Franchise Evolution: King Kong (part 5 of 5)
This section is going to be focused on the technical side of Kong, while I examine the actual character of Kong a little later.
Willis O’Brien created a marvel of stop-motion animation for the original movie, paving the way for legends like Ray Harryhausen to make their names with the format. It’s not just Kong either, as O’Brien also had to design the other creatures and the environments they exist in. It’s really a monumental achievement.
For a good look at just how hard it was, I recommend you check out the special edition of the movie where Peter Jackson’s team tries to recreate the f/x of the original using 1933 techniques.
The effects still look pretty damn good even today, though they don’t hold a candle to what can be accomplished now.
Still, the 1933 film’s f/x work is a hallmark in the industry, and a truly remarkable achievement. Effects work that good generally doesn’t come around when the country the film is made in is in the middle of a crippling economic depression.