Monday, January 24, 2011

Alakazam the Great

"Journey to the West," is a classic story of Buddhist values. As you can imagine it is not quite as well known here in the west. So when American International released a cartoon version in 1960, they felt some tinkering was needed.  Oh hell boys and girls, they took the story and ran it over five or six times and then patched it up like road kill Frankenstein.  Still, the results are sort of funky fun.

So there's a magical and the beasts need a new king.  Along comes Alakazam who is brave and clever.  He jumps down a waterfall to an underwater city to prove he has the right stuff to be king.  Unfortunately, he's a very poor, egotistical, and spoiled king.  Upset to think that humans can be be better than him he leaves his cute monkey girlfriend DeeDee to learn magic from Merlin.  Gaining vast mystical power he invades the heavens to eat the forbidden fruit.  He even challenges the king of everything.  He loses and is imprisoned.  Only DeeDee visits him everyday giving him food.  Finally, now humbled he is freed and is asked to accompany the King's son on a pilgrimage.  Demons seek to stop them, so Alakazam finds allies in the shape of a big talking pig and a mole like cannibal.  Together they fight the bullish demon king and Alakazam finally learns his lessons.

The songs are campy.  The animation are funky.  Oh, and Jonathan Winters is the voice of the talking pig.  Clearly, this is something to see and see probably in a large group to really enjoy the fun.

Here is a more correct version of the monkey king

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