“Don’t cry, we’ll be with daddy soon, just a few more minutes and we’ll be with daddy again.“
“Hey, you guuuuuys!”
It’s hard to tremble in awe and terror before a giant behemoth if said behemoth is doing an Irish jig. Now I’m not saying there were no dark moments during the Shōwa years as some of his battles got down right bloody with arterial spray going everywhere, and in films like Godzilla vs Hedorah (aka The Smog Monster) we see toxic sludge killing countless people including babies, yes babies! Of course moments like that are kind of undercut by shots of Godzilla holding his tail and rocketing through the sky.
“Dignity, always dignity!”
The Heisei series (1984–1995) It is in 1984 that we get his first big reboot in which we are told to ignore all the sequels that came before and that The Return of Godzilla is a direct sequel to the 1954 original. Back is the destructive Godzilla and also back are the darker themes and tone. In this series we also start getting some really boss Godzilla suits and he takes on some really amazing adversaries such as the new and improved Mechagodzilla, Space Godzilla and my favorite being the awesome plant monster Biolante. Who can but love a creature created from combining Godzilla’s cells with genetically mutated plants and the soul of the scientist’s dead daughter.
Godzilla vs Biolante is mad science at its best.
He’s got those Evil Dead eyes.
Enter Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich with their CGI travesty. There aren’t many good things that can be said about the 1998 Godzilla film; Matthew Broderick was horribly miscast, Maria Pitillo as the ex-girlfriend was beyond annoying, and the creature itself just wasn’t Godzilla. And I’m not saying that because it wasn’t a man in the suit but because it just wasn’t Godzilla.
Sixteen years later Gareth Edwards shows the world you can do a decent CGI Godzilla.
So there you have it, a quick look at the history of everyone’s favorite atomic lizard; he started out as an allegory for the dangers of nuclear weapons, drifted into some series goofy camp stuff, and then took a long trip back to being a dangerous badass. Here’s hoping for sixty more years of Godzilla!