Godzilla (1978 TV series)

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Godzilla
Godzilla Power Hour.jpg
Based on Godzilla
by Toho
Developed by Dick Robbins
Duane Poole
Directed by Ray Patterson
Carl Urbano
Oscar Dufau (season 2)
George Gordon (season 2)
Voices of Ted Cassidy
Jeff David
Al Eisenmann
Hilly Hicks
Don Messick
Brenda Thompson
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Doug Wildey
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Taft Broadcasting (1978–1979)
Worldvision Enterprises (1979–1989)
Great American Broadcasting (1989–1991)
Turner Program Services (1991–1996)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (1996–2003, 2017–present)
Classic Media (2003–2012)
DreamWorks Classics (2012–2017)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution (2016–2017)
Release
Original network NBC (United States)
Tokyo Channel 12 (Japan)
Original release September 9, 1978 – December 8, 1979

Godzilla is an American animated monster television series produced by Hanna-Barbera, in association with Henry G. Saperstein. The series aired on NBC in 1978 in the United States and on TV Tokyo in Japan. The series continued to air until 1981, for a time airing in its own half-hour time-slot until its cancellation. The series acquired the retronym of Godzilla: The Original Animated Series for its DVD release.[1]

Premise[edit]

The series follows the adventures of a team of scientists on the Calico, a hydrofoil research vessel, headed by Captain Carl Majors. The rest of the crew include scientist Dr. Quinn Darien, her nephew Pete Darien and her research assistant Brock. Also along for the ride is Godzuki, the "cowardly nephew" of Godzilla and Pete's best friend, who has a lighthearted role in the show. Godzuki can attempt to fly using the small wings under his arms. Whenever Godzuki tries to breathe fire, he usually just coughs up smoke rings (similar to Minilla the son of Godzilla from the Toho films).

The group often call upon Godzilla by using a special signaller when in peril, such as attacks by other giant monsters. Godzuki is also able to roar to summon Godzilla. Godzilla's size in the animated series shifts radically, sometimes within a single episode or even a single scene. For instance, Godzilla's claws can wrap around a large ship, and only minutes later the team of scientists fit rather neatly on Godzilla's palm. In addition, Godzilla's trademark atomic breath is altered so he breathes simple fire. He can also shoot laser beams from his eyes much like Superman's heat vision.

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In regard to the origin of the series, Joseph Barbera came up with the idea of licensing Godzilla. He explained in a 1990s interview "My job back then was to dig up new characters, new ideas, new shows, and I had wanted to do Godzilla for awhile. I liked the monster thing, and the way it looked, and I thought we could do a lot with it. So I contacted Henry Saperstein, who was a very good friend and we got talking about it. Then there was an executive at the network who wanted to get into the act, and urged us to lighten the storyline up. So, I came up with the character Godzuki, who was like his son. The show had a sort of father-son relationship, which we had done before on shows like Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy and Jonny Quest.[3]

Barbera also explained why the show had little violence and deviated from the source material. "The problem with the show was simply this: When they start telling you in Standards and Practices, 'Don't shoot any flame at anybody, don't step on any buildings or cars,' then pretty soon, they've taken away all the stuff he represents. That became the problem, to maintain a feeling of Godzilla and at the same time cut down everything that he did. We managed to get a fair show out of it. It was OK. Godzuki kind of got the kids going."[3]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1978)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
11"The Fire Bird"September 9, 1978 (1978-09-09)
A mysterious bird with fire powers residing in a volcano leaves to lay eggs in the Arctic. The team and Godzilla try to stop the creature before it melts all the ice and causes worldwide devastation.
22"The Earth Eater"September 16, 1978 (1978-09-16)
A mysterious creature is eating the earth under San Francisco. Godzilla and the team must stop the creature before it destroys the city.
33"Attack of the Stone Creature"September 23, 1978 (1978-09-23)
While investigating an Egyptian pyramid, the team comes under attack by stone creatures able to breathe ice blasts and built to guard the pyramid. Godzilla must destroy them before they wipe out the team.
44"The Megavolt Monster"September 30, 1978 (1978-09-30)
A mysterious creature with electrical powers is attacking ships in the Pacific. Godzilla must stop it before it destroys more ships.
55"The Seaweed Monster"October 7, 1978 (1978-10-07)
A monster made of seaweed threatens an island full of tourists. Godzilla and the team must destroy it before it has a chance to attack.
66"The Energy Beast"October 14, 1978 (1978-10-14)
After a fight with Godzilla, an alien caterpillar-like monster transforms into him and begins to destroy anything connected to electricity. The team's friendship with Godzilla is put to the test as they try to prove his innocence.
77"The Colossus of Atlantis"October 21, 1978 (1978-10-21)
The team happens across the ancient city of Atlantis and they (including Godzilla) end up imprisoned in the city. They soon discover that all the city's residents are under a spell that can only be broken by destroying Colossus, the giant robot guarding the city.
88"The Horror of Forgotten Island"October 28, 1978 (1978-10-28)
After the Calico is damaged in a storm, the team ends up on an uncharted island. They soon discover the island is inhabited by a cyclopean monster. Worst of all, Godzilla cannot reach them because of a force field surrounding the island. The team must escape the island and somehow not let the creature escape and threaten the world.
99"Island of Lost Ships"November 4, 1978 (1978-11-04)
The team discovers the island of the Sirens. The Sirens turn Captain Majors, Quinn, and Brock to stone and put Godzilla to sleep. Pete and Godzuki must find a way to save the others and escape the island before it disappears at sunset for the next 1,000 years and traps them there.
1010"The Magnetic Terror"November 11, 1978 (1978-11-11)
A magnetic monster is threatening the South Pole. Godzilla and the team must destroy it before it reaches the Pole and destroys the world.
1111"The Breeder Beast"November 18, 1978 (1978-11-18)
An odd creature goes on the attack in Washington, D.C.. The team discovers that the creature is made of an explosive material and packs enough energy to level the city. Godzilla must find a way to stop it before it threatens the world.
1212"The Sub-Zero Terror"November 25, 1978 (1978-11-25)
The team becomes stranded in the Himalayas and imprisoned by a race of Abominable Snowmen. Godzilla must find and rescue them before it is too late.
1313"The Time Dragons"December 2, 1978 (1978-12-02)
The team and Godzilla are, strangely, teleported back to prehistoric times. They must find their way back to the present without disrupting the past.

Season 2 (1979)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
141"Calico Clones"September 15, 1979 (1979-09-15)
While on their way to visit an oil rig, the team is captured by a mad scientist who has the knowledge to clone people and animals. He plans to make clones of the team and Godzuki and use them to steal the oil and make him a fortune. The team has to escape and alert Godzilla.
152"MicroGodzilla"September 22, 1979 (1979-09-22)
While helping the team get out of a hurricane, Godzilla wanders through a mysterious pink fog. Before long, the strange fog causes Godzilla to start shrinking. Even worse, a fly also went through the fog, is now growing to gigantic proportions and seems to be targeting Brock and Godzuki. The others must find a way to get Godzilla and the fly back to their normal sizes.
163"Ghost Ship"September 29, 1979 (1979-09-29)
The team makes a fascinating discovery: a German U-boat from World War I trapped in an iceberg. After Godzilla frees it, the team is shocked to see the crew of the U-boat are still alive and that they also believe that the war is still going on. They manage to convince them that the war is over, but then a giant octopus attacks the U-boat, with Pete and Brock inside. Godzilla must stop the octopus before the sub is destroyed.
174"The Beast of Storm Island"October 6, 1979 (1979-10-06)
The team becomes stranded on an island inhabited by a creature named Axor. Axor enslaves Captain Majors, Quinn and Brock and puts them to work. Pete, Godzuki and Godzilla must find a way to destroy Axor and free the island's inhabitants.
185"The City in the Clouds"October 13, 1979 (1979-10-13)
The team gets caught in a strange-looking hurricane and end up in a city in the clouds. The inhabitants explain they are there to escape an evil power dragon from their old world. Unfortunately, the power dragon follows them there. To make matters worse, after seeing Godzilla defeat the power dragon, the inhabitants turn hostile and want Godzilla so that they can make he and the power dragon fight and destroy each other, leaving them able to conquer Earth. The team must rescue Godzilla and keep him from falling into the wrong hands.
196"The Cyborg Whale"October 20, 1979 (1979-10-20)
After a lightning strike, a cyborg whale -- a prototype submarine used for scientific purposes -- suffers a malfunction and runs out of control with Pete and Brock inside. Even worse, the whale is on a collision course with Honolulu, Hawaii. The others and Godzilla must rescue Pete and Brock and stop the whale before it destroys Honolulu.
207"Valley of the Giants"October 27, 1979 (1979-10-27)
After the Calico runs aground in a river, the team discovers a valley full of giant insects. Godzilla is initially paralyzed by a giant black widow spider's bite and the entrance is sealed by a landslide. The team must find a way to escape and also prevent the insects from leaving the valley.
218"Moonlode"November 3, 1979 (1979-11-03)
A mysterious creature lands on Earth from the Moon. It soon starts to wreak havoc on shipping and seems to be affecting the water currents globally. The team and Godzilla must stop it before it causes worldwide devastation.
229"The Golden Guardians"November 10, 1979 (1979-11-10)
The team runs into a hostile tribe who worship giant gold statues. Things get serious when the statues seem to come to life and Godzilla is turned into a gold statue while battling them. The others must free Godzilla and convince the tribe that the statues are evil.
2310"The Macro-Beasts"November 17, 1979 (1979-11-17)
While investigating an ocean volcano, the team find the volcano oozing a strange liquid that causes sea creatures to turn into giants. The team and Godzilla must find a way to get the creatures back to their normal sizes before they threaten nearby shipping lanes.
2411"Pacific Peril"November 24, 1979 (1979-11-24)
When a new island is formed in the Pacific Ocean, the team investigates. Aftershocks from the island's formation end up trapping them in the volcano on the island, which they find is inhabited by giant lizards that eat lava. Worst of all, Godzilla is unable to reach them because he is also trapped by the seismic activity. The team must find a way to escape without Godzilla's help.
2512"Island of Doom"December 1, 1979 (1979-12-01)
When a new weather satellite is mysteriously shot down by a missile, the team traces the missile's source to an island near Australia. They find the island fortified and under the command of a terrorist organization known as COBRA. The terrorists imprison the team, thinking that they are spies. The nuclear reactor on the island begins to suffer problems that threaten to cause an explosion that could destroy the island. Godzilla must rescue the team, stop COBRA and prevent the reactor from exploding.
2613"The Deadly Asteroid"December 8, 1979 (1979-12-08)
A UFO lands in the Arctic and the team is sent to investigate. They discover a group of ice people from another planet named Frios that plan to destroy the Earth with an asteroid the size of the Moon. Captain Majors and Quinn are taken prisoner and Brock, Godzilla and Godzuki are frozen. Pete must free the others before the asteroid destroys the world.

Broadcast[edit]

Godzilla originally aired in the following formats on NBC:

  • The Godzilla Power Hour (September 9, 1978 – October 28, 1978)
  • The Godzilla Super 90 (November 4, 1978 – September 1, 1979)
  • Godzilla (September 8, 1979 – December 1, 1979)
  • The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour (December 8, 1979 – September 20, 1980)
  • The Godzilla/Dynomutt Hour (September 27, 1980 – November 15, 1980)
  • The Godzilla/Hong Kong Phooey Hour (November 22, 1980 – May 16, 1981)
  • Godzilla (May 23, 1981 – September 5, 1981)

The Godzilla Power Hour consisted of half-hour episodes of Godzilla and Jana of the Jungle. A total of 13 original episodes were produced in 1978, with the first eight airing as part of The Godzilla Power Hour. In November 1978, the show was expanded to 90 minutes with the addition of Jonny Quest reruns and retitled The Godzilla Super 90.

For the second season beginning in September 1979, the show was separated from its package programs and aired in its own half-hour timeslot as simply Godzilla. The original plan was to keep it as part of another 90 minute arc, only it was to be paired up with episodes of The Shmoo and The Thing. The planned title was Godzilla Meets the Shmoo and The Thing.[4] However these plans dissolved, and the show was simply aired on its own in its own half-hour timeslot. Hanna-Barbera would pair episodes of The New Fred and Barney Show with the Shmoo and the Thing instead as Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo. A month later, new episodes of Godzilla and The Super Globetrotters were packaged together as The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour which ran until September 1980.

On September 27, 1980, after 26 half-hour episodes, the show went into reruns and Godzilla was once again teamed up with other Hanna-Barbera characters: the first was The Godzilla/Dynomutt Hour (also appearing in this series were reruns of 1971’s The Funky Phantom), which ran until November 1980, followed by The Godzilla/Hong Kong Phooey Hour which ran until May 16, 1981. On May 23, the show returned to the half-hour format as Godzilla and the last regular showing aired on September 5, 1981 (to be replaced by The Smurfs, which would last three times as long as Godzilla did). Throughout the 1980s until the late 1990s, the series rested in limbo (with the exception of a limited videocassette release of two episodes). Since 1993, it has been rebroadcast on TNT, Cartoon Network and Boomerang, as well as on Retro TV for a brief time on Saturday mornings between 2015–2016.

DVD release[edit]

The first 13 episodes from the first season were released on DVD, in three separate volumes titled Godzilla: The Original Animated Series. Volume 1 contains the first four episodes, Volume 2 contains the next four and Volume 3 contains the last five.[1]

DVD title Episodes Company Release date
Godzilla: The Original Animated Series—Volume 1 4 Classic Media/Sony Wonder June 6, 2006 (2006-06-06)
Godzilla: The Original Animated Series—Volume 2 4 Classic Media/Sony Wonder June 6, 2006 (2006-06-06)
Godzilla: The Original Animated Series—Volume 3 5 Classic Media/Sony Wonder October 2, 2007 (2007-10-02)

Spoofs[edit]

  • In response to the Y2K hype, Cartoon Network created a short ("Godzilla vs. the Y2K Bug") in which the Calico is attacked by a personified Y2K Bug. The Godzilla calling device is useless because the crew forgot to update the embedded microchip.[5]
  • Professor Quinn Darien appeared as Dr. Gale Melody, a music expert, in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Shoyu Weenie" voiced by Grey DeLisle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Aiken, Keith (April 5, 2006). "Hanna-Barbera's Godzilla Comes to DVD". SciFi Japan. Retrieved July 18, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Perlmutter 2018, p. 248.
  3. ^ a b Steve Ryfle. Japan's Favorite Mon-Star. ECW Press, 1998. Pg.209
  4. ^ The Horrorworld Reporter Forrest J. Ackerman. Famous Monsters of Filmland #156. Warren Publishing. August 1979. p.88.
  5. ^ Godzilla vs. The Y2K Bug

Sources[edit]

  • Kalat, David (2010). A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (2nd Edition). McFarland. ISBN 9780786447497. 
  • Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 1538103737. 
  • Ryfle, Steve (1998). Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G. ECW Press. ISBN 1550223488. 

External links[edit]