The son of the famous Godzilla, Minilla was born on Sogell Island, when his egg was prematurely cracked open by a group of mutant giant praying mantis' called Kamacuras. Godzilla soon arrived, killed two of the Kamacuras, and rescued Minilla. Godzilla proceeded to train Minilla and defended him against further attacks from the final Kamacuras and the giant spider Kumonga. Godzilla and Minilla were placed in hibernation when a group of scientists completed a weather experiment, resulting in the freezing of their island. The mutant dinosaurs revived when the snow melted, and eventually relocated to Monster Island, as seen via stock footage in Godzilla vs. Gigan.
Godzilla's exact relationship to Minilla has never been clarified. It is uncertain whether he was of a derelict egg of the same or a similar species or if Godzilla was somehow Minilla's biological parent; (human character dialogue might suggest that Godzilla had been to Sogell Island prior to the events of Son of Godzilla).
Minilla is the first juvenile Godzilla to be featured in the film series. A later young Godzilla appears as Godzilla Junior during the Heisei series, in the last three films of the Heisei series of Godzilla films.
Minilla resembles a smaller, pudgy version of his father. His snout is slightly upturned and his eyes are larger and placed further forward on his head, giving him a more human-like appearance. The dorsal fins on his back are small and unformed, and he also lacks the charcoal grey color of his father. His coloring is a lighter, fleshy grey color.
Minilla is much more friendly with humans than any of his contemporaries, and once (in All Monsters Attack) appeared in the dreams of a troubled boy in order to give an example of how to deal with bullying and other childhood issues. He is also very playful, enjoying such games as kicking large boulders and jumping over or riding on Godzilla's tail. While he is usually fearful of other monsters, he occasionally shows courage when defending his human friends, although more often than not he is outmatched by other monsters. The All Monsters Attack appearance is also notable in that it is the only instance of Minilla speaking, which makes sense since he only appears in dreams.
He is most notable for his ability to breathe atomic smoke rings, though he did learn to use a real atomic ray in Son of Godzilla. Minilla also has the ability to communicate with Godzilla over great distances by broadcasting a brainwave pattern over radio frequencies. This ability interferes with other radio transmissions in its vicinity. In All Monsters Attack Minilla is depicted as having the ability to shrink down to human size. This was originally meant to be indicative of the fantasy element of the film, in which Minilla only appears in the dreams of a young boy. This power is depicted again, in the real world, in the Millennium film Godzilla: Final Wars.
Minilla reappeared in a slightly altered form in Godzilla: Final Wars which, as part of the Millennium series, was not directly connected to any of his previous appearances. His role, however, was unchanged; very human-friendly, especially towards children. He also interceded on behalf of humanity to Godzilla, prompting Godzilla to end his war with the human race.
Son of Godzilla
Destroy All Monsters
All Monsters Attack
Godzilla vs. Gigan (Stock footage)
Godzilla: Final Wars
Minilla's only playable video game appearance has been on the Sega Dreamcast game Godzilla Generations. A secret character that is unlocked after completing the game with the American Godzilla, Minilla is the shortest of the playable characters and also the weakest in terms of defense. His speed is average, and his breath weapon, atomic smoke rings, is not very powerful, as several uses are required to defeat even the Super X.
Minilla appears as the story's goal in "Godzilla", a 1990 Game Boy puzzler. In the game, he is trapped in a large maze. He awaits rescue by his father Godzilla, the player's character. The only point in which Minilla appears is during the ending sequence.
In the M*A*S*H* episode "Springtime," Radar O'Reilly asks a nurse played by Mary Kay Place if she would like to accompany him to a screening of "Firstborn of Godzilla" and remarks, "I saw the original—before Godzilla got married."