|Godzilla film series character|
|First appearance||Godzilla (1954)|
|Family||Minilla and Godzilla Junior (adopted sons)|
Godzilla (Japanese: ゴジラ, Hepburn: Gojira, // ; [ɡoꜜdʑiɾa] ( listen )) is a fictional monster, or kaiju , originating from a series of Japanese films. The character first appeared in the 1954 film Godzilla and became a worldwide pop culture icon, appearing in various media, including 32 films produced by Toho, four Hollywood films and numerous video games, novels, comic books and television shows. Godzilla has been dubbed the "King of the Monsters", a phrase first used in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), the Americanized version of the original film.
Godzilla is an enormous, destructive, prehistoric sea monster awakened and empowered by nuclear radiation. With the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Lucky Dragon 5 incident still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a metaphor for nuclear weapons.Others have suggested that Godzilla is a metaphor for the United States, a giant beast woken from its slumber which then takes terrible vengeance on Japan. As the film series expanded, some stories took on less serious undertones, portraying Godzilla as an antihero, or a lesser threat who defends humanity. Later films address themes including Japan's forgetfulness over its imperial past, natural disasters and the human condition.
Godzilla has featured alongside many supporting characters. It has faced human opponents such as the JSDF, or other monsters, including King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla and Gigan. Godzilla sometimes has allies, such as Rodan, Mothra and Anguirus, and offspring, such as Minilla and Godzilla Junior. Godzilla has also fought characters from other franchises in crossover media, such as the RKO Pictures/Universal Studios movie monster King Kong, as well as various Marvel Comics characters, including S.H.I.E.L.D.,the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.
Gojira (ゴジラ) is a portmanteau of the Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ, "gorilla") and kujira (鯨, "whale"), owing to the fact that in one planning stage, Godzilla was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale", due to its size, power and aquatic origin. One popular story is that "Gojira" was actually the nickname of a corpulent stagehand at Toho Studio. Kimi Honda, the widow of the director, dismissed this in a 1998 BBC documentary devoted to Godzilla: "The backstage boys at Toho loved to joke around with tall stories."
Godzilla's name was written in ateji as Gojira (呉爾羅), where the kanji are used for phonetic value and not meaning.[ citation needed ] The Japanese pronunciation of the name is [ɡoꜜdʑiɾa] ( listen ); the Anglicized form is // , with the first syllable pronounced like the word "god" and the rest rhyming with "gorilla". In the Hepburn romanization system, Godzilla's name is rendered as "Gojira", whereas in the Kunrei romanization system it is rendered as "Gozira".[ citation needed ]
During the development of the American version of Godzilla Raids Again (1955), Godzilla's name was changed to "Gigantis" by producer Paul Schreibman, who wanted to create a character distinct from Godzilla.
Within the context of the Japanese films, Godzilla's exact origins vary, but it is generally depicted as an enormous, violent, prehistoric sea monster awakened and empowered by nuclear radiation.Although the specific details of Godzilla's appearance have varied slightly over the years, the overall impression has remained consistent. Inspired by the fictional Rhedosaurus created by animator Ray Harryhausen for the film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms , Godzilla's character design was conceived as that of an amphibious reptilian monster based around the loose concept of a dinosaur with an erect standing posture, scaly skin, an anthropomorphic torso with muscular arms, lobed bony plates along its back and tail, and a furrowed brow.
Art director Akira Watanabe combined attributes of a Tyrannosaurus , an Iguanodon , a Stegosaurus and an alligatorto form a sort of blended chimera, inspired by illustrations from an issue of Life magazine. To emphasise the monster's relationship with the atomic bomb, its skin texture was inspired by the keloid scars seen on the survivors of Hiroshima. The basic design has a reptilian visage, a robust build, an upright posture, a long tail and three rows of serrated plates along the back. In the original film, the plates were added for purely aesthetic purposes, in order to further differentiate Godzilla from any other living or extinct creature. Godzilla is sometimes depicted as green in comics, cartoons and movie posters, but the costumes used in the movies were usually painted charcoal grey with bone-white dorsal plates up until the film Godzilla 2000: Millennium .
In the original Japanese films, Godzilla and all the other monsters are referred to with gender-neutral pronouns equivalent to "it",while in the English dubbed versions, Godzilla is explicitly described as a male. In his book, Godzilla co-creator Tomoyuki Tanaka suggested that the monster was probably male. In the 1998 film Godzilla , the monster is referred to as a male and is depicted laying eggs through parthenogenesis. In the Legendary Godzilla films, Godzilla is referred to as a male.
Godzilla's allegiance and motivations have changed from film to film to suit the needs of the story. Although Godzilla does not like humans,it will fight alongside humanity against common threats. However, it makes no special effort to protect human life or property and will turn against its human allies on a whim. It is not motivated to attack by predatory instinct: it does not eat people and instead sustains itself on nuclear radiation and an omnivorous diet. When inquired if Godzilla was "good or bad", producer Shogo Tomiyama likened it to a Shinto "God of Destruction" which lacks moral agency and cannot be held to human standards of good and evil. "He totally destroys everything and then there is a rebirth. Something new and fresh can begin."
Godzilla's signature weapon is its "atomic heat beam" (also known as "atomic breath"), nuclear energy that it generates inside of its body, uses electromagnetic force to concentrate it into a laser-like high velocity projectile and unleashes it from its jaws in the form of a blue or red radioactive beam. Toho's special effects department has used various techniques to render the beam, from physical gas-powered flames to hand-drawn or computer-generated fire. Godzilla is shown to possess immense physical strength and muscularity. Haruo Nakajima, the actor who played Godzilla in the original films, was a black belt in judo and used his expertise to choreograph the battle sequences.
Godzilla is amphibious: it has a preference for traversing Earth's hydrosphere when in hibernation or migration, can breathe underwaterand is described in the original film by the character Dr. Yamane as a transitional form between a marine and a terrestrial reptile. Godzilla is shown to have great vitality: it is immune to conventional weaponry thanks to its rugged hide and ability to regenerate, and as a result of surviving a nuclear explosion, it cannot be destroyed by anything less powerful. One incarnation possesses an electromagnetic pulse-producing organ in its body which generates an asymmetrical permeable shield, making it impervious to all damage except for a short period when the organ recycles.
Various films, non-canonical television shows, comics and games have depicted Godzilla with additional powers, such as an atomic pulse,magnetism, precognition, fireballs, convert electromagnetic energy into intensive body heat, converting shed blood into temporary tentacle limbs, an electric bite, superhuman speed, laser beams emitted from its eyes and even flight.
Godzilla has a distinctive disyllabic roar (transcribed in several comics as Skreeeonk!),which was created by composer Akira Ifukube, who produced the sound by rubbing a pine tar-resin-coated glove along the string of a contrabass and then slowing down the playback. In the American version of Godzilla Raids Again (1955) titled Gigantis the Fire Monster (1959), Godzilla's roar was mostly substituted with that of the monster Anguirus. From The Return of Godzilla (1984) to Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla was given a deeper and more threatening-sounding roar than in previous films, though this change was reverted from Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) onward. For the 2014 American film, sound editors Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl refused to disclose the source of the sounds used for their Godzilla's roar. Aadahl described the two syllables of the roar as representing two different emotional reactions, with the first expressing fury and the second conveying the character's soul.
Godzilla's size is inconsistent, changing from film to film and even from scene to scene for the sake of artistic license. 1⁄25–1⁄50 scale and filmed at 240 frames per second to create the illusion of great size. In the original 1954 film, Godzilla was scaled to be 50 m (164 ft) tall. This was done so Godzilla could just peer over the largest buildings in Tokyo at the time. In the 1956 American version, Godzilla is estimated to be 122 m (400 ft) tall, because producer Joseph E. Levine felt that 50 m did not sound "powerful enough".The miniature sets and costumes were typically built at a
As the series progressed, Toho would rescale the character, eventually making Godzilla as tall as 100 m (328 ft). This was done so that it would not be dwarfed by the newer, bigger buildings in Tokyo's skyline, such as the 243-meter-tall (797 ft) Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which Godzilla destroyed in the film Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). Supplementary information, such as character profiles, would also depict Godzilla as weighing between 20,000 and 60,000 metric tons (22,000 and 66,000 short tons).
In the American film Godzilla (2014) from Legendary Pictures, Godzilla was scaled to be 108.2 m (355 ft) and weighing 90,000 short tons (82,000 metric tons), making it the largest film version at that time. Director Gareth Edwards wanted Godzilla "to be so big as to be seen from anywhere in the city, but not too big that he couldn't be obscured". For Shin Godzilla (2016), Godzilla was made even taller than the Legendary version, at 118.5 m (389 ft). In Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017), Godzilla's height was increased further still to 300 m (984 ft), the tallest height for the character to date. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Godzilla's height was increased to 119.8 m (393 ft) from the 2014 incarnation.
Godzilla's appearance has traditionally been portrayed in the films by an actor wearing a latex costume, though the character has also been rendered in animatronic, stop-motion and computer-generated form.Taking inspiration from King Kong , special effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya had initially wanted Godzilla to be portrayed via stop-motion, but prohibitive deadlines and a lack of experienced animators in Japan at the time made suitmation more practical.
The first suit consisted of a body cavity made of thin wires and bamboo wrapped in chicken wire for support and covered in fabric and cushions, which were then coated in latex. The first suit was held together by small hooks on the back, though subsequent Godzilla suits incorporated a zipper. Its weight was in excess of 100 kg (220 lb). Prior to 1984, most Godzilla suits were made from scratch, thus resulting in slight design changes in each film appearance. The most notable changes from 1962 to 1975 were the reduction in Godzilla's number of toes and the removal of the character's external ears and prominent fangs, features which would all later be reincorporated in the Godzilla designs from The Return of Godzilla (1984) onward. The most consistent Godzilla design was maintained from Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) to Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), when the suit was given a cat-like face and double rows of teeth.
Several suit actors had difficulties in performing as Godzilla due to the suits' weight, lack of ventilation and diminished visibility.Kenpachiro Satsuma in particular, who portrayed Godzilla from 1984 to 1995, described how the Godzilla suits he wore were even heavier and hotter than their predecessors because of the incorporation of animatronics. Satsuma himself suffered numerous medical issues during his tenure, including oxygen deprivation, near-drowning, concussions, electric shocks and lacerations to the legs from the suits' steel wire reinforcements wearing through the rubber padding.
The ventilation problem was partially solved in the suit used in 1994's Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla , which was the first to include an air duct that allowed suit actors to last longer during performances.In The Return of Godzilla (1984), some scenes made use of a 16-foot high robotic Godzilla (dubbed the "Cybot Godzilla") for use in close-up shots of the creature's head. The Cybot Godzilla consisted of a hydraulically-powered mechanical endoskeleton covered in urethane skin containing 3,000 computer operated parts which permitted it to tilt its head and move its lips and arms.
In Godzilla (1998), special effects artist Patrick Tatopoulos was instructed to redesign Godzilla as an incredibly fast runner.At one point, it was planned to use motion capture from a human to create the movements of the computer-generated Godzilla, but it was said to have ended up looking too much like a man in a suit. Tatopoulos subsequently reimagined the creature as a lean, digitigrade bipedal, iguana-like creature that stood with its back and tail parallel to the ground, rendered via CGI.
Several scenes had the monster portrayed by stuntmen in suits. The suits were similar to those used in the Toho films, with the actors' heads being located in the monster's neck region and the facial movements controlled via animatronics. However, because of the creature's horizontal posture, the stuntmen had to wear metal leg extenders, which allowed them to stand two meters (six feet) off the ground with their feet bent forward. The film's special effects crew also built a 1⁄6 scale animatronic Godzilla for close-up scenes, whose size outmatched that of Stan Winston's T. rex in Jurassic Park . Kurt Carley performed the suitmation sequences for the adult Godzilla.
In Godzilla (2014), the character was portrayed entirely via CGI. Godzilla's design in the reboot was intended to stay true to that of the original series, though the film's special effects team strove to make the monster "more dynamic than a guy in a big rubber suit."To create a CG version of Godzilla, the Moving Picture Company (MPC) studied various animals such as bears, Komodo dragons, lizards, lions and wolves, which helped the visual effects artists visualize Godzilla's body structure, like that of its underlying bone, fat and muscle structure, as well as the thickness and texture of its scales. Motion capture was also used for some of Godzilla's movements. T. J. Storm provided the performance capture for Godzilla by wearing sensors in front of a green screen. Storm reprised the role of Godzilla in Godzilla: King of the Monsters , portraying the character through performance capture. In Shin Godzilla , a majority of the character was portrayed via CGI, with Mansai Nomura portraying Godzilla through motion capture.
Godzilla is one of the most recognizable symbols of Japanese popular culture worldwideand remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. Godzilla's vaguely humanoid appearance and strained, lumbering movements endeared it to Japanese audiences, who could relate to Godzilla as a sympathetic character, despite its wrathful nature. Audiences respond positively to the character because it acts out of rage and self-preservation and shows where science and technology can go wrong.
In 1967, the Keukdong Entertainment Company of South Korea, with production assistance from Toei Company, produced Yongary, Monster from the Deep , a reptilian monster who invades South Korea to consume oil. The film and character has often been branded as an imitation of Godzilla.
Godzilla has been considered a filmographic metaphor for the United States, as well as an allegory of nuclear weapons in general. The earlier Godzilla films, especially the original, portrayed Godzilla as a frightening nuclear-spawned monster. Godzilla represented the fears that many Japanese held about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the possibility of recurrence.
As the series progressed, so did Godzilla, changing into a less destructive and more heroic character.Ghidorah (1964) was the turning point in Godzilla's transformation from villain to hero, by pitting him against a greater threat to humanity, King Ghidorah. Godzilla has since been viewed as an anti-hero. Roger Ebert cites Godzilla as a notable example of a villain-turned-hero, along with King Kong, Jaws (James Bond), the Terminator and John Rambo.
Godzilla is considered "the original radioactive superhero" due to his accidental radioactive origin story predating Spider-Man (1962 debut),though Godzilla did not become a hero until Ghidorah in 1964. By the 1970s, Godzilla came to be viewed as a superhero, with the magazine King of the Monsters in 1977 describing Godzilla as "Superhero of the '70s." Godzilla had surpassed Superman and Batman to become "the most universally popular superhero of 1977" according to Donald F. Glut. Godzilla was also voted the most popular movie monster in The Monster Times poll in 1973, beating Count Dracula, King Kong, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Frankenstein Monster.
In 1996, Godzilla received the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award,as well as being given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004 to celebrate the premiere of the character's 50th anniversary film, Godzilla: Final Wars . Godzilla's pop-cultural impact has led to the creation of numerous parodies and tributes, as seen in media such as Bambi Meets Godzilla , which was ranked as one of the "50 greatest cartoons", two episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the song "Godzilla" by Blue Öyster Cult. Godzilla has also been used in advertisements, such as in a commercial for Nike, where Godzilla lost an oversized one-on-one game of basketball to a giant version of NBA player Charles Barkley. The commercial was subsequently adapted into a comic book illustrated by Jeff Butler. Godzilla has also appeared in a commercial for Snickers candy bars, which served as an indirect promo for the 2014 film. Godzilla's success inspired the creation of numerous other monster characters, such as Gamera, Reptilicus of Denmark, Yonggary of South Korea, Pulgasari of North Korea, Gorgo of the United Kingdom and the Cloverfield monster of the United States.
Godzilla's fame and saurian appearance has influenced the scientific community. Gojirasaurus is a dubious genus of coelophysid dinosaur, named by paleontologist and admitted Godzilla fan Kenneth Carpenter.Dakosaurus is an extinct sea crocodile of the Jurassic Period, which researchers informally nicknamed "Godzilla". Paleontologists have written tongue-in-cheek speculative articles about Godzilla's biology, with Ken Carpenter tentatively classifying it as a ceratosaur based on its skull shape, four-fingered hands and dorsal scutes and paleontologist Darren Naish expressing skepticism, while commenting on Godzilla's unusual morphology.
Godzilla's ubiquity in pop-culture has led to the mistaken assumption that the character is in the public domain, resulting in litigation by Toho to protect their corporate asset from becoming a generic trademark. In April 2008, Subway depicted a giant monster in a commercial for their Five Dollar Footlongs sandwich promotion. Toho filed a lawsuit against Subway for using the character without permission, demanding $150,000 in compensation. Brigitte Bardot in May 2011, due to legal pressure from Toho. Gojira is the name of a French death metal band, formerly known as Godzilla; legal problems forced the band to change their name. In May 2015, Toho launched a lawsuit against Voltage Pictures over a planned picture starring Anne Hathaway. Promotional material released at the Cannes Film Festival used images of Godzilla.In February 2011, Toho sued Honda for depicting a fire-breathing monster in a commercial for the Honda Odyssey. The monster was never mentioned by name, being seen briefly on a video screen inside the minivan. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society christened a vessel the MV Gojira. Its purpose is to target and harass Japanese whalers in defense of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The MV Gojira was renamed the MV
Steven Spielberg cited Godzilla as an inspiration for Jurassic Park (1993), specifically Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), which he grew up watching.Spielberg described Godzilla as "the most masterful of all the dinosaur movies because it made you believe it was really happening." Godzilla also influenced the Spielberg film Jaws (1975). Godzilla has also been cited as an inspiration by filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton.
The main-belt asteroid 101781 Gojira, discovered by American astronomer Roy Tucker at the Goodricke-Pigott Observatory in 1999, was named in honor of the creature. M.P.C. 110635).The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 11 July 2018 (
In April 2015, the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo named Godzilla a special resident and official tourism ambassador to encourage tourism.During an unveiling of a giant Godzilla bust at Toho headquarters, Shinjuku mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi stated "Godzilla is a character that is the pride of Japan." The mayor extended a residency certificate to an actor in a rubber suit representing Godzilla, but as the suit's hands were not designed for grasping, it was accepted on Godzilla's behalf by a Toho executive. Reporters noted that Shinjuku ward has been flattened by Godzilla in three Toho movies.
King Kong vs. Godzilla is a 1962 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the third film in the Godzilla franchise, and the first of two Toho-produced films featuring King Kong. It is also the first time that each character appeared on film in color and widescreen. The film stars Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yū Fujiki, Ichirō Arishima, and Mie Hama, with Shoichi Hirose as King Kong and Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla. In the film, as Godzilla is reawakened by an American submarine, a pharmaceutical company captures King Kong for promotional uses, which culminates into a battle on Mount Fuji.
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep is a 1966 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda and produced and distributed by Toho Studios. The film stars Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizuno, Akihiko Hirata and Eisei Amamoto, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Mothra, and Ebirah. It is the seventh film in the Godzilla franchise, and features special effects by Sadamasa Arikawa, under the supervision of Eiji Tsuburaya. In the film, Godzilla and Ebirah are portrayed by Haruo Nakajima and Hiroshi Sekita.
Son of Godzilla is a 1967 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda, with special effects by Sadamasa Arikawa, under the supervision of Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the eighth film in the Godzilla franchise. It stars Tadao Takashima, Akira Kubo, Akihiko Hirata, and Beverly Maeda, with Hiroshi Sekita, Seiji Onaka, and Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, and Marchan the Dwarf as Minilla.
Destroy All Monsters is a 1968 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda and written by Honda and Takeshi Kimura. The film, which was produced and distributed by Toho Studios, is the ninth film in the Godzilla franchise, and features eleven monster characters, including Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Anguirus, and Minilla. The film stars Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi and Yoshio Tsuchiya, with special effects directed by Sadamasa Arikawa, which were provided under the supervision by Eiji Tsuburaya.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is a 1991 Japanese kaiju film written and directed by Kazuki Ōmori and produced by Shōgo Tomiyama. The film, produced and distributed by Toho Studios, is the 18th film in the Godzilla franchise, and is the third film in the franchise's Heisei period. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla and King Ghidorah, and stars Kōsuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Yoshio Tsuchiya, and Robert Scott Field.
Godzilla vs. Mothra is a 1992 Japanese kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara, written by Kazuki Ōmori, and produced by Shogo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 19th film in the Godzilla franchise, and is the fourth film in the franchise's Heisei era. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Mothra, and Battra, and stars Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Megumi Odaka, Shiori Yonezawa, Makoto Otake, Akiji Kobayashi, Koichi Ueda, Shinya Owada, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Saburo Shinoda and Akira Takarada, with Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla. The plot follows Battra and Mothra's attempts to stop Godzilla from attacking Yokohama.
Godzilla is a 1954 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the first film in the Godzilla franchise and the Shōwa era. The film stars Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka as Godzilla. In the film, Japan's authorities deal with the sudden appearance of a giant monster, whose attacks trigger fears of nuclear holocaust during post-war Japan.
Kaiju is a Japanese genre of films and television featuring giant monsters. The term kaiju can refer to the giant monsters themselves, which are usually depicted attacking major cities and engaging the military, or other kaiju, in battle. The kaiju genre is a subgenre of tokusatsu entertainment.
Rodan is a fictional monster, or kaiju, which first appeared as the title character in Ishirō Honda's 1956 film Rodan, produced and distributed by Toho. Following its debut standalone appearance, Rodan went on to be featured in numerous entries in the Godzilla franchise, including Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II and Godzilla: Final Wars, as well as in the Legendary Pictures-produced film Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Mothra is a fictional monster, or kaiju, that first appeared in the 1961 film Mothra, produced and distributed by Toho Studios. Mothra has appeared in several Toho tokusatsu films, most often as a recurring character in the Godzilla franchise. She is typically portrayed as a colossal sentient larva (caterpillar) or imago, accompanied by two miniature female humanoids speaking on her behalf. Unlike other Toho monsters, Mothra is a largely heroic character, having been variously portrayed as a protector of her own island culture, the Earth and Japan. Mothra’s design is influenced by silk worms, their imagos, and those of giant silk moths in the family saturniidae. The character is often depicted hatching offspring when approaching death, a nod to the Saṃsāra doctrine of numerous Indian religions.
King Ghidorah is a fictional monster, or kaiju, which first appeared in Ishirō Honda's 1964 film Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Although the name of the character is officially trademarked by Toho as "King Ghidorah", the character was originally referred to as Ghidorah or Ghidrah in some English markets.
Godzilla vs. Gigan, released in Japan as Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan, is a 1972 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda, written by Takeshi Kimura and Shinichi Sekizawa, and produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. Distributed by Toho and produced under their effects-based subsidiary Toho-Eizo, it is the 12th film in the Godzilla franchise, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Gigan, Anguirus, and King Ghidorah. The film stars Hiroshi Ishikawa, Yuriko Hishimi, Tomoko Umeda, and Minoru Takashima, alongside Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, Kenpachiro Satsuma as Gigan, Koetsu Omiya as Anguirus, and Kanta Ina as King Ghidorah. It is the last film in which Godzilla was portrayed by Nakajima after playing the character since the original 1954 film; he subsequently retired from suit acting.
Invasion of Astro-Monster is a 1965 kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. It is the sixth film in the Godzilla franchise and Shōwa period. The film was a Japanese-American co-production; it was the second collaboration between Toho Studios and UPA. The film stars Akira Takarada, Nick Adams, Kumi Mizuno, Akira Kubo, and Yoshio Tsuchiya, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, Masaki Shinohara as Rodan, and Shoichi Hirose as King Ghidorah. In the film, aliens plead with humanity to borrow Godzilla and Rodan to defeat King Ghidorah, only to betray the humans and unleash the monsters on the Earth.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster is a 1964 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the fifth film in the Godzilla franchise, and was the second Godzilla film produced that year, after Mothra vs. Godzilla. The film stars Yosuke Natsuki, Hiroshi Koizumi, Akiko Wakabayashi, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, Masanori Shinohara as Rodan, and Shoichi Hirose as King Ghidorah. In the film, a Venus alien, possessing the body of a princess, warns humanity of the arrival of King Ghidorah, with Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra being their last hope for survival.
Mothra vs. Godzilla is a 1964 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the fourth film in the Godzilla franchise. The film stars Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kenji Sahara, and Emi and Yumi Itō, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla. In the film, humans beseech the aide of the insect-god Mothra to stop Godzilla from destroying Japan.
Godzilla Raids Again is a 1955 Japanese kaiju film directed by Motoyoshi Oda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the second film in the Godzilla franchise. The film stars Hiroshi Koizumi, Setsuko Wakayama, Minoru Chiaki, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla and Katsumi Tezuka as Anguirus. In the film, Japan struggles to survive Godzilla's return, as well as its destructive battle against its ancient foe Anguirus.
Gigan is a kaiju from Toho's Godzilla franchise who first appeared in Godzilla vs. Gigan. Gigan is a space monster resembling a species of reptile who was turned into a cyborg by the Nebulans. Gigan sports a huge buzzsaw in its frontal abdominal region and large metallic hooks for hands. Gigan is considered one of Godzilla's most brutal and violent opponents, and the first kaiju in the Toho sci-fi series to make him bleed. Complex listed the character as No. 2 on its "The 15 Most Badass Kaiju Monsters of All Time" list.
Zilla, formerly known as Godzilla, is a film monster originating from the 1998 film Godzilla, released by TriStar Pictures. It was initially created as a reimagining of Toho's Godzilla but was later re-branded as a separate character. Patrick Tatopoulos designed it after iguanas with a slim theropod appearance rather than the thick, bipedal designs of Toho's Godzilla. TriStar's Godzilla, both the film and character, were negatively received by fans and critics. In 2004, it was featured in Toho's Godzilla: Final Wars as "Zilla". Afterwards, Toho trademarked new incarnations as Zilla, with only the iterations from the 1998 film and animated series retaining the Godzilla copyright/trademark.
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is a 1956 kaiju film directed by Terry O. Morse and Ishirō Honda. It is a heavily re-edited American localization, commonly referred to as an "Americanization", of the 1954 Japanese film Godzilla. The film was a Japanese-American co-production, with the original footage produced by Toho, and the new footage produced by Jewell Enterprises. The film stars Raymond Burr, Frank Iwanaga, along with Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka as Godzilla. In the film, an American reporter covers a giant reptilian monster's attack on Japan.
The Godzilla franchise is a Japanese media franchise created and owned by Toho, centered on the fictional kaiju character Godzilla. It is the longest-running film franchise, having been in ongoing production from 1954, with several hiatuses of varying lengths. The film franchise consists of 36 films; 32 produced by Toho, one produced by TriStar Pictures, and three produced by Legendary Pictures.
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