Godzilla  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Godzilla is a iconic fictional monster featured in Japanese films and has become one of the world's most recognized movie characters. He was first seen in the 1954 film Gojira, produced by Toho Film Company Ltd. To date, Toho has produced 28 Godzilla films. In 1998, TriStar Pictures produced a remake, set in New York City. The film's name was simply Godzilla; however, the monster that starred in this film (also known as Zilla) had been completely redesigned and did not closely resemble the original Godzilla.

Godzilla is a gigantic irradiated dinosaur, transformed from the fallout of an H-Bomb test. As the Godzilla series continued, the monster has been both a hero and an anti-hero.

Godzilla is one of the most recognizable aspects of Japanese popular culture worldwide. To this day, Godzilla remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. Godzilla has been considered a filmographic metaphor for the United States. The earliest Godzilla films, especially the original Gojira, attempted to portray Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears of many Japanese of a repetition of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the series progressed, so did Godzilla himself, changing into a less destructive and more heroic character as the films became increasingly geared towards children. Today, the character has fallen somewhere in the middle, sometimes portrayed as a protector of the Earth (notably Tokyo) from external threats and other times as a bringer of destruction.

Godzilla's appearance has changed between films over the years, but many defining details have endured. In the Japanese films, Godzilla is depicted as a gigantic dinosaur with rough, bumpy charcoal grey scales, a long powerful tail, and bone colored dorsal plates shaped like maple leaves. His origins vary somewhat from film to film, but he is almost always described as a prehistoric creature, and his first attacks on Japan are linked to the beginning of the Atomic Age. In particular, mutation due to atomic radiation is presented as an explanation for his great size and strange powers. Godzilla's iconic design is composed of a mixture of various species of dinosaurs; specifically, he has the body and overall shape of a Tyrannosaurus, the long arms of an Iguanodon, and the dorsal plates of a Stegosaurus.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Godzilla" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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