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Full Name
King of the Monsters
Big G
God of Destruction
Alpha Predator
Godzilla franchise
King of monsters
Powers / Skills
Breathing Atomic Breath
Great strength
Fast regeneration
Spiral Ray
Nuclear Pulse
Magnetic force
Fighting monsters that dare oppose him, destroying cities
Feed on radiation from nuclear power plants, destroy humanity and their cities, protect them from extraterrestrial threats if necessary
Type of Villain
Protagonist Villain
Giant Monster

Godzilla, aka Gojira, is a daikaijū, a japanese movie monster, first appearing in Ishirō Honda's 1954 classic film Godzilla. Since then, Godzilla has gone on to become a worldwide pop culture icon starring in 28 films produced by Toho Co., Ltd., and one film by Legendary Pictures. The 1998 version, produced by TriStar Pictures and featuring Zilla, is not considered a Godzilla film by Toho.

The monster has appeared in numerous other media incarnations including video games, novels, comic books, television series, and an American remake. Another separate American remake was produced by Legendary Pictures, but this time in cooperation with Toho. With the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a monster created by nuclear detonations and a metaphor for nuclear weapons in general. As the film series expanded, the stories took on less serious undertones portraying Godzilla in the role of a hero, while later movies returned to depicting the character as a destructive monster. In some films, Godzilla has even teamed up with fellow monsters to save the world or themselves, usually teaming with Mothra. Godzilla's greatest enemies are known to be King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla.


Godzilla Roar-000:07

Godzilla Roar-0

Godzilla's iconic roar

Showa series

The Showa-era Godzilla films were the first of the film series. In total, there are fifteen Showa-era films, amounting to over half the total Godzilla movies currently in existence. The first film, made in 1954, was simply titled Godzilla. In the original film, Godzilla was portrayed as a terrible and destructive monster. Following the success of Godzilla, Toho started filming a quickie sequel called Godzilla Raids Again. In this film, a new Godzilla was set up to fight another dinosaur-like creature, Anguirus. This second film started a trend for Godzilla films, where Godzilla would fight other giant monsters.

In his fifth film, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla took the role of a hero. From that point on, to the end of the Showa series, Godzilla stayed a hero, protecting Japan against attacks from other monsters, aliens, etc. At one point, Godzilla even adopted a son, Minilla, in Son of Godzilla, who would make appearances in later Showa-era films. The Showa-era movies played on a lot of fears and interests of people during the period in which they were made. For instance, Godzilla was a movie designed to warn people about the use and testing of nuclear weapons. Likewise, Godzilla vs. Hedorah was designed to carry a message about the dangers of pollution. As space exploration and the Space Age were extremely popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many of Godzilla's films revolved around Godzilla fighting alien monsters, or involved an alien invasion in some shape or form. For instance, in the movie Destroy All Monsters, an alien race had managed to take control of all of Earth's monsters, who were eventually freed from their control, and destroyed the aliens who had put them under control.

Heisei series

The Heisei-era Godzilla films were the second of the film series. In total, there were seven Heisei-era films, making them amount to one fourth of the total Godzilla movies in existence. The Heisei-era films differed drastically from the Showa-era films in a variety of ways. The most prominent difference is that Toho did away with Godzilla being the hero of the films. While occasionally Godzilla would take the role of an antihero, he was still consistently portrayed as hazardous to humanity throughout the films. The Godzilla outfit was updated to look more realistic and much more intimidating than previous suits. Another significant difference is that the series was given an overall plotline with story arcs. Each movie happened in some sort of sequence, and generally referenced previous movies to further the plot of the series. As in the Showa era, in the first Godzilla movie of the Heisei era, The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla was the only monster to make an appearance. All succeeding Heisei-era movies would have Godzilla fight other giant monsters.

Like the Showa series, Godzilla adopted a son, Baby Godzilla, as his own child. In the final Heisei-era movie, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla dies after undergoing a nuclear meltdown, and his son (by that point almost half as tall as his father and called Godzilla Junior) absorbs the radiation and quickly matures to become the new King of the Monsters. In much the same way that the Showa-era played on fears and interests of people during the time period of production, Heisei-era Godzilla films made some attempts at making statements on popular topics for their time period. One good example would be Godzilla vs. Biollante, which made explicit warnings against research involving genetic engineering. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah touched on US-Japanese relations stemming from World War II and introduced a time-travel plot. Other themes in the movies included commenting on research into hazardous material and making environmental statements.

American remake

In 1998, TriStar Pictures produced a remake set in New York City, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Matthew Broderick; the film's name was simply 'Godzilla.' Despite negative to mixed reviews from film critics and negative reception from the fans of the original Japanese Godzilla, the film was a financial success, taking in nearly $380 million worldwide, and spawned an animated television series called Godzilla: The Series, which drew much better reception all-around. However, no sequel was made. Toho classifies the monster in this movie as Zilla, and it was featured briefly in their film Godzilla: Final Wars. Makers of this film stated in cinematic magazine interviews that the American incarnation of the monster did not merit having "God" in his name.

Millennium series

The Millennium series of Godzilla films are the third and currently last of the film series. There are six of these films, making them slightly under a fourth the total of the series. The Millennium series attempted to bring Godzilla back to his roots by eliminating a few of the things that the Heisei-era films had done. The most notable of these changes are, with one exception, the lack of any real continuity in the movies. Godzilla is, however, still a hazard in the Millennium series, and is always a destructive force.

Legendary Pictures Reboot

Legendary Godzilla

Godzilla's new updated look (LegendaryGoji)

In the 2014 Legendary Pictures reboot, Godzilla is a prehistoric amphibious monster who fed off of Earth's natural radiation. Over the years, however, as the radiation emitted from the planet gradually declined, Godzilla retreated to the ocean depths, where it could absorb radiation from the Earth's core.

In the film, Godzilla was kept a secret by the United States government, who were trying to kill him with atomic "tests." Godzilla comes to restore the balance of nature when the M.U.T.O.s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms), prehistoric creatures who are the main antagonists of the film, awaken and wreak havoc while traveling to meet each other in San Francisco. Godzilla follows the male, winged M.U.T.O. to San Francisco and arrives.

The military fails to stop Godzilla when it arrives at the Golden Gate Bridge and pulls back to allow the monsters to fight. During the ensuing battle between the monsters, Ford and a team of soldiers enter the city by HALO jump on a mission to disarm the warhead. Unable to disarm it, they take onto a boat for disposal at sea. Ford incinerates the nest, causing the female to leave the battle and Godzilla kills the male MUTO with its tail. The female MUTO wipes out the team at the boat, but Godzilla uses atomic breath to kill her before she can kill Ford. Godzilla then collapses out of exhaustion, and Ford pilots the boat out to sea, rescued just before the warhead explodes.

The next day, Ford is reunited with his family and Godzilla, thought to be dead, suddenly awakens. He rises, lets out a final roar before returning to the sea with the city remarking him as a hero.



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