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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kids' Show Breakdown: Godzilla (1978)

When Casey was only a few months old, I took her to her first comic convention here in Phoenix. She came home with a nice souvenir, a small stuffed Gojira. It became one of her favorite toys, and it usually rode in the car with her. I would walk it toward her and make a crunching sort of stomp noise and pretend he was biting her nose. To this day, she loves that toy, so it was only natural to start exploring the movies.

When we searched Godzilla on Netflix to watch our first monster movie together, an interesting thing came up in the queue. It was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon version of Godzilla from 1978. I'd seen the post-Broderick version of the cartoon once, and it was bad, though also streaming on Netflix. Not that Hanna-Barbera has ever made a shitty cartoon, except for about eighty percent of their catalog, but we decided to watch it anyway.

First off, there is this boat with a bearded man, a woman, a black teen nerd and a young boy with long blonde hair. I have no idea what they're doing or where they're going. Something happens off in the distance, and the bearded man presses a button on his belt. Godzilla somehow receives his page and comes up out of the water to save the day. So, what we have is a creature who destroys cities turned on-call superhero. Oh, and then there's Godzooky.

Godzooky is a fat-assed baby dragon with tiny armpit wings. He seems to change size frequently. In one scene, he's standing next to the boy and appears to be Shaq sized. In another scene, his head is bigger than the boy. On top of that, he's a bumbling buffoon designed for comic relief. Basically, he's the predecessor to crappy characters like Snarf and Orko. It's almost painful to watch him. Remember the first time you saw Jar-Jar Binks? It's kind of like that.

There's never an explanation of how Godzilla connects with these people, or why he's suddenly a hero. I was amused by some of Godzilla's actions. He lifts a chunk of bridge loaded with cars to safety. He also waves at one point when heading back into the water. This is one of the dumbest cartoons I've ever seen, but Casey liked it. Why? I'm not sure, but apparently you have tto be three to fully enjoy it. Besides, Godzilla is her friend. Just ask her.

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