27 Facts About Godzilla


Godzilla is a fictional monster, or kaiju, originating from a series of Japanese films.

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The character first appeared in the 1954 film Godzilla and became a worldwide pop culture icon, appearing in various media, including 32 films produced by Toho, four American films and numerous video games, novels, comic books and television shows.

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Godzilla is an enormous, destructive, prehistoric sea monster awakened and empowered by nuclear radiation.

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Godzilla sometimes has allies, such as Rodan, Mothra and Anguirus, and offspring, such as Minilla and Godzilla Junior.

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Gojira is a portmanteau of the Japanese words and, owing to the fact that in one planning stage, Godzilla was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale", due to its size, power and aquatic origin.

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Godzilla's name was written in ateji as, where the kanji are used for phonetic value and not meaning.

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Godzilla is sometimes depicted as green in comics, cartoons and movie posters, but the costumes used in the movies were usually painted charcoal grey with bone-white dorsal plates up until the film Godzilla 2000: Millennium.

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When inquired if Godzilla was "good or bad", producer Shogo Tomiyama likened it to a Shinto "God of Destruction" which lacks moral agency and cannot be held to human standards of good and evil.

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Godzilla is shown to possess immense physical strength and muscularity.

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Haruo Nakajima, the actor who played Godzilla in the original films, was a black belt in judo and used his expertise to choreograph the battle sequences.

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Godzilla is amphibious: it has a preference for traversing Earth's hydrosphere when in hibernation or migration, can breathe underwater and is described in the original film by the character Dr Yamane as a transitional form between a marine and a terrestrial reptile.

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Godzilla is shown to have great vitality: it is immune to conventional weaponry thanks to its rugged hide and ability to regenerate, and as a result of surviving a nuclear explosion, it cannot be destroyed by anything less powerful.

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Godzilla has a distinctive disyllabic roar, which was created by composer Akira Ifukube, who produced the sound by rubbing a pine tar-resin-coated glove along the string of a contrabass and then slowing down the playback.

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Godzilla's size is inconsistent, changing from film to film and even from scene to scene for the sake of artistic license.

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Director Gareth Edwards wanted Godzilla "to be so big as to be seen from anywhere in the city, but not too big that he couldn't be obscured".

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For Shin Godzilla, Godzilla was made even taller than the Legendary version, at 118.

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Godzilla's appearance has traditionally been portrayed in the films by an actor wearing a latex costume, though the character has been rendered in animatronic, stop-motion and computer-generated form.

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Godzilla is one of the most recognizable symbols of Japanese popular culture worldwide and remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre.

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Godzilla has been considered a filmographic metaphor for the United States, as well as an allegory of nuclear weapons in general.

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Godzilla represented the fears that many Japanese held about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the possibility of recurrence.

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Godzilla is considered "the original radioactive superhero" due to his accidental radioactive origin story predating Spider-Man, though Godzilla did not become a hero until Ghidorah in 1964.

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Godzilla was voted the most popular movie monster in The Monster Times poll in 1973, beating Count Dracula, King Kong, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Frankenstein Monster.

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In 1996, Godzilla received the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as being given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004 to celebrate the premiere of the character's 50th anniversary film, Godzilla: Final Wars.

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Godzilla has been used in advertisements, such as in a commercial for Nike, where Godzilla lost an oversized one-on-one game of basketball to a giant version of NBA player Charles Barkley.

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Godzilla has appeared in a commercial for Snickers candy bars, which served as an indirect promo for the 2014 film.

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Godzilla's success inspired the creation of numerous other monster characters, such as Gamera, Reptilicus of Denmark, Yonggary of South Korea, Pulgasari of North Korea, Gorgo of the United Kingdom and the Cloverfield monster of the United States.

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Godzilla has been cited as an inspiration by filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton.

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