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You're referring to the story of the Monkey King, which comes most directly
from "Journey to the West," one of the most famous Chinese classical
"novels" (the version we have today was written about 400 years ago).  At
the bare bones level, it tells the story of a Chinese monk who travels to
India to collect Buddhist scriptures to take back to China.  The novel,
though, is madly allegorical and fantastic--the main characters are
animal/human hybrids, and there's a healthy injection of ancient Chinese
folktales and magic into the proceedings.

The story of the Monkey King has been adapted, rewritten, alluded to, and
ripped off in just about every existing medium of expressive communication,
from movies to comic books to tv series.  It's been adapted so many times
that it's impossible to tell which version you're referring to.  One highly
entertaining entry point to the story, though, is Stephen Chiau's wildly
ambitious, two-part cinematic reconfiguration from 1995, titled in English
as "A Chinese Odyssey" (Part 1 is called "Cinderella" and Part 2 is
"Pandora's Box").  Easily available from Hong Kong movie sources everywhere.

Steve Fore

At 06:55 AM 10/2/01 -0400, you wrote:
>This sounds a little like one I saw as a child. American International
>released it as "Alakazam the Great" but I don't recall the real title....
>
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