The Incredible King Kong: From 1933 To 2017!
Since his debut in the 1933 movie "King Kong," this massive ape has been entertaining people throughout the decades. It spawned multiple remakes, animated features and even Japanese films pitting him against robots and the legendary Godzilla! Let's take a moment to look into the past with this incredible "King of all beasts."
He was a king and a god in the world he knew, but now he comes to civilization merely a captive - a show to gratify your curiosity.
French poster for the original 1933 film.
The first appearance of Kong was in the 1933 film made by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. In it, a film crew sails to an uncharted island in the hopes of shooting a movie unlike anything the world has seen before.
There they find the natives worship "Kong," a mountainous ape. When Kong takes the leading lady out into the island's jungle, the film crew goes after her. It is then they discover the island is home not only to Kong, but to dinosaurs and other large beasts as well.
This movie had a sequel called "Son of Kong" but since it is about the giant ape's albino son and not Kong himself... we'll just leave that one alone.
Ann Meets Kong
The Toho Generation
The Japanese studio Toho, famous for the Godzilla movies, tried there hand at making Kong movies in the '60s, starting with "King Kong vs. Godzilla" where they pit the two giant monsters against one another. Some critics believe that Kong was meant to represent the resources of the Pacific Islands, while Godzilla represented the nuclear power of the United States. The film was intentionally comical in nature.
The second Toho movie was "King Kong Escapes." This time an evil scientist known as "Dr. Who" builds a robotic Mechani-Kong to mine the highly radioactive Element X. Then Dr. Who goes out to Mondo Island and captures the real Kong. Back at Who's base, Kong is hypnotized and fitted with an earpiece so that the Doctor can control the mighty beast.
These movies are not typically considered canon.
Kong Fighting Godzilla
EAT TREE LIZARD-BREATH!
Kong Takes A Hit From Mechani-Kong
It's as though Kong was trying to talk to the robot before the thing smacks him in the face!
Kong In Animation
"The King Kong Show" was produced by Arthur Rankin Jr. & Jules Bass. This time Kong befriends the Bond family, and goes on various adventures with them fighting things like monsters, robots, and mad scientists.
There isn't much more to say about this cartoon series, other than it is what spawned the movie "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster" (which Toho had planned to be a Kong film), and eventually the aforementioned "King Kong Escapes".
The King Kong Show's Intro
The '76 Remake
In 1976, after all that silliness, the film "King Kong" was remade starring Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange and Charles Grodin. This time an executive for an oil company (Grodin) believes that Kong's island is home to a major oil deposit, despite the warnings of a primate paleontologist (Bridges). They find an actress named Dawn (Lange), which she spells "Dwan" to make it more memorable. She was floating in a life raft, being the sole survivor from a yacht that had blown up.
Other than a few details being different, the rest of this movie's plot is fairly true to its source material.
Kong Saves Dawn
King Kong (2005)
This remake actually includes the original characters, at least in name, from the 1933 film. This movie had a budget of $207 million!
Like the original: it opens in New York where an out-of-work actress is hired to go out on an expedition. While at sea, the ship's crew begin talking about the legend of "Skull Island" and the stories begin to worry the film-director (Jack Black). He tries to have the ship turn around, but they are enveloped in a fog and crash upon the rocks encircling the island.
Once again, this remake follows the original movie pretty close. This time however we get to see Kong face off against a Vastatosaurus Rex, the fictional "evolved form" of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
While the film didn't do as well at the box office as expected, it did manage to rake in over $550 million worldwide!
Kong In Central Park
King of Skull Island (2017)
This is the end of our journey, but before we go: here is a trailer for the new "Kong: King of Skull Island" to tide us over until we can see this reboot in theaters!
If We Come Back...