The King Kong Show
Original title card for the series
|Voices of||Carl Banas
Billie Mae Richards
|Theme music composer||Maury Laws|
|Country of origin||United States
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||25|
|Executive producer(s)||Arthur Rankin, Jr.
|Producer(s)||William J. Keenan
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original run||September 10, 1966 – August 31, 1969|
The King Kong Show is an American/Japanese children's animated television series produced in 1966 by Videocraft of the USA, and Japan's Toei Animation and is the first anime series produced in Japan for an American company (not counting Rankin/Bass' previous Animagic stop motion specials, also animated in Japan). ABC ran the series in the US between September 10, 1966, and August 31, 1969.
This series is an animated adaptation of the famous movie monster King Kong with character designs by Jack Davis and Rod Willis. In this series, the giant ape befriends the Bond Family, with whom he goes on various adventures, saving the world from monsters, robots, aliens, mad scientists and other threats.
Included is a comical cartoon show called Tom Of T.H.U.M.B., about a three inch tall secret agent for T.H.U.M.B.("The Tiny Human Underground Military Bureau") named Tom and his equally tiny Asian "sidekick" Swinging Jack, who are sent out in a variety of miniature vehicles by their bad-tempered boss, Chief Homer J. Chief, to foil the fiendish plots of M.A.D.(Maladjusted, Antisocial and Darn mean), an evil organization made up of black-cloaked scientists out to destroy the world. (Neither Tom's nor Swinging Jack's full names are ever revealed in any of the Tom Of T.H.U.M.B. installments.)
In Japan, the first two episodes were combined into a 56-minute special, titled King of the World: The King Kong Show (世界の王者 キングコング大会 Sekai no Ôja: Kingu Kongu Taikai?), and was broadcast on NET (now TV Asahi) on December 31, 1966. The rest of the series, with the inclusion of Tom of T.H.U.M.B., was broadcast on NET as King Kong & 001/7 Tom Thumb (Kingu Kongu * 001/7 Oyayubi Tomu - キングコング・001/7親指トム), and aired on April 5 to October 4, 1967, with a total of 26 episodes.
This series was successful enough for Rankin/Bass to extend the Kong franchise to another Japanese company, Toho (which already produced the hit King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1962). This resulted in Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (originally intended as a Kong film) and King Kong Escapes, which was based on The King Kong Show.
On November 15, 2005, Sony Wonder released 8 episodes (two King Kong cartoons separated by a Tom of T.H.U.M.B. cartoon) on two DVD releases. The pilot episode was included, in two parts, between the two DVDs.
Theme music for the series was recorded in London, England, in 1965, using primarily British studio musicians. Canadian conductor, vocalist, and former Kitchener-Waterloo Record entertainment columnist Harry Currie provided vocal talent on the recording.
- King Kong - The title character and hero. The 8th Wonder of the World, Kong was discovered on Mondo Island (sometimes known as Skull Island) by Bobby Bond, whom he saved from being eaten by a Tyrannosaurus rex. He even saved Bobby's family from other disasters afterwards. Ever since, he has become the family's mascot and hero.
- Professor Bond - The head/father of the Bond family.
- Susan Bond - The teenage daughter. She is always somewhat perplexed by Bobby and Kong's friendship. She is the basis for Susan Watson (Linda Miller) in King Kong Escapes. Susan is always the one that knows what Dr. Who is up to and her fear is dreaming about snakes.
- Bobby Bond - The young son, and Kong's closest companion. Saved by Kong from being eaten by a T-Rex, and they have been friends ever since.
- Captain Englehorn - A friend to the family and Professor Bond's ship captain. Based on the character from the original King Kong film.
- Dr. Who - The popular recurring villain. A bald, big-brained and bespectacled mad scientist who wants to capture Kong for his own evil schemes. He has no relation to the British sci-fi series. He is the basis for Hideyo Amamoto's character Dr. Who in King Kong Escapes.
- Mechani-Kong - Kong's robot double, invented by Dr. Who. He is also Kong's nemesis in King Kong Escapes.
- 1. King Kong (Hour long Pilot Episode). In syndication the show was split into two parts and the episodes were titled A Friend in Need and The Key to the City.
The following episode list describes the show as originally aired with a 6 minute King Kong episode, followed by a 6 minute Tom of T.H.U.M.B. episode, followed by another 6 minute King Kong episode.
- 2. Under the Volcano/For the Last Time, Feller...I'm not Bait!/The Treasure Trap
- 3. The Horror of Mondo Island/Hey, that was a Close One World!/Dr. Who
- 4. Rocket Island/I was a 91⁄2 oz. Weakling Till One Day.../The African Bees
- 5. The Hunter/I was a Starling for the USA!/The Space Men
- 6. The Jinx of the Sphinx/Cool Nerves and... Steady Hands/The Greeneyed Monster
- 7. The Top of the World/All Guys from Outer Space are Creeps/The Golden Temple
- 8. The Electric Circle/Mechanical Granma/Mirror of Destruction
- 9. Tiger Tiger/The Day We Almost Had It/The Vise of Dr.Who
- 10. King Kong's House/Tom Makes History/MechaniKong
- 11. The Giant Sloths/Tom Scores Again/The Legend of Loch Ness
- 12. Dr. Bone/Blow, Jack, Blow!/No Man's Snowman
- 13. The Desert Pirates/Tom and the TV Pirates/Command Performance
- 14. The Sea Surrounds Us/The Girl from M.A.D./Show Biz
- 15. The Wizard of Overlord/Just One of those Nights/Perilous Porpoise
- 16. The Trojan Horse/Runt of 1,000 Faces/The Man from K.O.N.G.
- 17. Caribbean Cruise/Hello, Dollies!/Diver's Dilemma
- 18. The Great Sun Spots/Pardner/Kong is Missing
- 19. In the Land of the Giant Trees/Beans is Beans/Captain Kong
- 20. Statue of Liberty Play/What Goes Up.../Pandora's Box
- 21. The Thousand Year Knockout/Our Man, the Monster/Desert City
- 22. Eagle Squadron/Never Trust a Clam/The Kong of Stone
- 23. Murderer's Maze/Drop that Ocean, Feller/The Great Gold Strike
- 24. It Wasn't There Again Today/Plug that Leak/The Mad Whale
- 25. The King Kong Diamond/The Scooby/Anchors Away
- Sekai no Ôja · King Kong Daikai in Animemorial (the Japanese name of the TV special)
- King Kong · 001 / 7 Oyayubi Tom in Animemorial (contains Japanese episodes list, cast & staff)
- "The King Kong Show". An indepth article about the series, featuring rare shots of various merchandise and tie-ins related to the series (French site)
- "SciFi Japan King Kong Cartoon Series Guide". An indepth article about the series
- King Kong at the Internet Movie Database
- King Kong at TV.com