King Kong, Japan had not had enough of the big ape. After all, Kong was the first beast to both defeat and not be killed by Godzilla. Four years later, Toho paired up with RankinBass, the creators of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and The King Kong Show, a cartoon where Kong battled aliens, monsters and mad scientists. Interestingly, the designs for that show were by Jack Davis of EC comics fame. The show was the first cartoon produced in Japan for American audiences and was so successful, Rankin-Bass partnered with Toho for a first film called Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (or Ebirah, Horror of the Deep which is a much better title). Rankin- Bass rejected this movie as a starring role for Kong, but a lot of moments throughout point that the script was barely changed when Godzilla entered the picture. He's revived by lightning (Japanese Kong, for some reason, gets power from the cloud
err, clouds) and the big lizard is in love with female character Dayo, which is also a Kong trait.
Finally, Rankin-Bass consented to this film, featuring Dr. No. No, not the Bond villain, but a character from the cartoon, here played by Hideyo "Eisei" Amamoto, who you may know as Dr. ShinigamiDeathgod from Kamen Rider. His voice is from Paul Frees, who listeners will recognize from many a RankinBass holiday special. Interestingly enough, the German distributor of Toho's movies often used Dr. Frankenstein's name to sell these new monsters, claiming that he was creating all of them. So in Deutschland, the doctor goes by Dr. Frankenstein to try and tie all of these together. What does this have to do with the Frankenstein monster in Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) and his spawn in War of the Gargantuas (1966)? Absolutely nothing, thanks for asking!
Dr. Who's boss is Madame Piranha, who works for an undisclosed country that wants weapons. She's played by Mie Hama, who would go on to play Kissy Suzuki in You Only Live Twice (1967). Dr. No has invented a mechanical Kong that malfunctions just before getting that oh-so elusive Element X. Instead of rebuilding the robobeast, No decides he needs the real Kong. Again, you may ask why. You are permitted after all. However, I have no answer for you. These things just happen in these films and you shouldn't be watching a kaiju movie if you're looking for logic, dear reader.
Meanwhile, Carl Nelson — our hero — and his sub get to Mondo Island, where Kong lives. Almost instantly, Kong falls in love with Fay Wray analogue Lt. Susan Watson and prepares to fight Gorosaurus (who shows up again in the greatest of all Toho movies, 1968s Destroy All Monsters!). For some reason, this beast fights like a kangaroo, but Kong gives him a headlock takeover and demonstrates a kaiju form of MMA ground and pound, punching the rubbery dino again and again until a giant mutant Big John McCarthy moves him away. Just kidding. Kong beats his chest, picks up the girl and the humans just watch and wonder what to do next. They find a very Commander Scarlet mini-sub and Kong gives chase, finally being delayed by a sea monster.
Actually, come to think of it, Carl Nelson is thisclose to Admiral Nelson, commander of the mini-sub Seaview on the TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968). Coincidence?
Here's why I love this movie. In this scene, Kong's head has grown to way larger than before proportion. Continuity be damned, by the next scene, as he catches up to the big sub, his head is back to normal and his eyes are not bugging out. Everyone finally figures out that Kong will listen to Susan and all is as well as it can be when you're dropping anchor off Mondo Island, which one assumes is relatively close to Monster Island.
Review by BandSAboutMovies from the Internet Movie Database.