Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Xiyouji - Where was it filmed


Recommended Posts

There is a version of Xiyouji 西游记 (not animated) that is regularly broadcast on the mainland. Anybody know where it was filmed?

I just assume it was filmed off of the mainland for two reasons:

1) Quality is too good for mainland. My understanding is that this production was done 20 years ago. I just can't imagine the mainland was capable of such a production at that time.

2) Dubbing - It is apparent to me that the actors are not speaking Putonghua. At best they could be speaking Cantonese, though I suspect they are speaking Taiwanese.

My wife insists it is a mainland production and explains away the dubbing by saying the actors were too lazy to memorize the lines so they just said random stuff during filming and then dubbed it later. Sounds like a rationalization to me.

Edited by sthubbar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're going to need to be specific about the version, I think. The one best known in the West - as Monkey Magic - was produced by a Japanese studio, but filmed in China. There's also a CCTV version from the 1980s, among others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, Roddy, thanks that was a great reference. Yes, it looks like this version.

Weird, it says it is produced by CCTV, though I can't find a reference anywhere that says where it was filmed, much less what language was spoken when it was filmed.

Why does it appear to be dubbed? Is it possible they were speaking Shanghainese?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you serious?! I guess it just goes to show the huge difference between the West and East or at least between American and China.

In American, two things that would kill almost any movie or film are 1) subtitles and/or 2) dubbing.

It is not uncommon to hear people say, "I'm watching this film/TV to relax I don't want to have to read" And dubbing is not done as often so when it is done it is quite annoying and Americans will mock those films, such as when a rare foreign language film is dubbed into English.

In China it is just the opposite. Due to the difficulty of people to universally understand the spoken language, subtitle are added to probably 97.3% of all broadcast video. As far as dubbing is concerned, the amount of foreign material, especially from Korean, Taiwan, and HK is so great that the Mainlanders don't even notice if the sounds and people's lip have no correspondence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very few movies are Taiwanese spoken, and I suspect that 20 years ago virtually no movie with any budget to speak of would have been Taiwanese spoken.

Same for Shanghainese.

Chinese movies (that is movies made in greater China) are generally either Cantonese or Mandarin spoken by the time they reach the screen. What they were speaking during the filming we'll never know, but I think it's usually also Mandarin or Cantonese.

HK movies are almost always at least partially dubbed, I've been told that that practice started because HK is a noisy city, so it was very difficult to get the sound right during filming, and so they would add it in afterwards. Nowadays a lot of movies have a pan-Chinese or even pan-Asian cast, so some people always have to be dubbed, whatever language the movie is going to be in in the end.

Different countries have different demands of movies. Apparently Americans don't like subtitles (or dubbing); Dutch don't like dubbing except in children's movies, but are so used to subtitling that they almost miss it when it's not there; Germans traditionally dub everything, but I believe in recent years they've started subtitling a bit more. Chinese are accustomed to both dubbing and subtitles. Korean and Japanese soaps, HK movies, etc etc are all dubbed in Mandarin and enjoyed all over Asia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

according the referecen given by you ,it is absolutely a chinese version.started to shoot in 1982 finished in 1987(the first version). it's the most popular TV show in china.

the monkey king was dubbed by Liyang who is a famous host and good at dubbing.

tried to make it sounds like a monkey speaking.maybe the rest of main charactor were

dubbed too.but i'm not sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given a lot of it was filmed on location, i guess it might have just been too difficult to get sound recorded up to the standard they wanted. Or maybe some people look good and some people sound good, so they mixed it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many Chinese show use a lot of dubbing, for several reasons (I'm guessing, but these would all be good reasons):

- Some of the actors don't speak good putonghua

- It's easier to dub the lines later than the properly record the speech in some scenes (think large outdoor scenes)

- It's far easier to do sound processing if you have a separate tone track

Of course, then you have HK movies for mainland audiences, and vice versa, or Taiwanese shows in HK, etc.

In Germany, blockbusters are all dubbed, but art movies and alternative stuff usually isn't -- probably because it would be too expensive. I've never understood the idea of dubbing. People don't dub the Beatles, how can they dub Al Pacino? If people are to lazy to read subtitles, there are plenty of Mickey Mouse movies for them to watch...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say dubbing is not always a bad thing

back in the 80s and early 90s

most hk movies had a mandarin version

those dubbings were of really high quality

some, like the 周星驰 series, were even more funny than the original cantonese version

so are some japanese cartoons

like 海贼王(cantonese) 蜡笔小新(mandarin) etc

those are nothing less than the japanese original

go back to 西游记

I didn't think about whether it was dubbed or not when I watched it

maybe I didn't watch carefully enough, I was a little child at that time

but as I can remember, the dialogues sounded natural

the dubbing (if any) would be more likely done by the original actor

and that would be most probably because of some technical problems

recording sound in the wild like others have mentioned

in that case it doesn't really matter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What criteria did you use for calling it “too good to be Chinese-made”? In the article from the link below, it mentions of the production by CCTV. In case you don’t read Chinese, I write a rough translation of the relevant segment.


Restricted by the technological condition and budget at that time, the filming of the first part didn’t go well, and lasted 5 years. It wasn’t uncommon that an actor was designated to multiple roles. Ma De-Hua and Xiang Han played more roles than any one else. Besides Zhu Ba-Jie, Ma De-Hua acted as numerous minor gods, the stranger, the mountain-god, and the ambassador; Xiang Han wasn’t only responsible for directing the action and art, but also played Shun-Feng-Er, Gao Cai, the land-god, Yellow Lion Demon, the bandit, the Buddhist god, etc.

A great deal of “simple” filming techniques were employed, whose applications could be found in science fiction films from the early-mid 20th century. For instance, to shoot scenes of people flying upward from the flat land, the film stock was put upside-down when the actors were jumping from high places. The appearance and disappearance of the gods in the drama, was wholly with pyrotechnic display, which was the most used special effect. Many scenes described in the book weren’t seen in the tele-adaptation for that matter, e.g. Ne-Zha supposedly transformed into the form of having 3 heads and 6 arms to engage in fighting. However, the special effect used was considered the most advanced high-tech in China of the time, and greatly appreciated by the audience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...