Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rein-Toon-Ation: Donkey Kong Country (1996)

Nintendo, after seeing NBC dismiss their animated series in 1991, decided to get back into the cartoon game five years later, partnering with Canada's Nelvana and a French studio to create Donkey Kong Country, in effect bringing back a video game icon who had been a villain in a previous incarnation, but now was a hero. Well, they did the same thing with King Kong, didn't they?

When Donkey Kong made his television debut in 1983 on Saturday Supercade, he was true to his video game self, an evil ape voiced by, of all people, Soupy Sales. For Country, Kong is the protector of something called the Crystal Coconut, and, so, of course, now you have a villain for Kong to fight. No Donkey Kong, Jr. here, but there is a sidekick named Diddy (someone check and see if Sean Combs found this to be the inspiration for his current nickname). The series lasted 40 episodes, stretched across 2 seasons, and made its US debut on Fox in the summer of 1997, but didn't get very far due to the congressional hearings in an attempt to impeach then-President Clinton. From that point, Country was, eh, farmed out to Fox Family (now ABC Family) for the rest of its US run.

Following is a sample episode:

No fair rating, as I never saw the show.

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