King Kong Movies in Order: The Complete Chronological Guide

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King Kong made his debut on our screens in the 1933 movie of the same title. Since then, there have been several other King Kong Movies. In this article, we will sort all the King Kong movies in chronological order.

How Many King Kong Movies Are There?

From 1933 to 2021, there have been 12 King Kong movies released. In addition, there are eight currently released live-action King Kong movies and three animation movies. 

Different studios have produced the movies, and no studio has produced more than two King Kong films. 

King Kong Movies By Release Date

King Kong (1933)Son of Kong (1933)King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)King Kong Escapes (1967)King Kong (1976)King Kong Lives (1986)The Mighty Kong (1998)King Kong (2005)Kong: King of Atlantis (2005)Kong: Return To The Jungle (2007)Kong: Skull Island (2017)Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

King Kong Movies In Chronological Order

King Kong movies do not follow a chronological order. Some of the films are remakes of the same original King Kong films released in 1933. 

All in all, the franchise follows the life and adventures of the mighty Kong, an enormous violent gorilla, the famous King of the jungle. So, if you’re a King Kong lover or you’re interested in watching the franchise. This is the chronological order to follow. 

King Kong (1933)Son of Kong (1933)King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)King Kong Escapes (1967)King Kong (1976)King Kong Lives (1986)The Mighty Kong (1998)King Kong (2005)Kong: King of Atlantis (2005)Kong: Return To The Jungle (2007)Kong: Skull Island (2017)Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

King Kong Movies In Chronological Watch Order

1. King Kong (1933)

The 1933 film is the first in the highly successful King Kong Franchise. It all begins when a once successful but now struggling filmmaker Carl Denham decides to take a trip to the mysterious Skull Island in search of a prime shooting location.

With high hopes and expectations, Denham sets out to secure an actress for his film. Instead, he finds Ann Darrow, whom he promises the adventure of a lifetime. They board the ship and set off; while onboard, a crew member Jack Driscoll falls in love with the beautiful Ann. 

However, onboard the ship, Denham reveals to the crew that they’re headed to skull land, an island home to many strange prehistoric creatures. The most eccentric of them is the magnificent King Kong. A gigantic 25-foot gorilla, which the natives worship.

Soon, the party reaches the island. And the natives, on seeing Ann, believe she will make a good sacrifice to Kong. So they kidnap her at night and take her to him. The beast takes a strange liking to Ann, but he shows it in an even stranger way. He takes her and disappears into the wild.

Although Kong does not harm Ann, Carl and Driscoll launch a search for her. They brave giant dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in their effort to rescue her. 

Finally, they can find Kong and rescue Ann, and they manage to subdue the giant beast and take him away for exhibition in New York. Although Denham puts the ape on display, Kong easily escapes and begins to wreak havoc in the city in his desperate attempts to escape and find Ann, with whom he has formed an unlikely attachment.

2. Son of Kong (1933)

From the producers who gave us King Kong comes to another story, a sequel about the Son of Kong, or the alleged son of Kong. Following the destruction of the city by King Kong, Carl Denham once again falls upon hard times. And must find a way out. 

Although Denham still decides to take another trip into the wild, he is accompanied by Hilda Peterson, a young woman who Denham finds immensely attractive. Together, they travel once again to Skull Island, this time in search of treasure. However, upon arriving on the island, they learn that Denham is not welcome because the natives blame him for Kong’s rampage on their village. As such, they are forced to hide below deck. While in hiding, Denham and Hilda soon encounter a young gorilla.

Although it is not fully grown, the gorilla is already almost 15 feet tall and extremely large. Denham believes it is King Kong’s son, so he calls it little Kong. Unfortunately, the gorilla is stuck in quicksand and is sinking quickly.

Surprisingly, Denham rescues the gorilla. And in return, they get a jungle protector. Little Kong stays with them, fighting dinosaurs, angry natives, and duplicitous sea-farers. Finally, the two try to find their way through the jungle with the help of King Kong’s son. 

3. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Well, fans of King Kong believe that the giant ape is the Lord of the wild. In enter Godzilla, a prehistoric creature reportedly freed when a submarine collides with an iceberg during an expedition. The fearsome creature who has been trapped in it since 1955 escapes and goes on a destructive rampage.

Meanwhile, King Kong is currently roaming on Faro Island and has begun to garner attention.

Amazing coincidence for Mr. Tako, head of Pacific pharmaceuticals. He is currently unsatisfied with his company’s television shows and is in desperate need of something to boost his ratings.

Once he learns of the mighty Kong, coupled with his desperation to drum up publicity for his company, Mr. Tako sends his men up Mt. Faro on an expedition in search of the creature. 

Unfortunately, Tako’s employees managed to subdue and capture King Kong. They put him on a raft headed for Japan. On the way, the massive animal breaks free and escapes from the raft.

He arrives onshore, where Godzilla is already terrorizing the Japanese countryside. Well, we all know that Kong is not one to stand by and do nothing. So he attacks Godzilla with rocks. And the two large prehistoric creatures meet in a head-on collision. They slug it out in one of the most climactic and epic battles in the history of animal battles.

RELATED: Godzilla Movies in Order: The Complete Chronological Kaijū Watching Order (2021)

4. King Kong Escapes (1967)

What to do when you can’t get the real Kong? Just make one of your own. At least that’s what Dr. Who thinks. So he created a replica of King Kong called Mechani-Kong and tasked it with digging for something called Element X, a highly radioactive material found in the North Pole.

But Mechani-Kong hardly makes progress before its brain is destroyed by radiation. Well, Mechani-Kong cannot complete the task, so Dr. Who decides to kidnap the actual King Kong to finish the job. 

He captures Kong and hypnotizes the giant into obeying all his instructions, King Kong digs under hypnosis for a while, but as always, Kong doesn’t stay shackled for long.

As expected, he soon escapes and heads for Japan to rescue Lt. Susan Miller and her boyfriend, who the evil Dr. Who has also kidnaped. He successfully rescues the duo.

Finally, he swims all the way to Japan, where an epic battle rages between the real King Kong and his poorly designed replica. First, King Kong destroys the robot, after which he kills Dr. Who and his cohorts. Then, Kong victoriously swims back to his home island.

5. King Kong (1976)

Fred Wilson, an oil executive, gets wind of an oil-rich island off the Indian Ocean and sets out to explore it, despite being warned by Jake Prescott about the road of a giant beast on the island. He orders that Prescott be locked up.

But, Prescott sneaks on board the ship sent to explore the island. On their way, they rescue the line survivor of a boat accident, a girl named Dwan. Upon their arrival on the island, they notice that the natives live in fear of and worship an extremely large ape called King Kong.

In addition to that, they discover that although there is oil in large quantities on the island, the oil is of low quality and is not usable. While they’re exploring, the natives capture the beautiful Dwan and present her as a sacrifice to the enormous ape. However, they manage to rescue Dwan again. 

Considering the fact that the oil on the island is unusable, Wilson cannot return home empty-handed, so he captures the colossal ape King Kong for exhibition as a publicity gimmick for his company.

6. King Kong Lives (1986)

King Kong has been through a lot, but there seems to be more in store for him. After being shot out of the sky, Kong falls from the world trade center. Although he survived, he needs a new heart if he’s to survive.

Luckily, a large female ape is found in the jungle, and the heart is transplanted successfully. Unfortunately, Kong wakes up and begins to sense the presence of a female, and all hell breaks loose. 

7. The Mighty Kong (1998)

When Carl Denham offers struggling actress Ann Darrow a job in his new film, she thought the tide had finally turned back in her favor. But upon their arrival into the jungle location, Ann is captured by the natives, who take her as a sacrifice to their god.

Interestingly, they worship a twenty-five-foot-tall gorilla called King Kong. Once Kong sees Ann, he takes her and disappears into the jungle. The action is fast-paced, and humor is in full supply in this 1998 animation of the 1933 classic King Kong.

8. King Kong (2005)

The 2005 portrayal of King Kong might be the best yet. The film has won several awards and still counting. Anyway, it is 1933, and the great depression is depressing.

Unfortunately, things aren’t looking good for film director and producer Carl Denham. The desperate Denham assembles an unsuspecting team which includes New York City actress Ann Darrow. Ann is enthused when she learns her favorite playwright Jack Driscoll will be on board.

However, Carl Denham, unknown to his team, sails to the mysterious and infamous Skull Island. On the island, they meet the King of the jungle. The King Kong. The natives who worship Kong attempt to sacrifice Ann Darrow to Kong, who takes her and flees into the jungle.

They manage to capture King Kong, take back Darrow, and Denham takes Kong back to New York for an exhibit, dubbing him the world’s eighth wonder. 

9. Kong: King of Atlantis (2005)

The ancient Kingdom of Atlantis is returning to Earth, and in its wake, destruction. Some of the loyal inhabit of Atlantis have come to find Kong, to get his help in keeping the Kingdom underwater. Because if Atlantis were to rise, it would destroy the Earth, which is why the empire was sunk in the first place.

However, the evil Queen Reptilla, together with her minions, has planned to use Kong as a puppet and gain control of Atlantis. Reptile means to rule Atlantis as its Queen. Noble plan.

With that plan in mind, she sends her minions to lure Kong to her palace with promises of kingship, telling him that he is the one true King of Atlantis and that she will unite the Kingdom and its people under his rule. 

However, it doesn’t take long before Kong realizes that Reptilla is evil and uses magic to control all her loyal subjects. He turns on her. Reptile is furious when she realizes that Kong is no longer on her side, but she is too late. He stops Atlantis from rising and releases all the animals from her mind control.

Finally, Kong realizes that he does not need to be King of Atlantis. That he is King Kong, the King of Kong Island.

10. Kong: Return To The Jungle (2007)

Kong’s return to the jungle is a 3D animated monster musical film. It is the second animated King Kong film. In this animated feature-length film. Kong and the other remarkable inhabitants of their island of origin are captured. The mighty Kong is removed from his natural island habitat to a modern zoo.

They’re then taken to a well-built, well-furnished world-class zoo on the island of Manhattan. He is forced to live like a monkey, and so he struggles deeply. Not surprising, for how can a thousand-pound gorilla be expected to eat bananas and climb trees? Kong stays in the zoo, but not for long. Again, it is shown that no one can tame the enormous beast.

11. Kong: Skull Island (2017)

After the Vietnam war, a group of people launched an exploration of the wild. Historians, soldiers, and scientists come together to explore the mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific ocean.

Removed from everything familiar, they venture into the world of the mighty Kong. As their quest ignites the battle between man and nature, their journey of the discovery quickly turns into a battle for survival. On the island, the humans battle against Kong and other creatures, including the skull crawlers.

Although some of the explorers are keen on killing Kong, others help him survive, and he, in turn, protects them from the dangers on the island as they battle to escape a primal jungle where humanity is not welcome.

12. Godzilla v Kong (2021)

The 2021 movie, titled Godzilla vs. Kong, clearly depicts a battle between two of the jungle’s fiercest creatures. The fearsome Godzilla and the enormous Kong, with humanity hanging in the balance.

This is the second film in the franchise, dedicated to the battle between the two jungle monsters. It is also the latest release in the franchise. And in this adventure, Kong and his protectors have undertaken a perilous journey to find his origins and save humanity from certain doom. 

Along with them is Jia, a young girl with whom Kong shares a special bond. Then, enter the mighty and enraged Godzilla, destroying everything in his path even as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. 

The battle for the ages follows as the two spectacular mythical creatures clash on the big screen. However, the brutal clash of the two Titans is but the beginning of a series of events, instigated by yet to be determined forces, the work of a mystery buried deep in the bowels of the Earth.

Do You Need To Watch King Kong Movies In Order?

The events in the King Kong Franchise do not necessarily follow a sequence. Only very few of the films build on the previous film’s events to tell the next part of the story. In fact, about three of the films are remakes of the original film, albeit much more exciting and heart-stopping. So you can choose to watch any part of the franchise that catches your fancy. Even if you do not follow the order, you’ll certainly follow the story. 

Will There Be More King Kong Movies?

The latest film in the franchise, Godzilla vs. Kong, which was released in March 2021, was a huge success. However, there has been no response from the directors and the producers about a new King Kong film. And while it is still early since the release, there have been speculations that the director of Godzilla vs. Kong, Adam Wingard, is in talks for a new film.

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