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Monkie Kid TV Show Thread

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Still no news on how/when Monkie Kid will be airing in America and Europe, but in the meantime someone on Twitter shared a Google Drive folder of videos where they paired the English audio from the Malaysian rips of the series with the higher quality, commercial free video from the Chinese ones: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1S638X0GT9axPyVgE-tfH0XPSQcvYtwyn

At the very least, it's probably a better way for English-speaking viewers to share or rewatch the series than the earlier versions.

 

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This topic hasn't seen much activity lately, so I figure it's time for an update!

The four-episode Lunar New Year special aired in China earlier this week! Here is a link to a Google Drive folder with all the episodes. There are currently some folks on Twitter working on English fansubs, but it's not implausible that the English dub itself might air in countries like Malaysia very soon (since the actual date of the Lunar New Year is tomorrow). I'm hoping that tomorrow may be the date when the sets get "officially" revealed worldwide as well, and that ideally that announcement might accompany news on when and how the series will be distributed in America and Europe (but no guarantees—it wouldn't be the first time I got my hopes up for that news only to have them dashed).

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Fingers crossed this gets officially announced for the United States soon. Looking for my next Lego show fix!

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Just wanted to pop in with another update. Lego has started to upload the Season 1 episodes to the YouTube in English, but has restricted them to viewers from Malaysia and Singapore. Luckily, fans have downloaded those episodes and reuploaded them to make them available to everyone in high quality! Compared to the Google Drive folder I shared earlier (which combined the visuals from the Chinese dub with the audio from the English dub), this is the fully dubbed version, meaning that not only is the audio English but so are occasional instances of text such as signage or comic-book style sound effects. Here is a link to a YouTube playlist of the episodes, which will hopefully remain available at least until Lego finally gets their act together and makes the episodes more widely available worldwide.

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Posted (edited)

Another update. The series has begun to air in Australia!

Hopefully it won't be too much longer before we can say the same for America and Europe!

EDIT: There are now rumors originating from one of the people who worked on the show that a worldwide release may be coming in the second half of April. I'm not 100% sure this is the case without an "official" announcement from either Lego or the distribution partner that will be airing the series, but I can hope that news might be right around the corner!

 

Edited by Lyichir

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Posted (edited)

At risk of feeling like the only person who posts here... we finally have an airdate for the first episode of season 2 (not counting the 4-episode CNY special)! It'll be airing on Australian TV this Saturday at 10 AM Sydney time (so Friday evening for Americans or late at night for those in Europe). After it airs it'll probably be uploaded here, where you can still watch the other episodes. Although Lego has been cracking down on uploads more and more as of late... which'd be less annoying if there were any news on an American or European release whatsoever. Sadly, it's still complete radio silence on that front.

Edited by Lyichir

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Oh that's awesome! Can't wait for the new episodes!

I recently finished watching all that's been available and loved it! Seriously, this is one of the best shows I've watched. It's beautifully animated, voice acting's great, and strikes a good balance of being comical while still taking itself seriously. 

I really hope that Google Drive stays alive. And if not, Lego really needs to bring this series to the west. It's too good not to watch and really deserves more attention from a wider audience.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/27/2021 at 5:02 PM, Kalhiki said:

I recently finished watching all that's been available and loved it! Seriously, this is one of the best shows I've watched. It's beautifully animated, voice acting's great, and strikes a good balance of being comical while still taking itself seriously. 

Ehh... I wouldn't go that far to be honest. To be fair, for me personally watching all the episodes felt quite tedious. So far, this show has had nothing of substance for me. Sure, the animation is nice, but besides that, I have zero investment in either the plot or the characters. To me this feels more like an average Saturday Morning cartoon than anything else (the fact that all the episodes are 10 minutes instead of the usual 20 minutes doesn't help either). 

Again, I can appreciate that they went all out with the animation style, but... what else is there? :sad:

Edited by Lego David

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2 hours ago, Lego David said:

Again, I can appreciate that they went all out with the animation style, but... what else is there? :sad:

Nothing,this show is just a glorified ad.

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To each their own, I suppose. :shrug_oh_well:

I find it incredibly fun and funny. There were plenty of times that got a good chuckle out me, which I find rarely happens with Lego's usual sense of humor. Sure, it's not reaching astronomical heights in terms of plot and characters, but it knows what it wants to be, and excels at it. I can appreciate it for what it is, had a lot of fun watching it, and it captured my heart. Love it. 

Also I don't see the 11 minute episode length as a detriment. It's still well paced and gets the most out of it's runtime, and that's all that really matters.

 

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20 minutes ago, Kalhiki said:

I find it incredibly fun and funny. There were plenty of times that got a good chuckle out me, which I find rarely happens with Lego's usual sense of humor. Sure, it's not reaching astronomical heights in terms of plot and characters, but it knows what it wants to be, and excels at it. I can appreciate it for what it is, had a lot of fun watching it, and it captured my heart. Love it. 

Also I don't see the 11 minute episode length as a detriment. It's still well paced and gets the most out of it's runtime, and that's all that really matters.

I don't know... The 11 minute runtime of each episode further gives me the "glorified ad" feel. At least in Ninjago, all the episodes are tied together and because of the narrative, you feel the desire to see what happens in the next episodes. In this show, however, after watching one of the episodes, it kind of feels like I've watched them all. You get some energetic animation and maybe one or two good jokes, but that's about it. I don't really see the point in watching the whole series, when I am going to completely forget everything that happened in it as soon as I am done watching it. 

 

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Glorified ad... I get that. There were times when I felt "lol this is just wanting me to buy set X." But still, I feel the show does enough to establish itself aside from that aspect. Like, ultimately it's a show designed to sell toys, so it's too be expected.

And I see no issue with the episodic format of the show. I'm perfectly happy just watching the characters go on adventures together (hell, Journey to the West primarily consisted of the "villain of the week" format for its story). I don't need some grand plot to keep me invested. So long as the show's fun to watch, I'll gladly tune in. I also can't say I agree with the sentiment that if you've seen one, you've seen them all. I'll admit, not all of the episodes jived with me, but there were plenty of standout episodes/moments:

Spoiler

MK makes clones of himself, MK gets sucked into an alternate reality where everything is """perfect""", the cast participates in a race and DBK literally drives through a mountain, Monkey King and Evil Monkey King have a kick-megablocks anime battle, to name a few. 

Also, this is just Season 1, so I imagine they're more focused on introducing and developing the characters at this point. And if the Season 1 finale and Season 2 premier are anything to go by, they seem to be building up to a larger plot, and I'm excited to see where that eventually goes.

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Wow, nice to see some actual discussion going on!

I sort of disagree with the sentiment that the show is a "glorified ad", at least in the sense that it's moreso one than any other Lego TV show. An 11-minute runtime is actually quite popular for TV series these days, even ones that aren't merchandise-driven (since it's easier for TV networks to schedule, easier for "binge watching" on streaming platforms, has tighter storytelling for kids with short attention spans, and is more cost-effective production-wise to tell twice as many stories per 22-minutes of TV). And while there are definitely episodes meant to obviously showcase the sets (the pilot and Lunar New Year special being particularly gratuitous in that sense due to basically introducing almost a whole wave of sets throughout their runtime), there are plenty of others that hardly focus on the contents of the sets at all beyond the characters (S1's "Coming Home", "Calabash", "Impossible Delivery", and "Macaque" all being good examples).

In any case, Season 2 is continuing to air on Australian TV with two episodes every week! The first two episodes last week impressed me greatly with how much more continuity driven they felt compared to Season 1. Wikipedia has the names and summaries for the next two weeks' worth of episodes, from upcoming TV listings.


 

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On 4/28/2021 at 10:44 PM, Kalhiki said:

I'm perfectly happy just watching the characters go on adventures together (hell, Journey to the West primarily consisted of the "villain of the week" format for its story). 

As much as the original Journey to the West was basically a "villain of the week" story (a concept that does get old after a while, IMO) at least there you got to see the characters grow while travelling to a certain location in order to achieve a certain goal. From what I have seen so far, the Monkie Kid show seems to have none of that. 

Also, @Lyichir has Season 2 of the show aired already? I haven't seen anyone discussing it. 

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4 hours ago, Lego David said:

As much as the original Journey to the West was basically a "villain of the week" story (a concept that does get old after a while, IMO) at least there you got to see the characters grow while travelling to a certain location in order to achieve a certain goal. From what I have seen so far, the Monkie Kid show seems to have none of that. 

Also, @Lyichir has Season 2 of the show aired already? I haven't seen anyone discussing it. 

It's been airing for a couple weeks in Australia (up through episode 6, so far). It's been pretty good, in my opinion—a little more continuity driven than Season 1, with a number of the episodes setting the stage for the Lady Bone Demon's master plan. But I've been discussing it more on Discord and Twitter than here, since sadly there don't seem to be a ton of people who are that interested in discusssing the actual story here. A summary of what's happened so far (spoiler warning):

Spoiler

In S2E1, Monkey King claims to be going on vacation and leaving MK to train on his own (in reality, Monkey King is departing to further investigate what Lady Bone Demon is plotting). LBD sends Syntax to retrieve a puzzle box containing instructions (presumably, to create the mech hinted at in the special) from "the Cloud", a combination library/server farm containing basically the whole internet. To get past the guards, Syntax uploads a game, "Sleep Bug", that puts pretty much the whole city to sleep except MK. Syntax succeeds but MK manages to delete the Sleep Bug app and save the city.

In S2E2, Monkey King telepathically warns MK of a meteor-sized "Celestial Dumpling" that has fallen from the Celestial Realm (where secretly, Monkey King is grilling a group of giants about LBD). MK and Tang travel to Flower Fruit Mountain to search through Monkey King's collection of magical and nonmagical items for Guanyin's magical vase (used in Journey to the West to flood the forest and extinguish Red Son's flames) since Tang expects it could contain the soup from inside the dumpling. Meanwhile, Huntsman uses that as an opportunity to secure the first of five items LBD needs—an evil-detecting mirror—also from Monkey King's collection. Huntsman, MK, and Tang face off but eventually reach a truce, with Huntsman letting them get the vase to save the city and departing with the mirror secretly in tow.

In S2E3, Sandy is trying to teach MK how to brew his signature sleepytime tea when MK gets a package from Monkey King that he is instructed not to open. He opens it anyway to find a magic blindfold that can only be removed once MK learns to truly listen. MK leaves Sandy (asleep from the improperly brewed tea) and Mo alone with the package, that also contains mischievous, baby-like ginseng fruits that proceed to cause havoc on Sandy's ship. When MK arrives at Pigsy's for work, Pigsy has the Monkey Mech game removed for MK slacking off, but the delivery person replaces it with a ping pong table. Pigsy is consumed by a competitive fervor that causes him to become destructive, and MK is forced to learn to actually listen to people (not just hear and ignore them) to stop Pigsy's ping pong rampage. Meanwhile, Mo uses a powered mech suit to brew more of the sleepytime tea to stop the ginseng babies.

In S2E4, Pigsy's business is threatened by aggressive delivery bikers from the Speedy Panda convenience store chain, who propose a "food war" with the losing restaurant closing down. Pigsy accepts only to find the Speedy Panda chain run by Jin and Yin, the Gold and Silver Demons. The food war is a three-round cooking challenge judged by Princess Iron Fan, a talking cardboard cutout of Monkey King, and Tang. The first round is won by Speedy Panda thanks to the demon bros' cheating, but the second round is won by Pigsy. In the final round (an actual battle), the Demon Bros unveil a mech and MK transforms Pigsy's food truck into a tank, only for Jin and Yin to be informed by their demon accountant that the expensive mech has bankrupted them and they won't be able to pay their delivery drivers. This causes the delivery drivers to turn on the demons and Pigsy to be declared victorious.

In S2E5, Monkey King instructs MK to try shrinking himself and MK ends up learning to do so, only to fall through the drain and end up in Spider Queen's underground lair. There, MK is attacked by Spider Queen only to escape and find a young girl who begs for MK to destroy the Lady Bone Demon's machine with his staff. MK hesitates and discovers that the helpless young girl is in fact possessed by the Lady Bone Demon, who needs MK's staff for her plot. LBD attempts to possess MK to force him to give up the staff but MK escapes thanks to the Spider Queen barging in and inadvertently attacking LBD.

In S2E6, MK is worried about the new threat posed by LBD and searches Monkey King's house on Flower Fruit Mountain for something that could help him become stronger in his teacher's absence. Mei discovers a VR game loosely adapting Monkey King's life and adventures, that MK plays to try to become stronger. While MK originally focuses on strong moves alone to try to win, eventually he learns that when facing a powerful opponent it can be smarter to try to use their strength against them.

 

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30 minutes ago, Lyichir said:

But I've been discussing it more on Discord and Twitter than here,

In what Discord server did you discuss it? I might want to join one of those servers myself. 

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On 5/15/2021 at 1:21 PM, Lego David said:

In what Discord server did you discuss it? I might want to join one of those servers myself. 

To be honest, I'm quite new to this Discord thing... I think you might need an invite? And I'm not quite sure how to go about that. The Discord I'm in is certainly a change of pace from Eurobricks, with a lot of younger, more "fandom-y" members, if that makes sense. Sometimes it's even a bit too meme-y and fast-paced for my blood (especially right when a new episode airs and everybody is geeking out over it), but it's worth it to see the energy of people a little closer to the "target audience" for a show like this genuinely enjoying it.

Oh, also, last week after the episodes aired Sarah Harper, one of the directors/producers on the show, held a group art stream with some of the other show staff on Twitch. It was a good time for all involved so they're planning to do it again after this week's episodes air in Australia.

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Two outstanding episodes this week!. Another Macaque episode that absolutely lived up to the high standard of the one from last season, and a Sandy episode that gave him some long overdue action scenes and character development (as well as, surprisingly, even some character development for Huntsman).

Next week we're getting the last two episodes of season two: "72 Transformations", in which Monkie Kid will apparently learn Monkey King's power to transform, and "This is the End", in which Lady Bone Demon completes her bone mech and unleashes it.

Of course, I personally hope that despite the title (which evokes a similar sense of finality to the S1 finale "The End is Here"), this is NOT the end. There's still plenty of unexplored potential surrounding both the story set up so far this season as well as the current wave of sets, so much so that I'm hoping we might even get a third season before next year (sort of like how Ninjago's second season began the same year that the first season based on the 2012 sets came out). It's not totally implausible—the current season is drawing to a close only a week or two after the one-year anniversary of the Monkie Kid theme's announcement, potentially leaving room for more episodes to be ready later in the year.

Of course, there's sadly still no news on when the TV series will debut in Europe or America. The longer the wait, the more I worry that Lego might not have even secured a distributor for those markets yet. I don't really have any idea what the hold-up is, and it's certainly frustrating—but until a Western release is secured, fans on this side of the globe have no options but to "keep circulating the tapes" (as Star Wars fans used to say about the creator-scorned Holiday Special) to keep up with the show. The Google Drive I've been using had to take down the episodes there due to exceeding some maximum allowed number of plays, but they've put up links to newly hosted versions here.

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4 hours ago, Lyichir said:

Next week we're getting the last two episodes of season two: "72 Transformations", in which Monkie Kid will apparently learn Monkey King's power to transform, and "This is the End", in which Lady Bone Demon completes her bone mech and unleashes it.

Spoiler

I wonder if she gets Monkie Kid's staff or uses Macaques instead.

 

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The last two episodes were great. As usual, the animation was really a treat for the eyes. Despite my age (almost 40) i still enjoy cartoons, and the Monkie Kid series is no exception, especially because it gives some context for the released sets.

The Macaque episode was very enjoyable despite Macaque being a jerk, and dang, Sandy can be really scary if he wants too. Maybe Huntsman will turn for the better, afterall, he

Spoiler

kept a teabag from Sandy.

 

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10 hours ago, badchriss said:

The last two episodes were great. As usual, the animation was really a treat for the eyes. Despite my age (almost 40) i still enjoy cartoons, and the Monkie Kid series is no exception, especially because it gives some context for the released sets.

The Macaque episode was very enjoyable despite Macaque being a jerk, and dang, Sandy can be really scary if he wants too. Maybe Huntsman will turn for the better, afterall, he

  Hide contents

kept a teabag from Sandy.

 

If anything, the Macaque episode softened his edges a bit.

Spoiler

Compared to the first one (where he was fully prepared to kill Monkey King and/or MK), in this one he ends up basically letting MK and his friends go unscathed. We also get a better idea of his motivation: a real or perceived betrayal by Monkey King, who he once considered a friend. There's actually a subtle easter egg when MK breaks free of the shadows of his friends and attacks Macaque, where Macaque sees MK as Monkey King attacking him for a brief moment—seemingly implying that Monkey King is the one who gave Macaque the scar over his eye.

It's neat to see Macaque being developed into such a complex villain. It'll be interesting to see what Lady Bone Demon has planned for him, though. I've seen some other fans speculate that she might intend to use Macaque's staff instead of MK's for her mech, but I personally think it's more likely that Monkey King's staff can't be replaced that easily and instead Lady Bone Demon intends to use Macaque to get the staff for her, whether he wants to or not.

As for the Sandy episode, it really helped to flesh both Sandy and Huntsman out as characters.

Spoiler

We get a glimpse at how powerful Sandy would be if he didn't hold back, as well as WHY he holds back—he definitely seems to have some PTSD from past battles, and again we get a great little visual tease of something that happened in the past: Sandy's vision of the injured forest animals briefly flickers to an image of one of his friends (who looks like Pigsy) injured or dead. It's a little unclear as of now whether it's Pigsy, one of Pigsy's relatives, or possibly even the ORIGINAL Pigsy/Zhu Bajie—if it's the latter that could possibly imply that Sandy might also actually be the original Sandy/Sha Wujing from Journey to the West, though there's definitely not quite enough evidence to assume that yet.

Huntsman's character development and hints at him possibly considering turning against Lady Bone Demon were majorly unexpected for arguably the creepiest one of Spider Queen's minions, but combined with Huntsman getting a glimpse of Lady Bone Demon's true form in an earlier episode, it definitely feels like a direction his character could be headed.

 

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Having caught up with all of season 2, I'm really liking where the show is at. It does a much better job of balancing the episodic and continuous elements of the series better than Nexo Knights did, and the more serious and sinister tone we catch glimpses of near the end has me interested in where this will be going in the future. The pacing still feels slightly off, I feel like some things need more explanation or time than they are given, but it works well enough, and I understand most of that comes to an 11 minute runtime.

Spoiler

What really has me excited is that cliffhanger though, very bold to shake things up like that! At first, I was kind of annoyed how the story didn't really resemble that of the Journey to the West and instead was just "powerful teenager fights bad dudes in a city", but now it's actually a journey to the west. I like the set up too, like how the monkey king staff is gone. MK depended on that weapon for much of the early episodes, but season 2 especially have focused on his abilities independent of that, and having it stripped away now works well to leave him in a vulnerable position, but not a hopeless one. He also doesn't have all of the Monkey King's abilities yet either, and isn't overpowered, which makes this work even better! The destruction of the city works well too, since we've had time to get accustomed to it, and having it disappear and to change the entire direction of the show like that shows a boldness that I enjoy. I'm glad they started the way they did and led up to here, this way it makes it a more shocking and engaging story because it's just as much of a change for the audience as it is for the characters. It's risky, and I hope it pays off. I'm excited for what's next!

 

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