The animated series that served as a direct sequel to the 1998 American film, fixes all the major problems the movie had. It beefs up Godzilla finally bringing home the “next mutation” plot from the movie full circle. In fact I think the filmmakers had even intended the baby Godzilla to all be fire breathing giants, but lackluster critical reception killed the movie series before it could continue. The series also picks a better tone and generally sticks with it making the stories feel more congruent. The series follows the Humanitarian Environmental (or Ecological, in “Area 51”) Analysis Team (H.E.A.T.), a research team led by Dr. Nick Tatopoulos (voiced by Ian Ziering) as they battle giant monsters which frequently appear. Godzilla, the only hatchling of its species to survive in the movie, imprints on Nick and becomes the chief weapon summoned against the other monsters encountered by the human characters. There are aliens giant creatures straight out of any ‘B’ movie, fights, and Godzilla is awesome. The series is everything the movie should have been.
The characters are much more interesting in the show versus their movie counterparts and many of the lackluster characters from the movie are expanded out. Well Audrey is still terrible but luckily she isn’t in all the episodes. Series also introduces two new characters not from the movie: Monique Dupre, a French secret agent assigned by Philippe Roache to keep an eye on Godzilla and H.E.A.T she is probably my favorite character even though I don’t know why Roache couldn’t have just been in the series because they fill the same role. Randy Hernandez voiced by Rino Ramano is also a new addition who specializes in computer hacking. Godzilla himself is everything we wanted in the movie but didn’t get, he fights other monsters almost never runs away, breaths atomic breathe, and generally saves H.E.A.T.s butt all the time. The villain monsters are fantastic my favorite is this giant red garbage looking thing that grows to a huge size and eats have of New York. It’s straight out of a ‘B’ movie. Another time Had Godzilla squaring off against a giant Robot Yeti which had several quick references to King Kong Escapes.
There is a great deal of development that Saturday morning cartoons are not generally known for. Even though most of the episodes are self-resolving there is an underlying story brewing that of course deals with an impeding alien invasion (that is foreshadowed early in season one). I like that the episodes will challenge the characters and put them in situations where they need to learn and we get to see them apply the skills they learned in future episodes. Team members even leave occasionally leaving for a few episodes at a time. The show mixes seriousness with silly in a near perfect blend. There are running jokes throughout the series mostly involving their computer equipment always being crushed and Randy trying to date Dupree these feel familiar after a while and it’s funny to see them pop up.
The episodes are all pretty good with a few real stand outs for those who hated the original movie you will be happy to know they resurrected that monster as a cyborg and killed her off in the same episode. I remember running downstairs every Saturday morning wrestling the remote form my sister and hitting the cartoon circuit. I really liked this cartoon growing up and as an adult looking back on it holds up better then some. The voice acting is hit and miss the Nick seems bored and lackluster, and there is one scientist whose constant “ I have a cold” voice is really annoying but Randy is voiced by the Spider-Man from my youth so I can get behind it for the most part. I like this show I think it fixed all the problems of the movie and it kept my interest until the end.