Godzilla has been around for nearly seven decades now and he’s bigger than ever, both figuratively and literally. One of the best things about him is that the message he brings with him is always clear: “f*ck you puny humans, this is my turf.” Oh, also “nuclear energy bad,” something like that. We have come to love him for that, even when the Godzilla movies kept changing the big angry kaiju.
Still, no matter how much he changes in each and every movie, there’s no mistaking him when we see him onscreen. Now, with the advent of the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, he is about to be royally challenged by the famous Godzilla monsters. Of course, it being a Godzilla movie means he will likely show them who’s at the top of the food chain. After all, the “King of the Monsters” has been preparing a long time for such a battle.
How much has he evolved and changed to become the alpha freak beast that he is today? Let’s explore that with 12 Godzilla movies. This list of Godzilla films also ought to introduce you to some of the best versions of Godzilla. So, without further ado, here are the 12 of the most notable Godzillas ever and their respective films.
P.S. He’s not fat, he’s swole.
1954 Gojira (Godzilla/Gojira) – 50 meters
The O.G., the granddaddy! He may not be the biggest or the baddest, but he is the first…est? Originally, he is named Gojira, a combination of two Japanese words gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale). However, because people in the west find that hard to pronounce, he received a more badass name.
Gojira was actually disturbed from slumber by all the atomic bomb testing going on the surface. Humans destroyed his beauty sleep, so he destroyed their cities. His powers are quite clear, but most notable is his atomic breath. The dude literally just woke up and forgot to brush, tough luck, humans.
1955-1975 Godzilla Showa (first appeared in Godzilla Raids Again) – 50 meters
Yeah, yeah, we know, only 50 meters? Relax folks, he’s a Showa, not a growa, as in, Godzilla Showa, which is the name that best represents the second generation Godzilla. For two decades, Godzilla evolved from a mindless monster into a godly antihero who actually sided with humans in order to defeat the space monster King Ghidorah, a giant three-headed hydra monster.
This is the period when Godzilla started becoming more than a film novelty and evolved into something greater. Also, this was when the monsters Mothra and Rodan were also introduced. The two teamed up with Godzilla to defeat King Ghidorah. Afterward, Godzilla became a frequent defender of Earth.
1984 Godzilla Heisei (The Return of Godzilla) – 80 meters
Human buildings started getting taller in this era, meaning Godzilla also had to have an upgrade in size. Moreover, 1984’s Godzilla marks the revival of the franchise, where every film save for the 1954 original was ignored.
That means Godzilla was back to being an angry meanie in this film who wanted to get back at the humans for ruining his R.E.M. sleep.
1989-1995 Bigger Godzilla Heisei (Various films) – 100 meters
While following the 1984 films continuity and ignoring Godzilla Showa series, Godzilla Heisei saw the revival of Godzilla’s old enemies. The next six movies that continued the Heisei series had Godzilla fighting Mothra and King Ghidorah among various other monsters his size.
He also jacked up here to a bulky 100 meters thanks to a diet of radiation, human suffering, and monster meat along with a strict workout of deadlifts and squats.
1995 Fire Godzilla (Godzilla vs Destoroyah) – 100 meters
What could actually be worse than a Godzilla on steroids? Try Godzilla on fire. Apparently, Godzilla had to up his game here because he was fighting Destoroyah, a giant mutated monster.
So, he got lit here, literally and had special glowy markings that burned and signified his meltdown.
1998 Zilla (Godzilla) – 60 meters
All the films in this list of Godzilla movies have been Japanese titles until this point. Hollywood wanted their own take on Godzilla and how did it go? Let’s just say Godzilla has had turds prettier than this version.
If there ever was a black sheep in the Godzilla family, it’s Zilla, because any fan should dare not call this emaciated iguana, “Godzilla.” According to the laws of physics, anything with legs that skinny is bound to collapse under its own weight and gravity. Godzilla was always upright and had huge legs to support his mass and his ego. This makes Zilla an outlier and a lesson to Hollywood to not deviate too much.
2001 Zombie/Ghost Godzilla (Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack) – 60 meters
Thanks to Hollywood, Godzilla had to be reduced again to a measly 60 meters from an imposing height of 100 meters. Another reason for that is that this Godzilla is supposed to be the very first and original one from the 1954 continuity. You might recall that that one was actually killed, meaning this one may as well be a zombie…
Still, GMK marks Godzilla’s post-millennium reunion with his old
pal frenemy, Mothra, and his nemesis, King Ghidorah.
2004 Godzilla FinalGoji (Godzilla: Final Wars) – 100 meters
It wasn’t long before Godzilla was brought back into his insane 100-meter height. The redesign was all thanks to Godzilla: Final Wars and his 50th anniversary.
Too bad the film did not do well in the box office and failed to recuperate the budget spent on it.
2014 Godzilla Legendary (Godzilla) – 108 meters
Godzilla’s flame all seemed snuffed out up until a decade later from Final Wars when Hollywood did something right. 2014’s Godzilla was a huge hit and rightfully so. It featured a dramatic
Walter White Bryan Cranston and the biggest Godzilla since the 100-meter versions. It also painted Godzilla in a positive light by including Muto, one of his past enemies.
Then again, one of the bad aspects of this film was Cranston’s character dying too early. This left a lot of us Cranston fans feeling baited into watching the film, but hey, Godzilla more than made up for his death.
2016 Godzilla Shin (Shin Godzilla) – 118.5 meters
Of course, with the success of Godzilla Legendary, the Japanese just had to one-up him. So they did with Shin Godzilla. They made the 2016 Godzilla around 10 meters taller than Godzilla Legendary and also gave him a creepy appearance.
Imagine a suffering Godzilla who is just as confused as the humans he is killing… basically, Godzilla on puberty.
It seems this thicc boi ate too many steroids for breakfast. Additionally, they also made his atomic breath more powerful, just because.
2017 Godzilla Filius (Godzilla: Planet of Monsters) – 50 meters
Here’s a trivia for you, “filius” is actually Latin for “son.” So, you guessed it, Godzilla Filius from the 2017 film Godzilla: Planet of Monsters is a Godzilla Jr. Somehow, that explains Godzilla Filius’ size of only 50 meters, especially when compared to the previous two Godzillas.
According to the lore, Filius is also hypothesized to be a subspecies of Godzilla, along with Zilla. Just who exactly is Filius’ parent? Prepare yourself…
2017 Godzilla Earth (Godzilla: Planet of Monsters and sequels) – 318 meters
The BIGGEST CHUNGUS. The most absolute unit. The swolest alpha. Godzilla Earth is the tallest, heaviest, and biggest Godzilla to date. He weighs 100,000 metric tons and is 318 meters tall. Essentially, we’re just bacteria to this dude. Here he is compared to the other Godzillas:
It is worth noting, however, that Godzilla Earth only appears in anime and not in live-action. Good thing too, because he probably would not fit even in the widest of all IMAX 3D theaters.
As for the Godzilla in the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters, he’s going to follow the Godzilla Legendary size, which is 108 meters give or take, probably enough to take on King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan, who will all be included as well. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is set to premiere on May 30.