In all of his appearances, Kong mostly resembles a giant silverback gorilla, with either light black or brown fur. Kong varies between knuckle-walking like a real gorilla and walking bipedally and upright like a human, sometimes utilizing both forms of locomotion in the same film.
In all of his appearances, Kong is portrayed as a tragic and sympathetic monster. Kong lives a very solitary and difficult existence, constantly being attacked by the vicious giant creatures that live on his island.
Kong rarely attacks unless provoked, and is capable of causing mass destruction; due to his massive size and strength, which causes human beings to fear and attack him. Kong has a soft spot for human women, and will do anything to protect a woman that he likes, whether it be battling against another monster or battling military forces.
Kong demonstrates at least semi-sapience in all of his film appearances. He frequently utilizes environmental objects while fighting, and learns over the course of a battle.
In the original 1933 film, Kong is among the last living members of a giant species of ape that lives on the mysterious Skull Island, which is inhabited by other giant creatures as well as a tribe of natives that worship him as a god.
King Kong was created by Merian C. Cooper, who licensed the character and story to RKO Pictures. RKO released the original King Kong film in 1933. Later that same year, RKO released Son of Kong as a sequel to the film.
Though a cancelled film pitting Kong against a giant version of Frankenstein's monster entitled King Kong vs. Prometheus was reportedly considered, King Kong did not appear in another film until 1962.
King Kong was first discovered on Skull Island by an American film crew led by Carl Denham. The natives on the island kidnapped Ann Darrow, the crew's leading lady, and sacrificed her to Kong, who carried Ann off into the jungles of the island. At one point, Kong left Ann on a tree and wandered off to deal with the rest of the film crew, who were pursuing him. As the crew attempted to cross a chasm on a crude log bridge, Kong lifted the log and twisted it, causing much of the crew to fall to their deaths in the abyss below. Jack Driscoll survived, and crossed the chasm to rescue Ann.
Meanwhile, a Meat-Eater discovered Ann on the tree and attempted to eat her. Kong arrived and battled the Meat-Eater, and killed it by breaking its jaw. Kong took Ann to his home in a cave on a mountain, where he was attacked by a giant cave serpent. Jack reached the cave and reunited with Ann, and the two managed to escape from Kong while he was distracted by a Pteranodon. Enraged, Kong followed the two to the native's village, tearing down the wall and wreaking havoc. Using a store of smoke bombs he brought on the voyage, Carl Denham and his crew managed to knock Kong unconscious and subdue him.
Denham brought Kong back to New York on board the crew's ship, the Venture, intending to profit from showing Kong to the public. Denham arranged a show at a theater in New York, where he publicly showed the captured Kong to an audience, accompanied by Jack and Ann. When photographers began taking pictures of Ann, Kong believed they were attacking her and broke free from his chains, destroying the theater in a fit of rage. Ann, Jack, and Denham escaped unharmed, but Kong broke free from the theater into the streets, where he overturned cars, stomped on fleeing citizens, and destroyed a train. Kong began to scale buildings looking for Ann. He eventually found her in a hotel room that she fled to, and abducted her again.
Finding himself pursued and attacked by police, Kong climbed the Empire State Building to escape. The military sent a fleet of biplanes armed with machine guns to stop Kong and save Ann. Atop the Empire State Building, Kong swatted down and destroyed several of the planes, but was mortally wounded by machine gun fire. Kong set Ann down gently and fell off the building, plummeting to the streets below. As crowds gathered around Kong's dead body, a bystander remarked that the airplanes finally got Kong, to which Denham replied that "It was beauty that killed the beast."
Kong is remarkably intelligent. He makes use of environmental objects like trees or rocks when fighting, and even when overwhelmed by more powerful or more numerous opponents he can think on his feet and find a way to win.
Kong is also able to use physical strength to overpower multiple foes, including the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex, which he ends up subduing and killing by forcing its jaws open to the point of snapping. He is also able to tear down the native's wall, which was built to prevent the dangers of Skull Island of invading. Kong is also strong enough to break the Cave Serpent's spine, killing it.
- King Kong's relatively small size outside of the Toho films fits with scientific understanding of the Square Cube Law, in which large animals have a low surface area, and therefore are less efficient at processes such as gas exchange, placing an upper limit on their size. King Kong's size in the 1933 film is close to the largest size a terrestrial animal can be under the current understood constraints.
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