Baby Godzilla (TriStar)
- Disclaimer: Baby Godzilla is the official name for these monsters. This article is named "Baby Zilla" to distinguish this character from Baby Godzilla.
The Baby Godzillas (ベビーゴジラ?), nicknamed Baby 'Zillas in the Bebī Gojirastory treatment for the unmade GODZILLA 2 film, are infant mutated iguana kaiju created by TriStar Pictures that first appeared in the 1998 American film, GODZILLA.
The asexually-produced offspring of Godzilla, hundreds of Baby Godzillas emerged from the monster's nest inside Madison Square Garden and threatened to overrun the world should they escape. The Baby Godzillas chased a group of humans that were searching for the nest through the arena, but the humans managed to alert the United States military to the threat, and the arena was promptly destroyed by a precision missile strike. Following the adult Godzilla's subsequent destruction, it seemed the threat was finally gone, but a single egg left intact inside the arena would go on to hatch into another Godzilla that became the focus of Godzilla: The Series.
The Baby Godzillas are never referred to by a specific name in their film appearance, only called "hatchlings" or "Godzilla's young." TriStar filed a trademark for the creatures under the name "Baby Godzilla™," and they even received their own copyright icon which appeared in merchandise for the film. However, this trademark was cancelled by Toho and replaced with Toho's "BabyGodzilla™" trademark. Ultimately, all individual trademarks for the creatures were removed and absorbed under Godzilla's. For this reason, the creatures' official legal name is simply "baby Godzilla®." In the script for the film's unmade sequel, GODZILLA 2, the creatures are referred to as "Baby 'Zillas."
The Baby Godzillas closely resemble their father, but due to their young age are considerably smaller and thinner. Their heads and eyes are also larger proportional to the rest of their bodies. Their scutes are not fully developed, and take the form of small blue bumps running down their backs, compared to the large curved spikes their father possesses. Their coloration is similar to the adult Godzilla's, with a dark bluish color on the top of their bodies which fades to a lighter tan color on their underbellies, while their scutes are light blue in color.
The Baby Godzillas began to hatch shortly after Niko Tatopoulos and Philippe Roaché's team came upon Godzilla's nest in Madison Square Garden. The team had planned to destroy the eggs with explosives, but discovered there were far more eggs than they expected and they far outnumbered their supply of explosives. The hatchlings began to feed on the fish their parent had left in the nest, but their supply began to wane. Smelling the scent of fish on Nick and the others, the Baby Godzillas began to chase them across the arena. Philippe's fellow secret servicemen were devoured by the creatures, but he and the others reached a broadcast room that was normally used to air sporting events and barred themselves inside. Using the recording equipment, Audrey Timmonds broadcast a live report over the airwaves showing the Baby Godzillas roaming through Madison Square Garden and warning of what would happen if they escaped. Colonel Hicks saw the broadcast and ordered three F-18 Hornets to deliver a missile strike on the building. As the jets approached, the humans tried to escape while the Baby Godzillas began to breach the room. Running out of time, they ran towards the exit, pursued by countless Baby Godzillas. Just as the humans escaped the building, missiles collided with Madison Square Garden, destroying it and killing all of the Baby Godzillas. Just as the team thought their mission was accomplished, the adult Godzilla rose from under the streets and looked at the bodies of his slain young. Godzilla nudged the corpse of one of his young, only for it to lie motionless. Enraged, Godzilla began to chase the humans across New York.
Sometime later, a lone egg inside the ruined building hatched.
After Godzilla's death, Niko Tatopoulos convinced Colonel Hicks to send a team into Madison Square Garden to ensure no Baby Godzillas survived. Nick went in first, but fell into a cavern and was separated from the rest of the team. There, he encountered a surviving egg, which hatched into another Baby Godzilla. Rather than attack Nick, the baby imprinted on him. Knowing the military was approaching, Nick scared the hatchling off with electrical wires, causing it to burrow out of the arena.
- Main article: Baby Zilla/Gallery.
- The Baby Godzillas were portrayed through a combination of suitmation, animatronics, and computer-generated imagery.
- The Baby Godzillas are often compared to the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park because of their design and behavior. Certain moments during the Madison Square Garden chase in the 1998 film are almost perfect replicates of the Velociraptor stalking scenes in Jurassic Park, including a scene where one Baby Godzilla gazes through a door and stalks the protagonists as they try to hide.
- The Baby Godzillas would have been featured in the unmade sequel to the 1998 film, with a pack of them being raised by the surviving Godzilla in the Australian outback. The infants would grow into adolescent "Teen 'Zillas," only to be hunted down and killed by the U.S. military, save for one nicknamed "the Runt." The Runt would help his parent battle the Queen Bitch in Sydney, only to be apparently killed and later return at the film's conclusion.
- The Baby Godzillas are referenced in GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, the prequel novel to GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters, in a chapter detailing the destruction caused by Zilla. Like the TriStar Godzilla, in the novel Zilla is capable of rapid asexual reproduction, and all of its young are born fertile and capable of producing further generations. This is based on Nick's proposed worst-case scenario in the 1998 film, where the Baby Godzillas would continue multiplying and eventually overrun humanity. While still juvenile, the infant Zillas are dangerous and capable of coordinating with their brethren to pose a threat to mankind. Text from the novel says: "If you leave one young one alive, no, if you leave just an egg behind, it'll hatch and reproduce all over again"; also, "The big ones are dangerous, but the young ones were more troublesome. They're intelligent and act in herds. The young ones act as decoys for the tanks while the adults attack from the rooftops"; additionally, "It was more difficult to free the city besieged by Zilla than any other monster."
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