7 September 2003 | curtpdx
beautifully restored Shaw Brothers classic
This film version tells an early segment of the lengthy Chinese folk tale Journey to the West. The newly released (in Hong Kong, anyway) DVD version has been digitally restored, and so the visual and audio presentation is at least as good as it was at its 1966 release, with full, rich color and sound (I kept thinking of the restored version of The Wizard of Oz, with the almost-too-bright colors).
The film clearly was made for Chinese audiences who would have been familiar with the story. Consequently, much of the history of Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy is brief to nonexistant, which is a shame, as it's central to understanding how they came to be together. Nonetheless, it's thoroughly enjoyable; even the musical numbers.
Celestial Pictures has also released another story from Journey to the West, Princess Iron Fan, with many of the same characters.