China is going mad for this 6-minute-long Pepsi ad based on a Buddhist myth

2016 is the year of the monkey.

Well, not until February 8. But that has not stopped Pepsi from racking up over

But that has not stopped Pepsi from racking up over 15 million views in a week for its new 6-minute-long ad, “The Monkey King Family.”

The video is not actually about a monkey, but an actor in the 1980s TV show “The Monkey King,” explained Ad Age, where we first spotted the epic video. ¬†

“The Monkey King to us is like ‘Star Wars.”” said Danielle Jin, PepsiCo’s VP in China. “The story itself is sort of like ‘Batman’ or ‘Spiderman’ meets ‘Lord of the Rings.'”

The tale derives from the classic Chinese novel, “Journey to the West.” The book is about a Taoist monkey who is imprisoned under a mountain by an angry Buddha, after rebelling against heaven. Monkey eventually escapes by joining the epic quest of Buddhist monk Tripitaka to bring back some sacred scriptures from India, accompanied by a pig monster and a water monster. (A version of “Journey to the West” was also dubbed into English and ran on TV in the UK, under the title “Monkey,” from 1978 to 1980, where it was regarded as a delightfully weird kids’ show.)

While there are several versions of the advert being shared online, the 6-minute version is the most popular.

“People are looking for longer and more substantial content to view,” ¬†Director Andrew Lok said.

The video is part of PepsiCo’s ‘Bring Happiness Home,’ which started in 2012.

Here’s a look at the opening and closing titles of the UK version of “Monkey”:

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