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King Kong - '66 Animated Series Hits DVD for Peter Jackson Film Tie-In!

Posted by David Lambert
There's probably few films coming up more highly anticipated than Peter Jackson's King Kong, the "Lord of the Rings guy's" remake of the classic 1933 film. The new version, starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, and Andy Serkis (with Roswell fans happy to see Colin Hanks pop up in it!), is slated to hit theaters on December 14, 2005.

As we know by now, a big tentpole film project is the perfect time to tie in an old TV show's DVD release, and that means fans of the 1966 King Kong cartoon will be very happy this holiday season! November 15th will see the release of 3 DVD choices for this animated series, according to retailer a 4-disc set that lists for $39.95, or else you can buy Volume 1 and Volume 2 separately for $12.97 SRP each (these are both 1-disc releases).

Sony Music is distributing these DVDs, but doesn't have any detailed information yet about what will be on each release, nor is there cover art at this time. Don't know much about the original show? Well, it was a series of 52 8-minute cartoons from Rankin-Bass where the big ape was trying to be captured by the evil scientist "Dr. Who" (no, not THAT Doctor Who, but it IS interesting that they used that name, eh?), and the Bond family (no, not "007" Bond, but again very interesting...) tried to keep their giant gorilla friend safe. Kong's best friend among the Bonds was young Billy, voiced by Billie Mae Richards ("Rudolph" of the Red-Nosed Reindeer special).

Over at the website, where they are following the production of the new Peter Jackson film very closely, there is history page with a great description of the cartoon series and it's companion cartoons, Tom of T.H.U.M.B.:
    "King Kong" The TV Series" - 1966-69

    Description:King Kong the Series
    This popular ABC Saturday morning show was based on the famous 1930's monster movie. In this version, Kong lives peacefully on an island with the Bond family and fights various villians. Kong's best friend, Bobby Bond, is voiced by Billie Richards from "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer." Each episode of "The King Kong Show" featured two adventures of Kong, and one episode of "Tom Of T.H.U.M.B." featuring a miniaturized secret agent, Tom, and his Asian sidekick, Swinging Jack. As part of the licensing deal to make this animated series, Rankin/Bass had to promise to make a new live action feature which they did in 1968 ("King Kong Escapes") in conjunction with Toho Productions, the makers of Godzilla.

Visit the page with that description, and there's even a link to a recording of the show's theme song! Nice, and stay tuned for more info about the DVDs!

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