Godzilla thru the years – The many ‘looks’ of Godzilla


Godzilla thru the years – The many ‘looks’ of Godzilla

aka: my big-ass Godzilla post!

A little known fact is that by the end of shooting any Godzilla film, the suit is quite damaged and has to be rebuilt. This is partly the reason that in every film, Godzilla looks a little different when using the same design. At other times the suit designer and film team purposely change the look of Godzilla.

Shōwa series (1954–1975)


The original Godzilla (Gojira 1954) was a slow moving giant reptile. The suit weighed over 200 pounds which made it difficult to maneuver. In the second film Godzilla Raids Again (Gigantis the Fire Monster 1956), the suit was streamlined for greater fluidity but was made with the same design.

godzilla raids again pic 2

Godzilla Raids Again

The first big change came in 1962 with the design for King Kong vs. Godzilla.

king kong vs godzilla 1962

King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

Godzilla had a flatter head, a more snake-like face. He also had very wide legs with an overlap in the knee area. The design was only used for this one film but is one of the faves of Godzilla fans. It was also the design copied for the Aurora Godzilla model kit.

In 1964, Mothra vs. Godzilla (Godzilla vs. the Thing) had Godzilla’s face with heavier eyebrow bones which were also a bit smoother than the rest of his skin texture. Toho kept this design for the film, Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964).

godzilla 1964

Mothra vs Godzilla

1966 saw a softer face for Godzilla as he became the good guy in films, not the enemy. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965) had him with bigger eyes and less angry features.

godzilla vs sea monster - 1966

Godzilla vs The Sea Monster

Similar suits carried through to Son of Godzilla. He also had longer human-like arms. Toho was aiming for more children to watch as they realized they had lost interest of the adult sci-fi audience. In these films, Godzilla looked closer to the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street than a dangerous radioactive mutant dinosaur. Destroy All Monsters (1968), Son Of Godzilla (1968), Godzilla’s Revenge (1969).

godzilla 1975 - terror of mechagodzilla

Godzilla vs Gigan

The 1970’s had a new look with Godzilla once again sporting a heavier brow, but his face looked almost like a puppy dog in these films. Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975).


Heisei series (1984–1995)

godzilla 1991 - 1999

Godzilla vs Biollante

Godzilla wasn’t seen again until Godzilla 1985. He returned as a negative force in this one and his face was meaner looking but still resembled the 1970’s Godzilla style.

godzilla 1985

Godzilla 1985

It was 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante that saw a completely new design that would take Godzilla through the 1990’s in some of the best films since the early days. Godzilla was bigger, with more fierce features, smaller eyes and a double row of teeth.


godzilla_1989 - Godzilla vs Biollante

Godzilla vs Biollante

In Godzilla vs. Destroyah, Godzilla was going through a radioactive meltdown and glowed orange. His fire-breath was red/orange and changed during the course of the film for some fantastic Godzilla-breath special-fx.

godzilla vs destroyer

Godzilla vs Destroyah – Meltdown Godzilla


Millennium series (1999–2004)

godzilla-2000 film

From 2000 – 2004, Godzilla saw several changes.

In Godzilla 2000 (1999), we had a completely revamped Godzilla design. Most notable were its blade-like spike fins. This design was used for a total of 4 films, including: Godzilla x Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003).

godzilla-tokyo-sos 2003

Godzilla Tokyo SOS

In between those films was a completely different film and storyline in Godzilla, Mothra And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001). This film took on a mythological approach equating the monsters to dragon, butterfly, and demon (Ghidorah, Mothra, and Godzilla). The Godzilla costume in this harkened back to earlier days with a more bulky look and old style fins. He had demonic eyes which showed only whites. This film is one of the favorites amongst Godzilla fans.

godzilla 2001

Giant Monsters: All Out Attack

With the announcement of another film, fans bombarded Toho Studios with what Godzilla should look like. One of the main sticking points for fans were his fins. Fans told the studios that the old style fins is what made Godzilla what he was. For the final Godzilla film the studio created one last costume which combined the look of the ‘1990’s’ films with the ‘Millennium’ films, making sure it had the old style fins. The Film, Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). was a modern day Destroy All Monsters. Godzilla even fights the American Godzilla (which they dubbed ‘Zilla).

godzilla 2004

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

Always Sunset on Third Street (2007) – featured a wonderful CGI Godzilla in a short sequence. The movie was a drama but Godzilla fans clamored to see the short monster sequence. It is at the very beginning of the film if you’re interested in catching it.


Always Sunset on Third Street


Other Godzilla incarnations

The 1st ‘other’ Godzilla to be shown was Baby Godzilla – Minilla/Mingya – films: Son of Godzilla, Godzilla’s Revenge, Destroy all Monsters (ending stock footage only).

Baby godzilla 1968

Baby godzilla

In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) we get a in-depth look at the actual Dinosaur that went thru radioactive mutation. He was dubbed Godzillasaurus.

godzillasaurus - godzilla vs king ghidorah


In Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II and Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, we get a look at a new baby Godzilla that would grow up in sequential films. We also find Space Godzilla which was formed by Godzilla’s DNA combining with material from a comet.

baby g in space godzilla space godzilla 1994

In Godzilla vs. Destroyer we have Godzilla Jr. the Baby Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla has grown up quite a bit. At the end of the film the radioactive isotopes are passed from Godzilla to Godzilla Jr, who then becomes the adult Godzilla.

godzilla jr pic 2

Godzilla Jr.

In Final Wars (2004) we get the American Godzilla, here dubbed, ‘Zilla.

Final Wars - 2004

the American Godzilla in Final Wars (2004)


mecha godzilla pic 2

Mechagodzilla was the robot version of Godzilla, thought to be the only formidable weapon against the monster. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, The Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.


And Finally, Godzilla 2014