Godzilla is a 30-minute animated series co-produced between Hanna-Barbera Productions and Toho Ltd. in 1978 and aired on NBC in the United States and TV Tokyo in Japan. The series is an animated adaptation of the Japanese Godzilla movies produced by Toho. The series continued to air until 1981, for a time airing in its own half-hour timeslot until its cancellation.
The series follows the adventures of a team of scientists on the Calico, a hydrofoil research vessel, headed by Captain Carl Majors. The rest of the crew include scientist Dr. Quinn Darien, her nephew Pete, and her research assistant Brock. Also along for the ride is Godzuki, the "cowardly cousin" of Godzilla and Pete's best friend, who has a lighthearted role in the show. Godzuki can attempt to fly using the small wings under his arms. Whenever Godzuki tries to breathe fire, he usually just coughs up smoke rings.
The group often call upon Godzilla by using a special communicator when in peril, such as attacks by other giant monsters. Godzuki is also able to howl to summon Godzilla. Godzilla's size in the animated series shifts radically, sometimes within a single episode or even one scene. For instance, Godzilla's claw can wrap around a large ship, and only minutes later the team of scientists fit rather neatly on Godzilla's palm. In addition, Godzilla's trademark atomic breath is altered so he breathes simple fire. He can also shoot laser beams from his eyes much like Superman's heat vision.
Hanna-Barbera was unable to use Godzilla's trademark roar, so they cast Ted Cassidy to voice the character, similar to his role in the live-action series The Incredible Hulk.
In regards to the origin of the series, Joseph Barbera came up with the idea of licensing Godzilla. He explained in a 1990's interview "My job back then was to dig up new characters, new ideas, new shows, and I had wanted to do Godzilla for awhile. I liked the monster thing, and the way it looked, and I thought we could do a lot with it. So I contacted Henry Saperstein, who was a very good friend and we got talking about it. Then there was an executive at the network who wanted to get into the act, and urged us to lighten the story line up. So, I came up with the character Godzooky, who was like his son. The show had a sort of father-son relationship, which we had done before on shows like Augie Doggie and Jonny Quest.
Barbera also explained why the show had little violence and deviated from the source material. "The problem with the show was simply this: When they start telling you in Standards and practices, "Don't shoot any flame at anybody, don't step on any buildings or cars," then pretty soon, they've taken away all the stuff he represents. That became the problem, to maintain a feeling of Godzilla and at the same time cut down everything that he did. We managed to get a fair show out of it. It was OK. Godzooky kind of got the kids going.
Jeff David - Captain Carl Majors
Brenda Thompson - Quinn
Hilly Hicks - Brock
Al Eisenmann - Pete
Don Messick - Godzuki
Ted Cassidy - Godzilla
Series Monsters And Villains
The Fire Bird (Episode 1)
The Earth Eater (Episode 2)
The Stone Creatures (AKA The Guardians of Ramal, Episode 3)
The Megavolt Monsters (Episode 4)
The Seaweed Monster (Episode 5)
The Energy Beast (Episode 6)
The Colossus of Atlantis (Episode 7)
The Cyclops Creature (Episode 8)
The Chimera (Episode 9)
The Minotaur (Episode 9)
The Sirens (Morphea is the only one named, Episode 9)
The Magnetic Monster (Episode 10)
The Breeder Beast (Episode 11)
The Watchuka (Episode 12)
Great Watchuka (Episode 12)
Diplodocus (Episode 13)
Carnivorous Plant (Episode 13)
Time Dragon (Episode 13)
Godzooky Clone (Episode 14)
Voltrang's Clone Monster (AKA The Giant Squid, Episode 14)
Giant Fly (Episode 15)
Giant Octopus (Episode 16)
Axor (Episode 17)
The Power Dragon (Episode 18)
The Cyborg Whale (Episode 19)
Magma Lizards (Episode 20)
Moon Monster (AKA 'Gravity Goliath', Episode 21)
The Golden Guardians (Episode 22)
Flying Manta Ray (Episode 23)
Spider Crab (Episode 23)
Jellyfish (Episode 23)
Sea Turtle (Episode 23)
Tropical Fish (Episode 23)
Sharks (Episode 23)
Squids (Episode 23)
Electric Eels (Episode 23)
Giant Black Widow (Episode 24)
Venus Flytrap (Episode 24)
Ants (Episode 24)
Giant Beetle (Episode 24)
Giant Antlion (Episode 24)
Bees (Episode 24)
Dragonfly (Episode 24)
COBRA group (a fictional terrorist group armed with modern weapons technology, not to be confused with the group of the same name from the G.I. Joe franchise) (Episode 25)
The Ice People of Frios (Episode 26)
Godzilla originally aired in the following formats on NBC:
The Godzilla Power Hour (September 9, 1978 – October 28, 1978)
The Godzilla Super 90 (November 4, 1978 – September 1, 1979)
Godzilla (September 8, 1979 – December 1, 1979)
The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour (December 8, 1979 – September 20, 1980)
The Godzilla/Dynomutt Hour (September 27, 1980 – November 15, 1980)
The Godzilla/Hong Kong Phooey Hour (November 22, 1980 – May 16, 1981)
Godzilla (May 23, 1981 – September 5, 1981)
The Godzilla Power Hour consisted of half-hour episodes of Godzilla and Jana of the Jungle. A total of 13 original episodes were produced in 1978, with the first eight airing as part of The Godzilla Power Hour. In November 1978, the show was expanded to 90 minutes with the addition of Jonny Quest reruns and retitled The Godzilla Super 90.
For the second season beginning in September 1979, the show was separated from its package programs and aired in its own half-hour timeslot as simply Godzilla. The original plan was to keep it as part of another 90 minute arc. Only it was to be paired up with episodes of The Shmoo and The Thing. The planned title was Godzilla Meets the Shmoo and The Thing. However these plans dissolved, and the show was simply aired on its own in its own half hour timeslot. Hanna-Barbera would pair episodes of The New Fred and Barney Show with the Shmoo and the Thing instead as Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo. A month later, new episodes of Godzilla and The Super Globetrotters were packaged together as The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour which ran until September 1980.
On September 27, 1980, after 26 half-hour episodes, the show went into reruns and Godzilla was once again teamed up with other Hanna-Barbera characters: The Godzilla/Dynomutt Hour ran until November 1980, followed by The Godzilla/Hong Kong Phooey Hour which ran until May 16, 1981. On May 23, the show returned to the half-hour format as Godzilla and the last regular showing aired on September 5, 1981 (to be replaced by The Smurfs, which would last three times as long). Throughout the 1980s until the late-1990s, the series rested in limbo (with the exception of a limited videocassette release of two episodes). Since 1993, it has been rebroadcast on TNT, Cartoon Network and Boomerang.