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Donkey Kong to the Rescue

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The film's original theatrical poster


Donkey Kong Country: To the Rescue! (Kyujo e Donkikongu in Japan) is a 1995 Japanese animated film based on the Donkey Kong franchise.

The film was directed by Gisaburō Sugii and produced at the Group TAC studio. The film was released in Japanese movie theaters on July 8, 1995.

Summary

The plot of the movie is based somewhat on Donkey Kong Country except rather than just stealing the banana hoard, a human princess was also abducted from her world by King K. Rool. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are sent by Cranky Kong to retrieve both things from K. Rool.

Box office and reception

During its theatrical run in Japan, the film managed to surpass the 1 billion JPY mark, grossing 1,349,236,783 JPY (approximately $17,338,015 USD) against a remarkably small budget of 389,092,899 JPY ($5 million USD) in spite of competition from Whisper of the Heart.

Reception there was mixed to positive, some praised the story which differentiated from the game and admirable art but criticized the film for making near-heavy use of limited animation techniques, including recycled walk cycles, compared to Whisper of the Heart.

In Germany, the film grossed 37,524,396 DEM and has since become a staple of ZDF children's programming, being aired annually on Christmas Eve as well as on KI.KA the same time.

Shigeru Miyamoto himself has praised the movie for its successful attempts to follow the Donkey Kong franchise faithfully.

Worldwide, out of 15 territories, the film grossed $99,598,162. In some non-Japanese territories such as France, Spain, Germany and the USA and Canada, it was released in theaters but in other countries it was released direct-to-video.

Cast (Japanese version)

Cast (English version)

Distribution

  • Japan - Shochiku-Fuji Company
  • Germany - Jugendfilm-Verleih
  • Austria - Constantin Film
  • France - Metropolitan Filmexport
  • Switzerland - Buena Vista International
  • Poland - United International Pictures (UIP)
  • Australia - Village Roadshow
  • UK - Warner Bros
  • Spain - Laurenfilm
  • USA - Miramax Family Films
  • Canada - Alliance Atlantis
  • Sweden - Columbia TriStar Films AB
  • Denmark - Nordisk Film
  • Norway - Columbia TriStar
  • Finland - Finnkino

Soundtrack

The film's official soundtrack was released on July 9, 1995 by Toshiba EMI. The film's score was composed by Polish musician Seweryn Krajewski.

Listing:

  1. Katastrophic Kong Klan! (OP) - 2:45 - performed by the Cast
  2. Doki Doki Do It - 3:14
  3. Early Morning on the Island - 1:59
  4. K. Rool's Lair - 2:58
  5. Princess Yuki's Theme - 2:50
  6. The Kingdom is Under Siege! - 1:45
  7. Adventure - 2:00
  8. Extremely Gnawty - 2:49
  9. The Song of Distraction - 3:50
  10. Intruders! - 2:15
  11. Yuki's Song of Courage - 2:20 - Mayumi Iizuka
  12. The UFO Ride Home - 2:06
  13. Yuki's Song of Courage (Extended - ED) - 3:58 - Mayumi Iizuka

Total Running Time: 34:39

When the film was released in Poland, Russia, Hungary, Romania and other former Communist territories, some of the score and songs were replaced with a few songs from the children's music album Dyskoteka pana Jacka, for example the opening theme was replaced with ABC Przygody. Jacek Cygan translated the lyrics to Yuki's Song of Courage, which was renamed to Marii piosenki Odwaga.

The following songs are included in said versions:

  1. ABC Przygody - Seweryn i Sebastian Krajewski (replaces Katastrophic Kong Klan!)
  2. Dyskoteka pana Jacka - Jacek Cygan, Magdalena Fronczewska & Majka Jeżowska (replaces Song of Distraction)
  3. Za maly - Krzysztof Antkowiak
  4. Final w krainie Przygody
  5. UFO jest krasnalem naszych dni - Seweryn Krajewski (the end credits theme)

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