Hanna-Barbera’s GODZILLA Comes to DVD
The Original Cartoon Show Goes on Sale This June
Author: Keith Aiken
Source: Classic Media
“Spine-tingling adventure and fun with an all-time monster favorite and his comical, cowardly cousin
Godzilla! Everyone’s favorite prehistoric monster is now in a new animated series adventure with an added touch of comedy. The comedian is Godzooky, Godzilla’s lovable cousin. He’s too young to belch fire or match wits with other monsters. Frankly, he is a chicken in monster clothes. Godzilla places him with a research ship, the Calico, as its mascot.
Captain Majors is the ship’s captain and also father figure to young Brock and Pete. Dr Quinn Darian is the attractive lady scientist. When trouble threatens, the crew uses a special handheld device to call Godzilla from the ocean. As Godzilla races to the aid of his friends, Godzooky dives for cover until his tough cousin clears away the danger. It is an ocean of fun and adventure with an all-time friendly monster.”-from original Hanna-Barbera publicity materials
In 1978, Hanna-Barbera Productions — the studio responsible for such hit television series as THE FLINTSTONES, SCOOBY DOO, THE JETSONS, YOGI BEAR, and JONNY QUEST — produced GODZILLA, a Saturday morning cartoon show based on the famous Toho monster. On June 6, 2006 Classic Media will release two DVD volumes of the show as GODZILLA: THE ORIGINAL ANIMATED SERIES.
The idea to do an animated Godzilla series was the brainchild of H-B co-founder Joseph Barbera, who had originally planned to do a show in a similar vein to Toho’s films. Unfortunately, the strict network television Standards and Practices insisted on tame stories that robbed the King of the Monsters of much of his city-stomping personality.
Developed by Duane Poole and Dick Robbins, and produced by the great Doug Wildey (creator of JONNY QUEST), GODZILLA focused on the crew of the research vessel Calico; Captain Carl Majors (voiced by Jeff David), scientist Dr Quinn Darian (Brenda Thompson), her young nephew Pete (Al Eisenmann), first mate Brock (Hilly Hicks), and Godzooky… a 10-ft tall infant monster with tiny bat-like wings. While it is never shown or described in any of the episodes, Hanna-Barbera’s promotional materials for GODZILLA explained that the Calico discovered Godzooky stuck in a coral reef. The crew freed the little monster, which earned them the friendship of his bigger, stronger cousin, Godzilla. Whenever Capt. Majors or the others got into trouble (which was at least once per episode) they would use an electronic signal device to call Godzilla, who would instantly race to the rescue.
Instead of using the traditional Toho roars, Godzilla was voiced by Ted Cassidy, the 6’9” actor best known as “Lurch” on the television show THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Godzooky was played by the legendary Don Messick. Messick was the original voice of Scooby Doo, as well as other famous Hanna-Barbera characters like Boo Boo Bear, Ranger Smith, Astro, Bamm-Bamm Rubble, Dr Benton Quest, Bandit the dog, Atom Ant, Zorak, Muttley and Papa Smurf.
GODZILLA premiered on the NBC television network on September 9, 1978, and ran for two seasons of 13 episodes each and a third season of reruns. The series was initially packaged as THE GODZILLA POWER HOUR, which paired one episode of GODZILLA with an episode of the Sheena-like JANA OF THE JUNGLE. Midway through the first season, classic episodes of JONNY QUEST were added and the program was renamed GODZILLA AND THE SUPER 90. For the 1979-80 season the show became THE GODZILLA/HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS ADVENTURE HOUR. The third season saw GODZILLA episodes matched with shows about crime fighting canines for THE GODZILLA/DYNOMUTT HOUR WITH THE FUNKY PHANTOM and THE GODZILLA/HONG KONG PHOOEY HOUR. The final NBC broadcast was on September 5, 1981.
Following the network run, the 26 episodes of GODZILLA went into syndication. In 1990, Hanna-Barbera was purchased by Turner Broadcasting, which merged with Time Warner in 1996. GODZILLA was occasionally shown on the company’s cable stations TNT, Cartoon Network and Boomerang until Warner’s rights to the GODZILLA cartoon expired in 2003. Ownership of the series reverted to Toho, who licensed the program to Classic Media last year.
Classic Media’s two DVDs will feature the first eight digitally remastered episodes of the show:
GODZILLA: THE ORIGINAL ANIMATED SERIES VOLUME 1
1: THE FIRE BIRD (Original Air Date: 9/9/78)
2: THE EARTHEATER (Original Air Date: 9/16/78)
3: ATTACK OF THE STONE CREATURES (Original Air Date: 9/23/78)
4: THE MEGAVOLT MONSTER (Original Air Date: 9/30/78)
GODZILLA: THE ORIGINAL ANIMATED SERIES VOLUME 2
5: THE SEAWEED MONSTER (Original Air Date: 10/7/78)
6: THE ENERGY BEAST (Original Air Date: 10/14/78)
7: THE COLOSSUS OF ATLANTIS (Original Air Date: 10/21/78)
8: THE HORROR OF THE FORGOTTEN ISLAND (Original Air Date: 10/28/78)
Each episode runs approximately 22:30 minutes, for a combined running time of 90 minutes for each disc. Distribution will be handled by Sony Wonder. The suggested retail price of GODZILLA: THE ORIGINAL ANIMATED SERIES is $12.98 per volume.