Hoping to immediately cash in on its blockbuster hit King Kong (1933). RKO Radio commissioned producers Willis O'Brien and Ernest B. Schoedsack to hastily slap together a sequel. Son of Kong begins where King Kong left off, with foolhardy entrepreneur Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) facing hundreds of thousands dollars in lawsuits from the damages inflicted by the mighty Kong on the city of New York (remember?) Denham's partner Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher) suggests that they escape to Malaya, where they make the acquaintance of Hilda (Helen Mack), the daughter of drink-besotted circus-owner Peterson (Clarence Wilson). When her father is killed in a fire caused by Norwegian sea captain Helstrom (John Marston), Hilda is comforted by Denham, who has taken a liking to the unfortunate girl. It turns out that Helstrom was the sailor who sold Denham the map to Skull Island, where King Kong once ruled unchecked. Hoping to escape prosecution for the fatal fire, Hellstrom claims that there's a fabulous treasure buried somewhere on Skull Island and offers to lead Denham and Englehorn back to the Pacific flyspeck. With no place else to go, Hilda stows away on Englehorn's boat and joins the expedition. After an unpleasant confrontation with the natives whom Kong trampled and chewed up in the earlier film, Denham and Hilda explore another part of the Island -- and there they find Little Kong, a 12-foot-high white gorilla who is as lovable as his "old man" was nasty. As the treacherous Hellstrom meets his doom elsewhere on the island, cute Little Kong protects his new friends Denham and Hilda from a variety of marauding dinosaurs, ultimately sacrificing his own life to save the human hero and heroine from a native war party. Largely played for laughs (at one point Little Kong makes an "Oy vey" gesture, as the soundtrack plays a snatch of a Jewish dance!), Son of Kong is nowhere near the classic stature of its illustrious predecessor. On the other hand, the stop-motion photography is quite impressive, at times even better than the animation seen in the original King Kong.
by Hal Erickson synopsis