An animated, musical remake of the original 1931 monster classic KING KONG, THE MIGHTY KONG is less violent and terrifying than the original, but it still contains a few scenes that might be too much for children age six and under. It also has some environmentalist elements and a politically correct, immoral statement that is not rebuked.
THE MIGHTY KONG is an animated, musical remake of the original 1931 monster classic KING KONG. More child-friendly and less terrifying than the original, it still contains a few scenes that might be too much for young children age six and under. It also has some worldview problems that dilute its more wholesome elements.
As in the original classic, it begins with wild animal filmmaker and Broadway producer C. B. Denham hiring poor but beautiful Ann Darrow when he sees her stealing an apple from a street grocer. Denham, voiced by Dudley Moore, wants to take her on a secretive, mysterious voyage aboard the Java Queen to the South Pacific, where he will film his next extravaganza. Ann is reluctant at first but Denham sings a song to her about making her famous. The ship is loaded with guns and gas bombs, however, and there are strange reports among the crew about an uncharted island called Skull Island with some kind of “monkey god” worshipped by the natives.
On the ship, Ann runs afoul of the tough first mate, Jack Driscoll, who thinks the voyage is no place for a woman. Of course, Ann’s clumsiness on the loading dock irritates Jack even more. Ann also meets the ship’s cabin boy, Ricky, and his pet monkey. They become friends.
Unlike KING KONG, most of THE MIGHTY KONG takes place on the voyage to the mysterious island. Ricky gets sick one night during a storm, and Ann has to take food to the captain dressed in Ricky’s raincoat, where she has another run-in with Jack. Ann sings a jaunty, melodious song about pretending to be a Polynesian Queen. Eventually, she and Jack sing a love duet silhouetted against an impressionistic backdrop.
After escaping the Skull Island natives when she first arrives, Ann is kidnapped by the natives who want to sacrifice her to the “monkey god,” The Mighty Kong. Of course, Kong is not a monkey god, just a big gorilla with a glandular problem. In short shrift, Jack battles a dinosaur to rescue Ann, and Kong battles a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a huge snake and some flying dinosaur birds. Jack rescues Ann, and then with the help of the ship’s crew, he subdues Kong with some gas bombs so he can take Kong back to America. Back in New York City, Denham stages a presentation of the big ape, but Kong breaks loose when he thinks reporters’ flashbulbs are hurting Ann. As in the original, the climax takes place on the Empire State Building, with some changes that are more suitable to a G-rated cartoon.
The animation work in THE MIGHTY KONG is fair. The characters don’t move as smoothly as in more upscale animated movies such as ANASTASIA or BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The script does, however, focus on character development, giving the characters a human quality. Still, the story is boring at times. It is not as funny as it could have been, and the chase on the island to rescue Ann is not exciting.
Finally, THE MIGHTY KONG is less acceptable for a scene where a train hits a car. We don’t really see the crash, but the movie leads you to believe people are killed or seriously hurt. Later on in the movie, the characters try to capture Kong with a huge net. Thus, the movie seems to hint that Kong’s life is just as important as human life. Also, although the movie shows most of the other characters wanting to stop the natives from sacrificing one of their females to Kong, the ship’s captain says, “Do you want a war on your hands? It’s not our culture, not our laws. I won’t endanger my crew.” The captain’s politically correct, immoral statement is never rebuked because, at that moment, the natives find out that their island has been invaded.
(Pa, B, E, FR, PC, V, M) Pagan worldview with a few moral elements, some environmental elements hinting that animal lives are as important as human lives &, although a false religion using human sacrifice is rejected, a politically correct, immoral statement supporting multiculturalism is not rebuked; giant ape fights dinosaur, snake & prehistoric "birds" & wrecks parts of New York City with airplanes shooting briefly at him & train hits car; and, stealing & kidnapping.