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Western Animation: Donkey Kong Country

A French-produced Animated Adaptation of the popular Super Nintendo game Donkey Kong Country. The series lasted from 1996 to 2000.

On the island of Kongo Bongo, The Hero of the series, Donkey Kong, is the island's future ruler, as selected by a magical orb called the Crystal Coconut, which has the ability to grant wishes. But the Coconut is a prize coveted by the show's villain, King K. Rool, who aims to steal it and take over the island himself. Thus, DK has to always stand guard over it, which isn't an easy task since he's frequently taking time off to do activities such as eating his Trademark Favorite Food, bananas. Sometimes, another threat appears in the form of a group of Pirates led by Kaptain Skurvy, who believes the Coconut belongs to him. And did we mention there's a lot of singing? It happens at least Once per Episode.

While the series takes place in an Alternate Continuity from that of the games, a few elements of the show would find their way into the games, particularly in Donkey Kong 64, where Crystal Coconuts are an item (but not a MacGuffin like here), and Cranky Kong works as a potion-mixing Mad Scientist.

Tropes used exclusively in the show:

  • Affably Evil: Basically every villain, aside from Polly Roger.
  • Almost Kiss
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has a different opening and ending theme.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The Ape-propriately-named one-episode character Kong Fu. In fact, he's so arrogant that when K. Rool's 'krew' make fun of his phobia, he quits working for them.
  • Art Devolution: The animation, while already leaving a lot to be desired, takes a step down in quality in the second season.
  • Badass Grandpa: It turns out that K. Rool is the same age, or thereabouts, as Cranky Kong.
    • Retired Badass: K. Rool and Cranky used to do a lot of crazy stunts when they were friends. In the episode about their former relationship, they mention "tsunami wrestling" and "skydiving without a parachute".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Crystal Coconut can grant wishes, so this topic comes up now and again. The biggest example would be in 'The Day The Island Stood Still'; DK, about to take a nap, absentmindedly wishes he could sleep forever. The result is time halting...and he can't protect the island if he's napping since the Crystal Coconut also makes DK unable to ever awaken while time is stopped. Made worse when K.Rool, who is awake with the rest of the islands inhabitants, also realizes time has stopped and DK is out like a light...
  • Benevolent Boss: While King K. Rool might sound like a Bad Boss, he does take pretty good care of his troops, despite their fumblings.
  • Beta Couple: Diddy and Dixie to Donkey and Candy's Alpha Couple, though Diddy sometimes reciprocates the feelings when it's not directly or heavily implied.
  • Be The Ball: DK does this to Diddy in one episode.
  • Big Red Button: K. Rool wanted to push it.
    • —>Klump: But you said blast off! I didn't get to say anything!
  • Big "NO!": K. Rool's reaction to when Klump's video conference messes up his game playing in "Buried Treasure".
  • Broken Aesop: Subverted. In the episode "Bug A Boogie", Cranky tries to show DK and Diddy that practical jokes aren't fun... by pulling a practical joke on them. However, this actually comes back to bite him when not having DK around due to said practical joke leaves the Crystal Coconut unprotected, fixing the aesop.
  • Butt Monkey: DK himself is this, in "Kong for a Day" and the majority of season two.
    • Cranky also qualifies, as he's been injured at least once by every other character in the show, most often by Donkey Kong.
  • Canon Foreigner: Bluster, Inka Dinka Doo, Polly Roger, Eddie the Mean Old Yeti and Skurvy and his crew.
    • Although Skurvy's design appears to be directly based on the cannon-wielding Klumps named Kannon from Donkey Kong Country 2.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Crystal Coconut, and Cranky dealing in potions.
  • Catch Phrase: Banana-Slamma!
  • Festival of Lights Episode: The episode appears to focus on a holiday known as "Festival of Lights Day" (Day appears to actually be in the name of the celebration). The festival appears to be about be around family and friends, gift giving, peace, and fireworks. Minus the fireworks, this is basically the idea and overall way Christmas is treated. Even K.Rool celebrates it and honors the peace for one day, although Skurvy doesn't...
  • Chase Scene: Done in multiple episodes
  • The Chosen One: Donkey Kong is 'The future ruler of Kongo Bongo'. The thing is, no one knows when he'll become ruler, but for now it seems his only job is to protect the Crystal Coconut.
  • Clip Show: The final episode of season 2 is simply a montage of characters remembering various sequences from the older episodes, with the over-arching story being about DK leaving the island possibly forever. He misread the letter, so he's not.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "Buried Treasure", Donkey didn't realize at first that he's found a treasure map.
  • Curse Cut Short: In "Speak No Evil, Dude":
    Diddy: What a riot, what a gas! Cranky is dumber than a monkey's a— (gets bitten by a parrot)
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: For all of his failings, Klump is an amazing spy, often finding things out about the Kongs the same time as we do.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Diddy, K. Rool, and Cranky.
  • Decided By One Vote: Krusha in "Vote of Kong-fidence".
  • Ditzy Evil Genius: King K. Rool. Several of his schemes were smart enough to actually work, but he got too carried away at the end. Part of this problem is K.Rool's insatiable appetite for grandiose schemes and using Krusha and Kump over and over rather than his very adept work force.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: In the B-plot of Bluster's Sales Ape-Straveganza, K. Rool decides to steal the Crystal Coconut on live TV.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The way the Kritters march in the song "King K. Rool's Finest Hour".
  • Dumbass Has a Point: In the episode "Buried Treasure", K. Rool decides that the treasure the Kongs are looking for is an Artifact of Doom "capable of wiping out the island":
    K. Rool: Do you know what this means!?
    Krusha: The apes will have complete control over Kongobongo, and probably turn us into matching luggage.
    K. Rool: (to the audience) ...he does have his moments...
    • And again in, "Monkey Seer, Monkey Do", after they steal the mystic oracle (Funky's lava lamp). The crocs spend several elaborate dances trying to "summon the oracle", only for Krusha to point out that the lamp isn't even on.
  • Dumb Muscle: King K. Rool and his henchmen (especially Krusha), Eddie the Mean Old Yeti, and to a lesser extent, Donkey Kong.
  • Evil Virtues: K. Rool gives all of his minions the day of the Festival of Lights off every year.
    "Even cerebrally-challenged, home-spun, pinheaded subordinates need to spend time with their scaly loved ones."
    • Krusha, on the other hand, in the episode "Speed" has none, and is willing to go so far as to kill Diddy and Dixie with a bomb to get to Donkey Kong. Even K.Rool is rather amazed and terrified.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Kaptain Skurvy allowed for a three way conflict. Something that doesn't show up often in children’s cartoons in the era.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Donkey Kong is flying around in Funky's biplane when he notices something in the cockpit;
    DK: Hey, it's Dixie's pet crab! Aw, isn't it cute, eatin' through all those funny-lookin' wires- This is definitely a bad thing.
  • Fan Disservice: Because King K Rool is tailess, his 'butt' is technically visible at all times. Meanwhile Candy is the only character who doesn't go around bottomless.
    • The opening sequence features a DK ass shot.
  • Finagle's Law: "The Legend of the Crystal Coconut" has every villain being reluctant to do anything bad because it's a bad villain day. Murphy's Law does indeed strike.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: "The Big Switcheroo" has DK getting his brain switched with a barrel-making robot's, and Candy's with Klump's.
  • Friendly Enemy: Klump and Krusha. Even King K. Rool has his moments.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Donkey Kong gets this the most. Usually from Cranky.
  • Genius Bruiser: One episode has Krusha suddenly become highly intelligent. He outwits the entire cast, becoming The Starscream in the process.
  • Genius Ditz: General Klump.
  • Gentle Giant: Krusha manages to be this while still being a villain.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Literally. When offering to help look for Dixie's pet crab, named Crabby, Diddy calls out, "HERE, CRAPPY! CRAPPY! Here, Crappy, Crappy..."
    • However, Skurvy saying "Me great-great-great-grandpappy Skurvy, may he rot in hell" had "in hell" replaced with a laugh (though the closed captioning and the VHS release still had it intact).
    • In the song "Our Love Is Stronger Than a Golden Banana", DK drops a couple of lyrics that come across as... suggestive. It doesn't help that he raises his eyebrows at certain parts of the song.
  • Graceful Loser: King K. Rool tends to be very polite about his losses against Donkey Kong. Not that this has saved him from getting his snout punched in.
    K. Rool: Good match. Once again, you win, I lose. No harm, no foul. Let's call it a day. *gets cold cocked by Donkey Kong*
  • Grumpy Bear: Cranky Kong and K. Rool.
  • Guns Are Worthless: A notable aversion, as anyone with any sort of firearm, no matter how ridiculous the weapon (or how ridiculous the wielder, in the case of Bluster's Let's Get Dangerous) is taken quite seriously.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. While DK is 'The biggest, strongest ape on all of Kongo Bongo' the episode 'Kong Fu' shows that if he just sits around eating bananas, he loses that strength.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Modern audiences snicker at Diddy telling Donkey that "Your plan's a bit of a boner" in one episode.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The English version has a few notable voices, for instance, Andrew "Yoshi" Sabiston as Diddy Kong. While Richard Yearwood (Rick from Dino Crisis) is Donkey Kong himself.
  • Hero with an F in Good: Bluster Kong. His attempts to legitimately help his fellow apes in 'Get a Life, Don't Save One!' and 'Bluster the Benevolent' are so destructive (not to mention annoying and overblown) that We Want Our Jerk Back ensues.
    • In one episode he successfully steals the Crystal Coconut and loses it. He then proceeds to work against DK and Diddy to retrieve it because he wants to be the hero, but just hands it over when asked by Klump out of fear. When it comes down to it, Bluster's selfishness overpowers any good he's attempting to do.
  • Hulk Speak: Eddie the Mean Old Yeti.
  • Idiot Hero: Donkey Kong.
  • Idea Bulb: Shows up. K. Rool at one point had turning gears appear over his head before the bulb did.
  • I'm Not a Doctor, but I Play One on TV: DK's not a villain. But he played one in Bluster's movie and when K. Rool, playing the hero, stole the Crystal Coconut DK got the blame and was banished for it.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: K. Rool has to deal with stupidity from his minions, repeated failures, and repeated beatings from Donkey Kong, but his hammy, Laughably Evil tendencies make him one of the highlights of the show, and you really do feel sorry for him with what he has to put up with. In one episode he spends most of it watching Krusha and Klump try to troubleshoot their way into decoding a message they themselves wrote and forgot the code to, and K. Rool mutters to himself, "It's times like this I find myself asking: do I really want the Crystal Coconut this badly?"
  • Inexplicably Tailless: K. Rool has no tail for some reason.
  • In Name Only: Kutlass
  • Insistent Terminology: Or rather, insistence on not using a particular terminology. The word "Kremling" is never heard at any point throughout the series. Instead, the minions are called "Kritters".
    • Fridge Brilliance: Probably because that's what they are; like all of the Kremlings in the show, they're based on a specific enemy from the first Donkey Kong Country game — specifically, the basically "Kremling grunt" or "Kritter". Kremling means the race as a whole, but K. Rool's minions are all Kritter-type Kremlings.
    • Donkey Kong is never referred to as just "Donkey", even though every other Kong shares his surname. It's always "Donkey Kong" or "DK". Dixie once refers to "Donkey and Diddy", but that's it in two seasons.
  • International Coproduction: The season was produced by Canadian-based Nelvana and French company MediaLab. The second season swaps out the latter with Taiwanese companies Wang Film Productions and CGCG.
  • Jerkass: Bluster. He has no regard for anyone's happiness but his own, and is willing to screw over any and everyone just to get it. He even goes out of his way to make a love potion to use on Candy because he believes Candy is better off with him than DK.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cranky Kong. Also, Klump in a few episodes.
  • Karma Houdini: King K. Rool in "Kong For a Day". He manages to frame DK for various incidents, isolating him from everyone and ultimately resulting in being banished. Although DK is brought back in time to foil K. Rool, in the end DK's friends still think he did all of that, with nobody aware that this was all K. Rool's doing.
  • Kiss of Life: DK accidentally wishes he could sleep forever and ends up doing just that. He is eventually awoken when K. Rool accidentally kisses him while having apples in his eyes.
  • Knight of Cerebus: This turned out to be Krusha's true colors when his brain got knocked back into place. He's so genre savvy, that he knows how most of the situations with everyone will play out, and fails because he neglected to take one detail into account: DK taking the Crystal Coconut. Krusha's so deadly, that he's even willing to kill Diddy and Dixie with a bomb, and effectively doesn't bat an eye at the prospect of K. Rool accidentally being killed in the crossfire.
  • Large Ham: King K. Rool and, to a lesser extent, Bluster Kong.
    • In one episode, during DK's attempts to imitate K. Rool, Bluster yells "Get that ham out of here!"
  • Let's Get Dangerous: One episode has Bluster hold up King K. Rool with his own blunderbuss.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman : Not easy to catch, but Klump does this once he realizes he's in a "Freaky Friday" Flip with Candy.
  • Manipulative Bastard: King K. Rool
  • Miles Gloriosus: Bluster Kong.
    • Inverted with Leo Lester.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Bluster in one episode.
  • Mooks: Kritters
  • Morality Pet: Dixie for Klump, who previously didn't have one before 'Klump's Lumps'.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In "Buried Treasure", Diddy throws his hat to the ground and stomps on it.
    • In "Get A Life, Don't Save One", Donkey Kong said flying a plane is more fun than "on top of some skyscraper".
    • In "Message In A Bottle Show", Cranky says that DK is like a son to him. Think about it.
    • In "From Zero to Hero", the song "King K. Rool's Finest Hour" shares the same beat as "Krook's March" from DKC2.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Funky Kong became this, man.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The conflict in 'Legend of the Crystal Coconut' began when DK just GAVE the MacGuffin to K.Rool under the belief that would grant him enlightenment. (To know everything you must give up everything)
  • No Flow in CGI: K. Rool's cape is MUCH shorter than in the games.
  • No Indoor Voice: Inka Dinka Doo TALKS LIKE THIS.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Everybody pronounces K. Rool as KUH Rool, when it should actually be pronounced as KAY Rool. In the first episode, Cranky and a Robot Candy duplicate pronounce his name using the latter once, then only use the former for the remainder of the episode.
  • Not So Different: Cranky and K. Rool, especially when it's revealed they used to be the best of friends.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: King K. Rool and Kaptain Skurvy.
    • Krusha becomes one when he gets he brain knocked back in place. Even K. Rool is terrified of him.
  • Odd Friendship: Dixie and Klump.
  • Odd Name Out: Bluster in the Kong's Theme Naming of ending with an "e" sound and in Skurvy's crew there's Green Croc. Who isn't even green.
    • Green Croc is likely a nod to the term Greenhorn, which implies a newbie sailor on a vessel.
  • Once per Episode: There are two songs sung by the characters in each episode.
  • Out of Focus: Dixie gets this treatment pretty badly, having like one single episode or two dedicated for her. Even in Message in a Bottle Show, she's the only one out of everybody and the villains who hardly does anything with DK and thus doesn't even get to use flashbacks. It feels like she's a Recurring Extra rather than a secondary character.
    • To a lesser extent, Scurvy and his crew. The family root reveal kind of put an end to his shenanigans.
  • Palette Swap: Donkey Kong and Eddie the Mean Old Yeti. Also Captain Scurvy and his two henchmen are Palette Swaps of General Klump, King K. Rool and one of the mooks.
  • Parody Episode: One episode copied the plot (and even the title) of the movie Speed. Another episode used the "It's a Wonderful Plot" trope in an All Just a Dream fashion.
  • Pirate Booty: One episode revolves around most of the main characters looking for Buried Treasure pinpointed on a map that DK finds. The Kongs believe the treasure is money, and King K. Rool believes it is a Doomsday Device. It turns out to be some now-spoiled bananas that DK buried in his youth.
    • The Easy Amnesia episode brings Skurvy and his crew into the fold by trying to dig up treasure they buried on the beach. "Captain, why does we bury the treasure?"
  • Pirates: Kaptain Skurvy and his crew.
  • Power-Up Food: Bananas for DK.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Krusha, a very strong Type A.
  • The Resenter: Bluster. It's sometimes hinted that he hates DK more than K. Rool does.
  • Rich Bastard: Bluster Kong, although most of this is because of his "mumsy".
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King K. Rool is surprisingly active, from leading operations from the front to building his own super weapons.
  • Sadistic Choice: In the episode "Speed", Krusha, his intelligence increased, traps Diddy and Dixie on a runaway mine cart with no breaks and a bomb that will explode if it does stop. DK has to choice between staying and defending the Crystal Coconut, or going off to save his friends. Naturally, DK goes off...but not before taking the Coconut with him!
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Donkey and Diddy briefly chase Polly Roger into this trope in "Raiders of the Lost Banana".
  • Superpowered Alter Ego: Leo Luster, the result of a chemical mixing of various hair-growth formula's, turns Bluster into a complete foil of himself: A suave, smooth talking, effective, brave, bold, and handsome monkey with a deep soothing voice. Nobody is aware that it is Bluster until he blatantly admits it to DK in the end of the episode before the two attack K.Rool for the Crystal Coconut.
  • She's Got Legs: Candy Kong
  • Shout-Out: When Barrel 007 is loaded for launch in one episode, James Bond style music starts playing.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Donkey Kong has a gravely, high-pitched speaking voice. Meanwhile, his singing voice is deeper and more soulful, somewhat reminiscent of Terence Trent D'Arby.
  • Smart Ball: Donkey Kong has his moments.
  • Smug Snake: Bluster Kong and King K. Rool.
  • Snipe Hunt: Bug a Boogie features MULTIPLE snipe hunts, starting when DK and Diddy trick K. Rool's crew into thinking there's a magic amulet in the swamp, Cranky tricks the two apes that some trinket is cursed and it must be disposed of in the "Well of Woe", and then K. Rool tricking Scurvy into coming after an amulet.
  • Spy Speak: Klump does this. K. Rool is not impressed. Part of the problem is that Klump has a myriad of phrases for the exact same situation, and he never got to rehearse any of their meanings with K.Rool.
    Klump: The Baby's bicycle is broken
  • Squashed Flat: K. Rool in one episode as a result of The Door Slams You and Cranky in another, after being run over by a mine cart.
  • Start My Own: Donkey Kong and Diddy's "Coconut Chill" milkshade stand started because DK wanted to be a successful businessman like Bluster, in order to impress Candy.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: It's at times like this I ask myself, do I really want the coconut this badly?
  • Terrible Trio: Klump and Krusha, with K. Rool as The Man Behind the Man.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Klump and Krusha, especially in Speak No Evil, Dude, where they misinterpret K. Rool's sickened grunts into blowing up the island...with everyone and THEM on it. To further prove the point, Cranky tried to point it out, yet Klump thought it was a mental trick.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Donkey Kong in Season 2. There's one sequence where he even attempts to break a date with Candy for a fishing trip by tricking her.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Candy and Dixie.
  • Tsundere: Candy Kong. King K Rool is like this to his troops.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: At least Once per Episode, someone will burst into song, usually about what's going on.
  • Undying Loyalty: Klump lives to serve K. Rool.
  • The Unseen: Bluster's mother or "Mumsy". She is never seen, heard, or involved directly in most of the plots. She is repeatedly mentioned as The real owner of the barrel works, and is apparently wealthy. It's also implied she voted in the episode "Vote of Kong-fidence" AGAINST her son.
    • Dixie's pet crab. The episodes make everything in their power to make the pet not get seen in the picture. Only the characters can see where it is, usually about to cause some sort of accident.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: In 'Watch The Skies', K. Rool decides that "Secrecy is the key" and makes sure almost no one in his forces know what episode's 'Project X' is. According to Klump, each Kritter builds a piece of the weapon in their spare time, and the general assembles the thing in complete darkness, with his eyes closed.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: In "Four Weddings and a Coconut", DK's attempt to propose to Candy leads to him kissing Bluster's hand.
  • Wedding Smashers: DK at, ironically, what is supposed to be his own wedding.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Donkey and Candy.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Two occasions with Bluster. Also, one occasion with Cranky and K. Rool.
    • K. Rool and Cranky's case is interesting. They both become friends, ending the Kong and croc feud, but their pranks tick off everyone so much that DK, Diddy, Klump and Krusha conspire to make them enemies again.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Cranky's reaction to the lines Bluster feeds him for a commercial;
    Cranky: "Bluster Barrelworks...because their barrels have been around forever...and I should know 'cause so have I"? What kind of crock is that!?
  • Write Who You Know: Bluster's movie, written by Funky is based off the events of the series. Leading to an in-story What The Hell, Casting Agency? when K. Rool is cast as the hero and DK is cast as the villain.
    • Then again, considering Bluster is the director and he hates DK, he appeared to not have any intention to place him as the villain at all until K.Rool's suggestion.
  • You Never Asked: 'Legends of the Crystal Coconut' has Klump and Krusha hiding in barrels on Kaptain Skurvy's pirate ship while it sails off:
    Klump: Now when the coast is clear, we'll jump out of the barrels, steal the Crystal Coconut back, and then swim back to shore.
    Krusha: Duh, I can't swim.
    Klump: Well, why didn't ya say so before we snuck on board?!
    Krusha: Well, you never asked.

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