‘The Monkey King’: Coming to Netflix in August 2023 and What We Know So Far

A look at Netflix's big upcoming animated feature film from director Anthony Stacchi.

Jacob Robinson What's on Netflix Avatar
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Picture: Netflix

Netflix’s adaptation of the 16th-century Chinese tale, Journey to the West, is just around the corner. Here we’ll keep track of everything you need to know about The Monkey King, including cast news, production updates, trailers, and the Netflix release date.

The Monkey King is an upcoming animated Netflix Original adventure film directed by Anthony Stacchi and an adaptation of the classic Chinese tale Journey to the West. Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman wrote the screenplay.

It was first announced in 2017 alongside five other feature film projects from Pearl Studio. The project was then attached to Netflix in 2021 and tentatively scheduled for release in 2023. It was attached to Netflix alongside Mech Cadet and Boons and Curses, the latter of which is no longer moving forward at Netflix.

the monkey king netflix movie

Picture: Netflix

The primary animation studio behind The Monkey King is Pearl Studio, based in Shanghai, China. They’re a subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation, founded in 2012, and have worked on projects like Kung Fu Panda. For Netflix, they worked on Over the Moon.

Netflix Animation is also attached to the project with Star Overseas, Reel FX Animation Studios, and Tangent Animation also attached.

Peilin Chou and Kendra Haaland serve as producers on the movie, with Stephen Chow listed as an executive producer. Toby Chu serves as the composer on the project.

Chow, when the project was first attached to Netflix, said:

“The Monkey King has endured for generations with his unique character and spirit. I’m so excited to be collaborating with Tony, Peilin, and everyone at Netflix to bring this joyful tale to audiences worldwide!”

Let’s dive into the preview, but we’ll begin with the official trailer released in July 2023:


When is the Netflix release date for The Monkey King?

We already knew for some time that The Monkey King was due to be released in 2023. However, Netflix recently revealed in their Summer Kids & Family slate that The Monkey King will be released on Friday, August 18th, 2023.

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What is the plot of The Monkey King?

The Monkey King will follow the beats and is based beloved Chinese story of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King of the tale Journey to the West.

Netflix describes the project as the following:

“The Monkey King is an action-packed family comedy that follows a monkey and his magical fighting Stick as they team up on an epic quest where they must go head to head against gods, demons, dragons, and the greatest enemy of all, Monkey’s own ego!”

On the Netflix page for the movie (where you can set a reminder for when it releases), the description is as follows:

“After the Dragon King steals his staff, the Monkey King sets off on a mission to get it back. But his greatest enemy proves to be his own pride.”

the monkey king netflix journey to the west

The Monkey King Source Material


Who are the cast members of The Monkey King?

It looks like The Monkey King will have a talented cast of voice actors that we can’t wait to see in action.

A few familiar faces and voices will star in the feature, such as B.D Wong, who reprised his role of Dr. Henry Wu in Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Hsu has previously starred in one Netflix Original episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt but is now mostly known for starring in the Oscar-winning Everything Everywhere All At Once.

On May 20th, 2021, Netflix’s Family social account highlighted that the movie would feature an all-Asian voice cast.

the monkey king netflix animated cast

Cast grid for Netflix’s The Monkey King

Below is the full cast of The Monkey King:

  • Jimmy O. Yang (Space Force, Patriots Day) as Monkey King
  • Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as Mayor’s Wife.
  • BD Wong (Jurassic Park) as Buddha
  • Jodi Long (The Hot Chick) as Wangman
  • Hoon Lee (Warrior) as Jade Emperor
  • Jolie Hoang-Rappaport (Watchmen) as Lin
  • Andrew Pang (Alaska Daily) as Mayor
  • Bowen Yang (High Maintenance) as Dragon King
  • Jo Koy as Benbo
  • Ron Yuan (Mulan) as Babbo
  • James Sie (Stillwater) as Elder Monkey
  • Andrew Kishino (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Yama

What will be the age rating of The Monkey King?

On March 15th, 2023, the movie was given a PG rating from the MPA, with the age rating stating it was “Rated PG for action/violence and brief
thematic material.”

On Netflix itself, the movie will carry a TV-Y7 rating.

The Monkey King u 00 57 52 12

THE MONKEY KING – (L-R) MONKEY KING (Jimmy O. Yang) and WANGMU (voiced by Jodi Long). Cr: Netflix © 2023

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THE MONKEY KING – (L-R) MONKEY KING (Jimmy O. Yang) and DRAGON KING (voiced by Bowen Yang). Cr: Netflix © 2023

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THE MONKEY KING – (L-R) MONKEY KING (Jimmy O. Yang) and LIN (voiced by Jolie Hoang-Rappaport). Cr: Netflix © 2023


For more on Netflix’s upcoming slate of animated movies, check out our preview of upcoming titles, including The Magician’s Elephant, Nimona, Leo, Saving Bikini Bottom, and much more.

Are you excited to watch The Monkey King on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by

Jacob joined What's on Netflix in 2018 as a fulltime writer having worked in numerous other industries until that point. Jacob covers all things Netflix whether that's TV or movies but specializes in covering new anime and K-dramas. Resides in Norwich in the United Kingdom.

 Poster Rating: PG
Language: English
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Director: Anthony Stacchi
Cast: Stephanie Hsu, BD Wong, Hoon Lee
Added to Netflix: August 18th, 2023


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