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Aging British 30-somethings will no doubt instantly recognize the faces of the BBC’s new animated 2008 Olympic campaign as the legendary Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy from the awesomely bad 1970s live-action TV series “Magic Monkey,” but kids will be even more stoked to discover this unknown narrative as a newly animated series by GORILLAZ members JAMIE HEWLETT and DAMON ALBARN. Animated by legendary British inkslinger Hewlett with a score composed by Albarn, the Beeb’s new “Monkey” series of campaign animations and multi platform media spots (think mobile, web, and other interactive) is an absolutely radical step for a massive mainstream media company, especially the venerable old guard institution of the BBC. Based on the story “Journey to the West,” a legendary Chinese novel published in the late 1500s and widely renowned as one of the country’s four most important works of fiction, the story follows a monk and his band of disciples as they battle a never-ending array of bad guys and demons on a journey to reclaim a trove of sacred Buddhist scriptures for China. On this quest, the main character of Monkey dazzles in a series of battle scenes which he fights with his magic growing staff from the back of a flying cloud. In the BBC’s new animated spot, says Hewlett, “the idea is that you tell the entire story of Journey to the West in a two-minute opening sequence, which is basically them on their way to the Olympic stadium … this is going to be the sum.   Info: Supertouch

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