When it comes to cartoon TV shows, many people dismiss them for being childish. Sure, they were designed with kids in mind, but a lot of viewers may be shocked by how many amazing animated series have been created over the years. Although some cartoons are simply designed with childish fun in mind, there are other animated shows that capture audience imaginations and have compelling plot lines with rich character development. Godzilla: The Series was one such show that even adults could enjoy.
Godzilla: The Series came out in 1998, but it wasn’t the first time the big guy got an animated look; in 1978 Godzilla was envisioned by Hanna-Barbera, the creators of legendary cartoons like The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry, and more. While both of the Godzilla cartoon series were fairly short-lived, the ‘98 version brought an interesting perspective to “Zilla Junior”; depicting him as having a close relationship with the main character, Dr. Nick Tatopoulos. As a result, the portrayal of “The King of Monsters” intrigued even the most avid Godzilla fans.
In this article we’ll break down some of the major reasons why this overlooked series was secretly great.
1. It Built on the Plot of the 1998 Godzilla Movie
The 1998 Godzilla movie starring Matthew Broderick as Dr. Nick Tatopoulos was a bit of a box office let down. While it did technically profit, it didn’t have the reception that filmmakers had hoped for, and subsequent sequels were cancelled.
Despite this, the animated TV show did a good job of picking up where the movie left off. At the end of the 1998 film, Dr. Nick Tatopoulos discovers eggs left by the creature Godzilla. The show picks up when one of those eggs hatches in front of Nick, and thus Zilla Junior is born. The baby Godzilla imprints upon Nick, causing them to form a close bond.
For fans of Godzilla, the animated series is fascinating because it improves upon the plot of the movie by further exploring the idea of an American Godzilla. The show also plays upon the balance between Godzilla as a monster of pure animal instincts versus Godzilla as an ancient protector and ally to mankind.
2. Bigger and Badder
Kaiju translates to “strange creature” in English, and in the Godzilla films kaiju are the massive monsters which Godzilla often does battle. There have been many epic kaiju over the history of Godzilla lore, and the animated series is no exception. In the series, Nick and his team (H.E.A.T.) track down mutant monsters and often utilize Godzilla as a weapon to contain these creatures.
The show introduces many interesting kaiju such as the Thorny Devil, which can resist Godzilla’s radioactive fire. The monsters are drawn from the ground up, giving the viewers a sense of how massive they are in comparison to the human characters. Additionally, the show isn’t afraid to go dark from time-to-time. While it was a kid’s show, there are some fairly scary episodes, including an episode with a Zombie Alien-Cyborg Godzilla (what?!).
3. Interesting Characters
The characters in the animated series have dynamic personalities and interactions with one another, which is another aspect of the show that transcends typical expectations of cartoons. There are five human members of Nick’s “H.E.A.T.” team, each with their own set of specialties and unique characteristics.
As can be expected in any cartoon, the characters also bring some humor to the show. For example, in Season 2 Episode 10, the kaiju discovered at Area 51 break loose and head towards Las Vegas, not to play blackjack or catch a show, but to enjoy the “all you can eat buffet”. It’s corny comic book humor, but it gives the show some enjoyable levity.
Check it Out…
When the series aired in 1998 it did fairly well in terms of viewership numbers. Both children and adult fans of the Godzilla legacy enjoyed the show, and it even received better praise than the movie itself. However, resources were tied up as Pokémon and Digimon were battling it out for the Saturday morning cartoon audience, and ultimately Godzilla: The Series was cancelled as of April 2000. However, you can still find some episodes online or even purchase the episodes on DVD for an affordable price. If you are a fan of Godzilla tales, or simply looking to relive some high-quality Saturday morning cartoon nostalgia, this series is highly recommended.
If you are a fan of Godzilla, Toho and the Monsterverse and are looking for a welcoming online community to share your passion and engage with other die-hard Godzilla fans, look no further! Join in the Godzilla Movies forum - a dedicated community of Godzilla movie and Monsterverse fans!
Godzilla Quick Links
- Godzilla vs. Kong 2 Official Plot Synopsis
- New Godzilla Monsterverse game in development by Legendary and 7Levels!
- Matt Shakman to direct Monsterverse Godzilla Series for Apple TV!
Get G-ed Up!
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This article was written By Chris and published on 2020-04-05 09:59:22
More about upcoming Godzilla & Monsterverse projects
Godzilla vs. Kong was the sequel to Michael Dougherty's Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and was the fourth and final installment in the Monsterverse movie quadrilogy. Now, the Monsterverse takes a new direction - into TV! On January 20th, 2022 Legendary announced a new live-action Godzilla Monsterverse TV Series which will stream on Apple TV Plus network! Be sure to check Godzilla-Movies often for the latest news and info on the Monsterverse TV Series and all things Toho Godzilla as well!
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