Sony // 1998 // 65 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 3rd, 2006
Conspicuous lack of fleeing Japanese.
Here's another cartoon that slipped past my radar. That doesn't necessarily mean I've got a "cartoon radar" per se, but I like to think I stay on top of what's hip and cool for the kids these days. Yeah, I know my 29th birthday is coming up, so maybe it is just me desperately trying to use pop culture trivia as a proxy to feeling like a teenager again, but, hey, what are we talking about here? Oh yeah, Godzilla The Series.
Based on the moronic Matthew Broderick film, this animated series resuscitates the sleek, athletic Godzilla design from the movie, and pairs the super-reptile with a group of ethnically diverse 20-somethings called the HEAT Team. These kids are tasked with tracking Godzilla, as well as monitoring monster activity throughout the world. And when needed, they have the ability to call in the big guy to beat the snot out of the monster of the week.
Three episodes from this 1998 series are included on the "Monster Mayhem" disc:
* "What Dreams May Come"
A humongous energy monster called "The Crackler" is rampaging through the New York City, sucking up electricity and demolishing buildings. HEAT quickly gets on the case, and shortly thereafter Godzilla joins the fray. But when Godzilla tries to use his trademark radioactive breath, The Crackler just absorbs it and becomes even more powerful. It's up to HEAT to figure out who's behind the creature -- and the truth lies within the tortured psyche of a man named Walker.
* "Bird of Paradise"
The HEAT Team travels to Mexico to investigate claims of a gigantic bird terrorizing the locals. Turns out the menace is a fire-breathing flier called "Quetzalcoati," and it's been launching its attacks out of a dormant volcano. The team brings in Godzilla for back-up, as they realize the bird is going ape-dirt protecting its nest, which is about to yield a whole slew of baby Qetxasc, er, Quactzo, uh, big-ass birds.
It's off to Scotland now, when the HEAT Team hears reports of the long-fabled Loch Ness Monster causing some serious trouble. Apparently, a group of scientists have captured Nessie's offspring and the old girl wants it back. While the HEAT kids try to appeal to the project director's sensitive side, Godzilla shows up to kick Scottish ass.
Sixty-five minutes worth of animated monster action. I think young fans of the great Toho beast should enjoy the tumult that ensues in each episode; there's a lot of monster fighting and big loud explosions and wanton destruction of historic New York City landmarks. Yeah, the redesigned Godzilla sucks, but the show moves at a fast clip and the animation is solid. Recommended for the kiddos.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 65 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated