LSD Jellyfish wrote:Okay, I don’t disagree with that. However, I’m saying that I don’t think the specific element of a dinosaur in Lost World somehow led to Godzilla. It could’ve been any monster or anything.
I sorta agree and disagree. As you said here and in the Godzilla talkback thread, not much is made of Godzilla's prehistoric origins in that film, definitely not as much as the fact that he's radioactive. That's what's really important. And I hadn't really considered that until reading that post so I look forward to evaluating that myself the next time I watch it.
But that said, I do think the concept of a rampaging dinosaur from The Lost World laid some groundwork for Godzilla: I think we can argue that the reason Godzilla is a dinosaur is because giant rampaging dinosaurs were already familiar to film audiences, from The Lost World to (a certain degree) King Kong and definitely to the recent The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. I think the recency of Beast, the only previous cinematic radioactive dinosaur, is really important. One of the early ideas for Godzilla was a giant octopus, an animal that would have been even more familiar to audiences (especially in Japan) than a vaguely Tyrannosaurian dinosaur, but I wonder if Toho and Honda and Tsuburaya settled on a giant dinosaur because they knew it had worked before for Hollywood. And if Godzilla had been made a year or two later, after Disney's 20,000 Leagues and It Came from Beneath the Sea, might we have seen the character as a giant octopus?
One other thing to consider is this: yes, it could have theoretically been any animal, real or not, as long as it was radioactive. A dinosaur gave the filmmakers a readymade excuse for why the creature was so big. No dinosaur was ever 50 meters tall but "really large dinosaur" might in some way be more credible than "really really large octopus." But I think that's less important since most seafaring cultures have legends of enormous squids/octopi, and as said, the creature's physical shape and size is of secondary importance.