This twenty-six episode series premiered in prime time with a one-hour special that first aired on September 6, 1966. The series aired from September 10, 1966 through August 31, 1969. Twenty-four thirty-minute episodes were produced, each with two eight-minute King Kong episodes paired with a single eight-minute Tom Thumb, 001/7. The one-hour special was split into two 20-minute shows, making the whole series run twenty-six episodes.
"The King Kong Show" was the first anime to be produced specifically for the American market. It was commissioned by Rankin-Bass from Videocraft, an American company, which, in turn, farmed out the work to Japan-based Toei.
Toei funded part of the series itself, and the respective shows did air in Japan under the titles: Sekai no Osha King Kong Daikai (King Kong) and 001/7 Oyayubi Tom (Tom Thumb). However, designs, scripts, storyboards and voice track were supplied ready-made from the United States.
To get the rights (from the owners of the property, RKO General, Inc.) to use the name King Kong for television, executive producer Arthur Rankin, Jr. had to promise to make a feature film. This resulted in Rankin producing and directing his first non-animated movie, "King Kong Escapes," for RKO.
The King Kong Show Production Information
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