed the lives of dozens sailors over the last several decades. Which may explain why Norway’s top coastal agency wants to dig a $272 million, mile-long “ship tunnel” to create a safer passage for commercial vessels.
Designed to accommodate ships as massive as Norway’s Hurtigruten cruise vessels, the tunnel would be nearly 150 feet tall, 118 feet wide, and more than a mile long. The Norwegian Parliament earmarked one billion Norwegian kroner, or around $118 million, for the project in the National Transport Plan for 2014-2023. Construction is set to begin as early as 2018.