Jill Young has brought up her pet gorilla since she was a child. Twelve years later, when the gorilla is fully grown, Hollywood promoter Max O’Hara travels to Tanzania, Africa, and convinces Jill to bring her extraordinarily large gorilla, Joe, back to America.
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A ripoff of Kong but occasionally transcends that and becomes its own movie; they were wise to focus on it taking place back in the States. You do feel Joe's pain and the occasionally incredible special effects help with that. The orphanage scene, while it comes out of nowhere, is fantastic.
You can imagine a young Harryhausen, in awe at King Kong & saying "I'm going to do that but make it more fun!" From the very start, w/ a little girl & a baby ape, you can sense this was made for children in an attempt to inspire & delight a generation. The romance is forgettable but its a sheer delight with a creature that's easy to sympathize with (as usual in Harry's films). Light & simple fun is easily found here.