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13 Tremendous Facts About the Mighty GODZILLA!
By: Jet Jaguar
Godzilla wasn't the first giant movie monster, but he is the most prolific. Having appeared in 33 films (with 3 more currently under production), a Hanna-Barbera cartoon which ran for 2 seasons, 49 video games, 5 comic book runs from 5 different companies, 4 board games, and countless licensed toys, one thing is for certain; Godzilla is a cultural icon. I mean, even Blue Oyster Cult wrote a song about the King of the Monsters!
For more than 60 years, Godzilla has captured the imaginations and demanded the attention of both Eastern and Western audiences alike. This crossover appeal is extremely uncommon, as the cultural gaps between Japan and the United States are typically even larger than the Pacific Ocean that actually separates us. Even the tone and subtext within the films themselves differ greatly between Japanese and American releases, as well as between eras, allowing nearly everyone to find a "favorite" version of Godzilla. Some people prefer the ultra-dramatic, dark sci fi/horror version; whereas some of us consider the campy, kid-friendly style to be our favorite. Some want only the original Japanese cut with subtitles, whereas others enjoy the American re-shoots and badly dubbed dialogue. Godzilla may appear rigid on screen, but the character is flexible enough to suit a wide variety of fanbases. What follows is not a definitive list of Godzilla trivia by any means, but rather just a handful of interesting tidbits to share with your friends. Just like the G-monster itself, I look forward to producing endless sequels to this article in the future! For now, though, here are 13 Tremendous Facts About The Mighty Godzilla!
Is Godzilla male, female, or hermaphrodite?
Godzilla is described by the pronoun "it" in the original Japanese films, but is described as male in the English dubs.
In the '98 film, Godzilla lays eggs through parthenogenesis. For the most part, Godzilla's gender is not addressed in the films.
The actor who most frequently portrayed the monster is unsure of its gender.
Godzilla is most likely a hermaphrodite.
What the hell does "Godzilla" mean, anyway?
In Japan, GODZILLA's name is "Gojira", which is a portmanteau of the Japanese words for "whale" and "gorilla".
This is meant to hint at its power, great size, and aquatic origin.
How tall is Godzilla?
Originally, Godzilla was portrayed as being approximately 50 meters (164 feet) tall.
This is because the director, Ishiro Honda, wanted the creature to just barely peek over the tallest buildings in Tokyo. As taller buildings have been built over the years, Godzilla's size has adjusted to compensate. In the most recent film, Godzilla is approximately 118.5 meters (389 feet) tall!
Godzilla is a martial arts master!
The 1st actor to wear the Godzilla suit (and the most prolific) was Haruo Nakajima. He portrayed the big G 12 times over nearly 20 years. Haruo was a black belt in Judo, and occasionally used those skills during monster battles!
What powers does Godzilla have?
Godzilla's powers have changed over the years to include Atomic Breath, regeneration, fireballs, electric bite, eye beams, precognition, superhuman speed, magnetism, atomic pulse, and flight. Its hide is so thick that traditional weapons can not pierce it.
Godzilla's iconic roar is not what you'd think
Godzilla's original roar was created by sliding a resin-coated leather glove along the strings of a double-bass and then playing the sound back slowly. Occasionally, the roar has been changed by different directors.
For the 2014 film, the sound editors would not reveal how they created the sounds used for Godzilla. But, I imagine that it's just a fat kid farting into a tuba.
How much does Godzilla weigh?
Godzilla's weight was originally 22,046 tons.
In the 2014 Gareth Edwards film, the creature weighed 99,000 tons.
Go figure, moving to America would cause it to pack on some pounds. Damn Big Macs.
In 1961, Mothra becomes the 1st explicitly female monster in the Godzilla franchise.
We almost lost Godzilla 3 times!
Toho, the Japanese studio responsible for bringing us Godzilla, has faced financial issues numerous times. This has caused them to create several "last Godzilla films ever" over the years.
1) Destroy All Monsters (1968) was made as a celebration of Toho's 20th monster film. They wanted it to close out the Godzilla franchise, so they included 11 monsters in the film. It was so popular, they kept the character going.
2) Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) had the lowest attendance of any Godzilla film, so Toho put production of monster movies on hold.
3) Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) was meant to finally end the character. However, in 2016, Toho released Godzilla Resurgence.
What's the most popular Godzilla movie ever?
Adjusted for inflation, the highest grossing Godzilla movie of all time is King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), selling 11 million tickets in Japan!. It is a campy, quirky flick that really established Godzilla for decades to come.
In 2020, we will finally get an American remake named Godzilla vs Kong!
What does Godzilla eat?
In most films, we're told that Godzilla consumes radiation. Originally, Godzilla's first scene was going to be with a dead cow in it's mouth. This scene was filmed but didn't make the final cut. Because of this, Godzilla is never seen eating in the Japanese films.
What's the most intricate monster suit in the Godzilla franchise?
In Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), the final form of the giant plant creature "Biollante" required 20 crew members using 32 piano wires to manipulate it!
George Takei started his career in a Godzilla flick!
Surprisingly, George Takei's 1st film credit is in Godzilla Raids Again (1955).
He doesn't appear on screen, but he dubbed voices for the American version of the movie!
This is not the end of Godzilla Facts, not by a long shot! We'll be back soon with more useless trivia about the Godzilla franchise, as well as other things kaiju and Toho related. If you have a favorite fact about the world's greatest monster movie series, please hit us up at the addresses below!
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