Parents' Guide to

The New Legends of Monkey

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Campy fantasy-adventure reboot is silly fun for kids.

TV Netflix Drama 2018
The New Legends of Monkey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 8+

GREAT “Pre-Teen” Epic War Series

When they’ve outgrown Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles, but you don’t want them watching R-Rated flicks filled with gore and foul language, this is an excellent compromise, and full of pleasant surprises. I’ll get the obvious detractor out of the way: For adults, the acting and script delivery will seem overdone—there isn’t the level of nuance and subtlety we’d expect from a serious show geared towards a grown-up audience. That being said, unlike the linear plot lines and extreme caricatures of childhood shows, there is here just the right amount of complexity in the characters and their allegiances, without making it (forever) ambiguous which “side” is ultimately good or evil, right or wrong. It’s the plot line equivalent of graduating from checkers to the basics of chess. Through the journeys of the protagonist, children can learn a great many life lessons: 1. Bravery and courage are virtues worth pursuing 2. There’s more than one side to every story, and one shouldn’t form alliances until gathering information from multiple sources (There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel; One side seems right, until the other is given a chance to present their case) 3. Virtues and vices can span all persons of all ages appearances: The casting is wonderfully diverse and there are no general correlations between the characters’ physical properties and their moral or ethical alignments (aside from the occasional demon looking like an obviously and supernaturally evil villain). I’m not recommending children be planted in front of the show to binge-watch it without adult inclusion, but it’s one of the most tolerable series’ I’ve found to watch and discuss with my son. I love how the production quality utilizes techniques adult viewers have come to expect, and even the choice of architecture, imagery, accents, and music allows for a wide range of “projections” by viewers into the story line. You get the scent of the ancient orient, but it’s mingled with a wide variety of accents, with European Medieval structure and social culture. It’s actually brilliantly blended, and without promoting any particular controversial agenda—a testimony to profound intentionality on a modern sociocultural level. Keep in mind, it’s intense, scary, and the setting is that of engagement in an epic, ongoing battle between good and evil. But if your kids are old enough to handle that sense of underlying reality, there are few shows as age appropriate and tolerable as this one. I’ve listed it as “10+,” but my 8 year old son who takes martial arts is enthralled, and asking wonderful questions. I might hesitate, however, to recommend that my social, kind-hearted, 9-year old daughter start in on it until she’s older, and even then only if she finds it interesting and entertaining.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
4 people found this helpful.
age 6+

Fun show for the whole family

Our 3 boys (14,6, and 5) have really enjoyed this show. The action is clean and there is no sex or swearing. Finally something I don’t have to worry about my boys watching.
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (7):

Kids love a dark (but not scary!) mystery, and this cheerful, goofy show fits the bill, with its easy-to-grasp premise, relatable characters, and supernatural action. The original Japanese show, known as Monkey or Monkey Magic in its dubbed-in-English form, was a cult hit for kids overseas in the late '70s and early '80s, and this remake is timed just right for nostalgia-watching, since these kids now have kids of their own. The New Legends of Monkey is pitched right, too, with enough adventure to keep kids interested, and hammy, campy humor that'll please parents.

In fact, the whole enterprise has the vibe of vintage sword-and-sorcery shows like Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but aimed at younger viewers. Most episodes have messages that seem tailor-made for tweens: Follow your heart but use your head, stay true to yourself, hope must never die, etc. The show's not-too-scary scene-stealing villains are given to flowery speeches, eye-popping outfits, and pretty wimpy villainy. And Tripitaka's group of four quest buddies is sweet and supportive through every adventure. If you're up for a fantasy epic you can watch with your second-grader, give this one a try.

TV Details

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