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Kong: The Animated Series
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the lead character's former teacher is the bad guy, making for a somewhat complex relationship between the two. One nice touch is that the series' voice of reason is the hero's grandmother, a scientist who comes to the rescue of the teens and Kong in nearly every episode.
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What's the story?
KONG: THE ANIMATED SERIES stays true to the many forefathers, including Scooby-Doo and Superfriends, from which it sprung. The big gorilla at the center of the series is a clone, created from DNA saved from the original King Kong and from the series' hero, Jason (voiced by Kirby Morrow), taken when he was a baby. Jason and Kong can merge into an even super-er Kong when necessary, although they don't do it in every episode. Jason and Kong have a nemesis, the evil scientist Dr. De la Puerta (David Kaye), who's trying to gather the Primal Stones before the heroes can get to them and use them to return Kong to his "home" island. It's not clear most of the time why the stones will get Kong home, or why the evil doctor wants them, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that Jason and his friends will get into trouble and that Kong will do the physical rescue while Jason's scientist grandmother, Lorna (Daphne Goldrick) takes care of the thinking.
Is it any good?
This is simple, straightforward adventure TV with mild violence, minimal logic, and episodes that follow the same neat patterns and animation cliches. From the dumb friend who leads the characters into trouble to the brainy savior who gets them out, it's all here. For kids of the right age, it's brainless, mostly unobjectionable fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's environmental message, since the characters' goal is to return the great ape to his wild native island (which is a sort of Jurassic Park of giant and extinct creatures). Does Kong belong on the island? Why is it important to keep some places untouched by humans? Families can also branch out even further and talk about the cloning that led to Kong's existence (he was created from the DNA of the Kong who died on the Empire State building, although this is rarely mentioned). Is technology like that helpful or dangerous?
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