Godzilla's roar is one of the most iconic sounds in movie history. It's been in every Godzilla movie ever, from the 1954 classic all the way to 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Godzilla has used his roar to taunt enemies, declare victory, and communicate with other monsters. One movie however, found a very different way to convey Godzilla's thoughts. In Godzilla vs. Gigan, he actually speaks English.
Released in 1972, Toho's Godzilla vs. Gigan (alternatively titled Godzilla on Monster Island) is the 12th installment in the Godzilla franchise. Godzilla vs. Gigan came at a time when Toho was fully embracing Godzilla's status as a heroic figure. 1964's Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster changed the Godzilla formula in a big way by making the terror of Tokyo a hero who saved the city from other giant monsters. What followed was a number of family-friendly Godzilla adventures in the 1960s and 1970s where the King of the Monsters was pitted against threats such as King Ghidorah, Gigan, Hedorah, Mechagodzilla, and Megalon.
In Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla teams up with Anguirus to take down the duo of King Ghidorah and Gigan, who were sent by alien cockroaches to destroy Earth. Prior to the fight, Godzilla and Anguirus are on Monster Island when Godzilla detects the aliens' signal. In the original Japanese version, Godzilla gives orders to Anguirus through speech bubbles. In the movie's English dub, on the other hand, Godzilla responds to the signal by actually talking to Anguirus. Godzilla tells Anguirus that there is "something funny going on" and "you better check." Godzilla also urges Anguirus to "hurry up."
After Anguirus returns and both monsters are heading to Tokyo, Godzilla warns Anguirus of the trouble ahead. These two short scenes are the only moments in Godzilla history where the character speaks English, even though a record-scratching sound in the background could mean that the movie is actually using English dialogue to translate their hand gestures.
Godzilla and Anguirus communicate with each other in other parts of the movie as well, but no dialogue is actually used. As for why Godzilla spoke at all, the reasoning behind the decision could be that Toho believed it was the only way to explain what Godzilla and Anguirus were trying to accomplish. In all other Godzilla movies, Godzilla's motives are either implied or deciphered by the human characters. A particularly humorous example of this came in King Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, when Mothra and the twin fairies tried to convince Godzilla and Rodan to stop fighting so that they could team up against King Ghidorah.
In any case, Godzilla's conversation with Anguirus is a weird moment for Godzilla that serves as a reminder that it's always more fun for audiences when they have to figure out for themselves what Godzilla is saying and doing.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020