July 25, 2008 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Jamie Hewlett of Tank Girl and Gorrilaz fame has created the animated film that will be used to introduce the BBC's coverage of the summer Olympics with music by his fellow Gorrlaz compatriot, Damon Albarn, inspired by Monkey, the cult classic television program. posted by fearfulsymmetry (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
"gorillaz" has one 'r', an 'i' and two 'l's.
posted by DU at 7:23 AM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is fun. Thanks! You know, I always wondered how much harder it would be to sing in Chinese because of the tones. Or maybe they just ignore tones in songs and I am overthinking...
posted by spec80 at 7:30 AM on July 25, 2008

Meanwhile, us poor Americans will hear this 10^17 times in August.
posted by dw at 7:41 AM on July 25, 2008

I like Williams' tune..... which of his own films did he steal it from?
posted by RufusW at 7:50 AM on July 25, 2008

It's no Animalympics... but I guess they probably couldn't get Graham Gouldman, so it'll do.
posted by vorfeed at 7:52 AM on July 25, 2008

Needs moar Del tha Funky Homosapien.
posted by rusty at 7:53 AM on July 25, 2008

I'm just here for the Monkey.

Mmmm, Great Sage of Heaven!
posted by batmonkey at 7:53 AM on July 25, 2008

The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!
posted by schwa at 8:07 AM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wait. Monkey (aka Journey to the West) is not a cult classic television program. Or at least not primarily. It's one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature (I stole that line from the Wikipedia article). It's one of the most super-awesome books I've ever read, and it stuck with me so strongly when I was little. Read it.
posted by dammitjim at 8:09 AM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

"Say the two words "Monkey Magic" to a man in his late 30s and he'll turn into a child, putting on a funny voice and then moving his lips in exaggerated fashion."

Oh. That would be me!

I live in the US now and am surrounded by unfortunate folks who didn't grow up watching Monkey. I've tried to explain it and people just don't get what was so special about Monkey. Although a Japanese co-worker of mine did remember the TV-show but of course it didn't have the outrageous BBC2 dubbing.
posted by schwa at 8:21 AM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

dammitjim: Agreed. Journey to the West should be sought out by anyone loving any kind of reading. I may be a bit biased based on a lifetime of loving (and learning from) that story, but I truly feel that way.
posted by batmonkey at 8:25 AM on July 25, 2008

And I just found out the Monkey: Journey to the West opera was playing in my state and I just missed it by a month.
posted by schwa at 8:26 AM on July 25, 2008

Eh, it's no Alakazam.
posted by cazoo at 9:26 AM on July 25, 2008

dammitjim, I assume you're referring to the excellent Arthur Waley translation? Or are there others equally good?
posted by fermion at 9:51 AM on July 25, 2008

Damon is a genius. I really hope I can see the opera! Kudos to BBC for getting this cartoon instead of some regular montage.
posted by InterfaceLeader at 10:30 AM on July 25, 2008

Didn't Genndy Tartakovsky get to the Monkey tributes first with his Dial M for Monkey spots from the old Dexter's Lab cartoons?
posted by hamfisted at 11:55 AM on July 25, 2008

I’m kind of digging the new Tank Girl stories that IDW have been putting out – I was a bit a little reluctant at first – it’s not Hewlett art, and Hewlett really made Tank Girl work, abd and, well, I’m just not that into Ashley Woods stuff. But now comics art cameleon Rufus Dayglo is on art, and doing a pretty mean job at art that’s Hewlett-like but still his own, and it’s like it’s, what, fifteen years ago?, and I'm reading Deadline again. Alan Martin must have been frozen in a block of ice for all that time or something.

It’s in the Judge Dredd megazine from next month onwards as well. Hurrah!
posted by Artw at 1:39 PM on July 25, 2008

Thirding Journey to the West. I read Anthony Yu's abridged translation (cut down to 500 pages from four volumes). Really, really good.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 2:33 PM on July 25, 2008

It's true that the book precedes the cult TV show, but the animation is clearly directly inspired by the television programme's style..
posted by ntk at 11:32 PM on July 25, 2008

OMG OMG OMG! I was obsessed with Animalympics for much of my youth. Haven't seen it in years though. Thank you vorfeed for linking to that.

And similarly curse you schwa for pointing out that, had I known about it, I could have seen that too. Argh. And I say that as someone married to the proverbial man in his late 30s, who made us work our way through the 13-DVD box set over a few weekends.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 1:14 AM on July 29, 2008

Snaffled the BBC coverage of the opening ceremony. Actually had a lump in my throat, because like schwa, the childhood memory of blowing at my mingers, waving a bamboo pole and shouting 'Pigsy!!!' in the playground marks me out as some kind of weirdo. I agree with those who recommend the book (I know Waley's abridgement) but the dubbed series has its own resonance.

(This is what happens when people my age commission and design titles.)
posted by holgate at 11:34 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

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