Godzilla Junior

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Not to be confused with Godzilla's first son, Minilla, introduced in the 1967 film Son of Godzilla, or the Baby Godzilla from the 1998 film Godzilla.
Godzilla Junior
Godzilla film series character
Baby, Little, Junior Godzilla.jpg
First appearance Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
Last appearance Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
Created by Wataru Mimura
Takao Okawara
Portrayed by Hurricane Ryu
Little Frankie
Kenpachiro Satsuma
Aliases Baby Godzilla
Little Godzilla

Godzilla Junior (ゴジラジュニア Gojira Junia?) is a kaiju which first appeared in Toho's 1993 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.

Conception[edit]

During the production of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, the decision to introduce a character similar to Godzilla's first adopted son, Minilla, was made in order to appeal to the largely female audience that made Godzilla vs. Mothra a financial success, despite objections by director Takao Okawara, who held a low opinion of the 1960s movies the character had previously been featured in.[1] Okawara redesigned the new Baby Godzilla as more dinosaur-like than its predecessor, but strove to make it physically appealing in order to contrast it with the more brutish-looking Mechagodzilla. Baby Godzilla was portrayed by Hurricane Ryu, who wore a full-body suit with an animatronic mouth and eyes.[2] The skin was also made smoother than Godzilla's in order to imply that Baby Godzilla had yet to be exposed to the mutagenic radiation that transformed its father.[3] According to Godzilla suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma, Godzilla Junior was not intended to be the literal son of Godzilla, but "the baby of a cousin."[4] In an early draft for the film, Godzilla would have had soldiers injected into his bloodstream, who'd then trigger a nuclear meltdown which would have killed the monster, only to have the radiation absorbed by Baby Godzilla, who would have grown and subsequently defeated Mechagodzilla.[3]

In Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, special effects artist Koichi Kawakita redesigned the young Godzilla as a more cartoonish character, having disliked the character's previously more dinosaurian appearance. Kawakita also intended to use the new design in a children's spinoff TV special entitled Little Godzilla's Underground Adventure.[5] He was portrayed by "Little Frankie", a professional midget wrestler.[6]

Hurricane Ryu returned as Godzilla Junior in the character's final appearance in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Godzilla Junior was portrayed via traditional suitmation techniques, though because the Junior suit was almost the same size as the main Godzilla one, a small animatronic prop was used in scenes where Junior interacts with its father.[7]

Overview[edit]

Godzilla Junior first appears in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II as an egg. Presuming it to be a Pteranodon egg, a scientific team unearths it from Adona Island and ships it to Japan for study. The egg displays strange psychic properties, even imprinting itself upon the biologist Azusa Gojo, before finally hatching to reveal an infant Godzillasaurus. When Godzilla later appears, having sought out Baby through an unexplained psychic link, Baby leaves with Godzilla, later settling on Birth Island.

By the time of Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, Baby Godzilla, now rechristened Little Godzilla, periodically interacts with the human characters for a portion of the film, taking a particular liking to Major Yuki of G-Force and establishing a psychic bond with Miki Saegusa. Little Godzilla is injured and imprisoned in a cage of crystals by SpaceGodzilla upon his arrival to Earth and remains caged until SpaceGodzilla's defeat by the combined might of Godzilla and M.O.G.U.E.R.A.

Little Godzilla continues to grow and is renamed Godzilla Junior in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Junior quickly proves itself to be quite a capable fighter, successfully defeating Destoroyah, though with difficulty. Junior is killed during its second battle against Destoroyah at Haneda Airport, where Godzilla and Destoroyah soon fight. After Godzilla melts down, Junior is revived and grows into a new Godzilla.

Appearances[edit]

Films[edit]

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Manga - 1993) - as Baby Godzilla
  • Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla (Manga - 1994) - as Little Godzilla
  • Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Manga - 1995) - as Godzilla Junior

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kalat, David (2010). A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-7864-47-49-7. 
  2. ^ Ryfle, S. (1998). Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 290. ISBN 1550223488. 
  3. ^ a b David Milner, "Shinji Nishikawa Interview", Kaiju Conversations (December 1995)
  4. ^ Ryfle, S. (1998). Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 312. ISBN 1550223488. 
  5. ^ Kalat, David (2010). A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-7864-47-49-7. 
  6. ^ David Milner, "Kenpachiro Satsuma Interview II", Kaiju Conversations (July 1994)
  7. ^ Ryfle, S. (1998). Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 310. ISBN 1550223488.