web analytics
Apr 202012
 

Primates are intelligent animals that love bananas. But like humans, they can use their superior skills for good or evil. Either way, apes and monkeys do leave their mark as pop culture icons. Here are some of my favorites.

#10) King Kong from King Kong: This gigantic ape has been around for ages with at least several movie versions. He’s well known for being brought from the jungle to New York City, where he runs amok and climbs the tallest building with the woman he loves. After seeing the newest version from 2005, I realized that King Kong is more of a love story than an adventure story. You’ve got to admit though. Kong sure knows how to beat up a T-Rex.

#9) King Homer from The Simpsons: One of the stories on Tree House of Horror III spoofs King Kong with King Homer. King Homer is not only in love with Marge, but he eats people alive, along with Shirley Temple.

King Homer’s only other appearance was on the Super NES title, The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare and was surprisingly easy to defeat with Bartzilla’s electrical body.

#8) Silver from Ninja Turtles the Next Mutation: He’s a gangster Himalayan ape and is the last of his kind. That’s why Silver became so greedy. Whenever there’s an opportunity to steal a ton of money, Silver and his gang of well-dressed crooks will seize it.

#7) Grape Ape from The Great Grape Ape Show: Now here’s an ape I really enjoyed when I was a kid. Grape Ape is strong, gigantic, and kind hearted. However, most people fear him because of his size. At least he has Beagle Beagle as his best friend. I have always wandered how Beagle’s van supports Grape Ape on top so easily.

#6) Primator from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Lord Zedd created this ape monster from a gorilla costume. Primator is a shape shifter, who can turn into anyone of the rangers and imitate any of their voices. His only weakness is mirrors. When Primator sees his reflection, he instantly changes back into himself. If only it were that simple with other shape shifters.

#5) Bogey from Shirt Tales: With his appetite for bananas, tree swinging skills, and Humphrey Bogart persona, this orangutan has always been one of my most favorites among the Shirt Tales. Bogey also has a habit of calling everyone he meets “Sweetheart”, but I’m sure that’s just his way of presenting himself as a friend.

#4) Tracy from Ghostbusters (1986 version): He’s a brave and intelligent ape with great strength. Tracy is also inventive. He created all of the gadgets for the Ghostbusters team and loves to cook, especially with bananas. However, you should never call Tracy a big ape. That makes him lose his temper.

#3) Mojo Jojo from Powerpuff Girls: Of all the villains the Powerpuff Girls face on a regular basis, this primate is their biggest foe, whose grudge is too close to home. Mojo used to be Professor Utonium’s lab assistant until the Powerpuff Girls were created. The Chemical X made him more intelligent, but he felt ignored and unappreciated. Now Mojo is an inventive mad genius, who likes to talk. He’s definitely worthy of the title Super Villain.

#2) Donkey Kong from Donkey Kong franchise: This iconic ape started out as the main villain of a classic arcade game from the early 80s because he had kidnapped Mario’s first girlfriend Pauline.

I also remember Donkey Kong as a giant sized villain from Captain N: The Game Master.

Years later, he becomes a jungle hero that began with the Super NES title Donkey Kong Country, which brings me to…

#1) Diddy Kong from Donkey Kong franchise: He’s Donkey Kong’s junior partner in battle, like Tails is to Sonic the Hedgehog. Diddy may not be as strong as Donkey Kong, but he’s light on his feet and can smoothly cartwheel his way out of trouble.

Diddy later proves to be more of an adventurer when he partners up with Dixie Kong in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. I can’t help but love this little guy.

Mar 092012
 

Hanna Barbera Productions has produced many different cartoon shows over the years. Laff-A-Lympics (1977-1978) provides an opportunity to bring these various characters together in a weekly sport competition with creatively unorthodox events, while traveling around the world.

Snagglepuss and Mildew Wolf from The Catanooga Cats Show are the commentators.

The athletes are split into three teams. Team #1 is the Yogi Yahooeys with Yogi Bear as captain. They are all animal characters from The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Yogi Bear Show, and Quick Draw McGraw, along with Grape Ape.

Team #2 is the Scooby Doobies with Scooby Doo as captain. This group is all mystery solver characters from The Scooby Doo Show, Dynomutt the Dog Wonder, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, and Speed Buggy, along with Hong Kong Phooey and Babu from Jeannie.

And team #3 is the Really Rottens. Other than team captain Mumbly, who has a striking resemblance to Muttley, these characters are all brand new to the Hanna Barbera franchise. Some of which are highly similar, like the Creepleys who are much like the Gruesomes from The Flintstones and Dread Baron who resembles Dick Dastardly.

On occasion, other characters make guest appearances. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble come by to demonstrate an event and Jabberjaw makes appearances as a guest referee, particularly for the water events. Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.

As the three teams compete for the Laff-A-Lympics gold medal, the Rottens always look for ways to cheat while the Yogis and Scoobys work hard to earn the prize fairly. Sometimes the Rottens lose points for cheating, but only when they get caught. I’m surprised that it doesn’t happen often.

I don’t know how they select which athletes to do which events, but the creativity he or she provides makes them exciting to watch. It’s kind of like picturing these characters as video game heroes.

The scoring system is always the same, 25 points for first place, 15 points for second, and 10 points for third. On rare occasions, there’s a 50-point bonus included for the really difficult events. Unfortunately, none of the teams have ever won it. It can be overwhelming if you think about it.

Each episode features six events, three in one country and three in another. Yet there’s no mention of the transportation used to get to these places so efficiently. It makes me wonder what these athletes do to party while they travel.

I enjoyed this series for its mixture of characters and exciting competition. Even though the Rottens never learn about cheating, it’s good to know that the Yogis and Scoobys are good sports toward one another.