Let’s take an almost-universally-reviled movie remake, turn it into a semi-decent cartoon, but yet release it in shitty little three-episode packages for $10 bucks a pop.
Voices of Ian Ziering, Brigitte Bako, Charity James, Malcolm Danare, Kevin Dunn, Tom Kenny, Joe Pantoliano, Rino Romano
Technically, Godzilla was victorious against Steamo the Shit Monster, but, well…
The cartoon takes up where the movie left off: the original Godzilla’s offspring, the only surviving egg, hatches and imprints on Matthew Broderick’s character, Nico Tatopoulos. This lizard is more benign than his Pops and when he grows up, he follows Tatopoulos on his adventures like a 100-foot tall puppy. They investigate other mutations that have sprung up around the world similar to the way the first Godzilla did. Tatopoulos leads most of the scientific group from the movie and they’ve been dubbed HEAT (Human Envrionmental Analysis Team). When HEAT discovers a new giant mutation, such as a fiery bird, electrical bug, giant scorpion, bat, cobra or mosquito, Godzilla shows up and lays the monster bitch slap down.
I have no need to go into the 1998 Centropolis Godzilla remake. Everybody’s seen it, everybody’s reviewed it (Nick’s take here), most everybody hates it. Generally when a big monster or superhero movie like that gets made, a cartoon can’t be far behind (to wit the recent Kong cartoon). Back in ’98 this one came along after the movie proved that not only size, but also fan base matters and was around for a couple of seasons. It was exec produced by Devlin and Emmerich of course, but also Richard Raynis, whose credits include The Real Ghostbusters, The Critic, and the surprisingly good Men In Black cartoon. If you’re old enough to remember The Godzilla Power Hour of the ‘70s, you’ll immediately notice that this cartoon has no Godzooky. In fact, technically speaking, the Godzilla of this cartoon is Godzooky.
"You know, you kind of remind me of that bitch ass, Mothra."
One thing that the recent Raynis cartoons like Godzilla and Men In Black have in common is that they’re fairly accurately adapted from the source movie, with a few changes thrown in. Many of the characters from the Devlin/Emmerich opus return, including Tatopoulos, Audrey, Animal, Mendel, Elsie and Col. Hicks (Kevin Dunn, who played the role in the flick even voices his own character). A robot named Nigel that gets destroyed Kenny-style every episode, and a couple of new characters in Randy (The Batman’s Rino Romano) and French special agent, Monique round out the cast. The stories are fairly well-written for a cartoon and the monsters that the big guy battles are similarly inventive and there’s some good monster mashing action going on. I actually watched the cartoon when it first came out years ago. It wasn’t a great cartoon, but had pretty good animation and was entertaining enough to hold my interest
My problem isn’t with the cartoon itself but how it’s being packaged: three episode-offerings at $10 bucks each and no special features. There were only about 40 episodes of Godzilla produced, which could fit nicely in one large package for say $30 – $40 or at least in two 20-episode offerings for maybe $19.95 apiece. At the rate Sony’s going with the 3-episode discs, you’d have to spend over $100 to get the entire series. Plus you have to wait months apart just to get a couple of sets. If you, or especially your kid likes the cartoon, you have to take what the studio shovels out for you, and that’s what it’s all about. So my thinking? Fuck Sony and all the other studio jerkoffs who like to give us this load of shit. I don’t know how many fans of this particular cartoon there are out there, but they don’t just do this for Godzilla, more high profile cartoons like Justice League and Batman: TAS got this same treatment before their box sets came out. So skip these bullshit offerings and get the episodes off of Bearshare or something.
Three episodes apiece, no special features, boring cover art. Next.