Pigsy is Josh Thomson, Monkey is Chai Hansen, Tripitaka is Luciane Buchanan and Sandy is Emilie Cocquerel in The Legend of Monkey.
Pigsy is Josh Thomson, Monkey is Chai Hansen, Tripitaka is Luciane Buchanan and Sandy is Emilie Cocquerel in The Legend of Monkey. Geoffrey Short

Classic Monkey Magic gets live action makeover

THIS is not a drill. Pinch yourself, pour water over your head, do whatever you need to do to because it's actually happening.

The folks over at the ABC, Netflix and TVNZ (bless their souls) are teaming up to bring back to the screen beloved kids show, Monkey Magic, albeit under a new name - The Legend of Monkey.

Methinks the new series is designed to introduce the stories to a whole new generation of kids but it's not unthinkable to imagine that more that a few Gen X-ers and Y-ers will be reliving their childhood.

The glory days.
The glory days. SUPPLIED

Production is under way across the ditch on a live action series to hit our screens in 2018.

Based on the legendary Chinese fable, Journey to the West, the series will be 10 half-hour episodes following the adventure of a teen girl and a trio of fallen gods (Monkey, Pigsy and Lion) trying to "bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance to their world”.

So, just a regular Tuesday then?

With a cast of Australian and Kiwi actors - Chai Hansen, Luciane Buchanan, Josh Thomson and Emilie Cocquerel - the trans-Tasman collaboration is a welcome return for everyone who remembers growing up with the cartoon version in the 1980s.

The Chinese novel the tales are based on has remained immensely popular since it was first published in the 16th Century. Journey to the West is considered a classic of Chinese literature and is regularly referenced in Asian culture.

The novel has been adapted endlessly in Asian entertainment across film, television, stage and video games.

ABC Television head of Children's Michael Carrington said in a statement: "The mythical tale of the Monkey King is a story that continues to captivate global audiences.

"Our production partner See-Saw Films is bringing The Legend of Monkey to life through incredible locations and sets, an acclaimed production team and an exciting diverse young cast.”

The series was adapted by Australian writer Jacqueline Perske with support from Craig Irvin and Samantha Strauss.

The Legend of Monkey is not the first collaboration between the ABC and Netflix, who have co-funded the second season of Glitch.


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