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Monkey's Pigsy Cartoon on National TV

Twenty-six episodes of a 52-segment cartoon starring Eight-Commandment Pig, one of the main characters from the Chinese classic Journey to the West, have been completed and will be shown nationwide from Wednesday.


Zhu Youlan, chairman of Wuhan's Jiangtong Cartoon Co. Ltd., said the company had blended philosophy into the mythical story and hoped that it "would be of positive significance in educating and enlightening children."


The company, one of China's four animation companies, began planning the cartoon three years ago and has spent 8 million yuan (US$963,855) on the project so far, Zhu said. He expects the remaining 26 episodes to be finished in May.


China Central Television (CCTV) spent 2.3 million yuan (US$277,108) for the rights to the cartoon.


Journey to the West is a novel based on popular tales dating back many centuries. It is thought to have been published in its present form in the 1570s, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), by scholar Wu Cheng'en (1504?-1582).


The book relates the fantastic adventures of the monk Xuanzang as he travels to India in search of Buddhist scriptures with three companions, the irreverent but resourceful Monkey King, Eight-Commandment Pig and Friar Sand.


The stories of the three protecting Xuanzang against demons, goblins and other enemies are popular with adults and children alike.


A live action Japanese TV series based on the novel and made in the late 1970s, Monkey, has helped popularize the stories in the English-speaking world, renaming Eight-Commandment Pig "Pigsy."


(Xinhua News Agency February 7, 2005)

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