Monkey King: Hero is Back

Saturday, April 9, 2016 - 10:00
Sunday, April 10, 2016 - 12:00
Vancity Theatre (SATURDAY)
1181 Seymour St.
Rio Theatre (SUNDAY)
1660 Broadway
$9 adult; $6 child, youth, senior; $5 each for groups of 10 or more
Tian Xiaopeng


Dubbed in English

The all-powerful Monkey King once roamed freely between Heaven and Earth. After angering the Gods, he was imprisoned in an ice cage deep within the mountains. Five hundred years later, child-snatching monsters attack a small village. The young orphan Jiang Liu’er, a monk in training, escapes to the mountains to save one of the children, and unknowingly disrupts the spell that holds the Monkey King hostage.

To Jiang Liu’er, the story of the Monkey King was long thought to be a fable. Although he’s now been released, the Monkey King is still tethered to earth by a spell, and seems more concerned with freeing himself than helping the villagers. Jiang Liu’er, however, sees him as a legendary hero that will save them from the monsters. With the help of Pigsy, a half man, half pig, and a mythic white dragon, Jiang Liu’er hopes the Monkey King will transcend to greatness once again.

The film is based on Journey to the West, a classic chinese novel that dates to the 16th century. The story has strong roots in Chinese folklore, religion, mythology, and Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. Enduringly popular, this updated animation is a comical action-packed adventure and an extended allegory in which a group of pilgrims journey toward enlightenment by the strength and virtue of cooperation. Hero is Back has broken multiple records, becoming the highest grossing animation of all-time in China, bumping out Kung Fu Panda 2.

Recommended for ages 8+

Themes: finding your purpose, Chinese folklore, buddhism

Parental advisory: superhero fighting; a few instances of strong language; and some scenes may frighten very young children (a mother jumps off a cliff to save her baby; and monsters have sharp teeth and claws)


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