Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cartoon Profiles: Godzilla the Series

You remember that Godzilla movie from the late '90s? The one that (somewhat unjustly) nobody likes?

No? Well, I can't say that I blame you for repressing your memories of it. (I liked it myself, but then, I like Suburban Commando and Space Thunder Kids, so my tastes are suspect.)

Well, you may or may not know this, but there was a sequel to it: A Saturday morning cartoon.

It is generally agreed that the cartoon was far superior.

While the series itself rarely had the kind of awesome animation showcased in the introduction, it was solidly animated and very competently written. (The main writers were Bob Skir and Marty Isenberg, both of whom also worked on well-known Transformers cartoons.) And the main appeal of the older Godzilla films, fights between monsters, robots, aliens, and various militaries, is present in spades.

One major appeal for many, myself included, is that it presents a Godzilla who is not obviously a man in a suit fighting other monsters who obviously aren't men in suits. Sure, dudes in rubbery suits are fun for a while, but sooner or later they get repetitive. Among the creatures that appeared in the series were a bizarre bipedal creature whose legs were on its sides and way too far apart, a nanotech blob, a whale-like "worm" that was larger than Godzilla (and covered in ankylosaur spikes, with a clubbed tail), an anatomically correct bat, swarms of giant rats and bees, a giant shrew that somehow had gained the ability to turn into a tornado (though ironically it was still afraid of Godzilla), and a giant underground fungus. Let's forget the "megapede," which was a centipede-like monster that for no explicable reason molted into a cicada that could disrupt radio waves with its bugsong.

All in all, a good series that was apparently the victim of network caprice.

-Signing off.

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