Godzilla ゴジラ [Distributed 1998]


Godzilla - Baby Godzilla
Godzilla [Distributed 1998]
Godzilla

Height : 60 meters
Mass : 500 tons

Powers / Weapons

Incendiary breath; burrowing ability; reproduces asexually; adept swimmer

Appearances

GODZILLA (1998)

Series // Distributed

Sound Effect

Description

French Polynesia breeds numerous exotic reptiles of many shapes and sizes. Never intended, however, was the oddest creature ever to rise from this tropical paradise. As the French government conduced nuclear tests in the area, the species in the path were wiped out... all except one egg. An egg that gave birth to a new, mutated species as a result of the nuclear exposure.

Gigantic in size, the creature ventured out to feed. Looking to consume vast quantities of fish, the monster came into contact with a large Japanese fishing vessel. Attacking the ship, the huge beast sunk the vessel while feasting on the contents inside. Many aboard the vessel died during the assault. One survivor, stricken with severe levels of radiation, recounted his experiences in a hospital. The Japanese sailor dubbed the monster Gojira, telling this to agents of the French government who visited him.

Godzilla [Distributed 1998]The creature continued its trek from the Pacific to the Atlantic, ever seeking a nest with which to raise its brood, growing quickly inside the womb of the giant. An island was chosen, a perfect place in which to hide from the unseen and unknown amongst the concrete towers that rose hundreds of meters into the sky. Much to the creature's despair, the species that created Gojira with their nuclear tests inhabited this pristine breeding ground. Their native dialect skewed the monster's name, redubbing it "Godzilla". Unfortunately for Godzilla, man was as fierce and quick to destroy as he was to create. The military used fish as bait to lure the creature to his demise. The sting of the missiles and guns pierced through the creature and all it could do was flee. Through the mountains of steel it ran, but Godzilla too was clever. It ambushed a small fraction of its aggressors, AH-64A Apache helicopters. Using its powerful forearms, the beast destroyed many of the crafts. Those that escaped were later bitten out of the sky, ending the immediate threat against the monster.

Godzilla, confused and exhausted, felt the pains of childbirth creeping throughout its womb. Traveling underground through a series of tunnels it created, the creature laid its eggs. Meanwhile humanity searched for the monster, but could not find it as Godzilla burrowed deep through the subterranean tunnels of the metropolis. However, ultimately the creature was brought to the surface again, lured by fish which its young would so surely need. The lesson from last time burned deep in its mind when it discovered a similar trap as before. Consequently it fled, although was pursued by a massive fleet of AH-64A Apaches. Dodging attacks from the air and ground, the beast navigated to the waters around New York, leaping in. The attack was far from over, though, as it was now pursued by the silhouettes of a dark submersible weapon: Nuclear-Powered Subs. As the underwater vessels fired on Godzilla, the creature dodged the missiles. Swimming through the waters, the beast's quick wit brought one of the torpedoes crashing into one of the submarines, destroying it. Godzilla then advanced to the nearest mass of ground underwater, planning to burrow away from the assault. Alas, its escape was thwarted when it took a direct hit by a torpedo.

The creature would remain "dead" to mankind as the young were sought out and destroyed by humans. Following the devastation, Godzilla rose from the streets, having recovered and burrowed into New York City again. Witnessing its dead young, the creature was heartbroken at man's recklessness. It pursued the closest group of humans, yearning for revenge. This small group was clever enough, though, to lure Godzilla to the Brooklyn Bridge. Ensnared in the arches and cables, Godzilla could only roar helplessly as it was brutally killed by 12 missiles. The creature, robbed of its revenge, could only stare at its aggressors as it fell into eternal slumber.

But elsewhere, deep in the bowls of the devastated nest, one offspring escaped. The legacy continued...


Powers / Weapons
Incendiary Breath

incendiary breath

Godzilla was able to exhale a naturally produced, flammable gas from its mouth. When breathed on an open flame, the breath would ignite. This would send a wall of fire moving toward the intended target.

This feat was used on two cars that were in flames, igniting the breath and sending it against the military vehicles that were in pursuit of Godzilla.

   
Burrowing Ability

Burrowing Ability

Using its powerful forearms, Godzilla was able to quickly burrow through the Earth's surface. The creature was not limited to using this ability on the ground, though, as it displayed this ability to travel directly through buildings.

When burrowing underwater, the creature was seen first ramming its head into the object it planned to burrow. While this was possibly to loosen the soil, it might also have been to test how hard the object was before using its arms to burrow.

   
Reproduces Asexually

Reproduces Asexually

Initially, the mutated species was the only member of its new race. This did not last long, though, as the creature proved able to reproduce asexually.

Godzilla was able to lay up to 200 eggs at once. Each egg hosted a Baby Godzilla, with the potential to grow into a full size Godzilla as it matured.

   
Adept Swimmer

Adept Swimmer

Through snaking its body underwater, Godzilla proved to be an adept swimmer.

Not only able to move at quick speeds, the creature proved nimble underwater as well. He was able to dodge the missiles of the nuclear-powered submarines that attacked them. This allowed the creature to maneuver himself so the missiles followed the beast, leading them into the side of a submarine and destroying it.


Background and Trivia
  • After director Roland Emmerich and writer/producer Dean Devlin were attached to the GODZILLA project, Emmerich and designer Patrick Tatopoulous went to Tokyo in September of 1996. There they meet with Toho executives, along with producer Shogo Tomiyama and special effects director Koichi Kawakita. Emmerich noted that he would only take on the faltering project, which had previously failed to get off the ground, if he and Devlin were given absolute creative control. The reason being that Toho had previously given a list of guidelines in a 75 page document on how the character had to be treated. Just a few of the items included were:
    - Godzilla's birth has to be the result of a nuclear explosion
    - Godzilla must have four claws on its hands and feet
    - Godzilla must have three rows of dorsal fins along its spine
    - Godzilla does not eat people
    - Godzilla cannot die
    Emmerich was looking for more freedom, and, against Devlin's advice to show the design in stages, had Tatopoulous unveil the full design for the 1998 Godzilla. As noted in a May 25th, 1998 issue of Time, he then gave an ultimatum: "we either do it like this, or we don't do it at all. It's your trademark, but if you don't do it this way… you'll have to find someone else." In response, Toho said they would get back to Emmerich tomorrow. The following day, chief executive Isao Matsuoka of Toho told Emmerich that the project was greenlit. Tatopoulous noted that he was told that "the new Godzilla is miles away from the old creature, but that [Tatopoulous] kept its spirit."
  • Godzilla [Distributed 1998]Chris Lee, then head of TriStar, noted of the design that: "it was just so different, so improved." After it was shown to the Toho board in September 1996, Lee asked them to think of this as the "TriStar Godzilla," an extension from the "Classic Godzilla" franchise. Mentioned in a May 25th, 1998 issue of Time
  • The Godzilla Chronicles Vol. 3 (ISBN: 4812405815) lists a height of 60 meters for Godzilla, along with a mass of only 500 tons. However, the Godzilla 1954-1999 Super Complete Works (ISBN: 4091014704) notes his height as 70 meters, although cites that this is estimated (推定).
  • In the screenplay, Godzilla's breath weapon is called Power Breath: a gale-force wind that blew away everything that wasn't nailed down. In an unfilmed scene, Godzilla used this power to deflect gas from canisters that were released by the military to subdue him. This was nixed from the movie, though, and replaced instead with something called "incendiary breath", which has natural gas-like properties that allowed it to become combustible when exposed to flame. In an interview with TNT Rough Cut, Roland Emmerich describes the "incendiary breath" as a "little bit of an homage" to the atomic ray of the original. Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • Godzilla's speed is mentioned in the The Godzilla Chronicles Vol. 3 (ISBN: 4812405815) as 480 kilometers per hour.
  • On the topic of Godzilla's speed, director Roland Emmerich noted: "Godzilla can outrun any taxi, and that was the core idea for the movie. No one can catch it. Dean [Devlin] and I realized we could make a different Godzilla, a movie about a hunt, about hide-and-seek." Mentioned in a May 25th, 1998 issue of Time.
  • A full grown Godzilla could lay up to 200 eggs at a time, producing a huge amount of Baby Godzillas very quickly. This fact is noted in the Godzilla 1954-1999 Super Complete Works (ISBN: 4091014704).
  • Several scenes with Godzilla were different in the original screenplay versus the final product. For example, Godzilla was to visit Times Square and destroy the Jumpo Tron display. However, no such scene made it into the final movie. The Park Avenue tunnel scene with the taxi and Godzilla was also added later in the screenplay process. In the original draft, they just drive around in the taxi until eventually going out toward the bridge. On the note of the bridge, in the original screenplay Godzilla was also to be killed on the George Washington Bridge instead of the Brooklyn Bridge. Referenced in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • In an interview with TNT Rough Cut, Roland Emmerich notes that Godzilla was originally going to be created from animatronics, digital animation and motion capture. The reason was that "usually [CGI] doesn't hold up when you get close to it." However, Emmerich touts that during production they got the effects to such a level beyond anything they "thought was possible" that they almost completely dumped the other techniques in favor of just CGI. In fact, Emmerich notes that there are "only four or five animatronic shots left in the movie, and there's only two motion capture shots. So all the rest is CG…" To elaborate, there are 185 CGI shots of Godzilla in the final film. In fact, a ⅙ scale animatronic of Godzilla was created, although ended up only being used fleetingly in the final movie. Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).


Baby Godzilla [Distributed 1998]
Baby Godzilla

Height : 1.8 meters
Mass :

Powers / Weapons

None

Appearances

GODZILLA (1998)

Series // Distributed

Sound Effect

Description

In the very heart of Madison Square Garden, Godzilla burrowed into the stadium. Inside, the asexual creature began to lay around 200 eggs, establishing a nest for them. The nuclear menace made frequent return trips, dropping off fish as it did. Meanwhile, Godzilla's young grew inside the protective shells of their leathery eggs. Their strength increased and their form perfected.

Ultimately, the offspring would hatch, much to the horror of the onlooking humans who had recently discovered the nest. Their mother had prepared well for their arrival, as emerging from their eggs the infants found loads of fish nearby. The creatures gorged on the available food, slurping down the fish as they walked for the first time. Unfortunately for onlookers, the young Godzillas based their next meal not on sight, but smell. This proved lethal for the nearby humans whose bodies smelled of the surrounding fish.

Baby Godzilla [Distributed 1998]Although initially timid at these larger humans that smelled of food, their hesitancy did not last. The Baby Godzillas began to pounce and kill the unfortunate people nearby. This was a combination of a small contingent of French forces and locals to New York. They had come with a plan to detonate the eggs with explosives. However, once the creatures started attacking, that plan ended and instead shifted toward surviving.

The Baby Godzilla's first victim, however, was still trying to setup the explosives. Caught off guard, a Baby Godzilla jumped on top of him, killing him. Spotting this, another member of the French forces attempted to flee behind a door, only to have a Baby Godzilla knock the doors open and kill them. Two more brave troops, guns blazing, attempted to thwart the creatures' advance, only to die for their efforts.

In a horrific display, almost two hundred of Godzilla's young infested the building, searching for food. Several of them pursued the small group of survivors. Attempting to reach the broadcast room, the hungry creatures chased them to it. Once inside, the survivors broadcast a message asking for the destruction of the stadium. Showing footage of the babies, they noted that the key to ending their threat was destroying Madison Square Garden.

With their message sent, the small group of people fought their way out. To achieve this, they shoot down chandeliers in order to fend off the advancing lizards. The falling debris and shattering glass offered just enough distraction for them to escape from the Baby Godzillas. No sooner had the humans left the building did a terrible fate befell the young Godzillas. The military fired on the building, annihilating the terrible creatures in a conflagration.

However, among the crumbling and fiery building, one creature remained untouched. Late to hatch, this final Godzilla, the last of its species, emerged, ready to terrorize the world another day.


Powers / Weapons
None

None

The Baby Godzillas demonstrated no abnormal feats. Although they would grow to share the skills of their mother, such as the ability to burrow and reproduce asexually, at this adolescent stage they weren't developed enough yet.

The creatures could, though, move at a speed of between 60 to 80 kilometers an hour, or 37 to 50 miles per hour. At top speed, this is almost twice as fast as the human record and although not nearly as fast as a cheetah.


Background and Trivia
  • The Baby Godzillas were created through a combination of suitmation, robotics and CGI. The suits featured robotic heads and leg extensions for the actors. It was director Roland Emmerich who decided to cut all moving shots of the suits. This was done to avoid a disconnect between what a running CGI Baby Godzilla would look like versus seeing one of the suits run or walk in another scene. As a result, only stationary shots of the suits exist in the final film, save one moment where a suit is seen walking forward around the 93 minute mark. This decision by Emmerich is noted in the visual effects commentary track on the GODZILLA DVD. Also, as a result, in most scenes the legs were actually bolted to the ground to help with balance for the actor since they wouldn't be moving.
  • Baby Godzilla [Distributed 1998]For the CGI on the creatures, it was projected that 90% of the animation was done by Centropolis Entertainment. The remaining 10% was handled by Sony and VisionArt animators. The lighting and rendering for the CGI was handled by VisionArt. For reference lighting, the crew created a "trojan Baby Godzilla": a Baby Godzilla on wheels that was pushed through shots afterwards to get sample lighting. Cited on the visual effects commentary track from the GODZILLA DVD.
  • During the commentary track by Volker Engel, Karen Goulekas, and Patrick Tatopoulos on the GODZILLA DVD, they note that the eggs were sprayed with hot glue, to give the web-like look. They also mention that a few of the eggs were made of fiber glass with a removable "plug". This allowed for them to be broken, repaired and then reused for later scenes or reshoots. Four such eggs were created in this way, noted as the "hero eggs" by the staff.
  • The Godzilla Chronicles Vol. 3 (ISBN: 4812405815) lists a height of 1.8 meters for the Baby Godzillas, and that their eggs were roughly 2.5 meters high. Meanwhile, the Godzilla 1954-1999 Super Complete Works (ISBN: 4091014704) notes their height as being 3 meters, but notes this is an estimate.
  • The creature's speed is listed in the The Godzilla Chronicles Vol. 3 (ISBN: 4812405815). It gives the range of 60-80 kilometers per hour.
  • The fastest speed on record for a human is Usain Bolt's 100 meter run during the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. This was a speed of 44.72 kilometers per hour, or a little more than half the top speed of a Baby Godzilla. However, cheetahs have been clocked as high as 98 kilometers per hour, faster than a Baby Godzilla could run.
  • Although all of the Baby Godzillas have similar brown and grey coloring, when it came time to create toys for the film Trendmasters went in a different direction. This resulted in a red Razor Fang Baby Godzilla and a yellow Claw Slasher Baby Godzilla.