西游记 (Xīyoú Jì), ”The Journey to the West”, is one of the Four Great Novels and one of the most iconic stories ever.
Over 100 chapters, it follows a monk on a mission to retrieve Buddhist scriptures from the land in the West. He has to face all kinds of demons on the way, but gets help from four servants, the most famous being the legendary Monkey King.
The most popular rendition of the story is a 1986 CCTV series, shot with just one camera, and on a budget of just 6 million RMB. Literally everyone in China has seen it. Its theme music is more recognized than Star Wars is in America, and its actors are mega-stars. The Monkey King actor, for example, is a fourth generation monkey actor who originally got the role because his brother (another monkey actor) died of leukemia.
Enjoy the picture of former Premier Zhōu Ēnlái tickling the Monkey King. Baidu Images