Monkey-Volume 17 (1980)
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Biographies-Cast-Dubbing Cast Bios
Notes-Random Quote Generator
Featurette-Monkey Nuts-The Lost 13 Episodes
|Year Of Production||1980|
|Running Time||137:04 (Case: 165)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy and the boy priest Tripitaka return in the final three "lost" episodes of Monkey. Dubbed by the original English vocal cast recently, these episodes include a moment or two of adult themes and violence deemed unsuitable for children and were cut from the original English broadcast. Monkey is always fun, but the opportunity to see episodes never seen before is too good to pass up.
I enjoyed the three episodes in this volume much more than those included in Volume 16. The voice actors' rapport feels far more genuine than in earlier episodes and their banter is highly enjoyable. I found myself chuckling often, particularly at Pigsy's droll stupidity. Some truly odd sets appear along with a bizarre song or two, and a spot of nudity here and there. It's obvious why these episodes were deemed unsuitable for children: still there's some good advice on regular toothbrushing and how to avoid wetting the bed, useful information for every child. Of course, there is an endless supply of demons, monsters, and bacteria (yes, really) for Monkey to do battle with. Some excellent episodes: Monkey at its best.
Episode 49: Stoned (45:42) - Monkey and friends chance across a young demon abandoned by his family for failing to learn his spells. Monkey offers to teach him sorcery, but Tripitaka doubts the demon's honesty. Can a demon ever be trusted? But more importantly, can Monkey cure the demon's nagging toothache?
Episode 50: Hungry Like the Wolf (45:40) - Monkey accidentally leads the group into the mountain lair of the Blue Wolf demon and his minions.
Episode 51: Monkey's Yearning (45:42) - The pilgrims help a lost child return home and Monkey falls in love with the boy's mother. Swearing an oath of non-violence, Monkey begins to live a family life.
The video quality is decent. The episodes are presented at a ratio of 1.29:1, close to its original aspect ratio of what I believe should be 1.33:1.
Sharpness is quite satisfactory, although by no means excellent, and varies throughout. Occasionally it is quite poor. Shadow detail can be murky. Low level noise is constant throughout. Colours are usually quite washed out and most scenes have a green tint.
MPEG artefacts are visible: macro-blocking and pixelization are the most common. Some aliasing is visible and interlacing (ghosting) is a distracting issue. Film artefacts are obvious in every shot: dirt and hair in particular. These artefacts are not at all distracting: the worst example is a translucent smudge visible at the top of the image through most of Stoned.
There are no subtitles.
The audio transfer is satisfactory. Audio consists of an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track.
Dialogue is clear and audible, but has constant hiss and a little crackle, especially in Monkey's Yearning. I noticed several instances of audio dropout. As a dubbed soundtrack, audio sync is naturally terrible but quite closely matched to mouth movements.
Monkey's music is great as always and these episodes include some oddly bizarre songs.
There is no surround or subwoofer activity, just a little in the way of directional effects in the fronts.
|Surround Channel Use|
Well over 100 images from the lost episodes.
Text based synopses for each of the lost 13 episodes, including the aphoristic morals of the story.
Text based character descriptions can be found under "Biographies." Covers each of the pilgrims' history, style of fighting, favourite weapons and phrases, and describes some of the mythology each of the characters are based on. Also included are cast biographies for the original Japanese cast. Lots of interesting tidbits here: Monkey, Sandy, and the first Pigsy were all successful pop stars.
Information on the dubbing cast is a little light-on compared to the Japanese biographies. It appears they did not meet with quite the success of their Japanese counterparts.
Click to get a random Buddhist aphorism. A little pointless.
Links to several fan sites, the original Chinese story on which the series is based, and a link to an online store where you can buy the Monkey soundtrack and music by the actors.
Dubbing Documentary: Monkey Nuts (29:10) - An interesting documentary covering the dubbing of the missing episodes. It includes abundant interview footage. The video and audio are relatively poor, but watchable.
Interview (7:03) - An interview with David Collings and Andrew Sachs (the English voices of Monkey and Horse). Very easy to find on the Extras menu. It should also be noticed that the "Monkey Magic" remix included on the Region 2 releases plays over the Extras menu.
Monkey has been released in Region 2 in two separate incarnations. Fremantle released 13 volumes of Monkey in 2002 with the same episodes as the Shock releases. However each disc includes one of the missing episodes undubbed, with English subtitles. Personally I would love to see all of the episodes in their original Japanese.
After the dubbing of the lost episodes was completed, Fremantle re-released the entire series in five boxsets (Region 2 encoded). Boxsets 1 through 4 include all episodes (13 per set) and insert the newly dubbed episodes according to the original Japanese broadcast order. Each boxset includes a double-sided poster and a remix of the "Monkey Magic" theme song by UK group Grebeau. Boxsets 3 and 4 (in which you'll find the lost episodes) both include the documentary Monkey Nuts.
Thoughtfully, Fremantle include all 13 newly dubbed episodes in a fifth boxset for those who have already purchased the entire series. This set also includes a poster, the remix, and the dubbing documentary plus the interview with David Collings and Andrew Sachs. Unless you want the posters (or the undubbed episodes from the early Region 2 release), either Region's release would be satisfactory.
Three great episodes of Monkey never seen before. Just about worth the wait.
Audio and video are barely acceptable, but they'll do for now.
The extras are quite informative.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S336, using Component output|
|Display||LG Flatron Widescreen RT-28FZ85RX. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||DB Dynamics Belmont Series: Fronts: B50F, Centre: B50C, Rears: B50S, Sub: SW8BR|