Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rein-Toon-Ation: Godzilla (1998)

We are all accustomed to the classic Godzilla. Green, scaly, thirty stories high, as the theme to his 1978 series describes his height. Toho in Japan turned him from a villain to a hero in a series of sequels, and made him a beloved figure here in the US.

So why in the blue hizell did Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day") decide to turn him into a crawling giant lizard for their 1998 feature film and subsequent Fox cartoon series? Lord only knows. The movie was one of the worst I'd ever seen, despite standout performances by Matthew Broderick & Jean Reno. The cartoon? All that did was perpetuate the mistake, and it managed to hang on over the course of two seasons, thanks to Fox's rotating their cartoons in and out without advance warning. Thanks, but I'll take the genuine model over this imposter.

As a public service, we present the open to the 1998 series.

And ya wonder why there hasn't been a sequel, though rumors persist of a reboot of the franchise.

Rating: C-.


SaturdayMorningFan said...

I rented a DVD of this series earlier this year. I was darkly amused to find they took the worst of both worlds: Emerich's version of Godzilla (officially renamed 'Zilla by Toho and declared a completely separate monster, by the way) and the silly and humiliating aspect of Godzilla serving human masters from the real Godzilla's HB cartoon. They replaced Godzooky with a slightly less embarrassing robot, IIRC.
FYI, there appears to be more to the new Godzilla film than mere rumor - there is press release from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures here: http://tohokingdom.com/news/2012/09-14_godzilla_legendary_may2014.html
Looks like we will be getting a new American Godzilla film in May of 2014 (barring a complete national economic collapse, of course). The publicity materials released at various conventions indicate it will be the "real" Godzilla this time.

hobbyfan said...

I watched maybe one or two episodes when it first aired out of curiosity, and it seemed they just didn't get it.

A robot instead of Godzooky? Please. Give me the real, green Godzilla over this poser any day of the week.