Godzilla, produced by Toho Film Company Ltd. To date, Toho has produced twenty eight Godzilla films. In 1998, TriStar Pictures produced an American remake, set in New York City. The film's name was simply "Godzilla"; however, the monster that starred in this film (also known as Zilla) had been completely redesigned and did not closely resemble the original Godzilla. Fans of the old series, like the Showa generation, commonly call the the American version "Fraudzilla". The "Fraudzilla" resembled Orga more than Godzilla.
Godzilla is a gigantic mutant dinosaur, transformed from the fallout of an atomic bomb test. As the Godzilla series continued, the great beast was developed as a character, and has become something of an anti-hero. Godzilla was voted as number three on Cinemassacre 's favorite Giant Movie Monsters. Other monsters that made it onto the list were Gamera, King Kong, The Giant Claw, The Host, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Godzilla is one of the defining aspects of Japanese pop culture for many people worldwide. Though his popularity has waned slightly over the years, he is still one of the most renowned monster characters in the world. To this day, Godzilla remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. Godzilla has been called a filmographic metaphor for the United States, starting out as a terrifying enemy and later a strong ally and defender in times of need. The earliest Godzilla films, especially the original Gojira, attempted to portray Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears of many Japanese of a repeat of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the series progressed, so did Godzilla himself, changing into a less destructive and more heroic character as the films became increasingly geared towards children. Today, the character has fallen somewhere in the middle, sometimes portrayed as a protector of the Earth (notably Tokyo) from external threats and other times as a bringer of destruction.
Godzilla's appearance has changed between films over the years, but many defining details have endured. In the Japanese films, Godzilla is depicted as a gigantic dinosaur with rough, bumpy (usually) charcoal grey scales, a long powerful tail, and bone colored dorsal plates shaped like maple leaves. His origins vary somewhat from film to film, but he is almost always described as a prehistoric creature, and his first attacks on Japan are linked to the beginning of the Atomic Age. In particular, mutation due to atomic radiation is presented as an explanation for his great size and strange powers. Godzilla's iconic design is composed of a mixture of various species of dinosaurs; specifically, he has the body and overall shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the long arms of an Iguanodon, and the dorsal plates of a Stegosaurus.