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52 television animated cartoon series: Xi You Ji DVD
Produced by CCTV
DVD edition published by China International TV Corporation, 2006
|第1集 猴王出世 |
|第27集 车迟国比武 |
This lively fantasy relates the amazing adventures of the priest Xuanzang as he travels west in search of Buddhist sutras with his three disciples, the irreverent and capable Monkey, greedy Pig, and Friar Sand. The opening chapters recount the earlier exploits of Monkey, culminating in his rebellion against Heaven. We then learn how Xuanzang became a monk and was sent on his pilgrimage by the Tang emperor who had escaped death with the help of an Underworld official.
The main story, the journey, takes the priest through all kinds of entertaining trials and tribulations, mainly at the hands of monsters and spirits who want to eat him. Most, like the ferocious Red Boy, want to devour him. Some, such as the scorpion spirit of Pipa Cave, take the form of beautiful women in the hope of seducing him. Only the courage and powers of his disciples, especially Monkey, save him from death. Monkey has to use all his connections in the supernatural world to find the help that will enable him to defeat these and other formidable enemies, such as the Bull Demon King and Princess iron Fan, or the imitation Monkey who is indistinguishable from himself. On the last part of the journey the demons come in as wide a range of shapes and kinds as ever. Among them are spider-women who spin webs from their navels, a pride of lion monsters and a terrible female spirit who carries the Tang Priest down into her bottomless cave to marry him. These and all the other fiends test to the very limit Monkey's ingenuity, supernatural powers and connections throughout the universe. Monkey is the hero of the fantasy, and the reader will soon learn why he has long been so loved in China. Will the pilgrims reach the Vulture Peak and obtain the scriptures? The answer will only be found at the end of the 100-chapter novel.
The story is as full of imagination as Monkey is of magic, and packed with incident and down-to-earth humor. The illustrations are from 19th-century Chinese edition.
"Journey to the West has the same status in Chinese popular literature as Dickens, the the Wizard of Oz and the Superman comics combined. Everyone knows it. The episodes are featured in countless theatre pieces, comic books, and cartoon shows." -- James Beerbower
"The story, attributed to Wu Cheng-en, is quite hilarious on the surface, full of creatures, jokes and foibles, and on the other hand it is a deeply religious plot. This is the finest piece of Chinese literature I've come across." -- Alexander Moir
"When I read the book, I was so intrigued in the writing, I couldn't put it down. THis is definitely a book worth reading. The language is moderately difficult. I had quite an easy time reading it (and I'm only 8). A must read, it is absolutely fantastic. " -- Christine Wong