GODZILLA (ANIMATED II)
AKA: Zilla Jr., G.I.N.O. Jr., TriZilla
Height: 60 Meters (196.85 Feet)
Length: 78 Meters (255.9 Feet)
Mass: 60,000 Metric Tons
Premiered in: TriStar’s Godzilla (1998)
While there are many who will gladly tear asunder what was an extremely poor attempt at a Godzilla film back in the late 90’s by TriStar Pictures, there is a strangely different sentiment in regards to the offspring of that titular rendition of the Monster King. Godzilla, as he is known in the series but will henceforth be referred to as Zilla Junior as it is technically his official name as far as Toho is concerned, proved straight from the start.
Whereas the film version died relatively easily, Zilla Jr. has displayed a level of endurance that allowed him to survive similarly powerful ammunitions straight on. He has likewise displayed a remarkable ability to traverse unbelievably long distances with little to no signs of exhaustion, oftentimes appearing right on the battlefield without pausing for breath.
His biggest contrast from his birth parent however is his ability to breathe nuclear flames, something that many a fan of the franchise will often point out first among the many glaring mistakes of the film. While not an outright beam of radiation, Zilla Jr.’s flames can travel pretty far through the air and have shown to be hot enough to instantly turn sand into glass and melt the hardiest of metals within seconds.
Compared to the original Godzilla, Zilla Jr.’s usage of his fiery breath is more… casual in a way. He will not hesitate to use it whenever and however the situation may call for it like when he was dealing with a horde of giant squid or turning an outdoor stage into a trap for a rather vicious shrew.
That leads me to another incredibly interesting aspect of Zilla Jr., his degree of intelligence. Though it hasn’t been shown often throughout the series, Zilla Jr. has displayed a degree of intelligence that puts him just beneath the human standard. Dr. Elsie Chapman even noted that even for a creature of his size, Zilla Jr.’s brain is far larger than the atypical reptilian brain but while it may explain his intelligence, it does not define his degree of sapience.
He is capable of making tactical decisions such as when he took notice of a nearby electrical power plant and utilized to kill an oversized mutant mosquito like a giant bug zapper. Yet, the most telling quality of his sapience is his ability to make moral decisions, such as when he sought to rescue Nessie’s offspring rather than continue the confrontation with her or the many numerous instances where he rescued his adopted father Dr. Nick Tatapoulos.
However, Zilla Jr. is not without his weaknesses. He has been shown that he can be goaded into going full brute force in some confrontations with other mutations, often leading to their initial victory before he manages to overcome them with strategic thinking.
Much like his birth parent, he also has an aversion to extremely bright lights, though this may be in part due to Nick setting off a large explosion of bright lights when he was mere minutes out of the egg. His biggest, and admittedly most unique, weakness though is his susceptibility to poison which, to be fair, could be blamed on the fact that a large majority of his foes are poisonous to some degree.
Overall, Zilla Jr. is not the Godzilla that most know and love, but on the animated scene he’s the closest that we’ll ever get. That’s not to say that he is the best purely because he is the better of the two examples we currently have to view and enjoy. While he is not the Godzilla that we know, he certainly upholds the name and all the weight that it carries with far greater ease than his premiere film. He may not be a king, but he certainly is a contender for the title.