Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rein-toon-ation: Godzilla (1978)

"Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it."--George Santayana.

12 years after Arthur Rankin, Jr. & Jules Bass had rebooted King Kong as a sort-of superhero for ABC, Hanna-Barbera decided to do the same with Godzilla. The studio made deals with Toho Ltd., the Japanese studio that produced all the Godzilla movies, and with former UPA frontman Henry Saperstein, to obtain a license to bring Godzilla to television. Nabuvi uploaded the theme song:

It was never explained how Capt. Majors was able to achieve any sort of communication with Godzilla. The crew of the Calico was stuck with Godzooky, Godzilla's nephew, as a mascot (read: comic relief, just as he was in the movies), creating some Scooby-Doo-esque comedy bits that really didn't belong. Something must've worked, though, as Scooby was introduced to his nephew, Scrappy, a year later, and, well, you know the rest of that particular story. I digress. The Godzilla Power Hour was morphed into Godzilla Super 90 2 months into the season when NBC acquired reruns of Jonny Quest to join Godzilla & Jana of the Jungle. The rationale was pretty obvious. Jonny's creator, Doug Wildey, also created Jana and served as a producer for the whole show. Unfortunately, by the end of the season, Jana was gone, and Jonny sent back to the vaults. Godzilla would linger around a bit longer before being cancelled.

Godzilla would return some 20 years later, this time on Fox, based on the 1998 feature film with Matthew Broderick & Jean Reno. This time, Godzilla crawled on all fours as most lizards do, instead of walking tall, breathing fire, and whupping other monsters like government mules. This version, unsurprisingly, bombed, just like the movie that spawned it. However, it's currently on Kabillion (check with your cable provider). The 1978 version remains in Cartoon Network's vaults, unless Sony or Classic Media obtained the rights.

Rating for Godzilla (1978): B+.

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