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.
After more than a year since the series began, the series will be 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 being set to officially release later in 2022.
Monkie Kid provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time that Sean Schemmel voices a character that's based off Sun Wukong.
- Adaptation Deviation: The show acts as a spin off to the original Journey to the West tale but isnt a direct 1:1 representation, changing up the story and it's characters in significant ways that essentially creates a new version of JTTW for the series.
- 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.
- 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.
- Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Apparently, MK has the show's theme song for his phone's ringtone.
- 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 Shonen 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: Mnokie 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, 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.
- 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 six 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.
- 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.
- 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: The Monkey King is, no matter what form he takes, always orange with green and red highlights.
- 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 Bookends to how his journey originally began: with him being sealed under a mountain by the Buddha.
- In "A Hero is Born", MK and Mae, after encouraging Sandy to help them, Mae'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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 couldve been so important that youd leave MK alone to face that that thing?! YOURE 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.