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Bringing Godzilla Down to Size: The Art of Japanese Special Effects

Canadian Premiere

  • USA 2008
  • 69 min
  • video
  • English/japanese with English subtitles

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Director: Norman England
Screenplay: Ed Godziszewski, Ed Ryfle
Cast: Alex Cox, Yasuyuki Inoue, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Hiroshi Koizumi, Haruo Nakajima
Producers: Ed Godziszewski, Ed Ryfle
Distributor: Classic Media

Part of...

Classic Daikaiju Special   

Classic Daikaiju Special


In the entire history of motion pictures, Japan's giant radioactive reptile is the only monster to sustain a film franchise spanning more than 50 years while enjoying international popularity. The unique appeal of Japanese science fiction movies, and their ability to connect with fans of all ages and nationalities, is something that has never fully been explained or defined. BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE provides an overview of the history of the Godzilla phenomenon, with emphasis on the special-effects wizards who not only bring this alternative reality to the screen, but whose skill and passion have created a uniquely Japanese film genre. Told largely in the words of the people who made these films, this documentary explains the world in which Godzilla lives and the people who created it.

Unlike King Kong, or the American atomic monsters spawned in the 1950s, Godzilla films do not attempt to put monsters into the "real world." Instead, Toho's special-effects artists brought an amazing fantasy world to the screen, an alternate reality where fantastic creatures and invading races were a constant threat to mankind's survival. It may not have always looked real, but that wasn't the point. In their finest moments, Godzilla and his monster brethren stimulated the imagination of millions of fans, with fantastic images of a world any kid, young or old, would love to live in—despite the risk of being trampled by giant feet.

—Ed Godziszewski

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