Horror Movies, Music & More

A 2-Year-Old’s Perspective—King Kong (1933)

When I sat down to watch the original version of King Kong this morning, my 2-year-old son crawled up on the couch and planted himself in my lap. Even at his young age, he knows well the signals of a movie that’s about to start—the quiet before the storm, the swelling music. He loves the whole experience, and his excitement is infectious. He doesn’t care what he’s about to see; he just knows he’s about to see something. And when I explained he was about to see a film about a giant gorilla, he went ape. (Sorry. But he did.) Now, I’m careful about what he watches. I’ve made mistakes in the past (e.g., Zombieland—we stopped 10 minutes in), but these days he doesn’t watch anything scary. Creepy, sure. Spooky, maybe. But out-and-out scary, no way. But I figured the 1933 King Kong would be fine. Right? I mean, there is so much about it that is now ingrained in our pop culture, I know he’s already seen references to it elsewhere. And I’d be right there with him, so why not. Anyway, we watched it. And you know what? He loved it! In fact, he loved it so much, I’m going to relay his comments about it to you. I think you’ll find his thoughts on King Kong to be quite succinct and on point. The following are actual quotes straight from the mouth of my son, the future movie reviewer.

“Wanna watch a movie!”

“She pretty.”

“She’s tired.”

“Ooh, big boat, daddy!”

“He’s a bad boy!”

“They found it.”

“Skull!”

“Kong, Kong, Kong, Kong.”

“She scared.”

“He’s scaaaary.”

“He not scary.”

“Tha’s big g’illa!”

“G’illa hit snake, daddy!”

“Dinosaur, dinosaur!”

“Uh oh.”

“King Kong mad.”

“She crying.”

“Airplanes!”

“Uh oh!”

“Kong sad, daddy.”

“The end!”

I really don’t think I could have summed up this enjoyable classic film any better than that. Watching it with him allowed me to realize how effective this film still is. The effects by Willis O’Brien are incredible, even for today. And I’d forgotten how good Fay Wray is in this flick. She seems to radiate an ethereal, glowing beauty onscreen. It’s easy to see that her roots were in silent films—her face and, especially, her eyes are incredibly expressive. Sure, some of the dialogue is hokey and there are a few wooden performances, but this movie still has power. I know because I could see it in my son’s eyes.

~Theron Neel

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