Kong: King of the Apes

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Kong: King of the Apes TV Poster Image
CGI take on primate's story is violent but entertaining.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Kids see applications of science in action, both in positive ways (Lucas uses his knowledge to save animals, for instance) and threatening ones (Richard creates bionobots that put humans and animals in danger). It's a futuristic view of how the sciences can be used for various purposes.

Positive Messages

Good and bad are easy to separate for the audience, but some characters have a harder time identifying the show's villain and his sinister plans. The story contains not-so-subtle messages about environmental issues in this future-set story, positing that habitat destruction and the growing human population forced many animal species to extinction or very near it. Science is shown to be both a vital tool in preserving life and a weapon to be used against it. Jealousy and resentment push Richard to drastic lengths against his own family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lucas learned from his father to see the potential in people and the animals they rescue, but Richard took different lessons from their experiences. His quest for the spotlight leads him to lie, manipulate, and put others in danger, all for self-promotion. He even dooms an innocent creature to a life of evading capture by tricking people into believing him dangerous. Even so, Kong remains kindhearted and empathetic to the plights of those he helps save. Kong's friends are loyal and protective, even when it puts them in danger.

Violence & Scariness

Many exchanges between Kong and the bionic dinosaurs that terrorize the public. Kong is menacing when he growls, and he tears apart the dinosaurs in violent fashion, but viewers know his real nature is friendly and kind to those who mean him no harm. Lots of peril in dangerous rescue missions and emergencies such as rock slides and helicopter crashes. Richard controls Kong's moods through pain inflicted by a remote collar.

Sexy Stuff
Language

"Brat" on one occasion.

Consumerism

This series is a reimagining of King Kong, a longstanding character of movies and other stories.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kong: King of the Apes features a lot of animated violence between the legendary gargantuan primate and the advanced robots the show's villain dispatches to battle him. While there's never any blood or realistic injury, the attacks are intense, and Kong can be intimidating in the midst of them. Sinister Richard takes joy in inflicting pain on Kong and others, even his own twin brother. The story raises some serious issues related to conservation, suggesting that humans' apathy in the past (in other words, today) led to the endangerment of many species and their natural habitats. On the upside, Kong's closest supporters see past propaganda to his true nature and stand by him even when the world turns against him. Expect some tense moments and characters in peril in this exciting new take on Kong's story.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKKOA123 April 21, 2016

Kong is dope

Kong is a positive message about being misunderstood and yet trying to help animals from poachers. One good brother, one bad that uses robotics to create mecha... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old November 18, 2017

Violance, guns, dinosaurs. Oh my!

When I was younger I LOVED it, but don’t as much anymore. It is appealing to 8 year olds and younger, but has violance too intense for 6 and under. It gives kid... Continue reading

What's the story?

KONG: KING OF THE APES is a reimagining of the story of gargantuan ape King Kong. It starts with poachers en route to San Francisco with a valuable baby ape in tow, whom they plan to sell for a hefty sum. But he escapes and is rescued by Lucas, who takes him home and raises him until he's outgrown (to the point of destruction) the family home, forcing them to move to the forest for Kong's sake. But Lucas's twin brother, Richard, resents the change, and when a lab accident leaves him injured, he lies and pins the blame on Kong. A decade later, his anger hasn't subsided, and he returns home to exact his revenge on Lucas and Kong, who now live in the animal preserve their father built on Alcatraz Island. Using his bots to prod Kong into a violent outburst, Richard swings public opinion of him and turns him into hunted prey, but Lucas and his friends continue to fight for the gentle ape and against Richard's nefarious plans.

Is it any good?

Oversized action awaits viewers in this exciting new take on an old favorite that shows Kong fighting for his freedom and his friends standing firmly on his side. In animated form, Kong is even more a gentle giant than he's ever been in other iterations, and fans really get to see his kindly personality shine in this presentation. There are themes of friendship (including interspecies, of course), honesty, and altruism in the good guys' camp, while Richard and his crew are ruled by greed, resentment, and jealousy. On a more cerebral level, the characters show kids some cutting-edge applications of the sciences, including biology and robotics, as only a near-future-set story can do.

Kong: King of the Apes also uses its futuristic story to convey some strong messages about environmental issues such as deforestation and poaching as they relate to the plight of Kong and other endangered creatures. There also are examples of how propaganda can sway public opinion and the dangers of choosing sides before you have all the facts about an issue. These are heavier themes than generally exist in kids' entertainment, but they have a rightful place in this story and give it some added depth. Ultimately, though, it's Kong and his oversized heart that steal this likable show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sciences and how they improve our quality of life. Which recent inventions can you not imagine doing without? Are all scientific advancements positive? Which areas still need to be improved upon?

  • This story suggests that Kong has almost human qualities and a near human personality. In your experiences with animals, have you ever felt a similar way? Does the human impulse to protect animals extend to all species? How have humans threatened the survival of some animals? On the other hand, how have they helped preserved them?

  • Is this show particularly violent? If you've seen other productions starring King Kong, how does the content compare in terms of the skirmishes on-screen? Is violence less intense when it's presented in animation than when it is in live action?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animated animals

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