King Kong is a fictional kaiju, based on the original Hollywood version of King Kong. He first appeared in Toho Studios' 1962 film King Kong vs. Godzilla, and later in the Toho Studios/ Rankin/Bass 1967 co-production King Kong Escapes. This Kong differed from the original in size and abilities.
Among kaiju, King Kong was suggested to be among the most powerful in terms of raw physical force, possessing strength and durability that rivaled that of Godzilla. As one of the few mammal-based kaiju, Kong's most distinctive feature was his intelligence. He demonstrated the ability to learn and adapt to an opponent's fighting style, identify and exploit weaknesses in an enemy, and utilize his environment to stage ambushes and traps.
In King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Kong was scaled to be 45 meters (147 feet) tall. Like most kaiju, Kong was given a power weapon: he possessed the ability to become stronger by drawing power from electric energy. When fully charged, Kaiju Kong could direct this power against an opponent by means of an electric touch attack.
In King Kong Escapes (1967), a stand-alone movie loosely based on the animated television series The King Kong Show, Kong was scaled to be 20 meters (65 feet) tall. He was more similar to the original Kong in that he had no special powers beyond his great strength and intelligence.
Unlike the Hollywood version, this Kong did not reside on Skull Island. In the first film he lived on Faro Island, while in the second film he lived on Mondo Island.
The King Kong (from King Kong vs Godzilla) was originally set to return in a 1966 Toho project called Operation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs Ebirah to be co-produced with the Arthur Rankin Jr.-Jules Bass Production Company. However, Arthur Rankin, Jr. rejected the script as not being close enough to his cartoon series The King Kong Show, on which the project was to have been based. Toho and Rankin/Bass would then co-produce King Kong Escapes in 1967 instead, which was more in line with Rankin's cartoon. Instead of throwing out the King Kong vs Ebirah script, Toho simply replaced Kong with Godzilla and filmed it as Godzilla vs The Sea Monster instead, with almost no change to the script. This explains why Godzilla displays uncharacteristic behavior in the film, such as drawing strength from electricity and showing interest in the film's female protagonist, elements that had been originally written for King Kong.
Toho Studios wanted to remake King Kong vs. Godzilla, which was the most successful of the entire Godzilla series of films, in 1991 to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the film as well as to celebrate Godzilla's upcoming fortieth anniversary. However they were unable to obtain the rights to use Kong, and inititially intended to use Mechani-Kong as Godzilla's next adversary. However it was soon learned that even using a mechanical creature who resembled Kong would be just as problematic legally and financially for them. As a result, the film became Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, with no further attempts to use Kong in any way.
According to an interview with producer Keehwan Her of Godzilla: Unleashed, the Toho King Kong was intended to be in the game, but there were legal complications and he was never included.
The King Kong suit from King Kong Escapes also appeared in Ike! Greenman episode 38, "Greenman vs Gorilla". For copyright reasons however, he was called Gorilla. The King Kong suit from King Kong vs Godzilla was redressed to play the giant monkey Goro in an episode of the TV show Ultra Q.
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King Kong vs. Godzilla
The third and most successful Installment in the Godzilla series.
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