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Western Animation / Monkie Kid

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Familiar tales, all new adventures!

Monkey King: Look, I’m gonna come clean. Um, I've been kinda watching you.
MK: (flashbacks to the animals following him around) Wait, what?! That was you?!
Monkey King: Ha! That look on your face! You're perfect!
MK: Perfect for what?
Monkey King: To be… my successor!

Monkie Kid is a 2020 LEGO TV show based off of the world-famous Chinese folk tale Journey to the West. It was produced by Flying Bark Productions (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Glitch Techs) to coincide with the release of the theme's Lego sets.

Monkie Kid, or MK as his friends call him, is your average kid, but his world is completely changed when a noodle delivery turns into him discovering the resurrection of the great Demon Bull King the fabled ultimate enemy of MK's hero, The Monkey King.

The series premiered in Malaysia with a 45-minute TV special (A Hero Is Born) in June 13, 2020. Season one then premiered on September 13 of that year in Malaysia, with 10 episodes, and Season Two's TV special (Revenge of the Spider Queen) would then premiere on March 27, 2021, with the rest of the season beginning its premiere in May 1, 2021 in Australia. Season 3 would begin premiering in China on April 17, 2022, and its season finale special Embrace Your Destiny would air in the UK from June 1, 2022 to June 2, 2022. Season 4 would then release in China on January 19, 2023, with its season finale special The Emperor's Wrath airing in China on June 1, 2023.

After more than a year since the series began, the series was made officially available on Amazon Kids+ on September 9, 2021 in several other countries (The United States particularly, along with the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Japan), with the second season officially released in Fall 2022. Season 3 would then officially release in February 2023 on Kabillion, with Season 4 releasing in the United States on the LEGO Channel and HappyKids apps on Fire TV and Roku on March 3, 2023.

Monkie Kid provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time that Sean Schemmel voices a character that's based on Sun Wukong.
  • Adaptation Deviation: The show acts as a spin-off to the original Journey to the West tale but isn't a direct 1:1 representation, changing up the story and its characters in significant ways that essentially create a new version of JTTW for the series.
  • Adapted Out: Despite being a pretty important character in the original story, even after 4 seasons, the Goddess Guanyin has not appeared in any fashion, either as herself or by a proxy.
  • Animation Evolution: The animation is so much more fluid and clean by Season 3. And has gotten more Animesque even for the first 2 seasons' standards. Just looking at the different intros can tell you how far they've evolved!
  • Animesque: The show's animation style is heavily influenced by anime, featuring large eyes and exaggerated facial expressions. It has also been noted for its impressive animation and action sequences.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In the first episode "Bad Weather", in order to help MK learn to control his powers better, Monkey King reduces MK's power and removes his invincibility in order to do so.
  • Caped Mecha: The Monkey King Mech wears a red cape and a cyan and gold sash to resemble the original Monkey King.
  • Casting Gag:
    • This show's portrayal of Sun Wukong is voiced by Sean Schemmel, the English voice of Son Goku from Dragon Ball, another series based on Journey to the West. In addition, Goku was also based on Sun Wukong.
    • An allusion to Jack De Sena's largest role is made in Minor Scale when MK makes the staff tiny and spins it with the same pose and expression as Aang when he did his lame marble trick in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Combining Mecha:
    • Red Son's Inferno Truck consists of a trike attached to a monster truck. The cockpit can move from the trike to a second driver seat on the truck, allowing the trike to eject and both vehicles drive on their own.
    • The Bone Demon mech consists of several smaller mechs and structures. The scorpion forms the legs and lower torso. The temple forms the chest and ribcage. The spiders form the Shouders Of Doom. Finally, parts of the shrine form the head.
  • Cumbersome Claws: The "Revenge of the Spider Queen" special has Mei trying to make meat buns for Pigsy's food truck, only for them to turn out mushy and misshapen due to her LEGO pincer hands. She then comments that the process would probably be easier if she had fingers.
  • Curbstomp Battle:
    • MK's first 'fight' with the Lady Bone Demon largely consists of her leaving him writhing in agony via straight-up Mind Rape, physically overpowering him, and him unable to even get close enough to try attacking her. The Spider Queen attacking is the only reason he escapes, and Lady Bone Demon promptly one-shots the Demon before her clumsy attack hits her.
    • The second encounter in the Season 2 finale This is The End! does NOT end well either, with Lady Bone Demon performing a Batman Gambit in order to force MK to use up all his power in order to complete her weapon. All of MK's attempts to stop her are completely cut short before he's completely drained, nearly being Taken for Granite as a result before Monkey King returned just in time to save his life and retreat to safety with him, but with the staff lost to lady Bone Demon.
  • Darker and Edgier: In comparison to several of the other LEGO shows that were released in the past, the show features much more threatening villains who on many occasions outright stated they were going to kill the heroes, with Never Say "Die" being fully subverted here compared to previous LEGO shows, and even having some PG-level Precision F-Strike moments with "damn" being used once in Season 2.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Apparently, MK has the show's theme song for his phone's ringtone.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Sun Wukong trains MK on the use of his powers, and is very clearly still Sun Wukong.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Season 1's pilot opens with a spectacular, over-the-top battle between Monkey King and Demon Bull King that comes straight out of a Shōnen anime, paving the way for a fast-paced, action-packed series.
  • Evolving Credits: Season 3 changes the opening to reflect MK's new outfits, more clearly showcasing the similarities of Sun Wukong's old group to the new one, and featuring Lady Bone Demon, which also highlights her status as the Big Bad.
  • Foreshadowing: Monkie Kid mistakes Red Son's gesture in Revenge of the Spider Queen as them going to space, only to be informed it's intended to be the Celestial Realm. In the Season 3 sets they actually do go to space.
  • Fuzz Therapy: Sandy owns a dozen or so therapy cats. They're also members of his crew.
  • Generation Xerox: It's no coincidence that MK's team perfectly matches up with the Monkey King's old companions. Other than the clear Monkey King parallels and interest MK exhibits, Sandy and Pigsy are the most blatant given their names and species, Mei's bike and dragon aura reflect the White Dragon Horse (who she's a descendant of), and Tang is just as close to MK as Sanzang was to the Monkey King. It's to the point where the show itself points this out in the pilot episode, and in the third season finale special it's lampshaded by Sandy and Pigsy.
  • Gentle Giant: Sandy, being the largest and most ripped member of the heroes, who is also a pacifist that enjoys looking after his cat and making tea, on top of arguably being the nicest member of the heroes.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: In the episode "Calabash", MK gets trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine by a pair of demons. While weirded out by Pigsy being a Benevolent Boss and Mei being in love with him, MK finally figures out something is seriously wrong when Monkey King arrives and tells him to accept the situation.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Literally the premise for the sixth episode, "The Great Wall Race", in which MK and Mei end up having to race against the Demon Bull Family, with Jin and Yin (Who originally planned on participating until the Demon Bull King and Iron Fan showed up) being the commentators after the original commentators fled.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: MK does this a lot as the show goes on, frequently questioning whether he's fit to be the Monkey King's successor.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Season 2, minions of the Spider Queen mention Red Son, to which a nearby Demon Bull King remarks that Red Son is worthless. But when the Spider Queen's minions say that Red Son managed to escape, DBK says he never doubted Red Son for a moment.
  • Jesus Taboo: In "Impossible Delivery", MK mentions multiple incidents that the Monkey King got involved with due to his impulsive nature (all of which happened in the original story), and almost tops it off with the time he tried to pick a fight with Buddha before he interrupts MK by stuffing peach chips in his mouth before he can finish saying that name.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: In-Universe, in "The Great Tang Man", when Mei asks MK on what chapter of Journey To The West they may be in, MK notes that he just skipped to all the chapters Monkey King is in.
  • Legacy Team: MK and his friends all act as new incarnations of the leading characters from Journey To The West, which Season 3 especially leans into.
  • Like Brother and Sister: MK and Mei's close relationship is strictly platonic, to the point that MK will get visibly sick at the thought of Mei being in love with him.
  • Morphic Resonance: Monkey King is, no matter what form he takes, always orange with green and red highlights. Same rules apply to MK when he unlocks the 72 transformations.
  • Mr. Exposition: Tang frequently serves as a source of information regarding the information from the Monkey Kings legend.
  • Mundane Solution: As the Cloud Guardians are attacking him for entering the Cloud (a repository of vast knowledge) without his name being on the approved list MK gets them to stop... by asking if his name can simply be entered into said list. They confirm this and even help him with the registration process.
  • Mythology Gag: While the series as a whole is littered with Shout Outs and allusions to Journey to the West both subtle and blatant, the episode in season two Game On takes the cake as MK plays a game that is very clearly based of Monkey King's original adventure. All the characters even have their original Chinese names and are voiced by the main cast who they represent from the old tale.
    • During the flashback to the battle with the Demon Bull King, the Monkey King's appearance is heralded by a snippet of the theme song of the much-beloved 1980's TV series adaptation of Journey to the West.
    • The Monkey King's final battle involving him sealing Demon Bull King under a mountain was a Book Ends to how his journey originally began: with him being sealed under a mountain by the Buddha.
    • In "A Hero is Born", MK and Mei, after encouraging Sandy to help them, Mei's expression is frozen until MK literally turns her head around, referencing the reversible face prints common to LEGO Minifigures.
    • When chasing MK with a motorcycle launched from his monster truck, Red Son, when talking about his vehicle's transformation feature, pulls out a booklet, said booklet being a LEGO instruction manual showcasing his truck's play feature.
    • Once or twice Red Son is called "Red Boy", his name in the tale. Additionally, when we see Red Son as a baby, he's shown punching himself in the face to activate the Samadhi Fire, much like how Red Boy had to draw his own blood to activate it in the Novel.
  • Passing the Torch: The whole premise is basically that the Monkey King is passing on his signature weapon and his duties to the Monkie Kid.
  • Powered Armor: Demon Bull King wears such a set of armor, molded for him by Red Son. While DBK is already impressive enough without the armor, it simply enhances his already great power. The battery inside uses an engine that melts down artifacts to power it; the more rare the artifact, the more power that DBK obtains from it. In Season 1, the Bull family tries to get Sun Wukong's staff because it will power the armor like nothing else. And in Season 2, it's shown that the armor can absorb ghosts, too. However, it puts DBK under mind control as it happens.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Season 2 ends on one of these, and a big one. Lady Bone Demon manages to fully assemble her weapon, outright leaves any attempt MK makes to stop her null and void, and steals the staff from him, set up to start her reign. However, Monkey King thankfully returns just in time to save him, and the team goes out on a journey to find a weapon Monkey King believes could finally defeat Lady Bone Demon.
  • Redemption Rejection:
    • In "Revenge Of The Spider Queen", Red Son teams up with the heroes to save his father from Spider Queen, during which Mei pieces together that he's much better at being a hero than he is at being a villain, something he's vehemently opposed to. He finally embraces it in the Embrace Your Destiny Season 3 special.
    • In "72 Transformations", MK offers for Spider Queen to work together with him and his friends to stop Lady Bone Demon, for which she attempts to kill him just for suggesting.
    • In Season 3, while Macaque is the Arc Villain working for Lady Bone Demon under threat of his life, both MK and Tang separately offer for him to join their side to stop her, but he cynically scoffs at both these proposals. MK finally convinces him otherwise in "Time To Be Warriors", and he helps the heroes in the final battle.
  • Sentient Weapon: The Monkey King's staff is this. While it usually helps out in a fight, it also seems to mess with people for kicks.
  • Setting Update: The original story was set in the Tang Dynasty, but the show of course takes place in modern times.
  • Shout-Out: The head of Lady Bone Demon's Mech, with its horizontal horns around its neck and pronged shape, bears a heavy resemblance to The Shredder's helmet from Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a prior show that Flying Bark Productions worked on.
  • Took a Level in Badass: MK keeps taking levels as the show goes on, mastering more of the Monkey King's powers.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: MK after the pilot. He has all the powers of the Monkey King (including Nigh-Invulnerability) but has very little combat experience and no idea of how to use them. This is deconstructed in that it makes him more dangerous to his allies than enemies on account of Power Incontinence, and Monkey King locks most of them away so he can learn them gradually.
  • Warts and All: To MK, Monkey King is every bit the hero that he's idolized for so long — who, after 500 years in self-imposed isolation on his mountain, is also a deeply lonely shut-in who mostly sits around eating peach chips while waiting out his immortality, and is adjusting to being a mentor as much as MK is adjusting to being his successor. By the end of the first three-season arc, MK shows he isn't blind to Monkey King's faults and still believes in him regardless, which inspires the latter to become a better teacher for his sake.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In the Season 2 finale, after Monkey King returns, Pigsy chews him out big time for not being there when MK needed him the entire season.
      Pigsy: What could've been so important that you'd leave MK alone to face that… that thing?! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE HIS MENTOR!
    • In the climax of Season 3, after she's been infused with the Fire, Mei calls out Monkey King for his poor job training MK, and for keeping the whole situation with her being the unknowing fourth ring secret until it was too late.


Video Example(s):


Monkie Kid [S1 & 3 Intros]

Monkie Kid: The intro for the series. The one on the left is the first two seasons and the one on the right is the third season.

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Example of:

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