Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (GODZILLA 怪獣惑星 Gojira: Kaijū Wakusei, also known as Godzilla Part 1: Planet of the Monsters and Godzilla: Monster Planet for short) is a 2017 Japanese computer-animated science fiction kaiju film featuring Godzilla, produced by Toho Animation and animated by Polygon Pictures, in association with Netflix. It is the 32nd film in the Godzilla franchise, the 30th Godzilla film produced by Toho, and the first animated film in the franchise. It is the first film in the anime trilogy and is co-directed by Kōbun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita. The film was released theatrically in Japan on November 17, 2017 and released worldwide on Netflix on January 17, 2018.
Metphies, an Exif priest, visits Haruo, where he hands him classified data regarding Godzilla. Haruo anonymously publishes an essay detailing Godzilla's weak points, which convinces the central committee to return to Earth after concluding that finding another habitable planet seems unlikely. Upon returning to Earth, the Aratrum sends recon drones to scout the Earth which reveal that Godzilla is still alive.
Metphies explains to the committee that they cannot co-exist with Godzilla and suggests killing it. He also explains that the anonymous essay was the result of a thorough investigation, promising to reveal the author under the condition that Haruo is released. Haruo is released on bail and explains to the committee that a certain unknown organ in Godzilla's body can emit a high frequency electromagnetic pulse that generates an asymmetrical permeable shield. Haruo proposes shoving an EMP probe within the cracked organ before it regenerates so Godzilla can implode. However, Haruo stresses that close quarters combat would be needed for accurately coordinated attacks in order to find its weak organ, as well as 600 people.
The committee reluctantly accepts Haruo's plan. However, upon landing two battalions on Earth, it is discovered that 20,000 years have passed and that Godzilla's presence has radically altered Earth's biosphere. The battalions are attacked by a group of flying creatures called Servums that exhibit biological similarities to Godzilla, causing critical damage to several of the landing ships. Leland, the company's commander, orders a retreat but Metphies stresses that they would need to rendezvous with Companies D and E through a pass in an area Godzilla frequents.
The group mobilizes and soon encounter Godzilla. Haruo proceeds with the original plan on his own and attacks Godzilla. Leland manages to provoke Godzilla to use its atomic breath, but at the cost of his life. Leland's actions reveal that Godzilla's weak point is its dorsal fins. Command falls to Metphies, who promotes Haruo to commander. In a speech, Haruo convinces the remaining survivors to continue with the plan and defeat Godzilla.
The group attacks Godzilla and manage to trap it within a collapsed mountain pass. EMP probes are drilled into Godzilla's dorsal fins which causes it to implode. Commenting after the apparent victory, the group's environmental biologist Martin Lazzari theorizes that this Godzilla may be different from the one that drove humanity away, believing it to be an offspring. Subsequently, the original Godzilla, which has grown exponentially to 300m in height, emerges from beneath a nearby mountain and destroys most of the remaining crew. Trapped beneath rubble, Haruo watches Godzilla leave, vowing to kill it.
In a post-credits scene, Haruo wakes up in a secluded area, finding an indigenous girl next to him.
(Characters - Japanese - English)
In August 2016, Toho announced that an animated Godzilla film was being developed, targeted for a 2017 release. Gen Urobuchi is the writer, and Kobun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita are the directors. The film is animated by Polygon Pictures. In January 2017, Urobuchi announced the main cast who will star the film on his twitter account. In March 26, 2017, Toho announced that the film would be the first film in a new trilogy.
About the production, co-director Shizuno stated, "From the start, we had the blessing of Toho to not be constrained by previous entries in the franchise, and with the freedom of imagination offered by animation I feel we have come up with a cool new form for Godzilla." On Godzilla's new design, co-director Seshita stated, "With his masses of muscle fibers and unique body tissue to support his enormous bulk, this is an extraordinarily rugged-looking physique. It was an overwhelming presence that reverberated through the whole project, like a fearsome deity that even we who created it must prostrate ourselves before. That is our Godzilla."
A stage event for the film was held at AnimeJapan 2017 on March 26, 2017. The film's directors are scheduled to attend the Annecy International Animation Film Festival to reveal more details regarding the film. In June 2017, a new poster detailing Godzilla's design was revealed with the tagline "Despair Evolves". On August 16, 2017, a new trailer and poster were released with the tagline "Who will go extinct — humans, or Godzilla?"
In March 2017, it was announced that the film will be streamed in 190 countries via Netflix following the film's Japanese theatrical release. Greg Peters, President of Netflix Japan stated, "Working with the best creators such as Toho in bringing Godzilla to Netflix users in over 190 countries marks a major milestone for us". That same month, a teaser poster revealed that the film will be released theatrically in Japan on November 17, 2017.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters reached #3 at the box office on its opening weekend, earning ¥103 million from 71,200 admissions within two days and is projected to earn an additional ¥500 million.
Brian Ashcraft of the Kotaku website felt that the characters "aren’t all that interesting" but did state that the "anime version of Godzilla is surprisingly effective and frightening" and that despite his complaints, the "overall experience was good" and "It’s not a perfect picture, but it was a powerful proof of concept: Godzilla works as an anime." Matt Schley from The Japan Times praised the film's CG animation, stating, "even skeptics will admit the 3-D version of the king of the monsters looks pretty darn cool" but felt the film wasn't "nearly as thematically ambitious as its predecessor" and concluded by stating, "But still, with its impressive 3-D animation and action sequences, 'Planet of the Monsters' has the makings of something interesting."
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is the first film in a planned trilogy. The second film in the trilogy, titled Gojira: Kessen Kidō Zōshoku Toshi, (translations vary from Godzilla: Battle Mobile Breeding City to Godzilla: The City Mechanized for the Final Battle) is scheduled to be released in May 2018 and set to feature Mechagodzilla.
This is the first animated Godzilla film, but not the first animated adaptation of the franchise. The first was an American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1978. A series of four educational OVAs titled Get Going! Godzilland that featured Godzilla and several other monsters were released in 1994 and 1996. Another American animated series, this time based on the 1998 American Godzilla film, ran from 1998 to 2000.
Released theatrically in Japan, distributed through Netflix's online service in other regions. This in theory allows for a wider distribution, since most Japanese films only get very limited and often belated releases internationally. For example the franchise's previous Japanese entry, Shin Godzilla (2016) was a blockbuster hit in its home, but it was only screened in a few foreign territories, mostly as a limited theatrical run, and in some cases over a year after its original release.
Originally envisioned as an anime series, but the success of Shin Godzilla (2016)'s Japanese theatrical release convinced the creators to combine the narrative into a trilogy of movies and put them into cinemas in Japan.