Thursday, March 11, 2010

You know the name of King Kong, you know the fame of King Kong...

Ten times as big as a man!!

So went the theme song to the 1966 Rankin/Bass cartoon featuring a somewhat more user friendly version of the Willis O'Brien creation.

Giant ape afficionados are certainly familiar with the Kong  that Willis created for the 1938 classic. His animated monsters are justly famous.

But they may be surprised to learn that O'Brien hoped to produce a movie pitting Kong against Frankenstein. He was unable to find a backer in the US, but he sold the script, "King Kong vs Prometheus" to Toho Studios in Japan.

After O'Brien's death, his transmogrified script surfaced in two incarnations; King Kong vs. Godzilla and Frankenstein Conquers The World


These images are from an exhibit of Willis O'Brien artifacts.


Parm said...

There I was, saying to myself, "Godzilla vs. King Kong!!!" And then I read a bit further, and poof, my hopes of a journalistic scoop went up in smoke; TSG beat me to it with the usual in-depth reporting that distinguishes this blog from so many shabby imitators.

Now, the horned dino on wheels. What the heck is that? Was that to move the thing during filming when it was behind a bush or something? And how would that look? Certainly not like it was walking. More like just evenly gliding along. Huh. Or was that actually a picture of Shaun White without his red wig and while riding a skateboard instead of a snowboard?

Willard Biscuit said...

Sorry, can't help you with an ID on the triceratops-thingy. My first guess would be that it was a prop from one of O'Brien's early projects. But even his stuff from the 1920s seems more advanced than the static model pictured here.

There's a slim possibility that our other reader, who accompanied me to the exhibit back in 1984, may remember more details than I. Unfortunately I fear that his memory, like mine and the prehistoric beast in question, have been lost in the mists of time.