The 1998 Godzilla Cartoon Was Better Than The Movie

The 1998 Godzilla movie may have been terrible, but its animated sequel was everything it wasn’t, delivering the Godzilla action fans wanted.

The American of 1998 Godzilla The film is widely considered one of the worst entries in the series, if not the worst, with fans particularly hating how little it got on the character. From the simple design to the mannerisms, the characterization of the monster itself was looked down upon and the rest of the movie was not loved either. Nonetheless, the film spawned a good thing from a most unlikely source.

Godzilla: The Series was the animated sequel to the movie that replaced the planned sequel, but unlike the movie, it’s actually good. Putting “Zilla” in a Saturday morning cartoon lens did wonders for the monster, with many of the threats looking like remixes of classic 1960s and 1970s movies. Here’s how the American Godzilla cartoon in the 90s was actually pretty decent.


What was Godzilla: The Series about?


godzilla the series

As mentioned, the 1998 Godzilla The cartoon shown on Fox Kids was a sequel to the events of the film, depicting the rise of the last surviving newborn Godzilla. The creature believes the film’s Nick Tatopoulos to be its “relative” and becomes fiercely protective of him after hatching. Nick and his friend form the group known as HEAT, or Humanitarian Environmental Analysis Team. Their job is to protect the world from the growing threat of mutated monsters, which begin to appear more frequently after the death of the first Godzilla.

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The military is quite suspicious of the new Godzilla, however, seeing him as a threat himself. Nevertheless, Major Hicks (another character in the film) becomes dependent on the Lizard’s strength to fight off the numerous attacks that ensue in the major cities of Earth.

The series ran from 1998 to 2000, lasting 40 episodes, although only 38 of them aired on Fox Kids. This is mainly due to the fact that the series, despite its decent popularity, is stuck between the reigning cartoon juggernauts of the late 90s, Pokemon and Digimon. Especially since the franchise was otherwise dead in the water with the film’s sequel canceled, “Zilla’s” adventures came to an end.


How Godzilla: The Series Succeeded Where the Movie Failed


Apart from hanging out with humans and seeing one of them as a parent, this version of the American Godzilla was much closer to the classic incarnation. Although it had the drastically different American movie design, it not only boasted Toho Godzilla’s classic roar, but also its signature atomic blast. This attack was notoriously absent from the film and only hinted at via a visual effect with a fire.

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The episodes also pitted him aptly against other monsters, creating epic battles that the film’s many helicopter chases and rip-off scenes jurassic park failed to deliver. These included giant sea monsters, insects, and a mutated bat, many of which evoked classic Toho monsters such as Mothra, Rodan, and others.


Other threats involved an alien race that used a device to control the many monsters, as well as Cyber-Godzilla, a cyborg created from the remains of the original beast. The first ones were a simple redux of the mind controlling aliens seen in the Showa era Godzilla movies such as Destroy all monsters, while the latter was essentially this universe’s version of Mechagodzilla. His origin story even predicted the origin of the mechanical monster in Toho’s Godzilla X Mechagodzilla years later.

Even by fans who hated the film, Godzilla: The Series is still a big improvement. It also has a fairly serious and straightforward sci-fi tone, which sets it apart from many comic cartoons of the time. Unfortunately, the series cannot be streamed on any mainstream platform, although many other American productions from the franchise are available on Netflix or HBO Max. The full DVD set can be purchased from Amazon or Walmart, however, it’s still easy enough to enjoy Roland Emmerich’s much-improved adventures in Godzilla’s take.


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