Seen our Monkey video yet?

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We're unveiling this two-minute animation on our website, and it will be broadcast across BBC television in the UK just before 1930 BST tonight.

The animation, by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett - the team behind Gorillaz - twists the tale of the classical Chinese novel "Journey to the West", turning it into a "Journey to the East" and the Beijing Olympics.

That journey reaches a climax with this animated sequence, and you can find out more about Monkey and friends on this page. There are image galleries, mobile downloads, cut-out-and-wear masks if you've got little Monkeys, and some facts and figures - which might keep you busy on the web, finding out about the Pipa, Ur Hu and Zheng.

You can also download your own desktop Monkey, an application which brings you the latest news about your favourite Olympic sports, and lets you set reminders for events at the Games you don't want to miss. Monkey - or Pigsy, or Sandy if you prefer - will alert you when your event is about to start.

Monkey will introduce BBC Sport's coverage throughout the Olympics, so watch the video, download him to your desktop, and let me know what you think.

Ollie Williams is a BBC Sport journalist. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 08:20am on 24 Jul 2008, Nzinga wrote:

    I am not a fan of animation, but I found the clip captivating and entertaining, and I can safely say I actually enjoyed it. Good work to all those involved

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  • 2. At 08:48am on 24 Jul 2008, wannabee wrote:

    I thought this cartoon was a little bit too stereotyping (if that's the right wa to spell it). What has it got to do with the UK team meeting the other global nations!

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  • 3. At 09:18am on 24 Jul 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    Hmmm ... well, it's different. I'd put money on a large number of people complaining about "techno beats" or "electronic music". It's definitely better than the intro you used for Athens, but not as good as the aerial intro you used for Sydney into your CGI studio.

    I think it's a grower - maybe after a few viewings I'll think it's amazing. It has all the characteristics of a Gorrilaz video (no surprises), and has probably just the right amount 'Chinese' influence in the music.

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  • 4. At 09:25am on 24 Jul 2008, Andy C wrote:

    Absolutely stunning! It's 2008 - we've had enough soft-shot "medals held aloft" or "panoramic vistas of the stadium".

    By total coincidence I watched "Imagine" on iPlayer last night and saw all about the Monkey project; I think it's very daring of the BBC to bring something so avant-garde into on of their their biggest telly events in four years.

    I'm sure people will warm to it, and "get" the reference! It brought back childhood memories of Friday nights on BBC2 for me; the start of my weekend was MONKEY!! ..."and the power of the monkey was irrepressible!!"..

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  • 5. At 09:31am on 24 Jul 2008, griff wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 09:33am on 24 Jul 2008, an-drewm wrote:

    I love the music, I love the animation and I can't wait to see it again on TV.

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  • 7. At 09:33am on 24 Jul 2008, LunaPixie wrote:

    Ah the memories of watching Monkey as a child- it was indeed my favourite programme on television, and I believe shown on the BBC!

    Luckily I have managed to buy them on DVD and have introduced my children to Monkey so they will know exactly what this is all about : )

    The animation is really good and the story is all about a journey to the east- that is why it is being used for the olympics. Excellent stuff.

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  • 8. At 09:34am on 24 Jul 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    Welsh_Older_Bloke: either your baiting or you proved my point in Post #3. I think you'll find there was nothing remotely "British" in either the Sydney or Athens intros - no flag, no athletes, and only Sydney had landmarks.

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  • 9. At 09:35am on 24 Jul 2008, chenzhiqiang wrote:

    I think this is fantastic idea. Monkey has always been my favorite character and hero in my childhood. I am happy he is popular here in UK as well.

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  • 10. At 09:39am on 24 Jul 2008, Andy C wrote:

    Welsh_Older_Bloke, the BBC's not going there to support Team GB, they're going to cover the Olympics; believe it or not, they me even show some events without British competitors in it (gasp!)

    I'm glad their intro is all about the host nation, and not a load of jingoistic flag-waving rubbish. British athletes are going to Beijing? Really? Well I guess I could have worked that one out myself.

    I'd rather be entertained, impressed, and given the sensation of the tone and feeling of the Games. What could say it better than the story of three heroes and friends on their way to Beijing to do battle? (anyway, given the state of our international standing, I think an overweight pig could represent us quite amply! ;-) )

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  • 11. At 09:41am on 24 Jul 2008, Gloops wrote:

    Love it! Catchy toon.

    But I'm an animator, and old 'Monkey' fan, so maybe biased. More 2d animation commissions by the Beeb please!

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  • 12. At 09:45am on 24 Jul 2008, RichardThroop wrote:


    The monkey throws the 'magic wand' into the mouth of the serpent, the pig does his high bars spins and then the wand snaps.... before miraculously being caught by the monkey in the very next frame as a complete wand again?????

    That alone will annoy me every time I have to see it during the olympics and build up....

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  • 13. At 09:49am on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Sorry guys, but whilst it may be based on a classical Chinese novel, why not keep your intro directly focused on the Olympics. After all, that is what your intro is about, yes? In the past when major events like the FIFA world cup and Olympics came round the intro would have shots dedicated to it, which sounds commonsensical to me. I notice that at no time do we see past British heroes appear (ashamed of them are we?), and current stadia (appearance right at the end only) for starters. Next shambles will be the cost of this second-rate intro. If you put a hundred people in a room and said what's this animation about, I'd guess most be pretty lost until the very end. I just laughed at it, especially as monkey appeared. He looked like an urban guerilla, menacing and aggressive! I liked the way the MOTD zoomed in on from a satellite photograph to the football stadia. Why not open like that. Keep your audience in touch at all times. I felt I had tuned over to a kid’s programme. Colouring good but overall try again - on second thoughts, don’t.

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  • 14. At 10:00am on 24 Jul 2008, harryx50 wrote:

    There's only room for 1 monkey and he's at home having a nice cup of PG Tips.

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  • 15. At 10:00am on 24 Jul 2008, Gloops wrote:

    Those complaining it's not about the Olympics look again people - it features running, hammer throwing, pole vaulting, javelin, high diving, swimming...

    (and Monkey's wand doesn't snap, it springs out of the serpents mouth)

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  • 16. At 10:02am on 24 Jul 2008, threemonkeydust wrote:

    I liked it, it was different. Was left wondering what exactly it had to do with the Olympics, but think it'll be a 'grower'.

    RE: RichardThroop's "Continuity....."

    As for your 'continuity' jibe, if you watch the video carefully, the wand actually flies out of the jaws intact, rather than 'snapping', so there is no continuity flaw there.

    Not talking particularly to Richard, but as a general comment:
    Some people enjoy finding fault in the work of others, work, that in this case, must have taken a lot of careful work. Can we not just enjoy it for what it is? Why does everything have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time??

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  • 17. At 10:21am on 24 Jul 2008, chairmandog wrote:

    Excellent! Absolutely loved it! I think an important part of the Olympics is to embrace the culture of others, more so than winning medals (which, to be honest, we're not going to being doing much of). Monkey's a great way of bridging out understanding of the East as he was also part of many of our youths.
    Good on you guys and well done.

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  • 18. At 10:26am on 24 Jul 2008, roostergroove wrote:

    @Gloops: ...and hurdles and boxing...

    It's an impressive piece of work. It's relevant without being obvious or cliched, it's original, and it successfully represents elements of classical Chinese culture, contemporary British culture and the Olympic ideal.

    I wouldn't count myself among Messrs Albarn and Hewlett's biggest fans, but I admire their work all the same and it's a good choice by the BBC.

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  • 19. At 10:27am on 24 Jul 2008, benramadan wrote:

    Everyone posting here seems to recall Monkey from their childhood. As a 20-something, I have never heard of Monkey so have missed the reference entirely!

    This, coupled with the assertion that the daft 2012 logo was aimed at our youfs, makes me wonder if you have skipped a whole chunk of the demographic by aiming specifically at a particular age range.

    That said, the animation is fun and done well, and I like the symbolism. I just wish it was more accessible to me, though as you've discovered before you can't keep everyone happy!

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  • 20. At 10:31am on 24 Jul 2008, yoursdisgusted wrote:

    I can't believe that the BBC are serious, this looks lke a child's scary dream - or is it intended for cartoon loving adults?

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  • 21. At 10:32am on 24 Jul 2008, Bezmina wrote:

    I love it, I love the way they have "snuck in" loads of events there, I love the cheekiness of Monkey, I love the mythology!

    I am so glad the BBC has gone for something modern and relevant to the games rather than the usual soft focus compilation of nonsense - YAWN!

    This had made it ten times more likely that I will watch more of the Games, great, bold move Auntie!

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  • 22. At 10:35am on 24 Jul 2008, Bezmina wrote:

    Benramadan, it is actually originally based on one of the 4 most important books ever to come out of China (in the 16th Century), don't let people's memories of the old 80's show make you think it's not for you! It is for everyone!

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  • 23. At 10:37am on 24 Jul 2008, MythMyth wrote:

    I think it's AWESOME, nice to see some serious imagination and flair applied to the Olympic intro, highly contemporary too. I'm depressed by the amazingly conservative reactions to it, such dull, narrow-minded outlooks. Zooming in on the stadium? British flags everywhere? 'And the words are not even in English...' ? 'Are we ashamed of our atheletes...'? What???????

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  • 24. At 10:38am on 24 Jul 2008, The-Jimp wrote:

    Top job. Excellent work by Jamie and Damon as usual.

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  • 25. At 10:39am on 24 Jul 2008, Something Something wrote:

    Although I've enjoyed much of Albarn and Hewlett's previous work, I was a little unsure of how this was going to turn out, so I'm pleased that both the music and animation are fantastic.

    It would have been so easy for the BBC to come up with some "same old" clichéd titles (although the ones created for Athens were also very good) so it's great to see something that's fresh, interesting, and a mixture of traditional China and contemporary Britain.

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  • 26. At 10:39am on 24 Jul 2008, Nesian wrote:

    The animation is accesible and vibrant and the music oriently ethereal.

    That said I only fully appreciated the video after watching Imagine: Damon and Jamie's Excellent Adventure on the BBC iPlayer.

    Check it out before it diappears:

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  • 27. At 10:42am on 24 Jul 2008, ForEngland wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 28. At 10:48am on 24 Jul 2008, triathlonqueen wrote:

    Thought the 2012 logo was scary until I saw this - it might be meaningful to a certain audience but not exactly universal

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  • 29. At 10:48am on 24 Jul 2008, aristobulus wrote:

    Well I'm one of those sad folks who is not looking forward to the domination of scheduels by the Olympics - this seemingly bizarre off topic animation will only reinforce my staying away!

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  • 30. At 10:57am on 24 Jul 2008, roostergroove wrote:

    Re: ForEngland @ no.27

    It's only unnecessary and wasteful if you consider cultural investment to be unnecessary and wasteful.

    This work has been commissioned from two of the leading lights of British contemporary art [oh no, not the 'A' word!]. Whether you like their work or not, they are influential figures who make a valuable cultural contribution.

    As a tax-payer in these hard time, I am more than happy to keep investing in things that add some colour and vibrancy to life.

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  • 31. At 11:04am on 24 Jul 2008, manc_in_london wrote:

    Cheers up guys - it's a damn sight than the London 2012 ident stuff! (so bad it stil makes me shudder)

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  • 32. At 11:12am on 24 Jul 2008, griff wrote:

    Oh people! What does it matter?

    It could have been any of the Chinese Zodiac signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.

    After all, astrology, which is a pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon, doesn't actually work - bit like this cartoon.

    Never mind eh? Better luck next time for the London - read British - games - maybe Mickey Mouse?

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  • 33. At 11:12am on 24 Jul 2008, TheyROnlyWords wrote:

    I was a fan of Monkey - fantastic show -

    But what can I say about this - not a lot - this is supposed to represent the Olympics?????

    The animation is good and the sound track as well as a tribute to the Monkey show - but as for representing the Olympics I think I've missed something along the way.... ???

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  • 34. At 11:15am on 24 Jul 2008, dbiker wrote:

    This is a rather confusing message. China is full of monsters? The Chinese are like monkeys? It's the Olympics, so what happened to the sports?

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  • 35. At 11:17am on 24 Jul 2008, ruralwriter wrote:

    Any Chinese speakers out there who can enlighten us as to the refrain - hui yao xi wan/huan? I know a bit of Mandarin but was struggling to hear what she's singing.

    Much more imaginative than say the stuff for other Olympics or the London Marathon - we know what the Olympics is about so don't need pictures of running shoes or medals to demonstrate it!

    And as for continuity - in xi you ji (journey to the west) the staff can magically change size so the other posters are right - it just springs out of the dragon's mouth, it doesn't snap.

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  • 36. At 11:19am on 24 Jul 2008, mayagod wrote:

    This is great!,
    it's young, yet has old values i.e monkey. The younger generation will love it for what it is at face value and the older will understand where it comes from. As the BBC we really need to be doing more energetic and YOUNG visuals. Well done. Anyone rubishing it is obviously past there sell by!

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  • 37. At 11:22am on 24 Jul 2008, mayagod wrote:

    oh and for comment 12. look again..the stick does not actually snap, it just pings out!

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  • 38. At 11:26am on 24 Jul 2008, Countlopez wrote:

    Is it just me, or does the monkey look like Robbie Williams? It's still very good though

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  • 39. At 11:29am on 24 Jul 2008, weedfreer wrote:

    I like it very much however I do have a 'complaint' of sorts and that is that the I think the levels need sorting out/re-mastering on the sound track.

    More sub-bass (like on the Gorrilas albums) and less volume on the chinese operah singer...not that i think the chinese operah singer is bad just a little overpowering compared to the rest of the sound track.

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  • 40. At 11:30am on 24 Jul 2008, Gram wrote:

    A cartoon based on a 30 year old program.

    C'mon guys you can do better than that Shirley?

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  • 41. At 11:31am on 24 Jul 2008, achates wrote:

    Never heard of "Monkey" and after seeing this I'm not surprised.
    Techno thumping music? or noise I would call it, accompanied by alien (to me) modern jerky style characters, who I have never heard of - does absolutely nothing to introduce one of the greatest sporting occasions there is.

    Why must everything these days be animated cheapo drawing stuff - just look at the Childrens' programmes - packed full of this animated trash.
    Just like the endless audience participation junk we see.
    Cheap dumbed down television once again.

    Why don't we just send cartoon characters to the Olympics - just the thing for modern Britain.

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  • 42. At 11:36am on 24 Jul 2008, chris brett747 wrote:

    Obviously designed to appeal to younger viewers, hence the animations and the music, could somebody please explain to an old fuddy-duddy like me what it actually has to do with the British team and the BBC?

    I fail to understand why huge amounts of licence-payers money is spent on such tosh. Why do the BBC insist that all the money spent on station idents and so on is good value? How can something so utterly meaningless and ephemral be good value for money?

    Please, somebody, please explain!

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  • 43. At 11:38am on 24 Jul 2008, smilingmelody wrote:

    To Gram...

    it's 'surely' - or was Shirley a reference to a 30 year old film??

    Loved the animation and the music...

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  • 44. At 11:43am on 24 Jul 2008, Bezmina wrote:

    Boswell you sound like my dad watching Top of the Pops!

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  • 45. At 11:44am on 24 Jul 2008, letsgoflyakite wrote:

    Brilliant! I think it's great that the BBC are actually willing to commission something like this. It's different, quirky and something fresh instead of the usual standard 'zoom into stadium, show medal thrust into the air' intros.
    Plus can I add, I don't mind my tv tax money going towards art like this, much better than Casualty...

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  • 46. At 11:44am on 24 Jul 2008, id5766 wrote:

    The animation is fun and well done, and even those of us around when Monkey was screened but never saw it, will have some peripheral memory about it.

    My concern is more about the image content. Is this appropriate for China today? Does it portray an economic powerhouse surging ahead with modern sky-lines and an appetite for all things hi-tech? The Games celebrate youth and dynamism, but this is a clip from historical legend.

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  • 47. At 11:44am on 24 Jul 2008, megamezzosoprano wrote:

    I'm torn on this one. As Damon says himself, with his new opera opening in London and this trailer, it will be the "Summer of Monkey". However, is this trailer actually a bit of a plug for the opera too? As a singer, that's fine for me, because the original ancient Olympics had a cultural section that held as much glory as the athletics side! Also, of course, such images from Chinese mythology are suitably non-political...

    One the other hand, the modern Olympics are about sport, and people coming from around the world together to participate. I do watch the Olympics, because the games are a world event celebrating excellence (most of the time). This trailer is about battling evil with cunning and resourcefulness, not achieving excellence per se.

    In the end, for these Olympics, I'm happy to see and hear Damon's Monkey, no problem. However, it sets a worrying trend for 2012. What will the BBC do then to top this - breakdancing policemen, animated red post boxes, or Bollywood dancers on top of a London bus? Perish the thought...

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  • 48. At 11:45am on 24 Jul 2008, anotherarunan wrote:

    When i saw the link to the clip I thought *groan* animation like the awful Euro 2008 "animation"! Here we go again! But i was pleasantly suprised!

    Being 19, I have no idea who this monkey guy is or the story behind it, but its fun, different and the animation is awesome!

    Maybe a bit of British-ness might have been nice, but you cant have everything! Credit should go to whoever made the decision to invest in the animators, and if the BBC don't overdo it with the monkey, it should be a great games broadcast!

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  • 49. At 11:46am on 24 Jul 2008, Andy C wrote:

    weedfreer, I think we need to hear the mastered original rather than the Flash Video version - video sound compression always seems to sacrifice the bass for the treble (or tenor in this case!).

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  • 50. At 11:46am on 24 Jul 2008, BloggerWill wrote:

    I think it's clearly very innovative animation, with some fantastic ideas embedded with the uses of the Olympic sports intertwined into the story, although there is very little other reference to the idea of sports and to the Olympics.
    But better than the London 2012 logo by far!

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  • 51. At 11:48am on 24 Jul 2008, ruralwriter wrote:

    'At 11:30am on 24 Jul 2008, Gram wrote:
    A cartoon based on a 30 year old program.
    C'mon guys you can do better than that... '

    The story is from the 16th century, not 30 years ago - it's like basing something on a Shakespeare play - you know like we've done lots of times before - anyone seen West Side Story or Kiss me Kate...?

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  • 52. At 11:49am on 24 Jul 2008, tencents wrote:

    I can't help thinking some people are possibly being a little dim. The references to events in the animation are pretty apparent. The symbolism of the adventurers travelling to compete / battle is also pretty clear.

    Also we don't need a union flag to tell us who we are in case we forget. I'm pretty confident I can remember I'm British without the usual soft focus montage drivel.

    Interesting, well thought through, modern and controversial. I like it already.

    If only and open mind was an event...

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  • 53. At 11:52am on 24 Jul 2008, xXdebbXx wrote:

    I think this is absolutely amazing. Thank god the bbc are finally being a little more adventurous. This is a great piece of art - love it - love it - love it!!

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  • 54. At 11:57am on 24 Jul 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    One for the BBC Sports Editors: maybe it would help those on this board who keep asking for "where's the flag" or "where's the British athletes" to put up your intros to the last few Olympic Games - it'd give them a chance to eat humble pie and see that there weren't any of those images in the Sydney/Athens intros.

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  • 55. At 11:57am on 24 Jul 2008, locator wrote:

    That's rubbish.
    A waste of licence money.

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  • 56. At 11:58am on 24 Jul 2008, Mean_old_fart wrote:

    I feel I am fortunate to have a large stock of DVDs to watch for the next few weeks and can avoid the whole Olympics.

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  • 57. At 12:01pm on 24 Jul 2008, AgentWhale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 58. At 12:01pm on 24 Jul 2008, U9563463 wrote:

    Its just going to give kids nightmares - Monkey and pals are one set of ugly beasts.

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  • 59. At 12:05pm on 24 Jul 2008, typingfromwork wrote:

    I was surprised when I saw the intro- I didn't know Journey to the West was known in Britain at all. The animation was great, the theme a bit confusing- isn't this supposed to be Britain at the Olympics rather than Mythical creatures from an ancient Chinese novel? I loved it none the less. I hope to see more of these animations during the coverage.

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  • 60. At 12:06pm on 24 Jul 2008, Andy C wrote:

    As of post 58, that's
    32 "Like It"'s and
    18 "Eurgh!"

    (and 8 off-topic/follow-up/no opinion)

    I think that's what Mrs Merton would call a "Heated Debate"....very interestin'....

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  • 61. At 12:09pm on 24 Jul 2008, moosekid wrote:

    Love it! LOVE IT! Jamie is such a brilliant artist and this is a great step by the Beeb to use such an incredible talent. One question when is the movie out? If only.

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  • 62. At 12:13pm on 24 Jul 2008, tribalmatt wrote:

    I think this is a brave move from the beeb. It's going to polarise opinion and get people talking, but this publicity alone justifies its commisioning.

    I think its right that the country's leading broadcaster should be looking to popular culture to explore new and exciting ways of delivering interesting and thought-provoking content, which this certainly does.

    As some have mentioned already, this isn't about jingoistic flag-waving, but should be a neutral reporting of a great international sporting event, encouraging maximum participation and drawing in new audiences. Its a bold move, but I think it will pay off.

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  • 63. At 12:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, Stephen wrote:

    why do I not get to preview or see any posting from 'post a comment' box?

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  • 64. At 12:21pm on 24 Jul 2008, machinesteve wrote:


    If this is a waste of BBC money - what are they supposed to spend it on?

    I thought we paid the BBC made Television programmes - this is part of a television programme - er............

    Maybe we should have a man sitting at a desk with a handwritten sign behind saying Peking 2008. "Good evening ladies and gentlemen here are the Olympics from China..."

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  • 65. At 12:24pm on 24 Jul 2008, Tustinha wrote:

    Whilst I enjoyed the animation I don't really see there's a strong enough link to sport or Great Britain. Jamie Hewlett's works are always interesting although perhaps a little dated now... I think the BBC should have picked something more relevant and contemporary, perhaps using the actual Olympic mascots instead of something entirely unrelated. Trying too hard but failing to inspire!

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  • 66. At 12:24pm on 24 Jul 2008, George wrote:

    Oh Dear, Ridiculas...

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  • 67. At 12:25pm on 24 Jul 2008, katyrouth wrote:

    Post 47 - Breakdancing policemen, fantastic idea!

    Being under the age of 30 and no expert on Chinese literature, I don't get all the references but the animation is fantastic (as you would expect from the Gorrillaz people) and I had fun spotting the various different sports incorporated into it.

    As for those complaining about the lack of "British symbols" - the London olympics are in 2012, not 2008. It's totally appropriate to have host country themed introductions on the BBC.

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  • 68. At 12:26pm on 24 Jul 2008, petersuthers wrote:

    Getting to the page in order to make this comment was such hard work I nearly gave up in disgust. If you are going to ask for comment, make it easy for the user to give the comment!
    Whilst its a very nice cartoon, I cannot for the life of me see what it has to do with the Olympics, let alone the BBC's presentation. Yet another case of the creatives loosing the plot, and going off into La La land.

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  • 69. At 12:31pm on 24 Jul 2008, Hoyus1 wrote:

    I used to watch the Chinese monkey series occasionally on TV some years ago, and it is interesting to see it used here. What the signifigance to the Olympics is leaves me more than a little baffled, and I am sure that there will be many older (or, for that matter, younger) than me who will be totally confused. I don't know how much the BBC paid to have this designed, but it seems a strange way to part with my licence fee. Surely all that was needed was a simple Olympics logo, and an announcement that the Olympics were on TV with dates and times of the various events.

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  • 70. At 12:33pm on 24 Jul 2008, chrissimon wrote:

    What a great sequence. 3 Heroes fighting adversity to reach the Olympic games - very symbolic - a great use of license fee money - I loved it.

    Plus continuity is fine - think RichardThroop (12) needs a new pair of specs.

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  • 71. At 12:37pm on 24 Jul 2008, clankylad wrote:

    I thought it was ugly and cheap looking, although doubtless it wasn't cheap. A decent montage of the sights of China and Beijing would have been preferable to having our money stuffed into the pockets of the talentless Hewlett and Albarn.

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  • 72. At 12:42pm on 24 Jul 2008, AgentWhale wrote:

    I hope the Chinese repay us for this in 2012 by making animations of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen novels.

    I don't like the character design at all. Why does Monkey have a permanent sneer on his face? Even when he's smiling he looks menacing.

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  • 73. At 12:47pm on 24 Jul 2008, secretsuhaib wrote:

    dynamite, its just what we need to remind us that we are part of global civilisation, accepting of other cultures as well as reminding me of my love of Monkey Magic when it first come out. Flag waving is a thing of the past and creates barriors, well to all involved.

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  • 74. At 1:04pm on 24 Jul 2008, Munchkinmolbie wrote:

    Sorry for the Pun as none intended - but that animation is the nuts!

    Good on the BBC for allowing something like this - and to the makers. Quality.

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  • 75. At 1:05pm on 24 Jul 2008, Tom1284 wrote:

    Please, please, please BBC - ignore all of the negativity in this comments thread. To me this is one of the best things the BBC has commissioned in a very long time, especially the sports department. I am constantly being critical of the BBC, especially the football team. Shearer and Lawrenson are getting embarrassingly boring and unsightful these days, and the intro to Euro 2008 was painful.

    But...this is such a breath of fresh air. Great production, and unlike what many people seem to think, I believe this is incredibly well suited to the Olympics. This country has a real lack of understanding of China and Chinese cultural heritage, and what better way to introduce it than by showing the story of the Monkey King. Anyone who knows anything about China knows how popular and important this story is to Chinese people. So kudos to the BBC, as well as Damon Albarn and the opera he has created.

    PS. Why not commission an animated TV show in the same style. It's waiting to be done. Not only would it open many peoples' eyes to the wonders of animation (the BBC has been sadly lacking in these in recent years), but also to some of the positive elements of Chinese culture. China bashing is getting boring - can we also try and embrace what is good about it, and set aside political differences once in a while?

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  • 76. At 1:08pm on 24 Jul 2008, Antichthon wrote:

    Excellent work, really captures the spirit of China and the Olympics - I like the way the heroes use a number of Olympic events to make their progress.

    Clearly the music is Gorillaz, but what is the original piece?

    Thanks for spending a relatively small portion of my licence fee on something worthwhile.

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  • 77. At 1:14pm on 24 Jul 2008, LRJ wrote:

    Let's just be clear about this before all the miserable philistines swamp this blog with negative comments - THIS IS A GREAT PIECE OF WORK! I think the BBC should be commended for producing this genuinely creative and original title sequence - without having to listen to people harping on about the licence fee, lack of flag waving and no postcardesque shots of Beijing etc. Damon and Jamie have done a great job with this - and in case people haven't noticed, it not only adds a new twist to the Monkey story, but also features a load of Olympic sports too - it's brilliant! You know what, I've just watched this three times in a row and I'd go so far as to say it makes me proud that our national broadcaster is presenting the Olympics with such creativity - I bet this is far better than what other countries are using. Well done BEEB and Gorillaz!

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  • 78. At 1:24pm on 24 Jul 2008, creative1954 wrote:

    What a load of rubbish

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  • 79. At 1:26pm on 24 Jul 2008, cambman wrote:

    Once again we have the BBC's self-styled creatives rather carried away with their ideas of clever presentation and importance to the general viewing public - in this case misguided and rather insulting and tasteless graphics, which we'll now have to endure/skip round/make tea when appearing repeatedly on TV. Please try and concentrate on doing the professional job of delivery of the actual content, which most people actually want to see (ie the Olympics itself) and pay for.

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  • 80. At 1:37pm on 24 Jul 2008, daveypodmore wrote:

    Why are people complaining its not British enough, are they stupid, the games are in China, you dont want the union flag flying, its an intro to the Beijing games not London 2012. Some people have no imagination!

    Well done BBC for doing something a little more interesting and un-expected than shots of the city, shots of the athletes, shots of children smiling, its very refreshing and it makes me very excited about what you will do in 2012. Keep up the good work

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  • 81. At 1:46pm on 24 Jul 2008, emilyblanche wrote:

    Bloody awful, but maybe its a genrational thing.

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  • 82. At 1:51pm on 24 Jul 2008, joannewport wrote:

    Yet another annoying jingle. I, regretfully, hear enough far eastern 'tin music' thanks to the animated programmes constantly on TV for children, and therefore give thanks for the remote control and mute button. Whilst I acknowledge the Games are for the world and agree we shouldn't be 'flag-waving, (we don't when introducing football games), do we have to be constantly reminded that the games are being held in a country where civil rights and liberties are totally rejected despite the agreement of the Chinese Government to change.

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  • 83. At 1:51pm on 24 Jul 2008, emilyblanche wrote:

    Awful! Maybe it's a generational thing

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  • 84. At 1:54pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    China bashing, nothing of the kind. It's about dovetailing the imminent Chinese Olympics and our inherent sporting representation - nothing more or less. Yes, the Chinese are rich in cultural history and inventiveness (that is really not in dispute nor what is opined in this blog I hope), but this animation was commissioned to be about the Olympics and its ideal of sporting excellence. It has managed to combine it at such a surreal level - apart from the end when many other amazing stadia are somehow completely ignored – that its modus operandi becomes blurred and lost in the animation itself. In these days of technoexcellence is not much to ask for a BBC promo to articulate from beginning to end a generic theme of said excellence. Yes, good animation, colouring and storyboard. But that’s it. Perhaps all will become clear to those who claim I am a conservative (stereotypical flattery will get you nowhere because I am apolitical actually!) then let’s hope Youtube devotees upload other national promos for our mutual comparative delectation, then we will see what other nations have composed. LOL! I bet you'll eat your words then! Flags, archive footage, the five rings, etc will abound. This is animation for children (Monkey looks like he’s on drugs and anorexic!) with an aggression factor (at times) up there for all discerning feral viewers to enjoy. I don't care anyway, the Americans, Chinese and Russians will dominate the medals whilst cash-strapped UK athletes will try their honourable best but in most cases will be being outperformed by amateur professionals who have been lovingly looked after in the last four years at least by modern, well-resourced country-based facilities. (No paragraphs is annoying but now you know how I felt when watching this promo).

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  • 85. At 2:00pm on 24 Jul 2008, crustibooga wrote:

    Excellent! Great music, interesting animation. I think those that are whining lack imagination/sole, and are used to having things spelled out literally with images of athletes. That would be dull. Damon, Jamie and the BBC Cheers!

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  • 86. At 2:00pm on 24 Jul 2008, Andrew wrote:

    Welsh_Older_Bloke and dbiker.

    It's based on one of the most famous chinese tales of all time. After all, the games are in err... China after all.

    Also, there are at least 10 sports that I could see in the animation.

    emilyblanche. good, in-depth, well-informed criticism. I'm sure we will all take a lot from what you have to say. Thanks.

    The animation is brilliant, evocative, relevant and something more than the usual formulaic intros we get to sports programmes.

    Thank you BBC.

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  • 87. At 2:02pm on 24 Jul 2008, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    " And the nature of Monkey was ....IRREPRESSIBLE !"

    As is this highly entertaining cartoon. Which will unfortunately be totally spoiled by the inevitable nod and wink greeting by one G Lineker welcoming the Night Owls to the live coverage when it finishes. Maybe we could just replace him with a cartoon - it would be more animated and sympathetic than the real thing !

    OK, maybe it is a generational thing but all anyone has to do is Google "Monkey" and all will be, if not explained, then revealed. I defy anyone between 30 and 45 not to admit that they've done the "summon the cloud" whistle.

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  • 88. At 2:03pm on 24 Jul 2008, Antichthon wrote:

    creative1954 (post 78): care to display some of that creativity you clearly think you possess by writing something a bit more interesting than "what a load of rubbish"?

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  • 89. At 2:06pm on 24 Jul 2008, smilingmelody wrote:

    I don't think Linekar is doing any of it.

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  • 90. At 2:23pm on 24 Jul 2008, Andie_Whitfield wrote:

    I like the feel of the material, however along with so many others i see no relevance to the British team, and so i feel because of this the animation is fataly flawed

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  • 91. At 2:30pm on 24 Jul 2008, Andie_Whitfield wrote:

    After watching it again, i realise that it is just outsatnding. Congradulations.

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  • 92. At 2:41pm on 24 Jul 2008, Damnyoureyes wrote:


    Well done Gloops exactly as I was thinking, they've subtle put lots of events in there.

    and it doesn't snap it springs out

    Very bold move of the BBC and I applaud them for doing it!

    Stop moaning so much

    and it's got monkey in it.

    'You can't convince a deaf man by talking'

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  • 93. At 2:41pm on 24 Jul 2008, 1nterested wrote:

    It is really time that the BBC are held accountable to the general public for the needless wasting of Licence payers money. Surely a graphic of the Olympic Logo and the text China 2008 should have sufficed. Mind you obviously the BBC is in dumb-down mode with the cartoon graphics, following on from the 2008 Euro football cartoons. STOP WASTING MY MONEY

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  • 94. At 2:46pm on 24 Jul 2008, The Artist formerly known as wrote:

    Frankly, I found this distasteful and possibly racist, and of no actual relevance to the games themselves.

    Maybe something that actually has some relevance to the British who will be watching the games, and hasn't cost a fortune to animate would've been more appropriate. We are constantly told that the BBC is having to save money from its news teams, and then this waste of time and money is inflicted on us!

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  • 95. At 2:53pm on 24 Jul 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    I watched it again, and it does definitely grow on me - spotted more of the sports this time round. Definitely in keeping with the theme of having 'Ancient Greece' for Athens.

    Odd that no one complained about the lack of jingoism that time round.

    You've also go to wonder how many people would complain about the poor presentation if the BBC didn't do a proper intro of some type or the other. Well done, don't let the detractors stop you.

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  • 96. At 2:54pm on 24 Jul 2008, Tom1284 wrote:

    I've come back to see the consensus is still sadly negative. What a boring nation we seem to be!

    However this comment above from 'the artist formerly know as' struck me: "distasteful and possibly racist". Excuse me?!

    How exactly can the portrayal of a legendary Chinese story from a 16th century novel, later followed by countless TV shows and films, be deemed as distasteful and/or RACIST?

    I'm almost certain Chinese people would absolutely love this if they saw it and wish CCTV produced it as their intro to the games. In fact, I know a number of Chinese people living in China, and will send them a link.

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  • 97. At 2:55pm on 24 Jul 2008, Gwydion Williams wrote:

    Very clever. Showing an understanding of the Olympics as a global event, which this year is being put in a Chinese context.

    I also hope that the animators think about doing the original story with just those designs, which worked quite well, at least for my tastes.

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  • 98. At 3:25pm on 24 Jul 2008, rincerofwinds wrote:

    I love it... brings back great memories of the program and the book (yes im english and I have read it)...great animation with great music

    For all those people who think this is "Dumbing Down" you are completely wrong and misunderstand it. "Dumbing Down" means that it is easy for everyone to understand.....that fact that you dont understand it or see any refernces to all the sports, culture and history in this tends to suggest that is is much more intellectual and actually makes people think when they watch it.

    Much better than just the Olympic logo with the words "China 2008" that would be dumbing down!!

    Congrats to all involved

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  • 99. At 3:28pm on 24 Jul 2008, tucnguyen wrote:

    Nice animation but was wondering they actually read the story and if they knew it was about how Monkey, Pigsy, and the Bodhisattva were sent to retrieve the sutras (Buddhist texts) by Buddha himself. Interesting use of these characters against what's going on in Tibet and their actions against the Dalai Lama.

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  • 100. At 3:48pm on 24 Jul 2008, machinesteve wrote:

    Why is this a waste of money? What is the BBC supposed to spend money on for God's sake if its not commissioning, making and broadcasting media. Why do people resent paying a fee for experimental quality and then feel happy to pay a subscription to watch 50 channels of pap?

    I loved the comment about all we need is the logo and a bit of type. What an interesting life, 'interested' must lead.

    Best sports commission for years.

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  • 101. At 4:09pm on 24 Jul 2008, daveypodmore wrote:

    Im glad they are spending my licence fee on creating interesting animations and doing something a bit more interesting than the usual or expected. The BBC should be pushing the boundries and reaching ever higher in what they put on our TV screens.

    I cant applaud loudly enough, and even more so for giving the moaning, dull fools that make up the vast majority of the British public something else to moan about.

    Bravo BBC, Bravo

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  • 102. At 4:22pm on 24 Jul 2008, shaunhopkins wrote:

    I liked the video. While traveling in China last year, I became familiar with 'The Monkey King', a figure of legends in China, from the TV show of the same name (I think, in Chinese). So all of this cartoon is related in some way to legend, not some sort of stereotype.

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  • 103. At 4:26pm on 24 Jul 2008, whytepaul wrote:

    What? Looks like someone has been tooting on a crack pipe at the BBC again...

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  • 104. At 4:29pm on 24 Jul 2008, JimmyOBrien wrote:

    Where's the stereotype? This is legend. And you can't blame Jamie Hewlett for bringing back some childhood memories. We all loved that programme. Once again Hewlett and Albarn working their magic.

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  • 105. At 4:37pm on 24 Jul 2008, polykhor wrote:

    wers da part were they save tibet eh;)

    for those who don't know this animation is a summerization of a chinese tale which dragon ball z is based upon

    i fink it's is good

    so what if it has nothing to do with britain

    were not hosting it are we, the chinese are

    but of those who also noted the lack of athletes or anything to do with the olympics you have a point

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  • 106. At 4:39pm on 24 Jul 2008, skins01 wrote:

    The first time I saw this i almost laughed out loud - I thought it was a joke.
    But having read the comments and have wikipedia relate to me the legend of the Monkey King, i must say i think it is fantastic. I'm hugely impressed that the BBC has had the courage and audacity to create such a different and original animation.
    Well done.

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  • 107. At 4:42pm on 24 Jul 2008, Ruining wrote:

    Media obsessed 30 somethings who love everything supposedly 'edgy' and 'cult'. Those are the only people who really remember 'Monkey'. I know it was based on a legend but without that television series not many of the western world would have heard about it (please don't respond if you are a westerner who did know about it and didn't see the series - I am generalising).

    Why when China has such a rich and varied history and culture do we choose the most asinine and stereotypical reference point to portray athletics, China itself and Great Britain's involvement with the sport? You might as well have given my 10 year old niece the job of coming up with something. Of course she would get High School Musical in there somewhere, but that's the point. Choose the right people; in this case people who know China and athletics. Choose people entrenched in the media with their own obvious agenda (the same animations as the Gorillaz videos - should we expect a new album soon?) and you will only get simplistic, showy cartoons that merely give a cursory glance at the actual themes of the Olympics.

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  • 108. At 4:49pm on 24 Jul 2008, doom74 wrote:

    This will really appeal to kids. A great appetizer for London 2012.

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  • 109. At 4:49pm on 24 Jul 2008, John70 wrote:

    At first I thought it was China's intro for the Olympics until I read the story properly.

    I think it is a very interesting idea to mix an old Chinese story with the modern Olympics, especially when the characters are performing Olympic events.

    It will be interesting to know what China thinks of the animation.

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  • 110. At 4:56pm on 24 Jul 2008, dave cooper wrote:

    I think this is fantastic and will enjoy seeing it every time. Not "british" enough ? maybe we should have an intro with scores of children being stabbed by other children that would be ever so british ! i for one would like not to be reminded every time i watch that our society is broken. The BBC is not "ashamed of being British" instead covering the BEIJING olympics, it is Right to have this content in its opening titles.

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  • 111. At 4:59pm on 24 Jul 2008, Andy C wrote:

    As of post 107....

    59 posts "culturally important blah blah blah" or "Wikid man, innit?!"

    33 posts "Eurgh!!!!!" or "WTF was that ???" or "Where's my license rebate??"

    15 off-topic/no opinion/follow-up... including CharismaSpeak's 3-page essay which was either balanced or schizophrenic; depending on how you read it...

    ...counting blog posts.... my goodness I'm bored this afternoon...

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  • 112. At 5:03pm on 24 Jul 2008, johnnybriggs wrote:

    I enjoyed it, read all the comments, watched it again and enjoyed it even more.

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  • 113. At 5:05pm on 24 Jul 2008, ManintheHighCastle wrote:

    Congrats to the BBC on yet another oustanding venture into the land of the experimental. This is a reflection on the willingness of the British government to build strong ties with the ethnic members of its growing public.

    The animation is fantastic and cleverly detailed, although I do not have sound and therefore am unable to comment on the music.

    But wasn't there a 4th character in the original Monkey, the monk that was at the centre of the whole story, the person who actually needed to make the journey to the West? Monkey and the others were merely travelling companions.

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  • 114. At 5:05pm on 24 Jul 2008, James T Haddock wrote:

    I love Monkey as a kid, it was the back in the times when TV for kids didn't have loads of choice. However, Monkey had the adventure, kung fu and comedy. I was hoping it was the start of a new cartoon TV series as their spiritual and fantasy plots would be great as a new series. Sadly the classics are now like the old Batman TV series, which have a nice warm feeling to them but not able to make the impact they used to.

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  • 115. At 5:09pm on 24 Jul 2008, Day_of_the_Jackal wrote:

    I'va always loved Jamie Hewlett's work - back from my comic-reading days as a kid.

    I went to see the Albarn/ Hewlitt production of 'Monkey - Journey to the West' when it was on in Manchester, and I have to say it was absolutely fantastic.

    Great to see the characters getting another airing as part of the Olympics..

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  • 116. At 5:12pm on 24 Jul 2008, HAMMER4MYSINS wrote:

    Childish and patronising. My very young kids like it though.

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  • 117. At 5:12pm on 24 Jul 2008, Jimbucks wrote:

    On the basis that Dwayne Chambers is not going due to the use of nefarious substances, I'd suggest that the creators and commissioners of this project are banned for sirely their minds were in an altered state!

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  • 118. At 5:13pm on 24 Jul 2008, Jimbucks wrote:

    On the basis that Dwayne Chambers is not going due to the use of nefarious substances, I'd suggest that the creators and commissioners of this project are banned for surely their minds were in an altered state!

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  • 119. At 5:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, endebe wrote:

    Rubbish, style over substance.
    What has this to do with British athletes travelling half way around the world to compete on the world stage?
    Where are the reminders of our past triumphs and images of those whose hope to triumph for us this time?

    Come on BBC you can do better than this, are you no longer proud to support our athletes, this smacks of PC to me.

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  • 120. At 5:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, mangerton wrote:

    Utter drivel. I'm appalled to see that you're spending my licence money in this way.

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  • 121. At 5:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Hey 'DogbertsGimp', thanks for the balanced view, I think! The 3-page version was actually bowdlerised as it became OTT in a negative sense. What the hell, the promo is made now and no matter what I write it's still going to be broadcasted. As with the subject media studies, making media productions is really quite easy. No Spielberg’s here, just make it, take the money and get away with it. Pity the athletes having to compete (outdoor events) in Beijing's pea souper even if all nearby industries are closing over the Olympics. Americans are going to fly their athletes in from South Korea just days before respective competitions. Can we have some smog with the animation please? It might help to obfuscate watching it! LOL!

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  • 122. At 5:17pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Mangerton (see 120), you're right! Have a gold medal for sincerity!

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  • 123. At 5:23pm on 24 Jul 2008, Bezmina wrote:

    Sirely not Jimbucks, though perhaps you have had a sly G n T yourself.

    As for the "Oh no we don't get it boo boo hoo" brigade, let's hope it's a grower for the sake of you sad old minnies....

    Britain I despair of you if you can't see the sports in there.

    And BBC, thank you for spending my license fee on this, rather that than another series of Last of the Summer Wine or Holby City.

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  • 124. At 5:23pm on 24 Jul 2008, TChizzle wrote:

    I think The Monkey and Jamie Hewlett look pretty similar!

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  • 125. At 5:31pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Jimbucks (118) and Endebe (119), your wisdom shines through with these comments. Had Dwain Chambers been favourite for the 100m, one wonders if the decision had been different. After all, remember Zola Budd's infamous sprint to getting a passport when she was favourite for her distance. Anyway, as far as Chambers is concerned, a judicious decision without doubt. Back to the promo now and I am at a loss with it. I hope ITVs is better.

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  • 126. At 5:32pm on 24 Jul 2008, Greenwash wrote:


    So good the Chinese will be using it.

    I bet you this wins a major award

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  • 127. At 5:34pm on 24 Jul 2008, milkfiddle wrote:

    I am British my wife is chinese, we both live in China.
    We agree that it is total crap. It is some stereotypical representation of China. In China the monkey king is famous but it is seen as the old China, the China of today is much different and a great society striving to achieve a better life for everyone.
    We all know there are massive social problems that often frustrate me but I can see an absolute effort to make improvements.
    The cartoon reminds me of the old world war 1 cartoons of "the Hun" ,the style is not displaying any of the character of the Chinese or showing the amzing countryside that China has kept secret.
    We live in a safe and beautiful country with the kindest of people. One thing that China has that Britain has forgotten is family values and a sence of community.

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  • 128. At 5:40pm on 24 Jul 2008, velobella wrote:

    For all its artistic and cultural impressiveness, I know that after the first week of Olympics coverage I will be totally and utterly fed up with hearing and seeing it.

    Re comment 108, I showed it to my kids and my 7 year old said it was stupid and my 9 year old stated that it was stupid, weird and didn't see the point.

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  • 129. At 5:45pm on 24 Jul 2008, ManintheHighCastle wrote:


    This promo was not necessarily made by people who have an intimate knowledge or understanding of the Chinese culture. Most likely they have a good impression of the 1980s Monkey TV series and based their research from that.

    If they did as much research as the producers of Kung-Fu Panda, then we might see a more polished product.

    But I think the target audience is mostly non East asian, and as such this may be passed off as acceptable.

    A correct step in the right direction anyway.

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  • 130. At 5:47pm on 24 Jul 2008, Greenwash wrote:

    comment 128 is a good example of what it means to be British.

    The natural ability to find the negitive hidden within the positive.

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  • 131. At 5:53pm on 24 Jul 2008, acphogg wrote:

    What a ridiculous waste of license fee money

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  • 132. At 5:54pm on 24 Jul 2008, gurningbadger wrote:

    I thought it was excellent. In my view an animated Monkey is always a winner.

    I'll enjoying watching it and I bet I remember it in years to come.

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  • 133. At 5:56pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    131. My sentiments entirely!

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  • 134. At 5:57pm on 24 Jul 2008, MondoCane wrote:

    Not particularly good,nothing exciting or groundbreaking,felt to me as tho the creators have taken the easy option rather than bring us something refreshing.

    ....may have looked and sounded good 10 years ago?

    Hey ho ......NEXT!

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  • 135. At 6:06pm on 24 Jul 2008, DefyLogic wrote:

    Excellent! Liked the animation and the music. Good to see Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy again. Is there more?

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  • 136. At 6:11pm on 24 Jul 2008, hamishandisabel wrote:

    I think it's brilliant. I live in the U.S now and we won't have anything as inspired for our Olympics coverage, and NBC gets advertising money!! I'm jealous of the way the BBC respects creativity and change, our U.S networks are too scared to risk their advertising cheques!
    I think it's perfect. I think it fits in well with previous BBC Olympics promos. The only difference is that this one's animated. The Athens one was very similar (music influenced by the host country, "athletes" traveling to the stadium...)
    Many people have criticized this for not being British enough, but the Olympics are in Beijing, not London this year, also what could be more British that getting two of the nations leading talents to create the opening sequence? I doubt you could get more British that Damon and Jamie! You should be proud that something new and inspirational has been created, just think, you could be in the stodgy old U.S!

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  • 137. At 6:13pm on 24 Jul 2008, trebor31 wrote:

    Superb work as per usual from Mr Albarn and Mr Hewlett.

    And really nice to see the BBC embracing something new, different and edgier, rather than the tried, staid and "safe" routes.

    To all the old fuddy-duddies / haters / blinkered folks:

    1) The BBC is not there to support Team GB - they are there to cover the Olympics - the BBC is impartial - remember?

    2) It doesn't need to have anything to do with the BBC itself (???) - what do you want? A picture of TV centre? It is promoting coverage of the games - not promoting the BBC.

    Personally, I am happy for my license fee to contribute to this and would rather Mr Albarn and Mr Hewlett were paid for top quality work than some post-prod studio in Soho got paid to churn out the same out stuff.

    Anyway, kudos to all involved in the production .

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  • 138. At 6:18pm on 24 Jul 2008, velobella wrote:

    re 130, you may be correct, but I know I am too!

    To be honest I'm more interested in watching the Olympics and hoping that Mark Cavendish gets a medal.

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  • 139. At 6:22pm on 24 Jul 2008, NoblesseOblige wrote:

    Thank goodness I don't watch the Olympics. I'd find this very irritating.

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  • 140. At 6:26pm on 24 Jul 2008, MondoCane wrote:

    137 wrote ... "And really nice to see the BBC embracing something new, different and edgier"


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  • 141. At 6:31pm on 24 Jul 2008, newshot_too wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 142. At 6:39pm on 24 Jul 2008, tone wrote:

    A waste of time and [our] money.

    Tony Wilson

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  • 143. At 6:50pm on 24 Jul 2008, Simon Luxton wrote:

    More self-indulgence from BBC Marketing, just like the Olympics promo from four years ago.

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  • 144. At 6:51pm on 24 Jul 2008, WorthlessPunk wrote:

    I wasn't so sure about this when I watched it at first but two views later I really like it. The guys from Gorillaz really have done a good job and it is extremely brave of the BBC to have something so different to the usual olympic stuff like people holding medals and what not. But this wouldn't be the first time this year that the Beeb have shunned a traditional coverage. They took the animation route when they covered the Euro 2008. I thought that was adorable and I think this will have its critics but I love it for being so different, so very avantgarde and very neutral.

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  • 145. At 6:57pm on 24 Jul 2008, Lynnnn wrote:

    I like the theme of the video :'for the HOPE, for the Honor'!

    But ,to be honest, in my opinion, the design of the monkey seems a little bit evilness, not very friendly looking.

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  • 146. At 7:02pm on 24 Jul 2008, jaxx1973 wrote:

    Awesome! I loved the Monkey series as a kid and i love anime. This is a great combination of the two!

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  • 147. At 7:06pm on 24 Jul 2008, thebull1405 wrote:

    I dont know if anyone has noticed but there are actually many refrences to olympic sports. You see the hurdles, pole volt, javelin, gymnastics, diving and many others. with this and the good animation i really enjoyed it and think it is a good title for the 2008 Olympics

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  • 148. At 7:18pm on 24 Jul 2008, Swan on Head wrote:

    Very nice tune, but I grew tired of 'Gorillaz'-style animation a long time ago. Incidentally, how much were they paid to do this?

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  • 149. At 7:33pm on 24 Jul 2008, hardrewired wrote:

    Loved the animation!!
    As a fan of the 70/80's TV series "MONKEY" i know of the monkey king legend - he upset Buddah and was banised to the earth to help spread the word of buddah.

    Certainly is a lively introduction to what should be a good games this year, despite the human rights issues in China - but this is a games for the world, rather than just one nation.

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  • 150. At 7:33pm on 24 Jul 2008, Beebird100 wrote:

    I thought the video gave me a mixed reaction.

    Firstly, I thought of it as a bit of a cringe making stereotype on certain films made during the 1960's, which in its own right was great but let down by the simple lingusitic charisma.

    Secondly, I thought it was a great video, in that (upon reading some posts) has very good subtle overtones in the olympic sport like hurdles, shotts, pole vaulting and so on.

    Thirdly, the animation is perfectly timed in that every shot has a distinct flow from one scene to another... often lip syncing a piece of music or voice is difficult with animators, but this certainly is very good... although they have pedigrie from Gorillaz...

    Fourthly, My mother gave me a dirty look after I took her out of her chair to see it...

    If BBC Sport has more videos similar but of a different theme then that will be great... in other words it would be nice for the public to have had a say in what to see during the olympic games interludes...

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  • 151. At 7:42pm on 24 Jul 2008, thewiseoldowl wrote:

    Wonderful short video, reminds me of the Monkey series that use to be on television

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  • 152. At 8:09pm on 24 Jul 2008, BNatural wrote:

    You cannot be serious. This is Sunday morning preschool cartooning.

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  • 153. At 8:17pm on 24 Jul 2008, bludgenous wrote:

    Crudely constructed pseudo-anime tat, although the music is closer to the mark. It's a shame I thought the intro video to Euro 2008 was inspired, but this is a poor effort at best.

    This kind of animation style seems about 10 years out of date to me.

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  • 154. At 8:19pm on 24 Jul 2008, rossi_B wrote:

    Nice one BBC !!

    I was aware of the Monkey Project That Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett were working on - tho thought it was for stage!?

    The fact that BBC is planning on using this as the Olympics intro is wicked, I only hope that Beijing as a country have no probs with it !

    Classic tale - Classic TV series = Class intro

    The people complaining that there is no Union Jack or reference to Britain aren't half ignorant.... Its an intro to the BBC coverage of the Olympic Games............its supposed to relate to the Games/country hosting the games..... as all previous intro have for all sporting events.

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  • 155. At 8:23pm on 24 Jul 2008, philsail1 wrote:

    I personally don't care much for "Monkey." The Monkey character looks scary! The story sounds complex - perhaps the chinese will understand it. I just do not see the point of this cartoon at all. I think the money it cost, could have been put to better use - like sponsoring some of our lesser known athletes.

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  • 156. At 8:34pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    rossi_B (154), please go to Youtube and look at previous Olympic intros and see how it was done then. Ignorance is bliss my dear!

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  • 157. At 8:37pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    philsail1, well done! We need another Coe and Ovett. Not that was brilliant, edge of the seat sporting drama. Sorry, still do not like the promo!

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  • 158. At 8:57pm on 24 Jul 2008, fokuzt wrote:

    I mustr say this animation, music and overall presentation is absolutely breath taking! Fantastic!! When I watched it I really got the feeling that 'my generation', that is to say people of my age (28), were really being represented with this animation. Sometimes it feels like the 'beeb' are somewhat lax with their finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, I hesitate to say it but I often feel that the BBC needs to make way for 'new blood', new talent, new media
    It seems that they are doing just that with this brilliant peice of modern animation and digital media.

    Keep it up! please

    Luke Trainor, Europe

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  • 159. At 8:59pm on 24 Jul 2008, JohnWBlackwell wrote:

    Whilst I'm not an avid fan of the Olympics, I found this animation absolutely captivating and truly original.

    The BBC deserves whole-hearted congratulations for having the conviction to commission such a creative animation.

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  • 160. At 9:01pm on 24 Jul 2008, super_stevie_f wrote:

    I'm too young for Monkey, so I didn't see that angle until reading these comments. What I do like though are these characters, who it turns out seem to be doing an adaptation of a traditional story, doing as many Olympic events as workable (I counted 10, maybe).

    This is the Gorillaz style artwork, it's not out of date, it's just what they do. And I want our athletes to do well, but I couldn't care if there were any British references on the opening titles. I'm sure we can be nationalistic without being told what nationality we are.

    Though I do care more about watching the actual events themselves. And ITV do not show the Olympics, to compare this against their title sequence, but then I wouldn't want them to either. I for one am glad that BBC are covering the Olympics like they are, with their commentary team too. This is what I want my license fee to be spent on (some of it).

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  • 161. At 9:13pm on 24 Jul 2008, JemNBex wrote:

    Lots of people complaining about the lack of britishness in the Monkey titles.
    All major sporting events have titles relevant to the country in which they are being held. This is biggest folk tale in China's past for the biggest event in China's recent history. I think the animation is great. A great us of British artistic talent at the BBC.
    When will we see a fully animated series on the BBC. Adults and kids alike would love it.

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  • 162. At 9:18pm on 24 Jul 2008, Hamlet wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 163. At 9:21pm on 24 Jul 2008, cpakes wrote:

    Not something I will warm to being honest, however, reasonably good animation if a little too 'gorillaesque'.

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  • 164. At 9:23pm on 24 Jul 2008, hitorijanai wrote:

    You've skillfully combined contemporary and traditional art forms.
    i really think all the acrobatics and baton passing gives it the olympic feel, and you've displayed the concept of Beijing beautifully.

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  • 165. At 9:23pm on 24 Jul 2008, MalcD3 wrote:

    What a bunch of miserable whingers seem to be populating this board. If you’re looking for the stereotypical “British” reference, you’re providing it yourselves: the fact that about half the people who see it will complain morosely into their pints about the music being “too modern”, the animation being “too weird”, the lack of British athletes being “what you’d expect from the state of the world today” and the fact that the Beeb commissioned it a “waste of the tax payer’s licence fee”? How much more British can you get?

    Me? I loved it, and hell - I’m even kind of proud that something so adventurous and imaginative should come from our national broadcaster. Chin up, fellas - this is the good stuff.

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  • 166. At 9:24pm on 24 Jul 2008, laboofmagnifique wrote:

    Ugly. Crude. Masks. Like a slightly more sophisticated version of weak Pokemon-type graphics. As an individual who has competed in and supported my daughter in one of the many games that the British wrote the rules for at a representative level, I can relate not a jot to this alien presentation. Monkey is potentially scary for young children.

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  • 167. At 9:32pm on 24 Jul 2008, therealtruth wrote:

    It's good, but no where near as cool as the original.

    The nature of Monkey is "irripressible", for sure, it has that...

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  • 168. At 9:36pm on 24 Jul 2008, giantelvistcb wrote:

    im amazed damon albarn wanted to be involved with the olympics, considering the problems the buddists have encountered over there. i like the video, i think it will be misunderstood by most of the viewers bt fans of gorillaz will recognise the style of the animation. i really like damon albarns work but i really dont understand why theyve done work for the olympics.

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  • 169. At 9:48pm on 24 Jul 2008, Hendo442 wrote:

    It's great. Different that the obvious 'safe ground' for an event like the Olympics in China.

    No doubt there'll be moaners, but frankly there'll always be.

    More of this please.

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  • 170. At 9:49pm on 24 Jul 2008, padmste wrote:

    Sorry but I thought it has been an expensive outing which may of been better spent on program making rather than a 2 minute vid. Just my opinion but as an ex employee of the Beeb I have seen a lot of waste over the years.

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  • 171. At 9:49pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    After watching this promo, I have decided not to watch the Olympics. I think I have suffered enough sporting grief such as our ignominious and inept English football team not qualifying for Euro 2008 owing to constantly falling over their extortionate wage packets, our disastrous Test cricket result on Monday, and to top it all this so-called sporting promo. Sporting!? Oh yes, those subtly animated jumps, runs and throws. Cor, how clever to think of that! Oh, I am so impressed. When I saw that I said to myself, that really conveys the essence of the Olympic Games. No need for past iconic athletes and ground/aerial shots of Beijing. That’s too obvious, let’s make it subtle, even surreal.

    This is a children’s cartoon in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some say it’s innovative and dynamic, catching the zeitgeist. Its caught something and antibiotics are definitely in order. One of the most famous iconic symbols of modern sporting times – the five Olympic rings - are hardly featured and are certainly never made obvious – this is startling and a serious error of judgement.

    I am not going to watch the Olympics anyway as it articulates why we win so few golds, namely poor facilities. We somehow buck the trend on the odd occasion so that we win here and there, but somehow without proper funding a major haul such as this is always another four years away.

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  • 172. At 9:51pm on 24 Jul 2008, sleepingglenid wrote:

    I think this has to be the most rediculous thing i have everseen, why on earth would you make an anime about monkeys??? It had no relevant link to the olympics what so-ever and in my eyes it was a complete waste!

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  • 173. At 10:01pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    sleepingglenid (172), you're right!

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  • 174. At 10:12pm on 24 Jul 2008, Unicorn20 wrote:

    In one word - RUBBISH.

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  • 175. At 10:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, tinyGwenivere wrote:

    Monkey is one of the most celebrated chinese myths and he represents harmony between earth and the spirits.

    The Olympics games were originally about the Spartans and the Greeks competing against each other in a peaceful manner in order to appease the gods and bring harmony between the people and the gods.

    The link may be loose but it is there. But I do agree that the cartoon should have featured events that are actually going to be in the games. Though a giant serpent would make the high jump more interesting.

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  • 176. At 10:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, TeamShrek wrote:

    So, its a British cartoon interpretation of a Japanese TV series about a Chinese legend that has nothing to do with the Olympics? O...kaaay.

    As a piece of animation its great, and I've been a Hewlett fan since the days of Tank Girl and Hewligan's Haircut, but I'm struggling to see the Olympic connection, unless its a tenuous Eastern Gods thing (to counterpoint the Greek Gods origins of the games). Nah, that would be far too clever.

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  • 177. At 10:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, BritishAussie wrote:

    This monkey character for the Olympics is a complete degradation of human nature and an embodiment of evil tendencies in the form of cartoon.

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  • 178. At 10:27pm on 24 Jul 2008, the_mighty_tim wrote:

    I thought it was like the last episode of Doctor Who, in that I found it OK, but disappointing after all the build up.

    Though I'm pretty sure I'll like it a bit more after seeing it a few more times (again like the last episode of Doctor Who!! :-))

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  • 179. At 10:28pm on 24 Jul 2008, bigflatcap wrote:

    BBC 2008 Olympics advert

    Is it just me or is anyone else disappointed by the new cartoon advert promoting the BBC's coverage of the 2008 Olympic games?

    I've never bothered to blog before but this one has really got my goat so I thought I would follow the modern example of telling the world, even thought I would not tell the bloke next door.

    The monkey ad disappoints me in so many ways:

    1.We have the greatest show on earth covered by the best broadcaster and all it can do is offer a new cartoon ad that is so generic it could have been punted out by an agency, to any client with interest in China. It is only in the last couple for seconds that you have any idea it is about the Olympics and it says nothing about the BBC. I hope the trend for cartoon ads to promote sporting events (remember Euro 2008) ends soon as I don't want to see Popeye playing tennis for Wimbledon 2009. Surely the BBC can't be so of bereft of ideas or strapped for cash that this was the best it could do.
    2.People laid into the Maria programme (rightly in my opinion) for the free promotion it gave to Andrew Lloyd Webber's shows. Does the monkey ad not do the same thing for the Monkey opera later on this year? Nice one Mr Albarn.
    3.I think the ad sells the BBC coverage short and plays into the hands of those who ask what they pay the license fee for. Why ignore the BBC's olympic legacy.
    4.Finally it seem to have been commissioned by a bunch of old blokes like me who think they have to do something new and edgy to get the yoof interested in sport. My twentysomething kids saw the ad and thought the whole Gorillaz thing was soooooooo 2004 that to them it was old fashioned. So I don't know who it is for.

    If my views are the ramblings of an old fart in a majority of one then I would like to know, because I have been looking longingly at flat caps lately and don't want to buy one until it is confirmed.

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  • 180. At 10:39pm on 24 Jul 2008, pinkpiggyue wrote:

    The Monkey is presented in a bit scary way, too edgy for a event like the Olympics. Remind me of the Gorillaz, though.

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  • 181. At 10:41pm on 24 Jul 2008, -Vadum- wrote:

    I simply find the drawings very unpleasant - as I did Gorillaz.

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  • 182. At 10:45pm on 24 Jul 2008, Darkazana wrote:

    Sorry, Can't say I'm drawn. I don't like that particular style of the cartoon...I never have...and although I can see the relevance it is just going to irritate me whenever I see it on television....but then again I'm probably just an old fuddy duddy!!!

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  • 183. At 10:48pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    bigflatcap (179), I agree with you as can be seen from my own blogs.

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  • 184. At 10:50pm on 24 Jul 2008, chelxea wrote:

    it should have shown the monkey did the famous Torch-Grabbing... that could be a little bit more English!

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  • 185. At 10:53pm on 24 Jul 2008, wingjazz wrote:

    Nice music but very poor designed story, and the money looks so old and evil! I know the original novel very well, and I can't see it being the best choice for the Olympic game as the whole story was based on a religionary journey. I know this is meant to be a twisted version , but i still can't figure out the connections between the money and the olympic game. Furthermore without the other two main characters this story just doesn't look right (you kept the female role at the beginning why bother to change the tale?), you might as well start from scratch.

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  • 186. At 10:57pm on 24 Jul 2008, chelxea wrote:

    in China, the monkey is called mei-hou-wang meaning handsome-monkey-king, I guess BBC's version is to try to force people to change their channels!

    a boycott in a 'monkey' way!

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  • 187. At 11:03pm on 24 Jul 2008, RingOnWood wrote:

    The BBC have to be joking. Personally I don't perceive the Chinese as monkeys.

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  • 188. At 11:09pm on 24 Jul 2008, johnppm wrote:

    This animation is based purely on the '70s Japanese TV show. It makes no sense without being familiar with that show and it is disappointing if you are familiar with it.

    Technically, the backgrounds here are nice but the animations don't match them, look hastily done and are not nearly so impressive.

    The original Chinese stories are far more interesting and meaningful. This might have been OK. You know, there's plenty to say about Buddhism and Tibet, the Olympics, struggle, the quest for excellence. But it's not really been shown here. Or maybe I missed it...

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  • 189. At 11:12pm on 24 Jul 2008, mojothreepwood wrote:

    absolutely awesome! fantastic animation and brilliant music. this should become a series in its own rights, with chinese audio and subtitles!

    anyone who doesnt like the gorllaz style animation is clearly stuck in 1950's tom and jerry style cartoons and they wont change their opinion on this.

    i wasnt planning on watching much of the games but now i'll be looking for the monkey.

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  • 190. At 11:14pm on 24 Jul 2008, RenfrewBlue wrote:

    Some people are so negative. How can you miss the connection with the olympics built into the animation?
    Pigsy performs the Hammer with the big one-eyed creature?
    Pigsy does the pole-vault before falling into the water?
    Monkey throws the Javelin to save Pigsy from the large sea creature?

    Open your eyes please and accept that this is actually a good advert for the games.

    Thank god its not another boring clip of classical music with some shots of athletes dubbed over with some pathetic animated lines!

    I like the whole concept here and find it disappointing that so many people have just criticised without real thought.

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  • 191. At 11:16pm on 24 Jul 2008, MyBloodAmGreen wrote:

    This film got the hairs on the back of my neck going - exactly what happens when I watch great sport on the BBC.

    I hope this did cost a lot of money, quite frankly, because it damned well works for me, and the license fee system is able to cover it amply. I can't remember the last time I expected the BBC to give me cash to put up my favourite painting on my wall, just as I don't expect to personally enjoy everything the BBC does - it is not the BBC's mandate to please everyone all the time. Therefore to dislike this film is a matter of taste and not a platform to criticise what the BBC should be spending its money on.

    A person who wants to see exactly what they expect to see (flags, union jacks, some very big flags, isn't that right Welsh Older Bloke?) should have zero influence over anyone with the ability and experience to create something exciting and different. But it isn't avant garde though - if it was the BBC would be shut down and shipped to the mid-Atlantic to be quietly sunk.

    Finally those who criticise this particular film for being inaccurate in a literary sense should stop worrying - how many more people have heard of Monkey now? Lots.

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  • 192. At 11:20pm on 24 Jul 2008, AquilaBlue wrote:

    I love the animation and congratulations to the BBC for doing something different from the normal soft shot picture montages.

    Growing up in a mixed culture household (my mother from Singapore and my father Canadian) I count stories about the Monkey King as one of the most enjoyable childhood tales. It wasn't until several years ago when I moved to the UK that I discovered the old 70s show, so to dismiss the animation as being targetted to a particular age demographic is hardly a valid complaint.

    It's nice to see an intro that has been inspired by the host country and there was ample references in the animation to various Olympic sports.

    Monkey's a fantastic character, cheeky, clever and more than a bit naughty, but through his journey to the west with his companions he learns to use his skills selflessly. An excellent side benefit to this BBC olympic introduction would be to interest people learning more about the great piece of literature it's based off of as well.

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  • 193. At 11:31pm on 24 Jul 2008, Marmite_Mate wrote:

    I love it!!!

    So I've heard rumours there may be a proper animated series of Monkey...anyone know if this is true?

    I can't think of anyone better than Mr Hewlett to do it!

    (And can we have animated hewligans haircut too please!)

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  • 194. At 11:36pm on 24 Jul 2008, Greenwash wrote:

    Now you can understand why the British never got to put a man on the moon.... rocket..waste of money....send men into space...never heard anything so rediculous....

    There are there are four things the British are particuarly good at in no particuar order:-

    (1)Equestrian related sports
    (2) Whingeing
    (3) Rowing
    (4) Cycling

    (1) (3) and (4) are olympic events and we are hopeful of winning some medals with a bit of luck.

    (2) Is however not an Olympic Sport but is should be. I put put out a rallying call to ask you all to join me to have whingeing sports added to the 2012 Olympic events as I truly believe was can be world class across a number of disiplines including:-

    - My house has fallen in value more than yours

    -There are just too many immigrants (potentailly the Daily Mail award)

    - I feel threatened when I see young people

    -The worst commuting by train experience award, open to all rail or bus commuters

    -The critics award for criticsing people's creativity and talent even though they have nothing of their own to offer award

    -The "I feel hard done" award by for no particular reason award.

    Can we all take some happy pills please.

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  • 195. At 11:44pm on 24 Jul 2008, Tank_Boy wrote:

    This is such a fantastic and original title sequence.
    I would imagine the Chinese would be very pleased with it because it doesn't focus on just the Great Wall, chairman Mao or the Terrecota Army, which is what ITV or other media outlets around the world would/will focus on. "Monkey" is a very popular piece of chinese literature and the BBC and jamie hewlett the artist, have made something that represents China in a modern and usual way.
    I consider it part of the BBC's mandate to always be pushing the envelope artisticly and this is a great example of the BBc doing something that I don't think anyone else would.

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  • 196. At 11:44pm on 24 Jul 2008, cornford11 wrote:

    This animated cartoon is simply stuff and nonsense. It is far too modern and avant garde for decent law abiding licence payers of the Home Counties. I nearly spilled my cocoa over my computer set when I saw the garish antics of this Monkey. I had to remove my earphones and retune my hearing aid because of the trill sounds of the electronica based rythm and beat. Not a string nor a trumpet to be heard. Surely the trailer for the 1968 Olympic games could be brushed off and retouched and used for the Peking games. Call me traditional but this Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have little talent and frankly have no future either musically or artistically. I'm sure that we will never hear from them again. Here's to the London olympics. Let theire be brass bands and images of Union Jacks.... Monkey indeed.

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  • 197. At 11:53pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Thanks must go to Dellarwoo, I had to laugh as I read your comments. It was just as if it were written for 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' as there was once a sketch on there about a BBC viewer who wrote an increasingly manic approbation to the BBC about how all his worth was no measure to just one sketch. The sketch is probably on Youtube somewhere. It's as funny as the Monkey promo and related production cost is not. Let's brainstorm. Think Beijing Olympics, what do we think. Erm, five rings, athletes, medals, prestige, culture, history, iconic moments, Beijing, stadia, excitement, thrills and spills etc. Well cobblers to that, let's get surreal and avoid pretty much all that. Sounds like a promo to me, not! In 2012, China will make a promo all about London, except it won't show anything about England, UK or my backyard. Instead, it will show Shakespeare writing a sonnet and as he is completing it, a mysterious woman sings the written 14 lines of England - its history and the skills of running, archery etc. that could all be shown to exist then and now - using the iambic pentameter as its rhythm. Sounds good but lacks that existential Olympic touch. Similarly, this is what this promo does. Mind you, I am idiot so what do I know!

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  • 198. At 11:57pm on 24 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Tank_Boy, you have already taken yours and mine! See the big bunny called Harvey!

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  • 199. At 11:59pm on 24 Jul 2008, NormanOsbourne wrote:

    Beautiful. Jamie Hewlett has been coming up with the goods since Tank Girl in the 80's. Top marks to the BBC for using this work. It conveys a feeling of ancient China to a modern British audience wonderfully, using characters many 30+ year olds will feel nostalgic about. Its a safe bet that nobody involved with the drivel commissioned for BBC3 was involved in this wonderful piece.

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  • 200. At 00:02am on 25 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Cornford11, you're right as well. I am not against modern interpretations of classical texts, but really, this is the bleeding Olympics, not Saturday morning cinema for the under 14s. I think the reason why people like this is: (a) they like the pop band called G***; (b) they like to say it's good because it makes them look intelligent and highbrow; and (c) well there is no 'c'. I am going to get a white handkerchief and give up on this as it seems the BBC has yet again spoilt my fish and chips. Can I say that on this blog? Yes, apparently I can. Hooray!

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  • 201. At 00:04am on 25 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Yep, BBC3 is crap. Close it down and spend the money making more Monkey promos so I can bang on about them as well!

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  • 202. At 00:05am on 25 Jul 2008, hamishandisabel wrote:

    @#196 Conford11, Hilarious!
    Still love it after a billion watches.

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  • 203. At 00:10am on 25 Jul 2008, chelxea wrote:

    facebook-group: BBC's Olympic Monkey is Weird and Scary

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  • 204. At 00:10am on 25 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Hey hamishandisabel! Only a billion. I've watched it a trillion times so there.

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  • 205. At 00:12am on 25 Jul 2008, thesamuraiking wrote:

    It isnt exactly manga nor is it the 70's/ 80's 'Monkey' that we all loved... it tries to mesh the Japanese panache for stylish, clean cuts/lines with a bit of retro souped up for the noughties and fails miserably on both counts! If this is anything to go by, we can expect an uneventful, cliched olympics... like noodles without the soy sauce!

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  • 206. At 00:13am on 25 Jul 2008, LilywhiteAndy wrote:

    I must say that I enjoyed the animation, but why are the BBC spending our licence fees on 2 minute animations to say "The olympics start soon"???

    Surely those four words do the job more efficiently?

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  • 207. At 00:14am on 25 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Monkey may be scary but Odd Bod from 'Carry on Detective' is even worse. There's a guitarist from Thunderclap Newman who also looked like him. Brilliant song was 'Something in the Air'. Actually was called 'Revolution' but some band called The Beatles released a song with the same title so they had to change it at the last minute. I’ve watched it a Google times now and I still cannot cogitate why it's good. I'll keep trying!

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  • 208. At 00:20am on 25 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Hello LillywhiteAndy! The BBC have so much money where apparently none exists that they have to spend what apparently they have not got. I think that's syntactically right! You know what I mean anyway! How many movies, extra documentaries and all round good entertainment has been lost by allocating, for example, £18m to Jonathan Ross' bank account. Crikey, 18m! That's more than some third world countries have to spend in a year helping their starving.

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  • 209. At 00:30am on 25 Jul 2008, tregoning wrote:

    I find myself asking why?

    What a waste of money. Dummed down explanation of an interesting story. I hope the makers did not waste too much time on this - it certainly does not look like it. Animation has moved on from this dated format and to be honest playing some funky tune does not add to it.

    Why are the BBC championing this ropy project?

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  • 210. At 00:35am on 25 Jul 2008, Xabirules wrote:

    As a chinese, I respect the effort made by the BBC. After all, it's a brave attempt.

    As for that Japanese series, I have to say it's so bad that has nothing to do with the spirit of the Book: the Journey to the west (In chinese: XI You Ji)

    For people really want to know what monkey king looks like, you can try to find some videos on youtube: it's a 25-episode TV series made by mainland China in 1983. Although the special effects were not great at that time, sublime acts can be found everywhere in that series. Among others, the opening music is the best.

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  • 211. At 00:45am on 25 Jul 2008, Clive the flying ostrich wrote:

    Any relation to the Gorillaz?

    The whole style and look was very reminiscent of one of their videos...

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  • 212. At 01:04am on 25 Jul 2008, MyBloodAmGreen wrote:

    Did you know it requires more muscles in your body to whinge than it does to leave the country?

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  • 213. At 02:13am on 25 Jul 2008, cadiece wrote:

    I am afraid this is lacking in imagination, those who have seen Dragon Ball Z, will know what I mean. Flying cloud, fighting dragons? Even the main character is a monkey (similar to DBZ!) oh dear...

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  • 214. At 02:46am on 25 Jul 2008, Ben wrote:

    I love Monkey!
    The old TV series and also the book.
    I also like Jamie Hewlitt's style and I thought the animation was pretty cool.

    However I think it is out of place in this context.

    If the premise is to use Monkey as a cultural link to traditional China, linking it to British people watching a cult TV programme for interest and using trendy design to give it a coolness edge....then it's a nice idea but could have been thought out better.

    1. The Monkey TV series was co-produced by BBC and NHK. NHK is Japan's National Television Station and while the story is Chinese, we are all referencing Japan with relation to China.

    (I spotted a message about a Chinese TV series of Monkey which sounds great but sadly never shown to a British audience).

    Also if you check out the public's references to animation they are cited anime, manga and Dragon Ballz(??) which again is the cultural product of JAPAN and not China.

    That type of animation is Japanese-esque.

    So I would like to know how Chinese feel about this?
    Does this misrepresent their culture with another countries?
    (one who they don't share great relations with)

    2. If you are going to use a classic Chinese text to give credibility to using Monkey and co, it would be nice if the actual details of the story were paid attention to.

    It's fine to base the concept on Monkey but if the original is giving it actual credibility to be relevent to China then let's get the story right.

    Monkey was born from an egg but gets released from under a mountain by the priest Tripitaka not Bhudda.
    Tripitaka being absent in the entire intro but a pinnacle character in the story.

    There are other innaccuracies but the point is that this would be the same as taking King Arthur with Merlin absent and Arthur being born King of England.

    I am sure the Great British public would feel the story of Arthur was well respected and then wonder what the misrepresentation has to do with the Olympics.

    London Olympics 2012:

    Referencing a French TV version of King Arthur, in a French animation style...

    King Arthur is born and the Lady of the Lake appears at his birth and gives him excalibur. (obviously wrong)
    He gets on his horse and rides to the Olympic stadium (doing some equestrian en route), meeting Lancelot (Fencing), Galahad and Percival on the way.

    They arrive at the Olympic stadium, cunningly looking like the round table with their different knightly flags being the Olympic ring colours.

    ...Nice idea if the story was correct and didn't reference another country's culture.

    I like the concept, and I like Monkey, I also like animation and Jamie Hewlitt.

    However I feel that the lack of attention to China and what is Chinese has been surpassed by 'What is cool' and in that essence it fails as an intro and removes credibility as an 'artistic cultural piece too.

    If it had nothing to do with the Olympics I would totally love it.

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  • 215. At 03:18am on 25 Jul 2008, reddevil_fan wrote:

    First of all, I would like to congratulate BBC for triggering my first comment... as a result of the appaling animation.

    As a chinese myself, I find the animation rather poor for the following reasons:

    WuKong is aka shi-hou-wang (Stone Monkey King) because he was born out of a stone and is the king of the monkeys. He was trapped under the 5-fingers-mountain for 500 years due to disrespect to the Jade Emperor (he wanted the Emperor to grant him the title "Qi Tian Da Sheng" - Heavenly equal great Saint). The incorrect portayal of him breaking out of an egg and immediately receiving his mission irritates me showing the plot writer lack of research on the actual story. By the way, does the writer actually know that all the characters are monks? To portray Pig eating meat would no doubt annoy all the true buddhist out there.

    Futhermore, would it hurt to actually protray the monkey king(MK) and the other characters a bit cuter (like the Beijing Olympic Mascots)? There is no denying this novel appeals especially to young children - it is generally the first contact chinese children come into with the famous 4 classical chinese novels. The MK is generally portrayed as playful and hard to control (that's why he has that ring on his head). For god sake, spend the money on some better artists instead of some overrated band. No kid would actually like a hideous blood thirsty monster on the loose looking snaring his teeth waiting to snap somebody's head off.

    I also find the music and lyrics appaling. For the Transliteration of the first part of the animation see following:

    WuKong gong xi (congratulation WuKong)
    qu jing lai liao (the collection of the script is here?)
    wei liao xi wang ... (for hope...)
    dou yao ... (you would have to ... )
    gan ji meng xiang (be grateful to the dream???)
    shen zhi ling kong (float to the air???)

    The fact that the song emphasis on "wei liao xi wang" (for hope) instead of a more suitable phrase "wei le meng xiang" (for the dream) demonstrates the lyricist poor grasp of chinese/ability. You can fool the general public but to the ear of a Chinese it is just plain annoyance. If the song is to be sung in chinese, can BBC not employ a more decent lyricist rather than somebody who only have poor than average chinese ability or some BB chinese, most of whom that speak cantonese but have poor grasp of mandarin.

    Lastly, I think the animator should just cut most of the meaningless cr4p at the start and put more effort (and message delivery) into the last part ... e.g. the public roaring, the MK circling the stadium on his cloud.

    All in all, I would give a 4/10 to the video for the applaudable thought of incorporating one of the most recognisable chinese cultural elements as well as the sport elements into the animation but poor understanding of the real cultural, ( lack of proper research?), poor lyrics and animation plot.

    On the other hand, I may be too critical in wanting the animator follow the real story more rigidly. After all I can't stand writers who change the plot of a succesful story slightly and claim the success was due to his creativity.

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  • 216. At 03:24am on 25 Jul 2008, hamishandisabel wrote:

    @#213, CADIECE...
    Actually this promo is based on the animation for the Chinese opera that Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn created. It's called "Monkey: Journey To The West".
    It's a re-telling of a centuries old Chinese novel by Wu Ch' Eng-En, and is about the Monkey King helping a Buddhist monk (Tripitaka) on their quest to India to get the scriptures. It is one of the most important books in Chinese literature, and therefore has had many adaptations.
    Dragon Ball Z is based off of this Chinese folk novel, so really Dragon Ball Z is lacking in imagination...
    Jamie wasn't ripping off Dragon Ball Z, it's more of an amalgamation of the original Chinese text and his opera (which drew heavily on the 70's T.V show "Monkey").
    I for one think it's brilliant. The animation isn't anime, it's Jamie Hewlett's own style and is closer to Gorillaz aesthetic than anything else.
    As for those who have commented that it is racist and depicts the Chinese as pigs and monkeys, the characters are from the book, and aren't supposed to represent the Chinese people, they represent the characters from the original tale:
    The Monkey King, who is enlisted to help Tripitaka on his quest to India after living a mischievous life, Pigsy, who was punished by being sent back to earth as a pig, and Sandy who is a river demon.
    As a whole I think it is a great metaphor for the Olympic spirit, the fact that even if you make mistakes and aren't perfect you can achieve greatness.

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  • 217. At 03:32am on 25 Jul 2008, Ben wrote:

    ...I guess I better correct myself that the floating White Person is meant to be Tripitaka.
    So apologies there.

    I just wonder if when this was being commissioned did anyone bother to consult some Chinese?

    BBC has a world service after all, and there are plenty of British Chinese who could comment.

    I just wonder if choosing Monkey is backed up by...... Monkey is based on a traditional Chinese story so that why it links to China.

    Which seems a weak link to justify using something which people think is cool.

    Would it be the same to represent China and the Olympics with Mulan? (based on a 4th century poem and then turned in to Popular culture by Disney)

    Or The Eight Immortals (BA-XIAN).
    Why not have some Chinese dragons?

    How relevant is Monkey?

    Would China using Robin Hood to represent
    Britain be okay?
    (especially as R.H is English).

    It's even weirder because the BBC are spending a lot of time having to explain to the public who and what Monkey is; and then why it is relevent.

    And if that is the case, how do Chinese feel about British people telling everyone that Monkey is representative to China?

    Someone living in China pointed out that it represents old China.

    I live in Japan and I imagine how amused/annoyed Japanese would be if Japan was represented by samurai (or Mito Komon) in the BBC intro at the Olympics (or Dragon Ballz for that matter :p ).
    And then the BBC explaining the tradition of Bushido.
    (which would be akin to representing China by referencing Kung Fu)

    So I guess my point is that if we are going to talk about cultural relevance, cultural education and cultural exchange, it would be nice to know how much consideration and consultation was given to and with the culture being represented.

    If we aren't talking about cultural education and exchange then we can just continue with being culturally insensitive and just place our own representations onto another's culture.

    I really would like to hear from some Chinese about it.

    Maybe I am wrong and they don't care.
    Maybe I am wrong and Monkey is super relevant to Chinese culture.

    The Monkey Opera is great as a production on it's own.
    As would be a monkey animation, on it's own.
    Educating people about Monkey as Chinese literature would be cool on it's own.

    I just feel tying it to the Olympics, and representing China as whole with the notion of it cultural relevence is a bit weak.

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  • 218. At 09:42am on 25 Jul 2008, tomscrowley wrote:

    I've created a Monkey Olympics fan page on Facebook. Please feel free to join to show your appreciation of the animation

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  • 219. At 11:25am on 25 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    tomscrowley, have you considered whether you may require copyright permission to use this on your website?

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  • 220. At 11:34am on 25 Jul 2008, Zallirog wrote:

    Excellent. Not everything made by britain has to have cups of T, cricket and the union jack in you know. Minds are narrow.

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  • 221. At 11:54am on 25 Jul 2008, CharismaSpeak wrote:

    Let's brainstorm if one's mind is not too narrow.

    Think Beijing Olympics, what do we think. Erm, five rings, athletes, medals, prestige, culture, history, iconic moments, Beijing, stadia, excitement, thrills and spills etc. Well cobblers to that, let's get surreal and avoid pretty much all that. Sounds like a promo to me, not! In 2012, China will make a promo all about London, except it won't show anything about England, UK or even my backyard. Instead, it will show Shakespeare writing a sonnet and as he is completing it, a mysterious woman sings the written 14 lines of England - enunciating its history via the skills of running, archery etc. that could all be shown to exist then and now - using the iambic pentameter as its rhythm. Sounds good but lacks that existential Olympic touch. Similarly, this is what this promo does. Mind you, I am an idiot so what do I know! Hey promo makers, ever heard of the Olympic Rings?

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  • 222. At 12:13pm on 25 Jul 2008, mintimperial wrote:

    Monkey this the first step in finally bringing Monkey Tennis to our screens after all this waiting?

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  • 223. At 12:23pm on 25 Jul 2008, Mr-Knowledgeable wrote:

    Another complete waste of time by the BBC. More money wasted..

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  • 224. At 12:27pm on 25 Jul 2008, Mr-Knowledgeable wrote:

    Anyway, wasnt Monkey a Japanese television series with Japanese actors?

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  • 225. At 12:31pm on 25 Jul 2008, U9563463 wrote:

    Stop monkeying around bbc.

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  • 226. At 1:03pm on 25 Jul 2008, firealchemist wrote:

    I´m not British, but it´s incredible how these guys create a thing like that. When we talk about music, it´s more the same, electro´pop music, something complete different about what China represents to Asia and beyond.

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  • 227. At 1:07pm on 25 Jul 2008, bartles60 wrote:

    Albeit 30 years ago and it passed me by then; but the face, features and mannerisms are far to mischevious and hard edged, especially in the light of todays society! At which audience is it marketed ? I can't see it being popular with the middle and older audience, and I fail to see the link with the Olympics. It doesn't get my vote, but then again judging from the comments I seem to be in a minority!

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  • 228. At 1:09pm on 25 Jul 2008, carost wrote:

    I think that this is excellent What is wrong with doing something a bit different for a change? The song is catchy and the animation is fantastic. Well done BBC!!! :)

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  • 229. At 1:10pm on 25 Jul 2008, fpeploe wrote:

    The animation is great, have watched the animation whilst listening to the old soundtrack to Monkey (Monkey Magic), makes it even better.

    Enjoy it for what it is, not everything has to be dissected...

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  • 230. At 1:49pm on 25 Jul 2008, chrisb28- wrote:

    Its something different. You don't need to have flags waving and pictures of stadiums and at the end of the day people arent that bothered about the intro..... they just want to watch the olympics

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  • 231. At 1:54pm on 25 Jul 2008, oneadamone wrote:

    One person said it pretty well. Wannabee said: 'I thought this cartoon was a little bit too stereotyping. What has it got to do with the UK team meeting the other global nations!'

    I feel that the monkey comes across not only as playing on several stereotypes, but also seems a bit racist? Does anyone else feel this way? I don't know what aspects bothered me, but when I watched the clip I just didn't feel comfortable with some of the messages.

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  • 232. At 2:01pm on 25 Jul 2008, ltu06jfg wrote:

    I feel Jamie Hewlett's style shines through this animation beautifully, synchronised well with the music produced by Damon Albarn you can really recognise the occasion bass line from the old Gorillaz stuff. I love the promo and think the BBC has enticed a new audience towards this years Olympics, Bring on 2012!

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  • 233. At 2:48pm on 25 Jul 2008, preanimator wrote:

    I actually thought it was pretty dull. Jerky animation - not a patch on that seen in the Gorillaz promos - and irritating music.

    I've sat through it once, and that's quite enough, thank you. If this comes on *my* television, I'll be changing channel.


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  • 234. At 2:48pm on 25 Jul 2008, timmyni wrote:

    I am a Chinese living in the UK. I like the work. No Chinese will feel offended by using monkey king to present China. Everyone Chinese loves Monkey King. most of them read the 400 years old novel Journey to the West, though it is two third the lengh of Peace and War.

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  • 235. At 3:04pm on 25 Jul 2008, merdok3000 wrote:

    I loved it!!!

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  • 236. At 3:08pm on 25 Jul 2008, andfreedom wrote:

    I thought it was great; full of fantastic metaphor and interesting imagery. A great blend of ancient Chinese mythology and modern Olympic sports. Thank God the BBC didn't just get a few kids to wave a flag outside of the stadium, what a cliché.

    As for the criticism that it isn’t British enough; what exactly have the Chinese Olympics got to do with the UK? The BBC is going to Beijing to cover the Olympics, not act as Team GB sycophants.

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  • 237. At 3:45pm on 25 Jul 2008, Kirellaen wrote:

    I think its great piece of animation, lots of subtle inserts of different sports there as well. The fact its based on the Monkey novel is a good way to link to China's rich heritage.

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  • 238. At 3:47pm on 25 Jul 2008, illitrate wrote:

    this is fantastic!!
    when i first saw it i thought it was a trailer for a new animated version of the old tv show
    i was actually disapointed to find out it was just an advert for the olympics

    surely to bbc could commision a short run of animated re-workings of classic Monkey episodes, no?

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  • 239. At 3:52pm on 25 Jul 2008, Antichthon wrote:

    Could the BBC spend a little more money on sending someone round to nick CharismaSpeak's keyboard? Or at least replace it with one that makes more sense?

    Seriously, find a new hobby...

    @bensbury (217): thanks for supplying the first coherent critique of this film. I still like it, but you make some good points.

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  • 240. At 4:07pm on 25 Jul 2008, illitrate wrote:

    oh - and will we be able to buy the audio? it's brilliant

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  • 241. At 8:37pm on 25 Jul 2008, magnificentpolarbear wrote:

    magical !

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  • 242. At 9:22pm on 25 Jul 2008, klw7me wrote:

    I dont like it tbh, I don't see how this captures any of the true olympic spirit. Yeah it shows random animals doing a few events but its not for me

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  • 243. At 9:35pm on 25 Jul 2008, hodgey1972 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 244. At 06:04am on 26 Jul 2008, Weis wrote:

    The clip can be a mimic take on the characters of journey to the west, but I don't think people making it fully understand the story. I'm a bit annoyed that on the first trailer the pigsy tucks in MEAT. Are they not vegans in the original story?

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  • 245. At 08:30am on 26 Jul 2008, rockyrork wrote:

    My wife and I thought this was terrible. Incidentally I am a martial artist and have been for 30 years I have also travelled in the Far East extensively but found nothing in the clip to commend it. Could the BBC not spend its money more wisely?

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  • 246. At 08:38am on 26 Jul 2008, barneysulk wrote:


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  • 247. At 10:32am on 26 Jul 2008, Jonhamm wrote:

    This online debate is really fascinating: a massive range of opinions and perspectives, from harrumphing flag- wavers to Japanese retro junkies, sports nuts to animation geeks, fretting vegans to scholars of Chinese myth. And, of course, the Jamie Hewlett fan club.

    I'm not sure whether this says something good about culture in Britain in the 21st century, but I think it probably does. As has been remarked, a few years ago we'd have had a grinning Seb Coe and the Union Jack flapping behind his head, and we would have just shrugged and accepted it. It's good to argue the toss sometimes.

    I like it. I'm too old to have been a fan of the Japanese show, and too dense to be aware of the story's origins, so I came to it entirely fresh (aside from a basic working
    knowledge of Gorillaz).

    I think it's funny, sly, cleverly contived, and tender without being too schmaltzy. (The monkey is hearteningly ugly.) I also thinks it's sort of heart-warming - the music and animation give out a really positive vibe, particularly as it builds to the climax in the stadium.

    It's good for the BBC to do something different, and to try to create, in effect, a "feeling" about the event, rather than re-run those tired old cliches. Personally, I'm only too happy to sling a bit of my licence fee in its direction.

    My only concern is what happens when it starts to run, and the "literalists" have their say. Can you imagine what will happen when Richard Littlejohn gets his hands on it?

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  • 248. At 10:42am on 26 Jul 2008, shaunspacesheep wrote:

    Its amazing, beautifully stylized as is everything Damon and Jamie do.
    It's a great metaphor for teamwork and achievement...

    And Monkeys are cool.

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  • 249. At 11:54am on 26 Jul 2008, Cold War Kid wrote:

    Simply amazing. Is there any chance someone could post the lyrics in English. I would love to know what's being sung.

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  • 250. At 2:37pm on 26 Jul 2008, Carty_c wrote:

    Not faulting the animation skills, but excepting the final sequence and a few gymnastic style movements I found most irrelevant.
    I would not be surprised (stupid as it would be) that if in this age of political correctness there will there are complaints about depicting the Chinese or athletes as Monkeys or Pigs.
    I hope the BBC have not spent a large budget on this. Why not recycle footage of OUR Olympic heroes?

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  • 251. At 4:29pm on 26 Jul 2008, starmusicfan wrote:

    I thought the olympic logo was a waste of money. I am a great fan of the Olympics but I am afraid the monkey animation will stop me watching TV coverage it makes me cringe.

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  • 252. At 4:30pm on 26 Jul 2008, KingArthuronice wrote:

    You are joking, right?
    Unbelievable, but not in a good way.

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  • 253. At 5:21pm on 26 Jul 2008, belovedpipistrelle wrote:

    The clip is good. But I hope the BBC will not just be sticking to the safer ground of ancient Chinese culture in the next few weeks, and will also be drawing attention to China's less palatable recent history.

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  • 254. At 7:42pm on 26 Jul 2008, sttph2008 wrote:

    Here are the reasons why this intro to the Olympics is good.

    1) It is representative of China, it's culture and it's people.

    Monkey, pigsy, sandy are characters from Journey to the West, one of THE four classic novels of China. You could say that Journey to the West is the Oliver Twist of China. Journey to the West is a story loved by the ordinary people in China, just as Oliver Twist is loved by the ordinary people of Great Britain.

    The Olympics is not just about sport, it's about uniting people from different countries, backgrounds and cultures. Journey to the West is a part of Chinese culture that ordinary Chinese people themselves would want to share with the rest of the world. And it offers a opportunity for people who don't know much about China to understand more about it.

    Shots of the Great Wall, Martial art, and Chinese food would be amazingly clichéd.

    2) It is representative of Modern Britain.

    One of the things that Britain can be very proud of is its modern music. Damon from Blur is one of the most talented British musicians today. His Gorillaz project is highly acclaimed. He has taken the very Eastern story Journey to the West, and represented it a very Western and modern way, making it appeal to today's British audience. What he has created is a great "East meets West" piece of art.

    3) The olympics coverage is about showing the present, not the past.

    Hence using a modern piece of animation and a modern piece of music is fitting.

    Why it's not good:
    4) But unfortunately, to really appreciate Damon's work, you have to already know the story of Journey to the West very well, which most people don't. Otherwise it is pretty confusing to see that instead of Cliches of Athletes running is slow motion. People expect to see a more sports orientated theme, but this theme is very cultural with sport added onto it.

    All in all, this is a very daring piece of work by the BBC, and now I have a lot of respect for the corporation.

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  • 255. At 8:09pm on 26 Jul 2008, dundeedoll wrote:

    Love it. Can we have Danger Mouse for 2012?

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  • 256. At 9:30pm on 26 Jul 2008, U9563463 wrote:

    'The Olympics is not just about sport, it's about uniting people from different countries, backgrounds and cultures. Journey to the West is a part of Chinese culture that ordinary Chinese people themselves would want to share with the rest of the world. And it offers a opportunity for people who don't know much about China to understand more about it.'

    Yes but 90% of the people in Britain won't understand it and the bbc have done little to explain what the story is. To the uninitiated in Journey to the West the animation is just a load of scary characters going to a stadium. Nothing more. The message is lost to most of us i'm afraid.

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  • 257. At 10:02am on 27 Jul 2008, GreenReaper wrote:

    This video inspired me to learn about and buy "Journey to the West", as well as sharing its background with others. If that isn't an effective two minute promo, I don't know what is.

    No, not everyone will get it, but it worked to get me interested in Chinese literary culture. And isn't educating the public on culture - all culture - one of the BBC's key goals?

    (Frankly, I find this animation a lot more interesting than most of the actual sports . . .)

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  • 258. At 12:20pm on 27 Jul 2008, sllewbg wrote:

    Excruciatingly bad, to think I am going to have to watch and listen to this rubbish before,during,and after every broadcast, its enough to make me forego the Olympic experience.
    Please take it away.

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  • 259. At 1:11pm on 27 Jul 2008, omicroann wrote:

    I think it's good that BBC wants to use something 'Chinese' to represent the report for the Beijing Olympics. And I am very happy to know that there are actually people in the UK who do care about the traditional, real Chinese culture - neither the skyscrapers in Beijing or Shanghai nor the 'made in China' market, but the spirit behind thousands of years' history and civilization, which, sadly, many Chinese people have forgot (or don't even know about). I'd say it is a good sign- willing to understand leads to end of conflicts, because there is no national boundary in culture.

    However, as a Chinese, as someone who read this old Chinese novel and watched the TV series when I was young, I just want to say: honestly, the figures look a bit disappointing to me.

    That's all.

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  • 260. At 4:14pm on 27 Jul 2008, nextjen wrote:

    I clicked on the intro with some trepidation but I thought it was great. A classical Chinese Fable recently adapted for the stage to some acclaim and then superbly animated to show the main characters competing and battling their way to the iconic "Bird's Nest" stadium in Beijing using as many sports as possible in the short sequence.

    How proud I was that the BBC had commissioned such a piece of work. I had a look at the background (
    and the Albarn/Hewlett show ( and was impressed with the work put into it and the attempt to leverage the Olympics to improve the country's cutural understanding (a little) of China. Surely a key tenet of the BBC.

    Then I read some of the most depressing, short-sighted and jingoistic bloggers commenting about wasting money; where are the UK athletes?; not Chinese enough. My goodness you should be ashamed of yourselves and your total lack of perspective and understanding before you launched your tirade. Most have obviously not read the other posts first which rebut their claims. They could try looking on YouTube for the old Olympic sequences (Barcelona - full of shots of Barcelona not British athletes, Athens - generic athletes using the sports to travel across historic Greece).

    I can quite understand people not liking the style, the music, or the adaptation of the original story (not many 100 chapter books can be done justice in two minutes though so why should this be different) but some of the other criticism is so ridiculous that post #196's attempt to satirise them isn't daft enough to be obvious! Sad (and some terrible spelling).

    So, "Dear BBC, why oh why can we not have more of this please".

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  • 261. At 4:29pm on 27 Jul 2008, stuffwhat wrote:


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  • 262. At 4:58pm on 27 Jul 2008, callcentremunkey wrote:

    Strange use of license fee payers money... Although better than spending it on Jonathan Ross or the awful new ski sunday.

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  • 263. At 5:04pm on 27 Jul 2008, mcstinkalot wrote:

    I thought it was beautiful. It's such a shame some people are so narrow minded and negative about things and so ready to rubbish other people's talent. Damon Albarn has been around making very popular music and artwork for many years now and I'm sure we will carry on enjoying his work for years to come. He is a very talented musician and artist. I loved it!

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  • 264. At 5:16pm on 27 Jul 2008, GRIMANDI18 wrote:

    Jamie Hewitt is a genius, pure and simple. He's come a long way since Deadline and Tank Girl. I think I have his autograph somewhere on an old Senseless Things tee shirt.

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  • 265. At 6:03pm on 27 Jul 2008, ErikZDundee wrote:

    This is not just a video, this is a Monkey Olympics video.
    Impressive, good visuals and appropriate Chinese sounding music. Damon Albarnesque looking monkey. Just thought that Monkey was a Japanese TV show.
    Anyway, well done, a lot better than the rather wooden, cigarette card style Euro 2008 intro visuals.

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  • 266. At 6:22pm on 27 Jul 2008, maestrolee wrote:

    Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, LOSE the MONKEY.

    It is pointless for the BBC to plead poverty and then wanting more licence payers money if they then waste it on totally pointless trash like this.

    Anyone who loves sport, like myself, knows that the Olympics are coming. We will not be able to avoid it over the next few weeks.


    I have to stop myself from throwing something at the TV when I see it.

    (p.s. the music is abysmal too)

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  • 267. At 6:58pm on 27 Jul 2008, ErikZDundee wrote:

    Re my entry no. 265, my rather interesting blog is at
    Worth a visit although it may not contain Monkey content.

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  • 268. At 7:01pm on 27 Jul 2008, renaultobrien wrote:

    not sure what all you ppl have been watching, but that was the biggest load of rubbish i have ever seen. total waste of money and time!!

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  • 269. At 7:34pm on 27 Jul 2008, Dadbrum wrote:

    How much did the BBc waste on getting this animation done?

    Well I would have expected something more plainly about the Olympics rather than something so long, boring, and highbrow.
    Still it won't bore me much because I will be watching the non-olympic digital channels anyway instead of watching so many broadcasts that will simply be old news because of the time difference between China and the UK.

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  • 270. At 8:35pm on 27 Jul 2008, ColeenFar wrote:

    Having listened and watched this clip I think that is comparable to a rather bad B movie. The sounds are definitely a western 'take' on Chinese music, and not very good at that. I had no idea who monkey was, it wasn't my generation, although some of the allusions to the various sports within the Olympics were quite ingenious.

    However, having now seen it on TV I think that very shortly it will drive me bonkers! Its really grating and cringe-making - although I do agree much better that Jonathan Woss, but then that wouldn't be too difficult would it?

    I hope we have something markedly better for 2012, otherwise I'll be completely turned off and so will my TV!!!!

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  • 271. At 10:14pm on 27 Jul 2008, Grayheck wrote:

    One thing you will notice is that the radican Islamic community is very upset about the choice of venue for these Olympic games:

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  • 272. At 10:19pm on 27 Jul 2008, Zhouya wrote:

    As a Chinese citizen, it is very nice to see that the BBC is doing some work from Chinese culture. The animation is very creative, however I am not sure I am very impressed with the design. The Monkey King is a hero symbol in our childhood and the traditional story line was full of culture. The current animation from the BBC seems a bit shallow, and I have to say I am quite disappointed to see this. I also don't think the faces and the colours reflect the great Chinese animations of the past. I felt slightly offended because this animation messed around something so precious in most Chinese children's memories.

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  • 273. At 10:21pm on 27 Jul 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    There seems to be lots of comments about 'how much the animation cost' - clearly the BBC haven't released that detail, and no one above has proffered a source with the costing, so considering that there's been a constant call for source from the BBC on other blog entries (see Mihir Bose's blog), can anyone suggesting the high cost of the animation say what basis they have for that assertion?

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  • 274. At 09:23am on 28 Jul 2008, Kevio wrote:

    That thing looks scary.

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  • 275. At 09:50am on 28 Jul 2008, MikeHSurrey wrote:

    This is APALLING - a creature representing the most obvious, embarassing and dreadful of stereotypes - monkey as 'small-build asian' with devil-like eyes, spiked hair, pointed teeth and ears - aggressive expression even..

    - what are you people ON ?

    - don't you have a job they pay you to do ?

    Well go and do it and stop wasting everyone's time with this nonsense.

    Exasperated of Tonbridge

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  • 276. At 09:52am on 28 Jul 2008, MikeHSurrey wrote:

    This is APALLING - a creature representing the most obvious, embarassing and dreadful of stereotypes - monkey as 'small-build asian' with devil-like eyes, spiked hair, pointed teeth and ears - aggressive expression even..

    - what are you people ON ?

    - don't you have a job they pay you to do ?

    Well go and do it and stop wasting everyone's time with this nonsense.

    Exasperated of Tonbridge

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  • 277. At 10:11am on 28 Jul 2008, delpiero10 wrote:

    th monkey et co. look scary. i don't think kids wanna watch the olympics after seeing these 'animations'

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  • 278. At 10:16am on 28 Jul 2008, delpiero10 wrote:

    u can tell its made by the guys who did the gorillaz. but why th pig is eating chicken confuses me and why tht 'chinese' bloke is green too. absolute tosh.

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  • 279. At 1:19pm on 28 Jul 2008, minx86 wrote:

    I have to say i hated the monkey... whats wrong with the traditional images of athletes doing the sport they were always good and exciting to watch.

    I first saw this and i really didnt get it. Yes it is clever and links cultures but i really dont want to watch it every time the olympics is on.

    Agree the lyrics should be posted, i am intrigued what the song says.

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  • 280. At 3:18pm on 28 Jul 2008, CumbrianPip wrote:

    Oh dear how embarassing - it's another horrific intro from the BBC.

    That will chase me away to put the kettle on and I might not remember to come back to the TV!

    Best sporting intro I've seen lately was ITV's for the Euro football recently...that was quite inspiring.

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  • 281. At 3:20pm on 28 Jul 2008, CumbrianPip wrote:

    I forgot to say it's as bad if not worse than GB's olympic logo for 2012... At least we still hve 4 years to get used to that one!

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  • 282. At 3:38pm on 28 Jul 2008, Carole wrote:

    It is sooooooooo Gorillaz - love it!! V clever animation, really Oriental as it should be, and excellent!

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  • 283. At 9:24pm on 28 Jul 2008, fishyface5 wrote:

    It is intelligent, evocative of the event and apposite.

    The amount of money the BBC has spent on rights to show the Olympics, it is absolutely necessary that their audience share is as large as possible, hence the need to remind us that the event is coming soon. The money spent on this trailer is well worth it. Well done all concerned.

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  • 284. At 01:03am on 29 Jul 2008, Cheesymunky wrote:

    I cannot believe you found the ITV European Football intro inspiring.

    It wasn't in sync to what this years tournament was all about, unlike the bbc's lively and fun animation of some of Europes' best known players puttin on a performance. A peformance of great football of which it was.

    I do have one complaint about the bbc's artistic impression of Gallas...

    Why did he head the ball? Should he not of been sat on the half-way line crying?

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  • 285. At 10:09am on 29 Jul 2008, Snap_Zoom wrote:

    What a disappointment! When I saw the animation I thought "Excellent. Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn's opera was ripe for adaptation, and now someone's going to do it." I sat through really loving the way it had blended Western and Eastern animation styles and music - and then confusingly they end up at an olympic stadium. Then I realised - this is just a trailer for that ultimate snorefest - the olympics.

    It seems even more of an insult to all the fans of Monkey (remember how many times it got ditched for yet another snooker tournament) and Jamie Hewlett (Deadline came and went with no mention from the BBC) to have our cultural icons appropriated in this way, just because they're finally "credible" due to the Opera.

    I think we're owed a TV series. Maybe you could divert some of the money spent drearily covering all those people playing around in China to give us something a bit more enduring - and a lot more fun.

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  • 286. At 10:31am on 29 Jul 2008, wallis-dean wrote:

    Very clever but once was enough. If I have to keep watching this for over 2 mins I guess I will be watching ITV this summer

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  • 287. At 3:55pm on 29 Jul 2008, QuenManchester wrote:

    Sorry. Just found it a bit annoying. From someone who loved Monkey! Just could be so much more visually arresting.

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  • 288. At 09:50am on 30 Jul 2008, respectedterry wrote:

    I see you even have a Monkey index, with no less than 10 different articles on it

    A good use of licence fee payers' money?

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  • 289. At 10:02am on 30 Jul 2008, Phildebeest wrote:

    I don't think it's a waste of money, offensive to anyone and I don't mind techno music... I just don't think it's very good. :)

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  • 290. At 10:53am on 30 Jul 2008, Nirodho wrote:

    I really like the animation and I think the BBC has made the right choice in using a Chinese cultural tale to advertise the games.

    My only concern is I am sure the main character in Monkey is a Buddhist monk called Tripitaka who goes to India to look for Buddhist scriptures. However, there seems to be no sign of the Buddhist monk in this animation. Is this a political edit of the original story? It would be a shame to have lost certain aspects of this Chinese Buddhist tale for the sake of politics.

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  • 291. At 4:44pm on 30 Jul 2008, AnaglyptaJones wrote:

    Having been a fan of James Hewlett's art since around the ol' Tank Girl days, I'm absolutely thrilled to see it being used like this. Much as though I've been really impressed with the photography and visual artwork of recent sports 'ad's' it's so darn nice to see some radically different for a change.
    Well done to the Beeb for a bold move and a real break from tradition. Tradition is great and am sure there will continue to be some superb footage shown in the usual 'soft glow, slo mo, hi-res' mold, but thanks for a fresh breeze, tip of the hat to nostalgia and the old Monkey show and something that might just appeal to some of the kids who are our future Olympians.

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  • 292. At 9:53pm on 30 Jul 2008, masterbarbel wrote:


    captures the imagination and really hope there is a follow up as the Olympics continues........

    would like to see a full completed video at the end..............
    cant` do with negative vibes

    give credit when credit is due ............
    very talented, creative and imaginative

    well done !!!

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  • 293. At 03:37am on 31 Jul 2008, cheeryzhuangzi wrote:

    This animation has created a bit of debate here in China with several blogs on Sina complaining about the treatment of their beloved Monkey. Most of the criticism seems to be directed at the fact that Monkey is too ugly and quite frightening

    There are also more positive blogs that question whether or not those slagging it off have actually read the book.

    Whether or not Monkey is supposed to be handsome or not I'm not sure but it seems like this Monkey is Monkey King with British characteristics, especially the smile!

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  • 294. At 2:02pm on 31 Jul 2008, junlea wrote:

    this is perfect. the monkey king is a VERY important figure in the east and this cartoon portrays the perfect combo of hope, the actual olympic games , determination, camaraderie and typical monkey king naughtiness. a real treat!

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  • 295. At 2:34pm on 31 Jul 2008, robin wrote:

    poor show.
    it's certainly not british.
    more money wasted.

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  • 296. At 10:14pm on 31 Jul 2008, cgirlmm wrote:

    Oh my god, what a fantastic idea!! Never in a million years have I thought of using the Monkey and his friends as the face of Beijing olympics for the BBC. It's such a brilliant combination of the east and the west. The original story journey to the west was about a monk going all the way from the east to the west to find his true belief with the help of the monkey and his friends. This has brought back some very good memories for me personally as a Chinese living in the UK. Good work!!

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  • 297. At 11:29pm on 31 Jul 2008, louise3981 wrote:

    I think this is one of the most stunning pieces of animation I've ever seen. It's absolutely gorgeous, and I find the subject matter so appropriate. China is an ancient nation with a beautiful culture, and this captures it perfectly. Beautiful work! You have my deepest admiration.

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  • 298. At 12:04pm on 01 Aug 2008, xcrazyxkirstyx wrote:

    i love this advert sooo much its awesome the animation is by the same man who did the animation for the Gorrilaz and the music is really catchy. I was born in the year of the pig whoop whoop pigsy rules!!!! he is so funny on the original monkey program. I had never heard of it before but my mum used to watch it when she was younger so i watched a clip on youtube and loved it ever since i can't wait until you can download the songs xxx

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  • 299. At 12:05pm on 01 Aug 2008, lochdhu wrote:

    Good show!, has brought back lovely memories of Monkey Magic. Can't wait for the Olympics to start.

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  • 300. At 12:41pm on 01 Aug 2008, dj_helen wrote:

    I like this video! It's very different to the usual sports idents, and it represents several sports in a subtle way by incorporating them into a story.

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  • 301. At 08:44am on 02 Aug 2008, carlstock wrote:

    Very, very good!

    A very interesting mix of animation and music. I had my suspicions, as it were, that there was something Gorillaz-esque about it.

    A friend of ours is an illustrator and animator, having worked for Disney and the Jim Henson Company (Muppets), among other work, and I’ll see what his views are on this once I forward it to him.

    An unusual animation to many, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but this is something very different from what I was expecting from the BBC, and I like the animation all the more for it.

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  • 302. At 12:15pm on 02 Aug 2008, metchick wrote:

    very annoying on tv - too long - horrible animation - much prefer seeing either views of beijing or our sports stars playing sport!!

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  • 303. At 1:00pm on 02 Aug 2008, Grumblin_Yokel wrote:

    I think the animation is fantastic viewing, as I did the Monkey series from the 70s. I love the art, it's just a shame it is to be wasted on a sporting/commercial opportunity that I care very little about. It doesn't seem to bear much relevance to the games anyway so can it be made into an animated series, unconnected to the olympics? That would be so cool!

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  • 304. At 3:30pm on 02 Aug 2008, Attic wrote:

    The Olympics is a celebration of sport, physical achievement etc. This animation is a waste of air-time, how about showing sporting highlights. Lining Damon Albarn's pockets with the license fee is not what's needed from the BBC, how about spending the money improving minority sport coverage instead?

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  • 305. At 02:46am on 03 Aug 2008, EnemyofSteveMcClaren wrote:

    It's absolutely brilliant! The cartoon and the music jel fantastically and you do well to include a legendary piece of Chinese culture in which to base your promotion of the games. Many things in the world change; political and economic circumstances for instance; however it is a country's culture and heritage which defines it. So to use the epic Journey to the West was a masterstroke. By using it, you have pinpointed one of the key factors which have shaped chinese traditions and customs. It is this abilty to seemlessly blend this with sport in this way is what earmarks the BBC apart from any other broadcaster. You don't just give us the sport, you give us the country.

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  • 306. At 3:50pm on 03 Aug 2008, 4everleedschinesewhite wrote:

    no offence but this monkey looks ugly n his teeth scared me a lot while i was watching ...-.- even goku of the dragonball is much cuter than the one in this video...

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  • 307. At 10:35pm on 03 Aug 2008, Jawshey wrote:

    I love this advert and everything about it. Yes.... I am a massive Gorillaz fan, but even so, to see an old Cult brought back would be something I'd truly adore. Bring it back as a proper programme, and I'd watch that. C'mon, *nudge nudge* if you can do it with Doctor Who, you can do it with this!

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  • 308. At 00:39am on 04 Aug 2008, arimi_chan wrote:

    I must admit, it is really growing on me!! I really think using Journey to the West was an amazing idea! My parents did look at me rather oddly when I started talking excitedly about Goku, Pigsy and Sandy as they don't remember the tv show (I only know it from last years film with Shingo Katori), but its still a great advert!!

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  • 309. At 10:22am on 04 Aug 2008, SmalleyD wrote:

    Can't say I like the animation. It's too long, the colours are dreary and it bears next to no relevance for the majority of the sports competitions that make up the event - there's so much more to the Olympics than just athletics.

    But worst of all, the three main characters are all male - what kind of message is that?

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  • 310. At 10:41pm on 04 Aug 2008, scudattack wrote:

    this reminds me of monkey magic is that were you got the idea from i am very much looking foward to the olympics i hope it will go smoothly for all the athletes and will be a shining example of china

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  • 311. At 01:45am on 05 Aug 2008, Nomadic Terrier wrote:

    I just don't get it. With all the passion, issues and emotion involved in sport, and with the Olympics being the pinnacle of sport what is this?

    A post modern rehash of an ancient tale fused with characters from a cult martial arts programme, it's a joke!

    Albarn should stick to music and the BBC to covering sport as it should be done.

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  • 312. At 12:32pm on 05 Aug 2008, kyza2008 wrote:

    As per usual the blog writing masses on the BBC don't dissappoint with their ignorance and bigotry over someone elses culture, and their unwillingness to be challenged by somerthing a little bit different.
    I've been fortunate enough to see the opera, and am a huge fan of the original tales of Monkey, so big up the BBC and everyone concerned for taking a risk with this, and injecting some actual fun into proceedings as well.

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  • 313. At 7:37pm on 05 Aug 2008, Kriss60 wrote:

    I have not seen anything more annoying for a long time, in fact I tend to mute the sound each time it comes on.

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  • 314. At 8:17pm on 05 Aug 2008, marthas phonebox wrote:

    Wouldnt the BBC Theme tune from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics have done another turn?

    I dont know what it was called but I can still remember how it went and I think it was a hit at the time.

    Calling Brian Matthew with Sounds of the 60s ...

    Ooops ... I just realised I used the word "Olympics" without permission or paying a license fee! "My name weel be first on ze leest".

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  • 315. At 01:12am on 06 Aug 2008, Cheesymunky wrote:


    "a creature representing the most obvious, embarassing and dreadful of stereotypes - monkey as 'small-build asian' with devil-like eyes, spiked hair, pointed teeth and ears - aggressive expression even.."

    So with that you are saying that indeed that is the stereotype for all asians. You are reading way too far into this.

    Some people just love to moan at something just for the sake of it. Get a grip and something more interesting to do rather than finding impossible critism.

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  • 316. At 01:15am on 06 Aug 2008, Cheesymunky wrote:

    Also might i add, have you even seen any of the gorilaz music videos or any of there live gigs?

    You will see there the style of animation they use and this is true to there style.

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  • 317. At 09:01am on 06 Aug 2008, eirczhao wrote:

    Jesus! What are you doing? Are you really the BBC staff? the Chinese original image of the monkey is Sunwukong, and it is quite lovely. But what about yours? You are defaming the Chinese image. You are supposed to apologize to Chinese people.

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  • 318. At 12:35pm on 06 Aug 2008, And God said"Let there be light,and there was Eric" wrote:

    The BBC has really lost the plot.We are about to send a team to the Olympics , so the Beeb celebrates this by running an advert that has nothing to do with our team or medal hopes , just some silly animation put together by some over paid student who will probably argue it is a cultural thing and we poor plebs don't understand it.If the Beeb wanted to put something cultural about China on , why not have an animation showing troops murdering Tibets men,women and children on it.PATHETIC BBC ,SHAME ON YOU.

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  • 319. At 3:41pm on 06 Aug 2008, Ranbir wrote:

    I want to download the mp3 of the song!!

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  • 320. At 11:33am on 07 Aug 2008, GREATMIGHTYSMEW wrote:

    If this does not lead to an animated remake of the sixties series then there is no justice in this world!

    A quick trawl through the other comments left me aghast this is absolutely stunning! As someone who does not enjoy sports particularly I found the advert really captured my attention and made me enthusiastic about the games (especially if we get to see more monkey!)

    The style of animation is perfectly suited to the olympic's eastern setting and the characters display an immense amount of emotion and intensity in their design - which is no mean feat given the relatively short length of the film.

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  • 321. At 12:19pm on 07 Aug 2008, mouthshut wrote:

    great stuff, this clip is really entertaining and amusing! i suggest add some more sport elements into the video, such as animation of fencing and wrestling will make this video perfect.

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  • 322. At 1:34pm on 07 Aug 2008, teresaspost wrote:

    Took me back to the 70's/80's watching this - thought I was imagining things and it couldn't possibly be a cartoon version of the wonderfully cheesy Monkey - but and low and behold it is.... BBC should show a rerun of classics like that and such things as Kung Fu and other programmes from that era.

    Video is very nice though... bright, colourful and very pretty.

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  • 323. At 2:52pm on 07 Aug 2008, kentishkopite1 wrote:

    The animation is good, but the characters are slightly scary-looking!

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  • 324. At 11:26pm on 07 Aug 2008, canon yau wrote:

    As a 25 year old BBC (British Born Chinese), who has not seen the monkey show everyone reminisces about, I enjoyed the video and recognised the references to the monkey king and to the olympics immediately. I'm a big fan of Damon Albarn, loved the music/ animation, and applaud the BBC for commissioning it.

    To please those who want it to be cuter, more British and have a clearer message, perhaps the next video should star paddington bear and the cast of the wombles running around a 400m track in union jack shorts.

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  • 325. At 4:03pm on 08 Aug 2008, macfly74 wrote:

    The "monkey" trbute is great for the over 30's but is a little scary for the younger viewers. Our 5 year old doesn't like him!

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  • 326. At 7:18pm on 08 Aug 2008, jrtanker wrote:

    I think that if my wife or myself , hear this jingle many more times , We shall miss the Olympic coverage completely . Why ? . Beacause I shall have destroyed the television !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! . Also while I'm here , why does Hazel Irvine have to be on everything to do with sport . Please give us a break from this most irritating of presenters ! . Please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

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  • 327. At 8:28pm on 08 Aug 2008, sandra8569 wrote:

    We thought Monkey was great, we loved the singing "very Chinese". My young daughter thought the monkey and friends were based on three elements and the flame at the end was the fourth. I thought that was very inventive of her!

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  • 328. At 09:54am on 09 Aug 2008, marjohnshow wrote:

    this has grown on my despite the monkey looking like Robbie Williams. It shows quite a few sports; javelin, pole vault, hurdles, diving - you just have to look carefully. Wish I knew more about the real story to pick up further references and that the real Chinese olympic torch was not so different from the animation. Still they could not have known about this. I love the music and the feel it has of China. I love the cheeky character of Monkey. A really innovative move by the Beeb!

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  • 329. At 12:43pm on 09 Aug 2008, peegeeweegee wrote:

    I think this animatoin is absolutely dreadful,
    testeless, tacky, insulting and cliched

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  • 330. At 3:35pm on 09 Aug 2008, altaina wrote:

    Just watched this. I found it irritating. Can anyone hum the theme tune? I feel no empathy trowards the characters, only hatred? Jar Jar Binks anyone? This is what happens when you give a celebrity lots of money to create an opening or theme for a product. Didn't Blur also use one of their songs for the FIFA Soccer video game franchise a few years back? I prefered the Athens and Barcalona openings.

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  • 331. At 4:18pm on 09 Aug 2008, creativesurder wrote:

    The monkey's rod is magical.

    As a British born Chinese person, I loved the animation. It's very cool and the traditional Chinese music with the funky beats is great!

    Sure, we could of had pictures of our team etc... but you know what, we got the 2012 to do that.

    I loved the ideas of the gymnastics in the video. Classic!

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  • 332. At 4:38pm on 09 Aug 2008, ukexpat wrote:

    It's a stupid idea but if the desktop version is the only way I can get some BBC Olympics coverage in the US, I'll take it!

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  • 333. At 5:10pm on 09 Aug 2008, HazelOsborne wrote:

    The monkey video is brilliant. Please show more of it on televison. It is so clever, because it appeals at all levels to different audiences, kids or adults, who may not speak Mandarin. I see it's useful in bits as fillers or background sound during BBC coverage of the Olympics. As I said, please show it more often.

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  • 334. At 6:41pm on 09 Aug 2008, CraigavonAtheist wrote:

    this piece is fabulous! Monkey needs his own series!
    i was a fan of the 1968 Monkey series but this animation brings it smack bang up to date!

    Long Live King Monkey!!

    "Ah Tripitaka! not the sutra!" "Ahtatatatatatatatatatatata!

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  • 335. At 8:35pm on 09 Aug 2008, concorde4ever wrote:

    How can you not like monkey ? i was captivated by it the first time i saw it.
    The video and music compliment each other well i thought.

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  • 336. At 9:12pm on 09 Aug 2008, jamesxnova wrote:

    The 1986 Chinese live action " Journey to the West " TV series (produced by CCTV and rebroadcast in the U.S. on public television in the early 1990's) is still being praised as the best and the most authentic interpretation of the original novel. It starred the noted actor Liu Xiao Ling Tong in the role of Sun Wukong. Additional chapters of the series were completed in the 1990's and aired in China in 2000. The series is availalbe on VHS through Chinese distributors.

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  • 337. At 9:14pm on 09 Aug 2008, jamesxnova wrote:

    Sun Wukong portrayer Liu Xiao Ling Tong expressed his concern over recent Sun Wukong portrayals. He said while he was happy to see that "Journey to the West", as well as other Chinese classical novels, received such attention from foreign directors, he emphasized "...such adaptation has to be based on adequate knowledge of Chinese culture." and "Monkey King is not King Kong."

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  • 338. At 00:57am on 10 Aug 2008, Ms__Chief wrote:

    The music is annoying. REALLY annoying, especially as the clip is played too often. I have to turn the channel every time it comes on.

    In terms of the characters, they were just ripped-off, cartoonised versions from the TV series Monkey, which was a Japanese interpretation of Journey to the West. This is just lazy and obviously shows little appreciation of the classic from any other viewpoint.

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  • 339. At 07:31am on 10 Aug 2008, Col_muso wrote:

    Sorry, Ms_Chief, I totally disagree. It is so rare to hear any examples of music these days that are not based on a Western (and sadly, that usually means American) dynamic. In the same way that the music chosen for the World Cup a while back (Nessun Dorma) popularised opera, I hope that in its small way this music will open our closed ears to the beauty of Chinese music, or at least music based on a Chinese aesthetic.
    What is it, by the way, and is it available commercially?
    The animation is outstanding. Love it.

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  • 340. At 5:12pm on 10 Aug 2008, RingOnWood wrote:

    I think the license payers will be disgusted when they find out how much money was spent on this two minute sequence. The soundtrack alone involved 45 people. £100.000 is alot of money.

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  • 341. At 6:24pm on 10 Aug 2008, Ms__Chief wrote:

    Col_muso, I'm all for promoting different non-Western forms of music and I agree that Nessun Dorma was great, but the bit that spoils everything, which I really detest, is when it turns into a pub fruit-machine. It's unfortunate that this is the part which is played all the time when showing Olympic footage as I think the rest of it isn't too bad.

    I think it's supposed to represent the era where we got introduced to Monkey here in Britain. It's trying too hard to bastardise Chinese music to make it cool, but it just doesn't work for me. They could have done a much better job of showcasing Chinese music.

    There's nothing Chinese about the sound of the fruit machines and the result is like a cat on heat screeching all the way through what would otherwise be a decent track.

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  • 342. At 10:14pm on 10 Aug 2008, nogg_bad_the_nogg wrote:

    entertaining,uplifting,with wide ranging appeal (my three year old loves it) i'm 45 years old, remember monkey as half an hour of sheer escapism. i hope Jamie Hewlett and D.A. can be involved with 2012 opening ceremony we need all the creative influence as possible to beat Beijing. thank you B.B.C it's what I pay a licence for.

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  • 343. At 00:48am on 11 Aug 2008, cls2006 wrote:

    i think the monkey is great, the animation and music is soo good, damon albarn and jamie hewlett are so talented , nice 1 bbc 4 having the monkey as ur olympic mascot x

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  • 344. At 10:37am on 11 Aug 2008, qiancanghai wrote:

    It's exciting to see you use Chinese fiction chacters to make up this vedio.

    However, I am afraid that not everyone will enjoy the music especially the song in Chinese, as me.

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  • 345. At 12:22pm on 11 Aug 2008, EdinburghEm wrote:

    Just plain irritating and way too long.

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  • 346. At 3:26pm on 11 Aug 2008, Su_H_J wrote:

    Isn't it inevitable that not everyone will like it? Whatever the BBC had done someone would be unhappy.

    I enjoyed it, my friend didn't. It's called an opinion. Some people are far too distressed by a simple thing

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  • 347. At 2:10pm on 12 Aug 2008, carl201167 wrote:

    Fabulous. All credit to the beeb for having the gumption to commision something so imaginative. Could you ever see ITV doing this??

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  • 348. At 6:45pm on 12 Aug 2008, hahawhat wrote:

    i love it!!!! i grew up with the story and has always been a big fan. but this takes it to another new level. the graphics and the music are amazing!!! i wanna see more!

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  • 349. At 9:30pm on 12 Aug 2008, jezmonkeyman wrote:

    I have been a fan of Monkey Pigsy etc for years watching it way back in the 80s and find that the animation does not really stick to the Japanese tv programme or the original chinese story...but then who watching the BBC coverage really knows the story and where it comes from?

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  • 350. At 00:27am on 13 Aug 2008, jdm2104 wrote:

    Great animation, well done....

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  • 351. At 10:47am on 13 Aug 2008, Fleurg wrote:

    I love the music and keep singing along to it all day. When I hear it in the future it will bring memories of the games, the summer and everything surrounding the two.

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  • 352. At 11:35am on 13 Aug 2008, 71 Blade wrote:

    Excellent! Love the Chinese style animation e.g. the overlapping 2D waves to create a 3D effect. I like it when title sequences really capture the mood and culture of the venue and this one does. It's modern and funky yet not bland and globalised. I think it will really grab children's attention too which will build up momentum for London 2008. Nice one.

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  • 353. At 11:40am on 13 Aug 2008, 71 Blade wrote:

    Just read my comment again, should have written London 2012. It must be because I'm just so excited about the Olympics I want the games to come to the UK now.

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  • 354. At 8:51pm on 13 Aug 2008, Aquarius62 wrote:

    I had posted a comment on POV asking if the animation referred to the Monkey series of years ago and whether the animators were the same as for Gorrilaz. All along the info. was here!!

    I love the animation and the music and had only seen bits at a time. I have now seen the whole thing above and think it is great.

    I remember the series and this animation captures it very well. I am surprised the Chinese did not make more of martial arts in their opening ceremony. I loved most of it but got bored with the Earth/one love bit. A massive martial arts display like the drums and Confuscious bit would have been fantastic.

    More Monkey please.

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  • 355. At 05:23am on 14 Aug 2008, amphibiousgorin wrote:

    Superb! Excellent piece, refreshing and totally relevant!

    Such a pleasant change to some of the BBC "filler".

    ( I travel a lot overseas and the repetitive "thump thump" of the BBC World theme tune and graphics drive me crazy and detract from the programming they separate - especially in countries like Japan where the Beeb can raise with insufficient ad revenue to replace the filler.... )

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  • 356. At 2:16pm on 14 Aug 2008, ggolden wrote:

    Who ever thought that this animation sequence was a good idea? How does this show the prestige and glory of the Olympics? This just looks like a childs TV programme which does not appeal to myself, family or friends.

    Would have been a much better opening sequence if it had shown clips of some of the truly great Olympic hero’s – Steve Redgrave, 5 time gold medallist for starters! At lease that shows a preview of what we all hope for Team GB to achieve from the Olympics this year.

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  • 357. At 3:31pm on 14 Aug 2008, mawalb wrote:

    I believe that Monkey and friends are an outstanding contribution to the BBC’s coverage of Beijing - great work JH and DA. This household loves both the animation and the music. Hopefully before too long we will be treated to a Gorillaz feature film? Monkey is clear and shining example of Jamie’s stunning creative talents. Worth every penny.

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  • 358. At 5:25pm on 14 Aug 2008, burtfamily wrote:

    Fantastic monkey - our whole family love it, the music, the song, the animation, the nostalgia for the 70's monkey. We love to name all the sports that monkey, pigsy and Sandy perform. What is a sand monk?

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  • 359. At 5:27pm on 14 Aug 2008, burtfamily wrote:

    Wanted to add that it brought an excitement to the lead up for the olympics in my girly non sporty family that I didn't think possible. Hurray for Monkey!

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  • 360. At 5:45pm on 14 Aug 2008, Donald Donaldson wrote:

    very oriental, lovely

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  • 361. At 07:31am on 15 Aug 2008, rexlombardo wrote:

    I like the animation and am old enough to appreciate the reference but I wonder if it sensible to use a Japanese television show as the source. The Beijing Olympics are after all a Chinese event!

    I mean, what would the French think if the Chinese referenced 'Allo 'Allo in their opening coverage of a major French event?

    Actually that would be really funny

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  • 362. At 11:56am on 15 Aug 2008, nnyrad wrote:

    Scrolling through the vast number of posts made in response to this video, one thing in particular caught my eye:

    Chairmandog said 'Monkey's a great way of bridging out understanding of the East'. Though the animation may be based on a Chinese fable it seems to say more about Western (or - to be more fair - Albarn's and Hewlett's) perceptions of the Orient than it does about Chinese culture. The piece fails to demonstrate China's unique identity and only serves to conflate Eastern culture. This opinion has been stated earlier in different forms, an example of which:

    It's based on a Japanese series 'that has nothing to do with the spirit of the Book: the Journey to the west' (Xabirules)

    Though I do appreciate that many people have enjoyed the clip, I am disappointed that the BBC would commission a video that is outdated in its thinking during an Olympics that reveled in being innovative.

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  • 363. At 8:16pm on 15 Aug 2008, thefterian wrote:

    As a stand alone cartoon, its not bad. However, it is out of place with the stature and significance of the Olympic Games. This is the greatest sporting event on earth and this cartoon undermines it, it is puerile in comparison with the games and has no visible connections to an event that has its roots from as long ago as 776BC.

    Where are the references to the physical endeavour, the triumphs, (British or Global), the sport, the host. Yes it may be boring and outdated, but it is relevant and underlines the actual significance of the games which has been lost.

    By contrast, the European Broadcasting Union ident and tv package for the games is mature, deep in gravitas and contains an explicit respect of the elevated position of the games as the demonstration of the best and worst of human physical endeavour.

    By all means, have this cartoon, but it should be an expression of the games' influence and act as a supplement to the games not the means by which the state broadcaster should identify its blanket coverage.

    Licence payers range from the age of 18 to 108 (90 years) why does our state broadcaster continuously think that the only people watching are aged between 25 to 35, took a degree in media studies and frequent the gastro pubs and organic delis of north london. Please, please, please consider the whole of the demographic. TV production these days has become more about ratings rather than quality. IE, the numbers of people watching (rubbish). If ratings are so important, by targeting one tenth of the population, you are never going to succeed. Substance should come before style more often than not and that should have been the first thought here.

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  • 364. At 11:22pm on 15 Aug 2008, abujablue wrote:

    First time seeing it I was immediately sceptical, but that was because I was so used to the 'typical' opening sequences to sports events that have been common for years.

    But this song had the weirdest effect on me. One moment I was nearly detesting it, but then suddenly it clicked. I did a bit of research into the story and watched it a couple more times it has really got a grip on me - it's a fantastic video, highly original in nature, and now I never get bored by it.

    Fantastic creation BBC!

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  • 365. At 00:39am on 16 Aug 2008, jaychinchillaman wrote:

    i love the monkey video and the music. will we be abel to buy the theme tune, as it would be a shame if we couldn`t. the proceeds could help the 2012 games.

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  • 366. At 3:07pm on 16 Aug 2008, Tams81 wrote:

    I prefer intros such as this. I don't like pompus flag waving and as other people have said the BBC is there to show the Olympics, including team GB, but not just team GB.

    As for comparing it to the 2012 Olympics logo, pah!
    That logo cost millions and for that much it is utter junk. This animation most probably cost a lot less and in my opinion not only is better, but most probably more was got for less money and the animation also more clearly shows the host country's heritage and the Olympics than the 2012 logo.
    Admittidly the amination is childish to a degree, which I think adds to its charm, unlike the 2012 logo which just looks like it was designed by a child.

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  • 367. At 10:41am on 17 Aug 2008, BarryOakley wrote:

    Monkey is a great piece of animation.

    Unfortunately, as per usual, the BBC decided to flood us with it over and over again for two weeks before the Olympics even started. Personally, I was heartily sick of it and the tune by the time the games actually got under way!

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  • 368. At 11:07am on 17 Aug 2008, Joe_c_90 wrote:

    To be honest, I think the characters are pretty grotesque, especially the green one (Sandy), and I don't really see what some ancient myth about a monkey god has to do with the world's biggest sporting event.

    Having said that, I do like the animated style, I've always been a fan of the Gorillaz artwork. So mixed feelings really.

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  • 369. At 2:08pm on 17 Aug 2008, Darkgnat wrote:

    I thought it was pretty much the best thing I've ever seen.

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  • 370. At 2:31pm on 17 Aug 2008, London Trev wrote:

    it's a waste of time effort and licence payers money

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  • 371. At 8:53pm on 17 Aug 2008, outlawcomedancing wrote:

    Fantastic. Sun Wukong would be proud.

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  • 372. At 10:48pm on 17 Aug 2008, QWERDAD wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 373. At 1:04pm on 18 Aug 2008, Londonforager wrote:

    Until I looked at this site I had no idea of the connection with an ancient folk story, so the illusion was lost on me.

    I find the animation irritating and somewhat menacing. I only hope the BBC comes up with something more pleasing for 2012.

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  • 374. At 2:49pm on 18 Aug 2008, amdc101 wrote:

    I've loved Jamie Hewlett's cartoons ever since "Hewligan's Haircut" in 2000Ad years ago and Tank Girl was genius, pity I can't be bothered with the Olympics really, its such a good idea, loved the TV show too

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  • 375. At 3:20pm on 18 Aug 2008, NatstrikeG wrote:

    This is video MAGNIFI-CENT!!, it's such a change from the traditional Chariots of fire stuff!.

    The animation is terrific I loved Monkey the TV series when I was growing up so the animation is pure nostalgia!!

    I think BBC are really "stepping to the plate" in they way the corporation presents major events. I like they way the there is a "zoom in to the bird's nest when the athletic events are being presented"

    Keep up the great work!!

    much RESPECT!!! :-)

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  • 376. At 4:48pm on 18 Aug 2008, catbutton wrote:

    I love watching the monkey animation, its very captivating and extremely well produced. I love that cheeky face at the end!!! Well done BBC

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  • 377. At 7:29pm on 18 Aug 2008, rossmorgan2k6 wrote:

    I love the animation and the theme tune i wish i could have it because i like it so much since i first saw it on the tv great job.

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  • 378. At 7:36pm on 18 Aug 2008, trevrut wrote:

    What a waste of OUR 'unfair tax' to blow it on this crap!!
    Isn't it about time you started putting OUR money into proper programming!!!!!

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  • 379. At 7:48pm on 18 Aug 2008, Michael_king_355 wrote:

    i love it from the animation to sound. every little bit. good job boys.

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  • 380. At 8:40pm on 18 Aug 2008, smartpaddington wrote:

    Its well cool. This is license money well spent.

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  • 381. At 10:30pm on 18 Aug 2008, Darkest_Fox wrote:

    I don't often feel the need to comment on something, but this is something I need to add my comments to.

    A lot of people are moaning that this is a waste of money and has no relevance to the games at all. I just can not agree with that. I find the animation for the short interesting and very captivating. It was fun to watch and the music that went with it was brilliant, but then I have always loved the Gorillaz and that kind of animation style.

    The short combines both Chinese and British cultures showing what the games are about. Bringing different countries together in a friendly way. Yes it twists the journey to the west story for our culture but so did the TV show (which was Japanese for those who didn't know) to some extent. I don't think by using this story that the BBC have aimed the short at a particular age group. I'm only 21 and I was obviously to young to remember it being screened on TV and yet I still know the story and found the short amazing.

    I think the BBC should fund more things like this, rather than bring us the same thing over and over again.

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  • 382. At 11:49am on 19 Aug 2008, Annagain wrote:

    trevrut - I get really fed up of people calling the license fee an "unfair tax" £2.50 a week is excellent value - the website (which is giving YOU the opportunity to have your say, amongst other things) alone is well worth that. You probably pay more for ITV and Channel 4 in premiums on products to pay for advertising than you do for the BBC.

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  • 383. At 12:21pm on 19 Aug 2008, gibsons18 wrote:

    All i can say about the intro "Monkey trailer" to the Olympics is that come 2012 the 5 yr olds that thought of it are kept in their nursery and let the grown ups design the London Olympics! The intro looks like something from the CBBC channel.

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  • 384. At 6:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, bluebraeburn wrote:

    Well they're suppose to be buddhist (if you're using that famous Monkey story from Chinese literature) and hence are vegetarians. The Pigsy was eating a chicken thigh?! Someone obviously was not thinking when they drew this.

    Music isn't great and lyric is silly.

    Animation is good though, despite the mistake.

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  • 385. At 7:47pm on 19 Aug 2008, chaobreeder16 wrote:

    I do like the monkey/son goku is it in the original novel? but i think that people should maybe have been informed of the original story more. I think its fair to say that any anime fan would really apreciate it because parodies of the story are created in dragon ball and love hina.

    But the monkey dosent have a magic wand its a staff and in the anime parodies its extend able. Also its not being stereotypical about the monkey being skinny or racist, the main character of the original story was a monkey king mountain dweller, not a big bruiser of a gorilla.

    I think the pig was an evil demon also who stole little girls and ate them or something also so it makes sense for the pig to eat meat, or so it has been portrayed in versions of it i have seen, but monkey convinces him to turn good and he joins him on his trip for knowledge.

    sandy is gruesome because he is also a demon or soul stealer of some type, in dragon ball he was portrayed as picalo the dark side of the gaurdian of the earth who tried to take over the world instead of protect it, but in order to over come a greater danger to the world they forget their differences for the greater good and become allies.

    I am just speaking from generally knowledge i am only 19 but you can correct me if i am wrong tho which i may well be but i think most of what i said is accurate. I was also really shocked to find a German dubbed version of the play of the initial story a few years a go when i was on holiday but i did recognise it.

    I never saw the really old monkey cartoons people are talking about but they sound interesting, i have only seen the most recent adaption which is probably dragon ball by akira toriyama. Which was created in the late 80s i think.

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  • 386. At 8:31pm on 19 Aug 2008, kin-el wrote:

    They said it couldn't possibly happen but it has - the BBC has once again surpassed even itself with this self-indulgent homage to Chinese folklore. It does nothing but represent China in a less favorable light than it already manages to cast itself in. Monkeys are not simply primates to the Chinese, they are revered as demigods. To use such blatant iconography in such a trivial manner demeans the subject matter. If China were not officially Chinese they would be offended. What if THEY made a cartoon featuring the Virgin Mary doing the 120 metre long jump? Oh yes there would be uproar from the C of GB. I also found it a bit scary before bed time.

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  • 387. At 8:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, kin-el wrote:

    annagain - post 382
    trevnut has a valid point - £2.50 is a considerable amount of money per week if you didn't vote for the BBC. Surely, no taxation without representation. I didn't vote to be taxed so that Joanathan Ross could be paid eight zillion roubles an hour - who did? And now to add insult to injury they have spent my hard earned cash on some eastern primate cartoon that scares the life out of my 39 year-old son who is young enough to remember when HIS hero, Monkeey, was actually a real person with dodgy sideburns and a pig for a best mate. I will only be surpised is Mr Ross actually created the cartoon - in his psare time - and gave some value back for the considerable £2.50 investment I have unwillingly made in him.

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  • 388. At 9:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, lorraine18 wrote:

    Brilliant. It gets better everytime I see it

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  • 389. At 01:17am on 20 Aug 2008, garry08 wrote:

    Absolutely brilliant and very imaginative of the BBC to come up with the trailer for this years Olympics which has become one of the best Olympic Games for decades especially for Team GB Well done to all at the BBC. I can remember the original series of Money Magic and I know that the dubbing of the language wasn't the best but it was good entertainment.

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  • 390. At 12:18pm on 20 Aug 2008, w11ammies wrote:

    Monkey Animation and title music

    I was`nt too sure at first but it has grown on me and I really like it and great fun.

    How can I get title music on my phone for a ring tone???????

    Can someone please help?????

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  • 391. At 5:52pm on 20 Aug 2008, digimoriarty wrote:

    well, first off it;s shame it's a shameless plug for jamie hewlett and damon albarn's latest 'monkey opera' and album which 'coincidentally' was released this week. couldn;'t they thin of somethgin new? still, it feels fresher than the aevrage 'idents' and fits the chinese theme.

    however overall it's a massive wasted opportunity. let's face it, what the British public really care about is team GB's fortunes first and foremost, not China. As a national public service, one of the last great bastions of Britishness it is incumbent on the BBC to have something that captures the idea of GB triumphing at the Olympics. it;s a big shame that in their desperation to look cool, they forgot what they are there for.

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  • 392. At 8:27pm on 20 Aug 2008, GraemePuskas wrote:

    Hated it at first (and I'm a fan of most of Hewlett's and Albarn's work) but love it now.

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  • 393. At 10:48pm on 20 Aug 2008, Diz wrote:

    I never enjoyed the original series, but I think this ident is fab! Spotting the events carefully woven into the story has kept me entertained whilst waiting to watch the next installment of the Olympics. All the 'where's the Britishness?' posts sadden me, as has been commented on by others, the games are in China.

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  • 394. At 11:11pm on 20 Aug 2008, thefterian wrote:

    As I said at post no. 363, this is a fine piece of animation. But what has it got to do with the olympic games and how does it demonstrate and 'big up' the greatest sporting show on earth?

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  • 395. At 09:29am on 21 Aug 2008, Max Waterman wrote:

    I think you should be very careful about basing this so obviously on the Japanese depiction of the Monkey king. The problem is somewhat akin to the rivalry between France and England, as one poster mentioned, but it's *much* more severe - the insult would be *very* extreme. I don't think the English has any equivalent insult.

    The animation displays to points of ignorance :

    1) the audience likely don't know that the Monkey King is a Chinese story rather than a Japanese one (ie from the TV show), or alternatively they don't know the TV show is Japanese at all; and,
    2) the animators don't realise the degree to which the Chinese and Japanese hate each other and the problems a mistake on this level can cause.


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  • 396. At 12:44pm on 21 Aug 2008, risebrow wrote:

    i think it is awesome!
    everyone who dont think so is a mug and grow up about complaining about it all
    no1 cares what you all think
    and BBC is Legend!!

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  • 397. At 1:06pm on 21 Aug 2008, drdjday wrote:

    I think the 'Journey to the West' reference is fine but I find the style of the cartoon rather childish and at odds both with the culture of China and the event itself. I feel this could have been done so much better but feels to me that a dumb it down approach was taken to 'draw the kids in' which seems to me rather patronising.

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  • 398. At 1:33pm on 21 Aug 2008, liveforfivelive wrote:

    Our family absolutely loves this - it's daring and original - and the children enjoy identifying the sports included. Another thing for London 2012 to match up to!!

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  • 399. At 10:17pm on 21 Aug 2008, therickster1 wrote:


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  • 400. At 10:19pm on 21 Aug 2008, therickster1 wrote:

    Sorry I meant to say "I like it" above in post 399, anyone got the lyrics for the song ?

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  • 401. At 11:51am on 22 Aug 2008, War Baby wrote:

    What a load of absolute tosh

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  • 402. At 1:17pm on 22 Aug 2008, roddypeepa wrote:

    How much did this animation cost? Good to see that the BBC is being careful with our licence fee.....

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  • 403. At 3:21pm on 22 Aug 2008, Mineheadbythesea wrote:

    The BBC should be congratulated on producing such an innovative way to introduce the 2008 Olympics. They pay tribute to the host nation, the annimation makes it attractive to a younger audience, the music is appropriate and catchy, whether watching the full version or shorter sections of the whole.
    I am of an age to have been a big fan of Monkey Magic and the annimation makes me smile every time I see it.
    The sports theat are cleverly interwoven into the clip are representative of a wide variety of Olympic sports and the "journey" idea is one that will be thoroughly understood by those athletes that attend this; the culmination of their sporting journeys - the training, the dedication, the heartaches and the successes.
    Anyone so narrow minded to believe that the BBC should only show a Union flag and a few of our past glories are not doing enough of a service to those athletes attending their first games - British sport has come a long way since the games were awarded to London for 2012 - these games are the start of something big for UK sport - by representing them in this highly innovative and modern way, the BBC are showing their reccognition of new age.
    A Fantastic effort BBC - Well done!

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  • 404. At 4:51pm on 22 Aug 2008, Ashemail wrote:

    I was quite skeptical when I saw the animations in advance of the Olympics. But when the monkey is taken with all the other "members of the cast", the effect is delightful, something between mythic and mischievous.

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  • 405. At 5:16pm on 22 Aug 2008, shoes ferocto wrote:

    That is a very good and adventurous animation. The monkey is awsome and it is well related to the olympics. The BBC have done very well with the olymics and need to make these sort of cool animations for 2012.

    Well done to those involved!

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  • 406. At 10:55pm on 22 Aug 2008, thefterian wrote:

    To Mineheadbythesea (no 403):

    Since when should the BBC's sole aim be to attract youngsters when it is the national broadcaster, broadcasting to the whole nation from 0 - 111 years old. What is it with the fascination with youth when trying to convey a message in the broadcast media.

    Further, I have taken two weeks off to watch the olympic games - it means so much to me (it is part of my greek heritage) - and this event is the biggest sporting event on earth. I am not asking for in your face union flag waving, but just for some mature broadcasting which reflects the importance of this event in the global sporting psyche. Would it be appropriate for the BBC to have Scooby Doo for the next series of Doctor Who, or Road Runner for the London Marathon next year? This cartoon is suited to CBBC and not to this event. Surely the BBC could have commissioned this as a cultural and artistic piece that could have been shown on BBC 2 during the games, but not as the credits.

    Please please please, what has happened to the BBC in the last 15 years. People say that the British Tv is the best in the world. People are blinkered. It is nowhere near as good as TV that I have seen in Europe.

    BBC stands for Brash, Boring Crap it seems at the moment

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  • 407. At 11:42am on 23 Aug 2008, TygerJan wrote:

    Excellent animation! It stands alone as a great title sequence, but if viewers don't know about the cultural background they should make some effort to learn more! The translation of the amusing and profound classic written by Wu Ch'eng En has long been in print as a Penguin paperback. See their website:,,9780140441116,00.html?strSrchSql=wu/Monkey_Wu_Ch'%EAng-%EAn

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  • 408. At 8:24pm on 24 Aug 2008, Runteh wrote:

    Some have stated that they do not understand the relevance of the clip, and I am shocked at the ignorance.

    For one, it is nice to see the beep being impartial in its decision to celebrate the culture and relevance of animals to china. I though is was a brilliant piece of animation, and I looked forward to seeing it every time the olympics came on, with some catchy music to match.

    Oh, and if you can not see all the olympic events taking place in the race to the birds nest stadium then I am shocked.

    As far as I can see there is:

    Hammer Throw
    Pole Volt

    stunning work...

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