Godzilla (ゴジラ, 'Gojira') is the King of the Monsters. He first appeared in Godzilla, produced by Toho Film Company Ltd. To date, Toho has produced twenty eight Godzilla films. In 1998, TriStar Pictures produced a remake, set in New York City. The film's name was simply "Godzilla"; however, the monster that starred in this film (also known as Zilla) had been completely redesigned and did not closely resemble the original Godzilla. Godzilla is a gigantic mutant dinosaur, transformed from the fallout of an atomic bomb test. As the Godzilla series continued, the great beast was developed as a character, and has become something of an anti-hero.
Godzilla is one of the defining aspects of Japanese pop culture for many people worldwide. Though his popularity has waned slightly over the years, he is still one of the most renowned monster characters in the world. To this day, Godzilla remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. Godzilla has been called a filmographic metaphor for the United States, starting out as a terrifying enemy and later a strong ally and defender in times of need. The earliest Godzilla films, especially the original Gojira, attempted to portray Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears of many Japanese of a repeat of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the series progressed, so did Godzilla himself, changing into a less destructive and more heroic character as the films became increasingly geared towards children. Today, the character has fallen somewhere in the middle, sometimes portrayed as a protector of the Earth (notably Tokyo) from external threats and other times as a bringer of destruction.
Godzilla's appearance has changed between films over the years, but many defining details have endured. In the Japanese films, Godzilla is depicted as a gigantic dinosaur with rough, bumpy (usually) charcoal grey scales, a long powerful tail, and bone colored dorsal plates shaped like maple leaves. His origins vary somewhat from film to film, but he is almost always described as a prehistoric creature, and his first attacks on Japan are linked to the beginning of the Atomic Age. In particular, mutation due to atomic radiation is presented as an explanation for his great size and strange powers. Godzilla's iconic design is composed of a mixture of various species of dinosaurs; specifically, he has the body and overall shape of a Tyrannosaurus, the long arms of an Iguanodon, and the dorsal plates of a Stegosaurus.
The name "Godzilla" is a transliteration of Gojira (ゴジラ), a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ), meaning gorilla, and kujira (鯨 or クジラ), meaning whale. At one planning stage, the concept of "Gojira" was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale". The two words "whale" and "gorilla" fit Godzilla. Whale represents the aquatic and bulk of his life. The Gorilla represents the sheer strength and strategic thinking he does when fight against some kaiju. A popular story is that "Gojira" was actually the nickname of a hulking stagehand at Toho Studio. The story has not been verified, however, because in the more than 50 years since the film's original release, no one claiming to be the employee has ever stepped forward, and no photographs of him have ever surfaced. Since Godzilla is neither a gorilla nor a whale, the name had to be devised in a different way for the film's story; Godzilla's name was originally spelled in kanji (呉爾羅) by the Oto Island people—however, Toho chose these characters for sound only; the combined characters mean "give you net". This has been referenced countless times in Japanese books on Godzilla.
The original Godzilla in Godzilla was a prehistoric monster 50 meters tall and weighing 20,000 metric tons, which terrorized the ships of Japan. It was disturbed by an American Hydrogen bomb testing in the Pacific Ocean. After attacking Tokyo, destroying much of the city and killing tens of thousands, Godzilla was defeated when the scientist Dr. Daisuke Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) who committed suicide out of shame and guilt after activating an experimental weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, which completely dissolved Godzilla. It was stated at the end of the film that it was doubtful that there was only one creature, alluding not only to the many incarnations of Godzilla that would later appear but also to all the other kaiju monsters that would be featured in movies produced by Toho.
1956 American Version.Edit
When first released in wide distribution in the U.S., its footage was reworked and supplemented with new footage featuring Raymond Burr as "Steve Martin"(not the actor) for general commercial release as Godzilla, King of the Monsters! in 1956, and the giant monster would be known outside Japan by the name "Godzilla" ever after. In 1957, the American version worked its way back to Japan, where the Godzilla name also took root. This American version was the only version represented on North American home video until the release of the Gojira DVD in September 2006, which contains both the unedited Japanese theatrical version and the reworked U.S. version.
The Americanized Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was honored with a plaque on its 50th anniversary at the former location of Visual Drama, where Raymond Burr's insert scenes were filmed by director Terry Morse. The location is now the Frank del Olmo Elementary School (named after the late Los Angeles Times columnist). The plaque is at the main entrance at 100 N. New Hampshire Ave., Los Angeles.
Shōwa series (1955–1975) Edit
As alluded to at the end of the original movie, Godzilla again surfaced at first as a menace in Godzilla Raids Again (shown in the U.S.A. as Gigantis, The Fire Monster, In which Godzilla is referred to as Gigantis and Anguirus, as Angurous or Angurousaurus). Setting the tone for future Showa-series films, Godzilla's fate is uncertain at the end. His next film was 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla. The menacing ego of Godzilla's final film in the Showa series was 1964's Godzilla vs. The Thing (that being the original American release title, but since known by the Japanese and international title, Mothra vs. Godzilla). Starting with Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla took on the "good guy" persona he would wear for the remainder of the series. He would team up with Mothra, Rodan, and Anguirus along with other monsters to battle a variety of foes both mundane (Ebirah, Kumonga, and Kamacuras) and bizarre (Hedorah, Gigan, and Megalon). He even gained a son in the form of Minya. The series ended with Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975. The final scene depicted Godzilla wading off into the sea, not to be seen until his return in the VS series ten years later. It is notable, however, that the earlier-released film Destroy All Monsters took place in 1999, twenty-four years after Terror of Mechagodzilla. The series could also be said to truly end with Destroy All Monsters's ending, which depicted all of Earth's monsters living out the rest of their days in peace on Monster Island. This "jump" of dates also explains how King Ghidorah appeared in movies such as Godzilla vs. Gigan after he was killed in the earlier film. After Terror of Mechagodzilla, he would later rampage through Tokyo again in The Return of Godzilla, fighting the military and going back to his destructive roots, making the movie series losing its same topic and confuse if Godzilla is a good or bad guy. The movie also featured Raymond Burr as his charater Mr.Martan
Heisei Series. Edit
The VS series is in the era known as the Heisei Period wherein, when not only does Godzilla return after more than a decade's absence, but marks a transition between the reign of the Showa Emperor Hirohito to that of his son Akihito, now dubbed the Heisei Emperor.
In The Return of Godzilla, the famous monster is re-invented to be taller and more powerful, at 80 meters tall and 50,000 metric tons. Return of Godzilla ignores all previous films in the series aside from the original. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah explains that this second Godzilla is the product of a botched time traveling mission by a group of terrorists from the 23rd century known as Futurians. Under the guise of wanting to save Japan from Godzilla's devastation, the Futurians travel back to 1944 and transport an injured Godzillasaurus residing on Lagos Island to the Bering Sea, thus preventing its exposure to the A-bombs. The Godzillasaurus lies dormant in the Bering Sea till the late 1970s, where it is exposed to radiation after a nuclear submarine accidentally detonates in the dinosaurs vicinity. Hungry for nuclear energy, the new Godzilla attacks a Soviet nuclear submarine before turning towards Japan as its predecessor in 1954 did, attacking the nation's nuclear power plants. After his battle with the Super X, Professor Hayashida lures Godzilla to Mount Mihara, where he is dropped into the lava below. There he enters a state of dormancy.
During his slumber, Japan develops an underfunded agency, designed to track any and all of Godzilla's future sightings in Japan. Japanese corporations develop Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria (ANEB) in order to protect the country from nuclear accidents or attacks.
Reawakened by explosions detonated during a failed terrorist ransoming, Godzilla heads for Lake Ashino where he does battle with Biollante in Godzilla vs. Biollante, the hybrid monster of Godzilla’s own DNA and the cells of a rose that bonded with the soul of a scientist's daughter. After their first battle, a new Super X-2 confronts Godzilla and distracts the monster so soldiers can administer the ANEB through rocket-propelled grenades. Super X-2 is badly damaged during the battle, unable to further engage Godzilla. In an attempt to activate the ANEB, Godzilla is lured to a site with experimental lightning generators intended to increase Godzilla's core temperature so the bacteria can function properly. At the site, a new form of Biollante arrives and besieges the weakening Godzilla. The ANEB takes effect and forces the battle to a draw. Biollante is mortally wounded and Godzilla falls into the ocean, where he is believed to die from the ANEB. However, the cold waters of the Pacific lower Godzilla’s body temperature, retarding the effects of the ANEB and allow Godzilla to live on. In his weakened state, Godzilla swims back to the area of his origin, the Bering Sea. In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, it is discovered that the time-travelers that had prevented Godzilla's creation had, during the Godzillasaur's transportation, left in its place their own creation — three tiny Dorats, which are harmless pets of the Futurians — to allow them to undergo Godzilla’s nuclear transformation instead, mutating and combining them into a three-headed golden abomination, King Ghidorah. Unfortunately, they are unaware that the Godzilla they had planned to erase was later mutated by a nuclear submarine crash.
The Futurians trick several scientists into aiding them on a false time-traveling mission under the pretense of preventing Godzilla's transformation on Lagos Island. In efforts to stop the Futurians' monster that is instead created, an extremely wealthy corporate developer, who previously fought on the island as a Japanese soldier, plans to send a nuclear submarine into the Bering Sea in an attempt to create the second Godzilla. Instead of finding the Godzillasaurus, the submarine would come face to face with Godzilla himself, mutated by the sub crash. The Futurians’ ignorance of the past leads them to create the second Godzilla in the first place rather than removing him from history. Godzilla absorbs the power of the nuclear sub, increasing his size further, becoming powerful enough to defeat King Ghidorah. Godzilla proceeds to attack Japan itself, but is stopped when Emmy, one of the Futurians who had turned on her fellows, resurrects Ghidorah as a cyborg in the future and returns to the past to battle Godzilla with the new Mecha-King Ghidorah. The two battle in Tokyo, with both falling into the sea, but Godzilla is still alive and reawakens using his atomic ray underwater at the movie's conclusion.
These films show mankind's efforts to defeat Godzilla while also being challenged by other monsters such as Mothra, Rodan, and SpaceGodzilla. This series features a specialized organization of monster-combating soldiers and engineers called G-Force. Several of the ways G-Force plan to stop Godzilla include the construction of two "mecha-kaiju", Mechagodzilla 2 (who would battle both Godzilla and Rodan) and M.O.G.U.E.R.A. Like in the previous series, Godzilla eventually adopts a "son" that is discovered by scientists in Rodan's nest, this time simply called "Baby Godzilla", "Little Godzilla," and "Godzilla Jr.," simply referred to as "Junior." It is never stated that Godzilla birthed (asexually) the monster itself, or even made clear whether Godzilla has any knowledge of the creature's existence before it is born. Both Rodan and Godzilla have a natural drive to want to be close to the monster, much to the tactical benefit of G-Force.
Ultimately, this Godzilla meets his end in the finale of the versus series, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Everything comes full circle when Godzilla is faced with a monster, Destoroyah, created by the Oxygen Destroyer, which was used to kill the first Godzilla in 1954. Godzilla's end comes when his internal radiation becomes too intense for his body to control, and he finally succumbs to a total nuclear meltdown. This is not the end of Godzilla's legacy, however; the previously wounded Godzilla Jr. (who is killed by Destroyah earlier) absorbs all of the radiation from Godzilla's meltdown and fully matures into an adult Godzilla.
Shinsei, X or Millennium series (1999–2004) Edit
The Millennium series is unique because rather than creating a single continuity that all the films would follow, the series would instead comprise a number of discrete narratives, each using only the original Godzilla film as a backdrop. It is often called the "Shinsei" (新生) series by Western fans (meaning "rebirth") however the name is not recognized by Toho. In Japan, rather, many call it the "X" series, due to the Japanese titles containing "X" instead of "Vs". The majority of the films in the series featured a revamped Godzilla design. This new "Millennium Godzilla" had a wilder appearance, with more massive, jagged dorsal fins and a fiercer, more dinosaur-like face than the Godzilla featured in the Heisei series.
Godzilla 2000: MillenniumEdit
As a direct sequel of the original movie, the Godzilla depicted in Godzilla 2000: Millennium is not related to any other Godzilla films seen previously, or to those to come. Godzilla himself is 55 metres tall and weighs 25,000 metric tons. It is unclear whether this Godzilla is the same as the original, but what is known is that he has been attacking and feeding off Japan’s energy plants for some time. During Godzilla’s latest rampage an alien is found which attacks Godzilla and steals his Organizer G-1 (Regenerator G-1 in U.S. movie) in order to adapt to Earth’s atmosphere and becomes the monster Orga. The two monsters battle and Godzilla prevails by destroying his foe as it attempts to swallow him whole.
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.Edit
Though Godzilla looks nearly the same in this film as he did in Godzilla 2000: Millennium, this movie takes place in a separate continuity from the previous film. The Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus attacked Tokyo in 1954, the Tokaimura Power Plant in 1966, and Osaka in 1996. In 2000, Godzilla would be the first to encounter the Meganula threat. However, shortly after this, Godzilla would be lured to Kiganjima Island where he would fall victim to a top secret weapon, the Dimension Tide. The attack would be interrupted by the Meganura allowing Godzilla to battle their queen, Megaguirus in battle. After Godzilla's victory he would fall victim once again to the Dimension Tide and be buried deep underneath the city. Shortly after the credits, however, the main character (a child) goes to the window and hears Godzilla's famed roar.
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack: Edit
Again disregarding the continuity of previous films of the millennium series, the Godzilla in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is confirmed to be the original monster (because of the American's mistake of misconfirming Zilla as the true Godzilla). Godzilla is depicted as a demonic beast possessed by the souls of those who died in the Pacific in World War II. This film returns Godzilla to his roots of being a genuinely malevolent being who deliberately seeks to punish Japan for the sins of WWII. Godzilla would do battle with the Yamato no Kaiju Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah but would be nearly destroyed by the actions of General Tachibana, who piloted a submersible down Godzilla's throat and out through a wound in his neck. The next two times Godzilla attempted to use his atomic breath it shot out of his wound, and eventually tore him apart from the inside. At the bottom of Tokyo Bay, you are able to see the heart of Godzilla beating continuously.
Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla and Tokyo S.O.S. Edit
In the movie Godzilla X Mechagodzilla, a second Godzilla goes on a rampage in Japan. After that incident, the Minister of Science decides to make a bio-mechanical robot from the bones of the Godzilla of 1954. After a few years, Kiryu (Mechagodzilla) is born. Kiryu is sent to fight off Godzilla, however Godzilla roars, causing the DNA of the original to cause Kiryu to start attacking the city himself, until he runs out of power. Kiryu is shutdown and readjusted. Kiryu is sent again to fight Godzilla. At the end of the battle, Kiryu carries Godzilla and both crash in Tokyo Bay. Kiryu shoots his final shot, the Absolute Zero, and freezes the water. But Godzilla survives the shot with less damage and Kiryu loses his arm and damages the Absolute Zero. In the movie Godzilla x Mothra x Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., the two shobijin fairies warn that using Godzilla's bones as a weapon is a big mistake. The Prime Minister refuses to stop Operation: Kiryu. Then Godzilla arrives in Tokyo and Mothra comes and saves Tokyo from destruction. The Prime Minister launches Kiryu in order to save the dieing Mothra. An egg in Infant Island eventually hatches and two larvae go to save their mother. Mothra is blown up by Godzilla's atomic ray and now what is left are the larvae and Kiryu. Kiryu eventually runs wild and brings a Godzilla wrapped in silk to the ocean. They both sink together and Kiryu permanently shuts down and Godzilla is able to sleep in the depths. At the end, there is a storage room with the DNA of Godzilla (1954) still there, so another monster will rise.
Godzilla: Final WarsEdit
Godzilla in his latest movie Godzilla Final Wars(2004)The Godzilla from Godzilla: Final Wars is the last Godzilla film as of 2004; Toho has decided to retire the franchise for a period of 5-10 years to renew interest in the future, possibly returning with a new film in 2013 or 2014 as Godzilla's 60th Anniversary.
Decades before the main story starts, an older past Godzilla is buried in ice at the South Pole by the Earth Defense Force’s aerial battle ship Gotengo. When the Xilians, an alien race, use many of Earth's own monsters in an attempt to conquer it, the EDF is forced to free Godzilla from the ice to fight for mankind. This Godzilla is lured towards the Xilians' mothership in Tokyo while he fights the Xilians' monsters along the way, defeating/destroying each one in his path including Gigan, Zilla, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Rodan, King Caesar, Anguirus , Ebirah and Hedorah.
He at last arrives in Tokyo just in time for an asteroid to enter Earth's atmosphere. Godzilla attempts to stop it by blowing his atomic breath on it, causing it to explode and releasing the real threat, Monster X. Mothra comes to aid Godzilla while the Xilians summon the revived and rebuilt Gigan. Mothra is quickly dispatched by Gigan, who then joins Monster X to double team Godzilla. Mothra recovers and attacks both Monster X and Gigan, turning the tide of battle. Gigan resumes his battle with Mothra, using it's laser vision beam, turning Mothra to what some call "Fire Mothra," and both Kaiju are destroyed in a Kamikaze attack by the lepidopteran deity, while Monster X transformed into a new form, Keizer Ghidorah. He nearly would have killed Godzilla if it weren't for the superhuman Ozaki transferring his mutant powers into Godzilla, restoring his strength and empowering him enough to use his greatest weapon-his spiral ray to destroy Kaiser Ghidorah. Turning his attention back on his old enemies, Godzilla shot down the Gotengo and prepares to finish its crew off when Godzilla's infant son, Minya, intervenes, pleading Godzilla to stop. Both tired from his past battles and moved by Minya's courage to stand up to him, Godzilla returns to the ocean with his son. But not with out Minya finally using his atomic ray on his own. The diffrents Of Godzilla And Final wars are The Godzilla Heads. Godzilla 90's was smaller.Godzilla 2000's is longer.