The Gorilla Raiders are a group of characters in the Jungle Cruise.
These animals are a group of Eastern gorillas which inhabited the jungles of the Congo in the 1930s. They were known for their frequent plundering of Jungle Navigation Company outposts.
The gorilla raiders were designed by Marc Davis for the Jungle Cruise though have been subject to many changes over the years. When the Jungle Cruise first opened in Disneyland, the gorillas were not engaging in a camp raid but rather were watching guests from the shrubbery. In 1977/1978, the Jungle Cruise was refurbished to install the new comedic scene. At-least one of the removed gorilla audio-animatronics would be repurposed into the Yeti for Matterhorn Bobsleds. A tableau which would be altered showed a gorilla fighting with a crocodile half-submerged in the river. Due to issues with the crocodile audio-animatronic, this would be changed to the gorilla trying to grab a floating crate of bananas just out of reach.
The gorillas are referred to in the Daily Gnus newspaper and journalist Thompson J. Gazelle as performing an adaptation of Hamlet as the Adventureland Gorilla Theatre Company.
The Jungle Cruise
The gorillas are encountered in raided camp scene of this attraction showing a JNC outpost taken over by the apes. One gorilla tries on a pith-helmet in a mirror, another plays with its baby, one observed photographs and one by the river unknowingly shoots at guests with a revolver.
In the queue for the Magic Kingdom version of the ride, they are mentioned by Albert Awol in his radio-announcements. At one point he mentions the gorillas having, "Borrowed" their projector (again) causing JNC staff to not be able to attend their, "Tarzan and Me" movie-night. Albert also has a trivia question about, "How many gorillas does it take to destroy a base-camp? An average of 8 minutes for a family of gorillas to destroy a typical base camp". He also can be heard trying to contact the owner of the jeep turned over by the gorillas in their sacking.
During the seasonal Jingle Cruise overlay, the gorillas are seen ripping open a variety of Christmas presents. The radio-announcements of the queue mention how this base was being used for storing the Christmas presents intended for the JNC's skippers.
There is a book by Thompson J. Gazelle in this restaurant titled, "Gorilla Theatre".
These gorillas are the antagonists in the camp mini-games of this video-game's Jungle Cruise levels. Here, the camp raided by the gorillas was collecting precious artifacts which the player must recover. The player must play monkey-see-monkey-do with the gorillas to trick them into removing the precious relics which they pillaged from the camp.
- In Hong Kong Disneyland's version of the ride, the song Trashin' the Camp from Tarzan is played from a vintage radio. This is done to allude to a scene from Tarzan where a group of gorillas raid a British explorer's camp.
- The gorilla holding a rifle to its face in curiosity is referenced in the film Tarzan when one of the gorillas steal's Clayton's rifle and examines it in a similar fashion.
- A common skipper joke refers to the gorillas as the in-laws to skippers.