Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The King Kong Show (1966): "The Horror of Mondo Island"/"Dr. Who"
"You know the name of King Kong..."
In the autumn of 1966, ABC TV first aired the American/Japanese co-production called The King Kong Show (1966). The companies involved were Videocraft, and Toei Animation. Arthur Rankin and Julie Bass served as executive producers.
Kong, meanwhile, was described as being "ten times as big as a man."
Seeing Kong's island paradise spoiled by strip-mining, Bobby warns the workers about "the Horror Mondo Island" in an attempt to scare the out-landers away. He describes a monster that attacks by night, and then disguises Kong as the fearsome beast, painting him white.
The ruse is successful, and the miners are driven off. The episode' s highlight is a scene in which Kong battles a bull-dozer or crane, and makes short work of it. Since this is a kid's show, however, he only crushes the vehicle after the driver has vacated. It's also intriguing that Kong, in disguise, actually resembles the character's son, as seen in the 1933 sequel to the original film.
The episode ends with the miners realizing (thanks to Captain Englehorn) that the island possesses "natural obstacles beyond our control." In other words, Bobby has saved the beautiful island both for Kong, and future generations.
The second six minute story I'll look at for this special Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging is "Dr. Who." This is the tale that introduces the mad scientist villain to the series. He is visualized as a very short, bald man in a lab coat. He also wears thick, black glasses, and thick black gloves.
As the story begins, Professor Bond introduces Dr. Who to Bobby. Dr. Who wants to take Kong away from the island, on a two day trip. Bobby refuses to give permission. Dr. Who then holds the family at gun-point, and launches an attack on Kong.
Helicopters assault Kong, but fortunately Captain Englehorn arrives to help, and Kong breaks out of his prison aboard a ship. The episode ends with the foreboding (and accurate) observation that "we haven't seen the last of Dr. Who."
This episode does a good job of establishing the friendship and symbiosis between Kong and Bobby. One would assume that Kong is the great protector in the relationship because he is strong and, well, gigantic. But here we see that Kong must also be protected too, and that Bobby steps into that breach. He is Kong's guardian as much as Kong is his.
Both of these episodes from the 1966 animated series are short and sweet, and filled with adventure. Kong himself is portrayed as a gentle giant, which is appropriate, given the intended audience.