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Godzilla(and Godzooky) To The Rescue!

Discussion in 'Hanna-Barbera' started by emeraldisle, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Ah, what would Saturday morning have been like in 1978 without "The Godzilla Power Hour?" I'll tell you. It would have left a huge void in NBC's schedule.

    For here, Godzilla was having adventures that I considered better than his movies, the first of which I saw on a theater marquee during a family outing. My family and I didn't go in to see it, but it was "Godzilla Vs. Megalon."

    As for this animated series, I waited every week to see what would happen to the big lizard, Godzooky, and the crew of the Calico. It was thrilling to see them take unexpected visits to Atlantis, and the island of the Sirens. Both of these, astoundingly, were mentioned by the humans just before the encounters. Go figure.

    The monsters there were pretty much like the movie ones. And when I realized Pete was the one in charge of Godzooky, I thought, "Pete's Dragon. I get it."

    But H-B's Godzilla, I quickly realized, wasn't completely invincible or invulnerable He was brought down by the Sirens, placed in suspended animation by the Colossus, and turned into a golden statue by the Golden Guardians. He was even bitten by a venomous spider. But he survived all this, and more.

    During the second season, there was even more suspense. Godzilla was unable to rescue his friends when they were captured by Dr. Voltrang, who sought to clone them. Even more memorable were the episodes "Microgodzilla," and "Island Of Doom." The former had the big guy shrinking constantly, with Quinn determined to make him big again, while a giant fly was on the loose. And the latter really stood out like a sore thumb. Its climax had Godzilla stomping the yard, and destroying tanks and the like as he came ashore to free the crew from the tower where COBRA(not the GI Joe baddies) had imprisoned them. All I could say was "Go get 'em, Godzilla!" But no humans were harmed.

    I always suspected that he followed the Calico underwater wherever it went. This may be true, since when they used the electronic signaler, or Godzooky called him, he always rose up in close proximity to the ship.

    As for those who only see Godzooky as the thorn in the side, keep in mind that he occasionally saved the crew's lives. And when he was temporarily able to breathe fire, instead of merely blowing smoke rings, I cheered. This happened in "The Beast Of Storm Island."

    Now for the companion piece.

    "Jana Of The Jungle." It was obvious that this part of the show was set in the Amazon rain forest, given the native tribes there, plus the fact that Ghost was a jaguar. Even Tico was native to that part of the world. I got kicks out of seeing Jana use her necklace, and Montaro his staff of power. Both of those were awesome with a capital A. But the episode I liked the most was "The Prisoner," which had Jana meeting a man she mistakenly thought was her long-lost father. When the truth was revealed that he was actually someone else, I felt like crying. But I understood the reason for the deception.

    My only complaint was that halfway through Season 1, both of these segments were split into two-part cliffhangers, after airing in full-length format for just a couple of months. Luckily, the network quickly went back to the original format, and I was satisfied.

    Godzilla definitely shared the small screen with others. He was joined by "Jonny Quest," "The Super Globetrotters," "Dynomutt," "The Funky Phantom," and "Hong Kong Phooey." Before the end of season three, he was all by his great big lonesome.

    When TV Guide called the series, "Worthless, pointless, awful," and one of my books called the show forgettable, I saw red. I also hated an inaccurate claim that there were just thirteen episodes. There were, in fact, twenty-six grand total.

    On a final note, I sometimes wonder, during the theme song, when the male chorus sings," And Godzooky!," if they were expressing their own dislike for the little bundle of mischief.

    Trivia Question 40: In the episode "Calico Clones," how was Dr. Voltrang able to tell the clones from the real crew?

    Answer: The real crew had bandages on their arms, where their skin had been scraped, while the clones did not.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
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  2. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    Doug Wildey, who did the realistic character designs for the original "Jonny Quest" show, did the character designs for both "Godzilla" and "Jana".

    Ted Cassidy did the growls for "Godzilla" and played Montaro, Jana of the Jungle's native friend, who wielded the "Staff of Light" to temporary blind his enemies when the staff tip strikes the ground.

    Don Messick played Godzooky...with his grunting sounding like Scooby Doo's vocals when reacting to something.

    B.J. (Betty Jean) Ward's first cartoon voice role was as Jana. She was assisted by Tico the ferret and Ghost the white jaguar and Dr. Ben Cooper (Michael Bell) and used her necklace as a frisbee-like weapon. Too bad that she was never reunited with her father during the run of the series.

    The series was first titled "The Godzilla Power Hour" and then expanded to "Godzilla Super 90" when "Jonny Quest" reruns were added...the following season, "Godzilla" epsiodes were combined with "Super Globetrotters" to form the "Godzilla-Globetrotters Hour". The animator's strike in 1980 forced NBC to show cartoon reruns of Godzilla, Harlem Globetrotters and Hong Kong Phooey in one strange block.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
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  3. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    The Godzilla saves the Calico premise really isn't much different than the Jerry Mouse gets saved by a powerful ally mechanism from the MGM Tom and Jerry cartoons that Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna directed. Later, under their own banner, Hanna-Barbera produced the Shazzan series, about Chuck and Nancy traveling around Arabia, getting help from a genie whenever a villain appeared. Thing is, with Shazzan being a genie, he could conjure up almost anything to save the day, a Superman-class pitfall to story-telling. Here, with Godzilla, he's large and powerful, but not invulnerable, which adds a huge dimension to his character. Plus, the addition of Godzooky as liaison did wonders for taking Godzilla out of the mindless massive monster ghetto and settling him into a guardian giant good-guy role. The heroic bodyguard trope is a time-tested way of putting ordinary and vulnerable heroes into conflicts that would normally overwhelm them, and leveling the field for righteousness to triumph over wrongness.
  4. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    I remember watching the Godzilla cartoon a lot when it was still with Turner/WB. It seemed to usually have a slot in the afternoon hours for most of my childhood. But for some reason I didn't really think to buy the volumes on DVD I saw. But with the revelation of Toho not seemingly doing anything to reiusse season 1 or put out season 2 with the new American Godzilla movie. I kind of felt like I might as well go shop for the three OOP volumes on the ground i'd rather have some than none.

    The show itself works as what it does. Maybe not Big G's best efforts by some tastes, but I think it works fine as Big G helping some humans and fighting monsters of the week. Toho being well Toho didn't seem to offer much other than "you can use Godzilla". Had they have been able to add some more mythology stuff instead of just making substitutes i feel the show might have gotten a little more love than it currently does in the internet potholes. Although I admit the few times i tried talking about it though people seem to have liked it. Godzooky though seems one of those HB characters that tick the holy hell out of certain people. However I was fine with Godzooky. I liked him.

    I'd enjoy the chance to relive the rest of the show, but i toss it in the "best i think i'll ever get" category of my HB collection.

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