Gorillas in popular culture  

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For the main article on the animal, see Gorilla.

With other primates like Orangutans representations of the Gorilla are common in popular culture in the United States - with the full range of electronic media having gorillas as mascots, gorillas behaving like humans, and humans behaving like gorillas.


Examples of representation

The following sections give an approximate sample of the many forms of representation of the gorilla in popular culture: -


The French sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet won a medal of honour at the Salon of 1887 for his masterly "Gorilla Carrying off a Woman". Although praised in its time, this work now evokes ridicule from some observers for its depiction of a gorilla abducting a nude woman, presumably with the intention of raping her - something totally alien to actual gorilla behaviour. Nonetheless, this act has somehow caught the public's imagination as witnessed by the repeated popularity of the King Kong theme.



  • In the Tintin comic book The Black Island, a gorilla called Ranko was there, who people thought was a monster.
  • Gorillas were frequently used as a gimmick to sell comics during the Silver Age of Comic Books: see Gorillas in comics.
  • Marvel Apes A Marvel Comics mini-series in which The Gibbon is transported into an alternate earth where all the Superheroes have simian counterparts (Captain Apemerica).
  • In the Planet of the Apes comic books, normal-sized gorillas fill security/military roles.
  • Grease Monkey is an entire sci-fi series centered around intelligent gorillas.
  • In the space opera webcomic Schlock Mercenary, one of the recurring characters is an uplifted gorilla (i.e. a gorilla that has genetically enhanced, human-level sentience). This gorilla also bears the name Kerchak.


Magazines and literature

  • Fester Bestertester, the protagonist of Don Martin's Mad strip "National Gorilla-Suit Day" is beset by gorillas (or persons dressed as gorillas). "National Gorilla-Suit Day" is celebrated every year on January 31st.
  • In the award-winning novel Ishmael, written by Daniel Quinn, a gorilla teaches the protagonist about the history of humanity and the effect "civilized" culture has had on other species.
  • In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle are frequently compared to gorillas.
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  • In The Uplift War, a science-fiction novel by David Brin, gorillas transported to the planet Garth for experiments in uplift play a significant role in the plot.
  • In the North American Confederacy alternate history series by L. Neil Smith, gorillas (along with other greater primates) are recognized as sentient beings and are granted full citizenship in the eponymous political entity. In the first novel in the series, The Probability Broach, a gorilla, Olongo Featherstone-Haugh (pronounced "Fanshaw"), is mentioned as having served as the largely ceremonial Vice-President of the NAC. The second novel, The Venus Belt, states that he was then elected as the equally ceremonial President of the NAC from 1996 to 2000, retiring after one term.
  • In the Animorphs book series, one of the main characters, Marco, shapeshifts into the form of a gorilla as his main 'battle morph'.

Music Groups

Online games

  • Gorillas are also Beasts in the popular fantasy MMO World of Warcraft some can be tamed and used by the Hunter Class in the game though they are not nearly as commonly used as other potential pets.




Video games

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gorillas in popular culture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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