King Kong (キングコング?) is a giant ape monster created by Kingu KonguRKO Pictures that first appeared in the 1933 film, King Kong. His first appearance in a Toho film was the 1962 Godzilla film, King Kong vs. Godzilla.
In all of his appearances, Kong mostly resembles a giant silverback gorilla, with either light black or brown fur. Kong varies between knuckle-walking like a real gorilla and walking bipedally and upright like a human, sometimes utilizing both forms of locomotion in the same film. In the 2005 film, Kong's entire body is covered in scars, in order to give him the appearance of being both old and battle-hardened.
In all of his appearances, Kong is portrayed as a tragic and sympathetic monster. Kong lives a very solitary and difficult existence, constantly being attacked by the vicious giant creatures that live on his island. Kong rarely attacks unless provoked, and is capable of causing mass destruction due to his size and strength, which causes human beings to fear and attack him. Kong has a soft spot for human women, and will do anything to protect a woman that he likes, whether it be battling against another monster or battling military forces.
Kong demonstrates at least semi-sapience in all of his film appearances. He frequently utilizes environmental objects while fighting, and learns over the course of a battle. In the 2005 film, Kong repeated the sign for "beautiful" to Ann Darrow, who had shown it to him earlier, showing just how intelligent he is.
In the original 1933 film, the 1976 remake, King Kong Lives, and the 2005 remake, Kong is among the last living members of a giant species of ape that lives on the mysterious Skull Island, which is inhabited by other giant creatures as well as a tribe of natives that worship him as a god. Supplementary materials for the 2005 film reveal that Kong is the last member of a species called Megaprimatus kong, which likely descended from Gigantopithecus, the largest primate to ever live, rather than gorillas.
In King Kong vs. Godzilla, Kong instead comes from an island called Farou Island, where he is worshiped by the local natives as their mighty god. In King Kong Escapes, Kong is a legendary giant ape that resides on Mondo Island.
King Kong was created by Merian C. Cooper, who licensed the character and story to RKO Pictures. RKO released the original King Kong film in 1933. Later that same year, RKO released Son Of Kong as a sequel to the film. Though a cancelled film pitting Kong against a giant version of Frankenstein's monster entitled King Kong vs. Prometheus was reportedly considered, King Kong did not appear in another film until 1962.Skull Island by an American film crew led by Carl Denham. The natives on the island kidnapped Ann Darrow, the crew's leading lady, and sacrificed her to Kong, who carried Ann off into the jungles of the island. At one point, Kong left Ann on a tree and wandered off to deal with the rest of the film crew, who were pursuing him. As the crew attempted to cross a chasm on a crude log bridge, Kong lifted the log and twisted it, causing much of the crew to fall to their deaths in the abyss below. Jack Driscoll survived, and crossed the chasm to rescue Ann. Meanwhile, a Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered Ann on the tree and attempted to eat her. Kong arrived and battled the T-Rex, and killed it by breaking its jaw. Kong took Ann to his home in a cave on a mountain, where he was attacked by a giant snake. Jack reached the cave and reunited with Ann, and the two managed to escape from Kong while he was distracted by a swarm of pterodactyls. Enraged, Kong followed the two to the native's village, tearing down the wall and wreaking havoc. Using a store of smoke bombs he brought on the voyage, Carl Denham and his crew managed to knock Kong unconscious and subdue him.
Denham brought Kong back to New York on board the crew's ship, the Venture, intending to profit from showing Kong to the public. Denham arranged a show at a theater in New York, where he publicly showed the captured Kong to an audience, accompanied by Jack and Ann. When photographers began taking pictures of Ann, Kong believed they were attacking her and broke free from his chains, destroying the theater in a fit of rage. Ann, Jack, and Denham escaped unharmed, but Kong broke free from the theater into the streets, where he overturned cars, stomped on fleeing citizens, and destroyed a train. Kong began to scale buildings looking for Ann. He eventually found her in a hotel room that she fled to, and abducted her again. Finding himself pursued and attacked by police, Kong climbed the Empire State Building to escape. The military sent a fleet of biplanes armed with machine guns to stop Kong and save Ann. Atop the Empire State Building, Kong swatted down and destroyed several of the planes, but was mortally wounded by machine gun fire. Kong set Ann down gently and fell off the building, plummeting to the streets below. As crowds gathered around Kong's dead body, a bystander remarked that the airplanes finally got Kong, to which Denham replied that "It was beauty killed the beast."
- Main article: Kiko.
In 1962, RKO licensed the character of King Kong to Toho Company Ltd., who produced a crossover film featuring King Kong and Godzilla. Toho considered producing another King Kong film in 1966, Operation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs. Ebirah, but replaced Kong with Godzilla and produced Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. Toho then co-produced another King Kong movie, King Kong Escapes, with Rankin/Bass the very next year. Toho's rights to King Kong expired shortly afterward, but they still used the character in their TV series Go! Greenman in 1974, under the name "Gorilla."Giant Octopus attacked the village, and Kong came to fight it. He managed to drive the octopus away, and the natives helped put him to sleep. He was transported to Japan, but he broke loose of his chains and swam towards the shores. He met Godzilla on the mainland, and tried to fight him. The fight did not last long, because one shot from Godzilla's nuclear breath sent him running. King Kong later attacked Tokyo, and destroyed most of it. A special chemical was poured on Kong, and the native's song put him to sleep again. The military attached balloons to King Kong to transport him to Godzilla so that the military could destroy the both at the same time. The two monsters fought, but Godzilla was more powerful. Had threw Kong on the ground, but he harnessed the power of lightning. Kong and Godzilla fought on the side of Mt. Fuji, eventually tumbling off it and into the ocean. Kong emerged victorious, and swam back to Farou Island.
Mondo Island by a joint expedition of American and Japanese scientists, led by Carl Nelson. When Susan Watson, a member of the expedition, was attacked by Gorosaurus, Kong saved her and defeated Gorosaurus. Later, when the crew tried to leave Mondo in their submarine, they were attacked by a Giant Sea Serpent. Kong swam out to sea and fought off the snake, allowing the sub to escape safely. New of Kong's discovery alerted the evil Dr. Hu, who kidnapped Kong and placed him under mind control, forcing him to mine a radioactive element called Element X so that Hu could sell it to the mysterious Madam Piranha. Nelson, Susan, and their other crew member Jiro Nomura arrived at Hu's base in the North Pole and managed to free Kong, leading him back to Tokyo. Enraged, Hu sent his robot version of Kong, Mechani-Kong, to Tokyo to kill Kong. Mechani-Kong kidnapped Susan and climbed the Tokyo Tower, and Kong pursued them. Kong rescued Susan and battled Mechani-Kong, and eventually managed to cause Mechani-Kong to fall from the tower and onto the street, destroying it. Kong then attacked Dr. Hu's submarine in Tokyo Bay and destroyed it, killing Hu and ending his evil plans. Kong then returned to Mondo Island to live in peace.
(ゴリラ?) due to the rights of the character for use by Toho being lost, also appears in episode 38 of the series Go! Greenman titled GoriraGreenman vs. Gorilla. In the episode, Gorilla was a creation of Tonchiki, created for the sole purpose of retrieving the blood of children in order for Maoh to escape the Underworld. After being teleported to the overworld and attempting to kidnap a young boy, Greenman was signaled to Earth, where he did battle with the monster. Eventually, Tonchiki cast a spell on Gorilla, causing him to grow to giant size. Luckily, Greenman also grew and Gorilla was eventually defeated. The King Kong suit used is from 1967's King Kong Escapes. In the series, he was the thirty-ninth monster to battle Greenman.
The King Kong Show. This series featured Kong befriending a human family and protecting them from various monsters and villains. The success of the series led Rankin-Bass to approach Toho, who produced King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1962, and offer to co-produce a new King Kong movie with them. The resulting film, King Kong Escapes, borrowed several elements from The King Kong Show, including the monster Mechani-Kong, Kong's island home Mondo Island, and the recurring human villain Dr. Hu.
In the early 1970's, Universal Pictures, who owned King Kong's copyright in the United States, planned to produce a remake of the 1933 film entitled The Legend of King Kong. However, Dino De Laurentiis and Paramount Pictures purchased the film rights to King Kong from RKO and produced a remake instead. Paramount's 1976 remake was a modest success, and ten years later De Laurentiis Entertainment Group produced a sequel entitled King Kong Lives, which received very negative reviews.
When the expedition returned to New York, Wilson arranged a grand exposition for Kong to promote his company. He imprisoned Kong in a giant metal cage, and placed a giant crown on his head. When Kong was mobbed by hordes of media reporters taking pictures, he became enraged and tore through the metal bars restraining him. Wilson tried to run away but was stepped on and killed by Kong. Kong rampaged through the city, destroying cars, stomping on fleeing citizens, and even destroying a train. Prescott and Dwan escaped over the Queensboro Bridge, expecting that Kong would not be able to swim across the East River. However, Kong merely waded across the river in pursuit of Dwan. Kong found Dwan in an abandoned bar and carried her off. Kong noticed the World Trade Center in the distance, and it reminded him of his lair back on his island. Kong climbed the South Tower with Dwan, while the military pursued him. When Kong reached the top of the tower, he was attacked by a group of soldiers wielding flamethrowers. Kong jumped across the two towers and landed on the North Tower. Out of options, the military sent helicopters armed with machine guns to take Kong down. Kong set Dwan down and swatted at the helicopters, but was mercilessly blasted by machine gun bullets, causing him to bleed profusely. After destroying two choppers, Kong succumbed to his injuries and fell from the tower, plummeting onto the World Trade Center plaza. As crowds of reporters and spectators gathered around Kong, Dwan approached him and looked at him tearfully just as his heart stopped beating.Lady Kong" was discovered in Borneo by Hank Mitchell and brought back to the Atlantic Institute to provide blood for Kong. The transplant was a success, and Kong was revived. However, Kong and Lady Kong mated while in captivity at the Institute, and escaped together. The United States army relentlessly pursued both apes, and tracked them down in the wilderness. Kong fell from a cliff and presumably died in the resulting battle, and Lady Kong was captured and taken to a military base. At the base, it was discovered that Lady Kong was pregnant with Kong's child. Meanwhile, Kong survived the fall and rampaged through the countryside in search of Lady Kong, although his artificial heart was slowly failing. As Lady Kong went into labor, King Kong arrived near the military base and was attacked by the military. Kong was gruesomely wounded in the battle, but managed to destroy the military's forces and kill the insane army colonel who tried to kill him and his mate. Kong entered the base and collapsed in front of Lady Kong, who had just given birth to their son, Baby Kong. Gravely injured and with his heart about to shut down, Kong smiled as he looked at his newborn child before finally dying. Following Kong's death, Lady Kong and Baby Kong were transported back to Borneo to live in peace together.
In 1976, a federal judge ruled that the character and film rights to King Kong (aside from the 1933 film, which belonged to RKO, and the 1976 film and its sequel, which belonged to De Laurentiis and Paramount) belonged to Merian C. Cooper's estate, and the majority of the rights to King Kong reverted to Cooper's son, Richard. Cooper almost immediately sold all of his rights to Universal Pictures, who retains them to this day. Universal considered producing their own remake of the 1933 film in the late 1990's, but the releases of a remake of Mighty Joe Young and GODZILLA in 1998 caused them to postpone it. Universal finally produced a remake in 2005, which was financially and critically successful. In 2014, Universal entered a legal partnership with Legendary Pictures, and the two companies began production a new film, Kong: Skull Island, set for a 2017 release.Skull Island in 1933, when a film crew led by Carl Denham arrived on a ship called the Venture to shoot a film. The natives of the island did not take kindly to the film crew's presence, and attacked them when they set foot on the island, killing a member of the expedition. The crew returned to the Venture and remained on board, debating whether or not to return to the island and continue shooting. At night, the natives used small boats to get onto the Venture and kidnapped Ann Darrow, the leading lady. They brought her back to their village on the island and attempted to sacrifice her to their god, Kong. Kong soon emerged from the jungle and grabbed the terrified Ann, then took her away into the jungle. The film crew ran onto the island to rescue Ann, and followed Kong into the jungle. Kong took Ann to his lair, where she saw the remains of several of Kong's previous sacrifices. Ann tried to get free, but to no avail. Ann tried to distract Kong by dancing, which caused Kong to laugh. When Ann became tired and refused to perform anymore, Kong stormed off angrily. Kong then encountered the search party crossing a log bridge spanning a ravine. Kong grabbed the bridge and twisted it, sending the party falling into the chasm below, where most of them were killed by gigantic insects. Jack Driscoll managed to escape from the pit and climb to the other side of the ravine, then continued pursuing Kong.
While Kong was gone, Ann tried to run away but found herself being pursued by a Foetodon, a giant crocodile. Ann ran from it, only to witness the Foetodon being eaten by a Vastatosaurus Rex, the modern descendant of the tyrannosaurus. The V-Rex then chased Ann and was joined by another member of its kind. Kong arrived just in time and tried to fight the V-Rexes off. A third V-Rex entered the battle and the odds were turned against Kong. Kong incapacitated one of the V-Rexes, but the other two continued relentlessly attacking him and Ann. Eventually, Kong and the two remaining V-Rexes fell over a cliff and into a thick layer of vines. Kong grappled with the V-Rexes, causing one to become entangled and trapped in the vines. Kong grabbed Ann and fell from the vines to the ground. One of the V-Rexes followed them and continued its attack. Kong fought with the V-Rex once again, and this time gained the upper hand. Kong restrained the V-Rex and pried its jaws apart until they snapped, killing it. Ann, grateful for Kong saving her life, allowed herself to be taken by Kong back to his mountain lair. Kong set Ann down in his lair and sat on a ledge overlooking the sunset. Ann approached Kong and tried to communicate with him using sign language. Suddenly, they were attacked by a swarm of Terapusmordax, giant bats. As Kong fought the bats off, Jack arrived in Kong's lair and found Ann. The two of them began rappelling down a vine to escape, but Kong noticed and tried to grab them. Ann and Jack jumped from the vine into the water below. Enraged, Kong stormed off from his lair and tried to reach the water below. Jack and Ann retreated to the village, where Carl and the remaining members of the expedition were waiting. Kong arrived and broke down the wall. The crew used chloroform bombs to subdue Kong, knocking him unconscious on the shore. Denham decided to bring Kong back to New York and display him as "The Eighth Wonder of the World."
Kong was taken back to New York on board the Venture, and was placed in chrome steel chains and put on display inside a Broadway theater. As the crowds were stunned by Kong and photographers aggressively took pictures of him, Kong became agitated. He broke free from his chains and grabbed the actress pretending to be Ann. Realizing she was a fake, he tossed her aside and tore through the theater, eventually emerging out into the streets of New York. Kong overturned cars and smashed lampposts in rage, searching for Ann. Witnessing the destruction Kong was causing because of her, Ann walked into the open near Kong and allowed him to pick her up again. Kong calmed down and took Ann to Central Park, where he slid on a frozen lake. As Kong began to regain his footing, he was thrown forward when a tank shell blasted the ice. With the military pursuing him, Kong fled to the Empire State Building and climbed it. After reaching the top of the building, Kong sat and looked out over the sunrise. He looked at Ann and made the sign for "beautiful," showing that he understood and remembered the sign she showed him earlier. The peace was interrupted when a group of biplanes armed with machine guns flew near the building and opened fire on Kong. Kong set Ann down and roared defiantly at the planes. He swatted at them and managed to destroy some of them. Unfortunately for Kong, the gunfire was too much and he began to succumb to his wounds. Kong slumped over the top of the tower and looked at Ann sorrowfully, then slid off of the building and plummeted to his death in the streets below. As crowds gathered around Kong's colossal corpse, someone remarked that the airplanes got Kong. Carl Denham sorrowfully said that it wasn't the airplanes, as "It was beauty killed the beast."
In 2014, Universal and Legendary announced a new King Kong film to be released in 2016, later pushed back to 2017. This film will reportedly be an origin story for King Kong and will be set in a new continuity not related to any previous film.
In all of his film appearances, King Kong displays immense physical strength. Kong is able to fight toe-to-toe with various giant creatures, such as dinosaurs and giant snakes, and come out on top. Kong exhibits impressive agility, as he can jump over great distances (such as the 250 meters between 1 and 2 WTC) and land on his feet. Kong also demonstrates durability when he is able to continue fighting against airplanes (helicopters in the 1976 version) and even destroy some of them after being riddled with bullets. In the 1976 film, Kong survives getting shredded by machine gun fire and falling from the top of the South Tower of the World Trade Center before falling into a coma.
Kong is also remarkably intelligent. He makes use of environmental objects like trees or rocks when fighting, and even when overwhelmed by more powerful or more numerous opponents he can think on his feet and find a way to win. In the 2005 film, Kong demonstrated the ability to understand and use sign language to Ann.
In both of his Toho incarnations, King Kong is an extremely capable melee combatant, using his large arms, powerful muscles, and mighty fists to strike fear in foes such as Gorosaurus, the Giant Octopus, and even Godzilla himself. In his first incarnation in King Kong vs. Godzilla, the mighty primate cannot be harmed by electrical currents, and instead, feeds on their power in order to revitalize or awaken him from a state of unconsciousness. He can also use those same electrical currents, whether they are man-made or natural, to allow him to release surges of electricity from his hands, a powerful tool against Godzilla. The second incarnation of the Toho Kong who appeared in King Kong Escapes lacked these abilities but instead was immune to the radioactive Element X.
King Kong appears to be particularly resistant to Godzilla's atomic breath. He is hit by it multiple times throughout King Kong vs. Godzilla, and usually suffers little more than having some of his fur singed.
- King Kong (1933)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla
- King Kong Escapes
- Go! Greenman (As "Gorilla")
- The King Kong Show
- King Kong (1976)
- King Kong Lives
- Kong: The Animated Series
- Kong: King of Atlantis
- King Kong (2005)
- Kong: Return to the Jungle
- Kong: King Of The Apes
- Kong: Skull Island
Video Game Appearances
- Konami Wai Wai World
- King Kong 2: Furious Megaton Punch
- Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
- Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World
- Kong: King of Atlantis
- Main article: King Kong/Gallery.
In the original 1933 film, King Kong's roar was adapted from tiger and lion roars and altered in pitch.
King Kong's roar in the Toho films was later reused for King Caesar.
In the 1976 remake, King Kong's vocalizations were provided by an uncredited Peter Cullen. These roars would go on to become very famous stock roars and were even used for Toto in Gamera: The Brave 30 years later.
In the 2005 remake, Kong's motion-capture actor Andy Serkis provided vocalizations for Kong that were then lowered in pitch to match those of a real gorilla, and then mixed with various other animal sounds.
- King Kong was the first American-made monster to fight Godzilla in a movie, the second being Zilla, and the third being M.U.T.O..
- According to an interview with Ishiro Honda, an early draft for the 1968 film Destroy All Monsters called for "all monsters" to appear. It's possible that Kong was to be among them, but it is unconfirmed.
- King Kong was also supposed to return in the Heisei era, but Turner Entertainment Inc., by then the copyright owner of the 1933 King Kong film, prevented this by stating that Kong shouldn't be in a Japanese monster film, and even blocked Mechani-Kong's return in the Heisei series.
- He is one of the many kaiju who share "King" in their names. Some examples are King Ghidorah, King Ceasar, Red King, Kingsaurus III, Jumbo King, Live King, Grand King, Five King and Godzilla, who is called "King of the Monsters".
- In the Toho films, Kong is much taller than the original King Kong, who was said to stand at 50 feet tall in the original 1933 film. Kong is approximately 145 feet tall in King Kong vs. Godzilla, and 60 feet tall in King Kong Escapes.
- Toho's King Kong was the basis for the American/Japanese anime TV Show, The King Kong Show. Toho was not involved in its development, though they later collaborated with the show's makers, Rankin/Bass Productions, to produce the film King Kong Escapes, which adapted several elements from the show.
- In King Kong vs. Godzilla, Kong's electrical powers are based on the monster Dr. Frankenstein made.
- King Kong's suit in King Kong vs. Godzilla could have been modified from Snowman's.
- King Kong is the first monster to defeat Godzilla and the first monster not to be killed by Godzilla.
- King Kong's roars from the Toho films have been used for many other kaiju, particularly in the Ultraman series. Gudon, a kaiju from Ultraman Jack and King Caesar are among the best known of these examples. Kong's roars from the 1976 film were later used for Toto in Gamera: The Brave.
- Some of the German releases of the Showa era films changed the names of various unrelated characters to King Kong. For instance, both Jet Jaguar from Godzilla vs. Megalon and MechaGodzilla are called King Kong in the dubs. However, unlike what many people believe, they aren't stated to actually be the real King Kong wearing robot suits or confusion with Mechani-Kong. The name 'King Kong' carried great marquee-value, and this is likely the reason why the German distributors changed the names around.
- There were two known unlicensed Japanese King Kong films produced in the 1930's, Japanese King Kong and King Kong Appears in Edo. Though these films are not official King Kong films, they are notable for being two of the first ever tokusatsu/kaiju films ever made, predating Godzilla by two decades. Unfortunately, all prints of these films are believed lost and very few records of their existence remain.
- In 1998 there was an unlicensed animated King Kong film made entitled The Mighty Kong, which was a family-oriented musical retelling of the original 1933 film. Because this film was not officially licensed, King Kong is never referred to by his full name in the film, only "Kong" or "the Mighty Kong."
- Shunsuke Fujita, the producer of Godzilla: The Game, stated in an interview that the developers and he "definitely wanted" to include King Kong in the game, but were unable due to licensing issues.
This is a list of references for King Kong. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: