By Abbey White
July 17, 2023
Debuting Aug. 18, the Netflix animated film from ‘The Boxtrolls’ director Anthony Stacchi also stars Jo Koy, Stephanie Hsu and BD Wong.
Jimmy O. Yang, Bowen Yang, Jo Koy, Stephanie Hsu and BD Wong voice star in Netflix’s new comedic action-adventure The Monkey King, which sees its titular character battling demons, dragons and his own ego.
Dropping Monday, the animated family film’s more-than-two-minute first look teases Yang’s “most spectacul-errific, amazing-derful” hero Monkey King, in a story set in a time of ancient gods and demons. An outsider in his own community, the Monkey King, along with his trusty companion “stick (voiced by Nan Li),” takes on the challenge of defeating 100 demons and garnering the attention of “the immortal ones.”
With little support from those he grew up around, the Monkey King ventures to a human village, where he accepts the challenge of protecting the community from a fiery demon known as Red Girl (Sophie Wu). After nearly destroying the entire community in the process, he garners the attention of Lin (Jolie Hoang-Rappaport), who requests to join the Monkey King on his quest as his “humble assistant.”
“Hard pass,” Yang’s Monkey King tells her in the trailer before she begs to join him. “Please,” Hoang-Rappaport’s Lin responds. “I just want to do big things someday, like you.”
It’s a partnership that soon leads them to the wrath of the Dragon King (Bowen Yang), who — beyond Monkey King’s own ego — might be their biggest challenge in his effort to prove himself worthy. “Maybe defeating everyone isn’t the answer,” Lin says. “Maybe it’s helping other people.”
The film’s remaining cast includes BD Wong, Ron Yuan, Hoon Lee, Andrew Kishino, Andrew Kishino, Jodi Long, James Sie, Andrew Pang and Kuno Inghram. The film is directed by The Boxtrolls and Open Season’s Anthony Stacchi and features animation and imagery by ReelFX. Peilin Chou (Over the Moon, Abominable) produces alongside Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer), who serves as executive producer.
The Monkey King releases Aug. 18 on Netflix.