That's not to say Mighty Kong is terrible, but it's certainly not good. There are a few things I actually found I kinda liked, but yeah, on a whole, this one really isn't that great. At only 72 minutes in length, it compresses the story of Kong, and a lot of the exciting parts of that story are merely glanced over, while a bunch of pointless stuff is included. One thing that immediately comes to mind is the dinosaurs. They're barely shown in this. And the fights are not that impressive. I mean...that's practically a Kong staple for me. But on the note of Kong, I ironically found him to be surprisingly absent in this film. Even when he's on screen, he's just not that impressive. This could be the fact that by the time we see him, likely half of the movie is done, and whatnot, but when he's tromping around New York City, there's just not a lot of fun in it. He just kinda looks blank in the face. It sucks the energy right out of the story.
The characters don't exactly help out here. They're pretty terrible. The only two even memorable are Denham and Darrow, voiced by Dudley Moore and of course, Jodi Benson. Jack Driscoll is in the film, but he's not. If you thought there was no way the wooden acting and surprisingly sudden romance between him and Darrow couldn't be anymore wooden and sudden than the original, just wait until you see this. At least in the original, the two spent some time talking and bantering back and forth before they found out they loved each other. Here, Driscoll just kinda constantly insults her, to the point of her becoming infuriated with him, but one song later, they're in love. But they don't even really explore that too much. And honestly, the only reason I remember Denham in this movie is because of his strange accent. He almost talks straight up like William Shatner at times. That and he's almost always smiling in this movie. Oh and there's these two completely pointless characters in the movie in this cabin boy and his pet monkey who contribute nothing in this film at all. They're there to be a supposed comedy relief, but they're not funny, and they're not charming. They're entirely pointless.
I guess I can't talk about a musical without addressing the music, so how is it? Well like the movie, it's not terrible, but it's certainly not good. It's listenable. That's about it. Some of it really doesn't need to be there. Some of it is just forced. One song that I actually kinda dug was a song that didn't need to be there, but was kinda fun just for the sake of being fun. Denham is doing his test camera shots of Darrow, and he's explaining a scene in which she's this island princess. The song has nothing to do with the story, it's just a fun detour from the story. But one thing that caught my eye was the fact that during this little sequence, they show Darrow jumping from a cliff into the sea, and the animation becomes incredibly similar to that of Ariel from Little Mermaid. The way the hair forays in the water, the way she keeps singing in the water, even the facial expressions... all this for a character Jodi Benson voices. There's no way that can be a coincidence. Maybe it's the movies strange way of saying I could be watching Little Mermaid right now. Something I actually really like.
Honestly, again I know I'm being a bit critical here, especially of a kids movie only 72 minutes long, but the movie does have a few strengths. One of them being that it kinda takes notes from both the original, and the 1976 remake. It mainly bases its film off 1933, but it actually directly mirrors a scene from 1976 when Kong takes Darrow to a waterfall to wash her. Unfortunately, the bond between Darrow and Kong isn't really developed, and Darrow is paved more into the frightened damsel category, rather than the tamer of the beast. They also have some fun with the iconic climax, even if it's rather silly at times. Like they have some silly clichés involving Darrow hanging onto the Empire State Building for dear life before she's caught by Driscoll. Another thing I kinda like is that they play with the net idea from 1976 with these huge zeppelins, which make Kong lose balance and fall off the building...and true to the kid friendly status of the film, they have Kong survive his fall. And strangely enough...everyone is kinda cheering when they see he survives. It's very weird.
You know, I know this movie is really dumb and stupid. At times, pretty bad. The animation isn't spectacular, the characters are pretty bland, as is the music and action of the film, it falls in that forgettable territory alongside Son of Kong and King Kong Escapes for me. But at the same time, I can't help but laugh at some of the things they did with this film with how stupid it got. It's balancing perfectly on that so bad that it's good line. Such is something I found completely absent in say...King Kong Lives. So you know what? You're gonna get by a bit easy today movie. I'm feeling generous.
The Mighty Kong gets a one and a half star rating from me. Again, this is by no means good. But there are a lot of fun things about this little direct-to-video release that made me watching this all these years later kinda...relaxed towards I guess. I wasn't joking when I aid it couldn't get worse than King Kong Lives, which I still haven't really forgiven. The limited defense I've heard towards it isn't exactly something I'll debate too much. This film...which was shorter and on a limited budget, much lower than the $10 million budget King Kong Lives had gave me more to enjoy. So if you were morbidly curious, found this at your local goodwill or whatnot? Hey...you might enjoy a single viewing. Make yourself a drink, and just sit back and enjoy how silly stupid this is. Because ironically enough...this may be the best animated portrayal of Kong you'll ever see.
Please feel free to request any film you'd like me to take a look at. Leave a comment down below expressing your own thoughts and feelings about the film, and as always, thanks for reading.
Join me next week when I tackle the first thirteen episodes of....Kong: The Animated Series. The things I do...
Final Verdict: 1.5/4