GINO (Godzilla in name Only)
|Height||55-70 meters (180-230 feet)|
Asexual reproduction (1998 film only)
Extreme durability (series only)
Enhanced regeneration (series only) speed
|Origins||Nuclear testing in French Polynesia|
|Created by||Roland Emmerich|
|Portrayed by:||Frank Welker|
Zilla (ジラ, Jira) is Toho Studio's official name for the titular creature of the 1998 American film. Zilla is a giant mutated Iguana originating from a nuclear test in French Polynesia. As the test was done in 1968, the creature (or perhaps species) grew over a period of approximately thirty years. Its irradiated genes caused it to achieve a height of over sixty meters (about two-hundred feet). Physically it resembles a giant-sized, Raptor like, flesh-eating dinosaur of some sort. He has rough, square-shaped (from side view) jaws, a long neck, large, fin-shaped dorsal spines (which differ greatly from the maple leaf-shaped spines of Godzilla), and long, powerful legs and arms. He also possesses a seemingly vestigial toe, on the back of, and three dinosaur-like toes on the front of each foot.
Godzilla (1998)/Godzilla: The Animated SeriesZilla swam from the islands across the Pacific, attacking a Japanese freighter, and then stomped across Panama. From there it traveled up the American Eastern Seaboard, where it sank several American fishing boats. It then stomped through New York, necessitating the evacuation of the entire city. The military battled him extensively, and supposedly killed it in the East River. However, it had laid hundreds of eggs in and under Madison Square Garden (an arena in Midtown Manhattan), which hatched and filled the Garden with hundreds of baby Zillas. The military bombed the Garden, slaying the infant Zilla's. However, Zilla then revealed itself to have survived, and chased the heroes through New York across the Brooklyn Bridge, where it became entangled in the suspension cables. It was then killed by F-18's (although later on, in the sequel TV series, he was resurrected as a cyborg by the Tachyons), this cyborg variant appeared during the monster wars story arc which was very similar to the general plot of Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla: Final Wars.
One unhatched offspring survived the destruction of Madison Square Garden. When it hatched, it imprinted upon Dr. Niko Tatopoulos shortly after Niko discovered the egg. From there, Zilla Jr. accompanied Tatopoulos and his team, H.E.A.T., on their missions against various monsters mutated by nuclear experiments in Godzilla: The Series.
Because the original Zilla reproduced asexually, it can only be properly classified as genderless. It is, nonetheless, acceptable to refer to Zilla colloquially as male.
Godzilla: Final Wars
In Godzilla: Final Wars, Zilla is one of the monsters controlled by the Xiliens, and under their control he attacks Sydney, Australia. The towering reptile topples down buildings, chomps on vehicles, incinerates a crowd with his fire breath, and even eats a couple of civilians. Then suddenly, the Xiliens teleport the reptile and the other monsters around the world. They tell the humans that they took the monsters away to save Earth. However, the humans find that the Xilians were controlling the monsters and the Xiliens release all the monsters again to finish destroying the cities they were attacking. When Godzilla is freed from the south pole and defeats the Xilien warrior Gigan, through the alien leader's command Zilla is re-released in Sydney to do battle with Godzilla. He is defeated rather quickly by Godzilla himself, who sends him flying into the Sydney Opera House and finishes him off with his atomic breath. The battle was the shortest in the Godzilla series. Critics say that this short battle was meant to show Toho's displeasure towards Sony and Tri-Star with their handling of the Godzilla franchise. Other say the significant difference in size, speed, and abilites between the two showed it truly played out the way it should have. Zilla appeared to be the same as the 1998 creature, except for minor appearance differences and the size. However, as Godzilla: Final Wars and the 1998 film do not take place in the same timeline, and GMK has its own version of Godzilla, and there is no continuity between GMK and Godzilla: Final Wars, it is not possible for these to be the same creature. However, this does not mean that Zilla is a different character from the 1998 version with a different Trademark (see references 5, 6 & 7).
Zilla Jr. (Godzilla: The Series)
Main Page: Zilla Junior
Godzilla (1998 Film)
The history of Godzilla has been a rather mixed and negative one. The initial reaction to the 1998 release was mostly a negative one spanning from both movie critics and Godzilla fan base alike. Critically it was blasted for uninspired acting, random plots that don't fit, unnecessary use of rain, inconsistent size of the monster, shoddy special effects (even for its time period), the constant themes and actual scenes it has ripped off from hit film Jurassic Park. Tri-Star's Godzilla heavily borrowed concepts such as the asexual development of eggs. Multiple scenes had the main characters running for their lives from the baby Godzilla's much like the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park, although the directors greatly state this was not intended.There were scenes that were frame by frame the same as JP like the velociraptor shadow scene, jump attack sequence or the door opening sequence. At the end of the film when Godzilla was killed by the F-18's, audiences were confused as to whether or not they should have felt sorry for the creature or cheer much like NY citizens and military celebrated to Godzilla's demise. In the original, it had a sad ending for both the monster and martyr who gave himself up to destroy Godzilla and the Oxygen Destroyer. The Godzilla fan base criticized the film for lacking Godzilla's theme, personality and key characteristics.
Godzilla traditional design, though the designers greatly insist that this was not an intention. The origin of the monster is also changed, from being a mutant fictional dinosaur to an iguana mutated by nuclear fallout from a French nuclear test. This was an attempt by the directors to make the creature more realistic and less corny.
The most heavy criticism, though, came from the creature's lack of similarities and personality to the original monster. "Zilla" lacked Godzilla's trademark atomic breath, as well as his strength and durability, testified by his easy destruction at the end by the F-18's at the Brooklyn Bridge. Dean Devlin tacked in a last minute power breath even though he had no plans on adding any powers what so ever. It also lacked the on screen omnipotent presence that the original Godzilla possessed. There was a feeling of dread with the original while Tri-Star's version was just a large animal wandering the streets/subways of Manhattan. Many compared it as removing Spider-Man's webbing or Superman's invulnerability and flight. For these reasons, fans refused to equal the two monsters and differentiated by naming the creature "Notzilla", "TriStarZilla", "Deanzilla" or "Patzilla" (because of its creators, Dean Devlin and Patrick Tatopoulos), and G.I.N.O. (an acronym for "Godzilla In Name Only"). Toho finally responded by officially renaming the creature "Zilla", accusing TriStar of having removed the "God" from "Godzilla".
Financially the movie did well in it's initial release ($55 million) but word of mouth from both fans and critics caused the films profits to drop 40% after the first week. Domestically it made $136 million and drew in another $242 million overseas. The movies budget was $130 million in both production and advertising costs. It wasn't a complete bust but it wasn't the blockbuster the movie studio was looking for. Sony and Toho had a contract that there was supposed to be a trilogy of Godzilla movies within 5 years of the first film. During that time Sony released Godzilla 2000 in US theaters, in part because a Japanese Godzilla film would be seen as a break from the Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich version. Because of the reaction, a lack of retailer interest and finances brought in by the first film, Sony decided not to make another Godzilla film and their contract with the Godzilla franchise expired May of 2003.
Godzilla (1998 Animated Series)
Despite the negative reaction to the film, the follow-up TV series garnered surprisingly positive reactions from fans and it did well in the TV ratings. The series followed the adventures of Dr. Nick Tatopoulos, a major character from the film, and Zilla's surviving baby. The series returned Godzilla's trademark characteristics to Zilla Jr, including his strength and nigh-indestructibility, his atomic breath and general masculinity. Zilla Jr. follows Dr. Tatopoulos and the members of H.E.A.T around, having imprinted upon Nick as his own parent, and fights various other monsters that have been formed by nuclear radiation, in the style of the late Showa era. The fan response to the series was overall very positive, and Zilla Jr. gained much respect from those who hated the film. There's a popular rumor that Toho honored this one by calling calling him "Godzilla Jr." seeing it was worthy of the Godzilla name. But this rumor has yet to be confirmed since there has been no official statement from Toho. It turned out that it was indeed just a rumor created by fans for the animated series, and Toho added no comment to the matter. People sometimes confuse themselves with Godzilla Jr. and Zilla Jr. Toho's Godzilla Jr. appeared in three film of the Heisei series years before Tri-Star's animated version. He first appeared as Baby Godzilla in Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla II in 1993. The second film in which he appeared in as Little Godzilla was in Godzilla vs Space Godzilla back in 1994. It was then that Little Godzilla began to grow and then earned the nick name Jr. When he appeared in Godzilla vs Destroyah in 1995. Jr. looked very much like his dad with the exception of his size and dorsal fins. He developed his fathers fighting ability and even defeated the second incarnation of Destroyah all by himself. When Zilla fans talk about Zilla Jr., they usually refer to the Godzilla Animated Series that is based on Dean Devlin's and Roland Emmerich's Tri-Star film. The animated 90's version is mostly known as Zilla Jr. among the Godzilla community.
Ever since its defeat in Final Wars and the success of the cartoon series, Zilla has been received some praise for the monster's fairly unique design.
- Godzilla: The Series
- Godzilla: Final Wars
- Godzilla Trading Battle (video game)
- Godzilla Generations (video game)
- Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact;(video game)
- Godzilla: The Series (videogame)
- Godzilla The Series: Monster Wars (videogame)
- Godzilla: Unleashed (video game; briefly considered)
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Issue #2 (comic)
Gallery of appearances
- Zilla was considered for Godzilla: Unleashed, but didn't make the cut due to his lack of popularity during production on the previous games.
- Despite appearances, Zilla is a mutated marine iguana, and not a dinosaur like Godzilla.
- According to the movie, Zilla was created by nuclear fallout on French Polynesia. However, marine iguanas are indiginous to the Galápagos Islands.
- Zilla was designed based on only the instructions that he should be agile and fast.
- Zilla's colouring is to better camouflage within an urban environment as to be harder to spot.
- The attack on New York by Zilla was referenced in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah; although the American experts believe that it was Godzilla, the japanese do not.
- In the series Iron Man: Armored Adventures, in the episode Tales Of Suspense part 1 and 2 there is a Chinese dragon that has Zilla's roar.
- ↑ Weinberger, Kimberly, and Dawn Margolis, comps. The Official GODZILLA Movie Fact Book. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1998.
- ↑ http://www.tohokingdom.com/kaiju/godzilla54.htm
- ↑ http://www.tohokingdom.com/kaiju/godzilla_heisei.htm#91
- ↑ Official documentation showing ZILLA Trademark to be active and in effect
- ↑ Official documentation showing GODZILLA 1998 Registered trademark has been cancelled. Scroll down to see "Status / Status date"
- ↑ Official documentation showing "GODZILLA 1998" logo to be cancelled and abandoned. Scroll down to see "Status / Status date"
- ↑ "BABY GODZILLA" logo is abandoned. Scroll down to see "Status / Status date"
- ↑ Matt Frank's comment on his "Godzilla: Rulers of Earth" deviation on DeviantART