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Summary

  • A potential Donkey Kong film could focus on his adventures and friends from the franchise, inspired by the bizarre Donkey Kong Country animated series.
  • Seth Rogen’s portrayal of Donkey Kong in The Super Mario Bros. Movie has generated interest in a spin-off, showcasing DK’s universe and characters.
  • Lessons from Donkey Kong Country, like the friendship between DK and Diddy, could be key in crafting a successful and emotional Donkey Kong movie.



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Following the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a potential film focusing on Donkey Kong could be in the works — but no matter how weird the film could become, it never reach the bizarre heights of the Donkey Kong Country animated series. Donkey Kong has been one of Nintendo’s most notable characters since the early days of the company, eventually developing an entire franchise focused on his solo adventures. These stories and settings have been fleshed out across multiple games, and played an important part in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.


Played by Seth Rogen, the cinematic Donkey Kong was a highlight of the film. Naturally, the scope of DK’s corner of the universe (coupled with the box office success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie) has generated interest in a Donkey Kong spin-off film focusing on the character. It wouldn’t be the first time DK has been at the center of an animated project, however. An animated series focused on Donkey Kong was actually aired over twenty years ago, and it remains one of the weirdest adaptations of a videogame property ever.

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The Donkey Kong Country Animated Series, Explained


Debuting in 1997 in France, Donkey Kong Country is a far more bizarre adaptation of the Donkey Kong franchise than any prospective Donkey Kong film could hope to be. Running for 40 episodes across two seasons, Donkey Kong Country focused largely on the titular DK and his efforts to protect his home of Kongo Bongo Island from the machinations of his own Bowser-like villain, King K. Rool. Helping him along the way were his best friend Diddy, his eccentric pilot friend Funky, his noble girlfriend Candy, and his cantankerous mentor Cranky.


The Donkey Kong Country animated series was a pioneer for CGI animation and also truly bizarre, leaning into absurdist comedy at times. Donkey Kong was portrayed as a ridiculously foolish character, easy to trick and manipulate despite his massive strength. King K. Rool’s schemes were often side-tracked by DK’s efforts to blow off his responsibilities as the protector of the island. Each episode of the show featured multiple musical numbers, which weren’t always connected to the plot. It was a show that could surprise audiences with any number of weird turns, and remains a uniquely weird piece of Nintendo history.

Donkey Kong Country
is now streaming on Tubi.

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What A DK Film Could Learn From Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong, Dixie, Diddy, and King K Rool

A prospective Donkey Kong film would be unlikely to directly recreate the Donkey Kong Country animated show, especially the surprising number of songs sung by the main cast. However, the show’s focus on Donkey Kong’s supporting cast and antagonists could serve as something of a blueprint for a prospective feature film. Donkey Kong Country embraced the wide range of characters that had been set up by Donkey Kong’s videogames. Characters like Diddy and Funky were reduced to cameos in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, but could help flesh out Donkey Kong’s corner of the cinematic Mario universe.


The most important element to replicate from Donkey Kong Country would be the friendship between DK and Diddy, which could be a strong emotional throughline for the film — especially if Diddy’s enthusiasm for DK carried over from his cameo in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The Donkey Kong corner of the Nintendo Universe can get very weird very quickly though, as evidenced by Donkey Kong Country. A Donkey Kong movie would make perfect sense after The Super Mario Bros. Movie, but it needs to take the right lessons from the previous on-screen DK adaptation.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
is now streaming on Netflix and Peacock Premium.



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