Godzilla has had a lot of literal growing pains over the years, so how do all the different versions of Gojira compare to each other? The original Godzilla from 1954 was a somber reflection by the filmmakers on Japan being attacked by nuclear weapons during World War II, with the monster himself standing in for the devastation caused. This version of Godzilla stood 50 meters tall but as the monster became more popular, not only would the franchise increase in stature, but so would the title beast himself.
During the Toho Showa era of the Godzilla franchise, spanning from 1954 to 1975, he stayed roughly the same size. That said, in his evolution from a terrifying beast to a cuddly hero battling other monsters, Godzilla’s look would be made more kid-friendly. There have been multiple takes on the character in the decades since, from Toho's many different eras of the franchise to Legendary’s current MonsterVerse reinvention.
Whether he’s a hero, villain or a mixture of both, Godzilla is still a beloved cinematic monster. The Godzilla size chart below from Noger Chen shows just how much the monster has evolved over time, from the 50-meter version audiences first met in 1954’s Godzilla to the gigantic abomination of anime series Godzilla: Planet Of The Monsters.
The Toho Showa Godzilla remained 50 meters throughout his run, but it was only after the success of 1962’s King Kong Vs Godzilla did he become a monster fans could root for. This results in his evolving look but after a decade long break, Toho gave the monster a dark reboot with 1984’s The Return Of Godzilla. This legacy sequel marked the start of the Toho Heisei series (1984-1995), with Return ignoring everything bar the original. Throughout this run, he would increase from 80 to over 100 meters for 1995’s Godzilla Vs Destoroyah. Toho’s Millennium Godzilla series (1999 – 2004) toned things down, reducing Godzilla to 55 meters before he bulked up to 100 again for 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars.
His American adventures got off to a shaky start with Roland Emmerich’s 1998 Godzilla. This movie offered a more reptilian version of the creature, who came to 70 meters in height. Reaction to this monster was so poor, however, that Toho later dubbed him ‘Zilla. Gareth Edward’s 2014 Godzilla reboot was much more respectful and offered the biggest (at the time) version of Godzilla at a towering 108 meters.
Not to be outdone on the Godzilla size chart, Toho’s Shin Godzilla stood at 118.5 meters. Godzilla Earth from the Godzilla: Planet Of The Monsters anime trilogy has them all beat at an incredible 300 meters after he evolved to become the dominant creature on the planet. With upcoming entries like Warner Bros Godzilla Vs Kong and Toho planning another reboot of the series, fans should expect Gojira to keep growing in the years ahead.
Source: Noger Chen
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020