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Donkey Kong is originally shown as a hero in the Donkey Kong Country series, and a recurring character in the Mario spin-off games. However, in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong serves as a villainous protagonist but later reforms in the end, unlike his predecessor Cranky Kong.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
In the first game, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, when Donkey Kong heard about the new Mini-Mario toys, he rushed to the store to get his very own, but then he saw that they were already sold out. Then Donkey Kong came across a factory making Mini-Marios. So he breaks in, and takes some Mini-Marios from the working Toads. Then Mario catches him and spends the rest of the game trying to stop him from stealing the Mini Marios, as well as kidnapping the working Toads. After several journeys and battles of Mario rescuing the Mini Marios and Toads, Donkey Kong was sobbing while defeated. Mario then decided to console him and offer him one Mini Mario toy, which Donkey Kong happily accepted.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: March of the Minis
In the second game, March of the Minis, during the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of a new amusement park, "Super Mini-Mario World", Mario offers Pauline, his VIP guest, a Mini-Mario. Donkey Kong, wanting to win Pauline's heart, offers her a Mini-Donkey Kong, but Pauline chose the Mini-Mario instead. Enraged, Donkey Kong ran through with Pauline, and Mario uses the Mini-Marios to save Pauline from Donkey Kong. Upon finally reaching Pauline however, Mario finds her safe and sound inside a cozy room surrounded by gifts, presumably by Donkey Kong in an attempt to impress her. Pauline then picks up a Mini-Donkey Kong and shows it affection, much to Donkey Kong's joy.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again
In Minis March Again, Mario and Pauline were selling Mini-Marios, and Donkey Kong was last in a long line. Then when Donkey Kong was about to get one, they ran out, so Donkey Kong kidnaps Pauline, and Mario gets the Mini-Marios to track down Donkey Kong and rescue Pauline again. By the end of the game, it is revealed that Pauline had orchestrated the kidnapping in order to test the Mini-Mario amusement park.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem
In Mini-Land Mayhem, Mario and Pauline open another amusement park, "Mini-Land", and offers the first 100 guests a free Mini-Pauline. Donkey rushed for one, but Mario pointed out that he was the 101st guest and he can't get one, so Donkey Kong gets mad, and runs through the park, capturing Pauline again, so Mario gets the Mini-Marios to rescue Pauline from Donkey Kong. After a long chase, Mario decides to just give Donkey Kong a Mini-Pauline anyway and the three of them celebrate.