Donkey Kong Country
Based onDonkey Kong by Nintendo
Donkey Kong Country by Rare
Developed byJacques Goldstein
Philippe Percebois
Directed byMike Fallows
Voices ofRichard Yearwood
Andrew Sabiston
Joy Tanner
Aron Tager
Ben Campbell
Adrian Truss
Louise Vallance
Donald Burda
Len Carlson
Damon D'Oliveira
Lawrence Bayne
Rick Jones
Theme music composerPure West
Opening theme"Donkey Kong Country"
Ending theme"Donkey Kong Country" (Instrumental)
ComposerPure West
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • France (Season 1)
  • China (Season 2)
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersDale A. Andrews
Patrick Loubert
Michael Hirsh
Clive Smith
Gérard Mital (Season 1 only)
Jacques Peyrache (Season 1 only)
ProducersMaia Tubiana (Season 1)
Stephen Hodgins (Season 1; supervising producer, Season 2)
Patricia R. Burns (Season 1; supervising producer, Season 2)
Pam Lehn (Season 2)
EditorSamuel Lajus
Running time30 minutes (per episode)
Production companiesNelvana Limited
Medialab Studio L. A. (Season 1)
Hong Guang Animation (Season 2)
WIC Entertainment Ltd.
DistributorAlliance Communications (Canada)
Nelvana International (International)
Release
Original networkTeletoon (Canada)
France 2 and Canal+ (France, Season 1)
Picture formatNTSC
First shown inFrance
Original releaseAugust 15, 1997 (1997-08-15) –
July 7, 2000 (2000-07-07)

Donkey Kong Country is a computer-animated musical television series loosely based on the Nintendo franchise Donkey Kong as portrayed in the Donkey Kong Country video game series by Nintendo and Rare. The series was co-produced by Nelvana, Medialab Studio L.A. (Season 1) and Hong Guang Animation (Season 2), in association with WIC Entertainment, with the participation of Teletoon, and for Season 1, was produced in co-production with France 2, Canal+, in association with Valar 4.

The show debuted in France on September 4, 1996 on France 2, on a block titled La Planète de Donkey Kong (The Planet of Donkey Kong). The French version of the show later premiered In Canada on Télétoon on September 8, 1997, making the series one of the channel's launch programmes, while the English version debuted on its English counterpart on October 17, 1997, also as a launch programme. In the United States, it was one of the first series to be shown on Fox Family, in which the series was broadcast in its entirety from August 15, 1998 (the same day Fox Family was launched) until 2000. It was also seen on Fox Kids from 1998-1999 for a very short time airing two episodes as specials on December 19, 1998 and aired a few more episodes during the summer of 1999 before being taken off.[1] 40 episodes were produced.[2]

In Japan, Donkey Kong Country took over the TV Tokyo 6:30 p.m. time-slot from Gokudo airing on October 1, 1999 and was later replaced with Hamtaro after ending on June 30, 2000.

Donkey Kong Country was one of the earliest television shows to be entirely animated with motion capture technology.[3] Several elements of the series, such as the Crystal Coconut, appeared in later Donkey Kong video games like Donkey Kong 64, which was released a year after the show began airing on Fox. The second season was produced by Chinese CGI studio Hong Guang Animation who updated the character models and used silkier lighting and was animated traditionally, having been announced as early as May 1999.[4]

Plot

Donkey Kong is an ape who happens to find a magic coconut called the Crystal Coconut, which grants wishes and is capable of answering questions asked of it. Donkey Kong is the protector of the Crystal Coconut, which is housed in Cranky Kong's Cabin. King K. Rool and his minions want to steal the Crystal Coconut from Donkey Kong and company in order to rule Kongo Bongo Island, the setting of the show. Try as they may, King K. Rool and his minions never succeed in stealing the Crystal Coconut. Each episode features two songs performed by the show's characters.

Characters

Main from the games

These characters originated from Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. However, some of them went through some design changes.

Kongs

Kremlings

Exclusives to the show

These characters appeared only in the show and have not appeared in any games to date.

Voice cast

Season 1 of the French version was done in Quebec, with the exception of Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong[6] and Funky Kong's voice actors who are from France. Season 2 was not given a French version until later when it got released on DVD years afterwards, which had a new voice cast and it was done in France, with DK and Funky's voice actors reprising their character roles. Hervé Grull did not return as Diddy Kong as he had long since hit puberty and was replaced by an adult woman as a result.[7]

Character Role French (Season 1) French (Season 2) English Japanese
Donkey Kong Franck Capillery Richard Yearwood
Sterling Jarvis (singing voice)
Kōichi Yamadera
Diddy Kong Hervé Grull Lucile Boulanger Andrew Sabiston Megumi Hayashibara
Cranky Kong Yves Massicotte Yves Barsacq Aaron Tager Ryusei Nakao
Funky Kong Emmanuel Curtil Damon D'Oliveira Banana Ice
Candy Kong Camille Cyr-Desmarais Odile Schmitt Joy Tanner Mika Kanai
Dixie Kong Unknown Annie Barclay Louise Vallance Becky
Bluster Kong Daniel Lesourd Patrice Dozier Donald Burda Daiki Nakamura
King K. Rool Éric Gaudry Daniel Beretta Benedict Campbell Jurota Kosugi
General Klump Jean Brousseau Jacques Bouanich Adrian Truss Keiichi Sonobe
Krusha Unknown Daniel Beretta Len Carlson Tomohisa Aso
Eddie the Mean Old Yeti Unknown Patrice Dozier Damon D'Oliveira Kenyu Horiuchi
Inka Dinka Doo Unknown Unknown Lawrence Bayne Tomohisa Aso
Kaptain Skurvy Unknown Unknown Ron Rubin Katsuhisa Hoki
Kutlass Unknown Unknown John Stocker Unknown
Green Kroc Unknown Unknown Richard Newman Unknown
Kritters Unknown Unknown Lawrence Bayne Unknown
Polly Roger Unknown Unknown Rick Jones Unknown
Junior the Giant Klaptrap Unknown Unknown Ron Rubin Unknown
Baby Kong Unknown Unknown Bryn McAuley Unknown
Kong Fu Unknown Unknown Richard Newman Unknown

Episodes

Main article: List of Donkey Kong Country episodes

BGM

The background musics were picked up on the albums, for example:

Tracks Composer(s) Albums
Quick Con Paul Koffman
Timothy Foy
NLV 169: Spy vs Spy
Hover Car
Helicopter Heist
Sneakers
The Line Up
Ragtag Chase
Techno Cowboy NLV 166: Cowboy Camp
Marching Orders NLV 131: Clash of the Titans Vol.2
Paisley Man NLV 127: Funkytown
Taxi Chase
Madcap Monday NLV 126: Music for Silly Moments
Edsel
Haunted Funhouse NLV 151: Big Top Adventure
House Of Frights
Three Piece Suit NLV 148: Peaceful Jazzy Feeling Vol. 2
Tiny Czar NLV 141: Just For Laughs Vol. 4
Guava Nectar NLV 115: Sunny Day Sounds Vol. 2
Meditation Fire NLV 155: Global Bazaar
Jump In NLV 165: Techno Town

Home video releases

Over thirty Donkey Kong Country DVDs have been released with only five being in English for the longest time.

For North America, four episodes of Donkey Kong Country that feature Kaptain Skurvy were edited together into a VHS cassette release titled Donkey Kong Country: The Legend of the Crystal Coconut and was marketed as a feature-length anthology film. However, these episodes are not in chronological order, as a flashback shown in the third episode actually occurs in the fourth episode of the tape. It was released in Canada around 1997 with distribution handled by Seville Pictures and Nelvana themselves as the secondary distributor.[8] The United States version of the tape was distributed by Paramount Home Video and was released in the nation on November 9, 1999, marking this the only time that the U.S. had a VHS release of this series.

In Japan, the TV series was very popular and proven to be successful, since the video game that the series is based on was also a hit. It was also because the Japanese dubbed version of the series was produced with a very high budget thus investing to having a big-name well known voice cast. The Japanese dubbed version of the entire series has been released on home video through Rental VHS tapes in 2000. Shogakukan Video has released all the episodes of the series spreading through 13 volumes and they were sold by Nippon Columbia, a record label company. Each tape contains three episodes each and in consistent order of its Japanese broadcasting on TV Tokyo, with the exception of its series finale, Message in a Bottle Show was not included due to mostly being a clip episode. However, that episode was later introduced as part of another TV Tokyo program which is a quiz show known as Ohashi.

In the PAL regions, Donkey Kong Country Vol.1 (released in Australia) and Donkey Kong Country - Bad Hair Day (released in the United Kingdom) were released on DVD. The other two DVDs, Donkey Kong Country: Hooray for Holly Kongo Bongo and Donkey Kong Country: The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights (both released in Australia) only held one episode. After over three years of no new English DVD, I Spy With My Hairy Eye was released in the UK in 2008.

Finally in 2013, Phase 4 Films, a small Canadian low-budget film company, officially purchased the rights to license and distribute the series for a DVD release in Region 1 alongside with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and began releasing episodes starting off with the He Came, He Saw, He Kong-quered DVD that was released on August 20, 2013. The Complete First Season was then released on DVD in Region 1 on May 12, 2015.[9][10]

In 2017, Pidax Film has gotten the distribution rights in Germany to release all fourteen episodes of Season 2 on DVD with English and German dubbing audio included. Germany still has yet to get a release of the first season.

The episodes of the show are all available on iTunes and on the Amazon Prime Ameba channel. The first two seasons are available on IMDb TV and on Amazon Video with advertisements.

39/40 episodes are available on Retro Rerun's YouTube channel.

Name Release Date Episodes Region Additional Information
The Legend of the Crystal Coconut 1997 (Canada)
November 9, 1999 (USA and Canada)
4 VHS Includes Legend of the Crystal Coconut, Bug a Boogie, Ape-Nesia, and Booty and the Beast edited together in a feature-length format.
ドンキーコング Vol. 1 (Donkey Kong Vol. 1) June 21, 2000 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 1-3 (Bad Hair Day, Ape Foo Young and Booty and the Beast).
ドンキーコング Vol. 2 (Donkey Kong Vol. 2) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 4-6 (Barrel, Barrel... Who's Got the Barrel, Kong for a Day and Raiders of the Lost Banana).
ドンキーコング Vol. 3 (Donkey Kong Vol. 3) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 7-9 (From Zero to Hero, Buried Treasure and Cranky's Tickle Tonic).
ドンキーコング Vol. 4 (Donkey Kong Vol. 4) August 19, 2000 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 10-12 (Orangutango, Double Date Trouble and The Curse of Kongo Bongo).
ドンキーコング Vol.5 (Donkey Kong Vol. 5) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 13-15 (Speed, Get a Life, Don't Save One and The Big Chill Out).
ドンキーコング Vol.6 (Donkey Kong Vol. 6) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 16-18 (To the Moon Baboon, I Spy with My Hairy Eye and Klump's Lumps).
ドンキーコング Vol.7 (Donkey Kong Vol. 7) October 21, 2000 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 19-21 (Kong Fu, Bluster's Sale Ape-Stravaganza and Legend of the Crystal Coconut).
ドンキーコング Vol.8 (Donkey Kong Vol. 8) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 22-24 (Watch the Skies, Bug a Boogie and Baby Kong Blues).
ドンキーコング Vol.9 (Donkey Kong Vol. 9) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 25-27 (Ape-Nesia, A Thin Line Between Love & Ape and The Day the Island Stood Still).
ドンキーコング Vol.10 (Donkey Kong Vol. 10) December 21, 2000 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 28-30 (Hooray for Holly-Kongo Bongo, The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights and Speak No Evil, Dude).
ドンキーコング Vol.11 (Donkey Kong Vol. 11) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 31-33 (Monkey Seer, Monkey Do, Four Weddings and a Coconut and Vote of Kong-Fidence).
ドンキーコング Vol.12 (Donkey Kong Vol. 12) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 34-36 (Follow That Coconut, The Big Switch-A-Roo and Hunka Hunka Burnin' Bluster).
ドンキーコング Vol.13 (Donkey Kong Vol. 13) 3 VHS Includes Japanese dubbed versions of Episodes 37-39 (Best of Enemies, Just Kidding and It's a Wonderful Life).
Donkey Kong Country - Vol. 1 TBA 4 4 Includes Hooray for Holly-Kongo Bongo, The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights, Speak No Evil, Dude and The Day the Island Stood Still.
The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights TBA 2 4 Includes The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights and Hooray for Holly-Kongo Bongo.
Speak No Evil, Dude TBA 2 4 Includes Speak No Evil, Dude and The Day the Island Stood Still.
Monkey Seer, Monkey Do TBA 2 4 Includes Monkey Seer, Monkey Do and Four Weddings and a Coconut.
Bad Hair Day June 6, 2005 4 2 Includes Bad Hair Day, Ape Foo Young, Booty and the Beast and Barrel, Barrel... Who's Got the Barrel.
I Spy with My Hairy Eye June 9, 2008 3 2 Includes I Spy with My Hairy Eye, Baby Kong Blues and The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights.
Raiders of the Lost Banana August 3, 2009 5 2 Includes Raiders of the Lost Banana, Barrel, Barrel... Who's Got the Barrel, Kong for a Day, From Zero to Hero and Buried Treasure.
He Came, He Saw, He Kong-quered August 20, 2013 4 1 Includes Bad Hair Day, Ape Foo Young, Booty and the Beast and Barrel, Barrel... Who's Got the Barrel.
Raiders of the Lost Banana October 1, 2013 4 1 Includes Raiders of the Lost Banana, Kong for a Day, From Zero to Hero and Buried Treasure.
Kong Fu January 21, 2014 4 1 Includes Kong Fu, Get a Life, Don't Save One, Cranky's Tickle Tonic and Orangutango.
The Legend of the Crystal Coconut March 11, 2014 4 1 Includes Legend of the Crystal Coconut, Bluster's Sale Ape-Stravaganza, Klump's Lumps and Speed.
The Complete First Season May 12, 2015 26 1 Includes all 26 episodes from season 1.
The Complete Second Season TBA 14 1 Includes all 14 episodes from season 2.

Legacy

The show had a large line of merchandise in Japan, including a manga and collectible card game featuring drawings of characters—some of which never appeared in the series. The card game was later adapted to be based on Donkey Kong 64.

Pirate's Scorn, a song from the show, was covered by Scottish heavy metal band Alestorm in their Curse of the Crystal Coconut album. Additionally, the album cover contains several nods to the Donkey Kong video game franchise.[11]

In the Nintendo Switch version of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the "banana slamma" catchphrase is used in one of Tawks' lines when visiting Funky's Fly 'n Buy while playing as Funky Kong, paying an homage to the animated series.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Fox Kids Saturday Morning Lineups (1998-1999) The Kids Block Blog". wordpress.com. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ Solomon, Charles (1 June 1999). "An Emmy Awards Debate: What Makes 'Donkey Kong' Run?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Nelvana wraps up annual general meeting". Playback Online.
  5. ^ "Hunka Hunka Burnin' Bluster". Super Mario Wiki. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  6. ^ "RS-Doublage".
  7. ^ "Planète Jeunesse - Donkey Kong". planete-jeunesse.com. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  8. ^ "Donkey Kong Country: The Legend Of The Crystal Coconut - Your VHS Collector". vhscollector.com. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  9. ^ "Amazon.com Donkey Kong Country: He Came, He Saw, He Kong-quered". July 2016. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  10. ^ "Amazon.com: Donkey Kong Country: Season 1". July 2016. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  11. ^ Craddock, Ryan (June 4, 2020). "Random: Pirate Metal Band Alestorm's Latest Album Features Several Donkey Kong References". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  12. ^ Olney, Alex (25 April 2018). "Video: Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze's New Easter Egg is Only On Switch". Nintendo Life. Nintendo Life. Retrieved 18 May 2021.