Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
After the major success of the
arcade hit Donkey Kong, Nintendo was eager to duplicate that success
and commissioned the creation of a sequel. The game’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto,
went to work on the first of many entries into the franchise: Donkey Kong Jr.
was the culmination of ideas Miaymoto had for Donkey Kong, but was unable to incorporate due to graphical
limitations of the time. It was a departure from the previous game, as it
focused on Donkey Kong’s
son, Junior, who had to rescue his captured father from Mario. This marked the first and only
time that Mario was a villain in a videogame. The reason Junior was made the
star was because Miyamoto wanted the player to be able to play as Donkey Kong, but again graphical
limitations prohibited the use of such a large character in an action game. The
style of platforming was also different, as this time around Junior had to
climb a series of vines, knocking objects onto enemies to destroy them, in
order to reach Donkey Kong’s cage at the top. Like its predecessor, it featured
four distinct levels repeated with increasing difficulty. The game would end
after the player lost all their lives or reached the level 22 kill
Kong Jr. was released to arcades in August 1982, just weeks apart in both
Japan and North America. The game proved as successful as the predecessor,
earning the 1984 Arcade Award for “Best Videogame Audio-Visual Effects”. It was
selected among five arcade games for history’s first official videogame
world championship in January of 1983, filmed at Twin Galaxies in Ottumwa,
Iowa by ABC reality program That’s Incredible!Like
its predecessor, Jr. was ported to the
home consoles, with the Coleco
Adam version gaining a bonus fifth
stage absent from the original game, and to the Game &
Watchseries of handheld games which reproduced the first level.
The third and fourth levels of the game were reproduced in the follow-up, Donkey Kong II. Jr. also
had its own direct sequel in the form of educational game Donkey Kong Jr. Math for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The
game, however, was poorly received and future entries in the series were
The resulting series was Saturday Supercade. Making
up the Supercade every week were
segments based on Frogger, Donkey
Kongand Donkey Kong Jr., while
Q*Bert and Pitfall! rotated weekly. Donkey
Kong Jr. aired concurrently to Donkey
Kong and featured Junior (Frank Welker) travelling from the jungle to see
his father, Donkey Kong (Soupy
Sales), in the circus. Learning of his escape and desperate to find him,
Junior partnered with clumsy biker, Bones (Bart Braverman), and took off on
Donkey Kong’s trail. Ken Boyer
and Patrick A. Ventura
created the character models that adapted the cabinet artwork into cleaner
television stars. The theme music was created by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban.
Height comparison character model sheet.
the trail of Donkey Kong, Junior and Bones would often end up following a false
lead and instead finding some kind of trouble they would get involved with; be
it foiling a robbery or protecting children from bullies. Junior was the most
headstrong of the pair, always charging forward into situations and even taking
over the operation of Bones’ own motorcycle. Bones generally stood to be the
voice of reason in situations, and usually ends up taking the fall when Junior’s
schemes go awry. Junior’s battle cry was “Monkey Muscle!”, which he exclaimed
whenever they were about to encounter a problem or felt Bones needed a bit of
the Supercade ran for two seasons, Jr. wasn’t carried over and ended after
its 13-episode run. It, along with Frogger
and Pitfall!!, were removed and
replaced with Space Ace and Kangaroo. Like most of the Supercade, rights issues regarding the
various properties have prohibited much in the way of home media releases,
Archive had reportedly begun investigating the possibility of doing so back
in 2010. While Junior in his established form wouldn’t be a starring character
again, he was continually featured as a character in compilations and re-releases of Donkey Kongand other Nintendo games, such as Super Mario Kart.
However, it has been heavily implied that the Donkey Kong that debuted in
the Donkey Kong Countryseries
of games was a grown-up Junior or the son of Junior.
Caper” (9/17/83) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
Rustle Hustle” (9/24/83) – Junior and Bones help protect a ranch from sheep
Mountain Monkey Business” (10/1/83) – An escaped convict and his pet bear sets
their sights on a park ranger to help them find stolen loot they buried
somewhere in the forest.
7-Year-Olds” (10/8/83) – Junior and Bones end up in a conflict with bullies
stealing bikes from all the local kids.
Ventriloquist Caper” (10/15/83) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
Great Seal Steal” (10/22/83) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
Jungle Boy Ploy” (10/29/83) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
Meets Kid Dynamo” (11/5/83) – Trying to stop a robbery leads Junior and Bones to
encounter real-life superhero, Kid Dynamo.
Rollerskate Race” (11/12/83) – Crooks hide stolen gold as roller skate wheels
on skates accidentally given to a team of kids.
Christmas Story” (11/19/83) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
Ghost” (11/26/83) – A gorilla ghost kidnaps animals from the zoo where Junior’s
uncle lives in a plot to use them to steal some gold.
Bear Scare” (12/3/83) – Babysitting at a carnival leads to Junior winning a
teddy bear stuffed with stolen loot.
or Nothing” (12/10/83) – When his cousin Lucy Belle ends up abducted, Bones
disguises himself as her to attend the reading of a will.