Godzilla says that I should learn to fight my own battles, y'know.
— Minilla (Godzilla's Revenge)
An infant member of Godzilla's species, Minilla emitted a distress signal from his egg on Sollgel Island, attracting Godzilla to the island. When Minilla's egg was broken open by three Kamacuras, Godzilla arrived and rescued him. Godzilla went on to raise Minilla as his son and trained him to take up his mantle. Minilla eventually used the knowledge he learned from Godzilla to save his father's life in battle against Kumonga. In Destroy All Monsters, Minilla lived with his father on the human-monitored Monsterland at the end of the 20th century. Minilla was initially nowhere to be seen after the Kilaaks invaded the island and unleashed the monsters across the globe, but later did appear to assist Godzilla and the other Earth monsters in battle against King Ghidorah. In All Monsters Attack, Minilla appeared in the dreams of Ichiro Miki, befriending him and helping him learn to stand up for himself. Minilla also made an appearance in Toho's tokusatsu program Go! Greenman, where he was a creation of the villain Tonchiki and sent to do battle with Greenman. Minilla returned in Godzilla: Final Wars, the final entry of the Millennium series, where he traveled with a young boy and his grandfather to Tokyo so he could reunite with Godzilla. A different version of Godzilla's son, Godzilla Junior, was featured in the Heisei series films in place of Minilla.
Name[edit | edit source]
Minilla's Japanese name, "Minira," is a combination of mini, meaning small, and Gojira, (ゴジラ) the Japanese name for Godzilla. Minilla's name was decided upon in a naming campaign created by Toho which had as many as 8,211 applicants, 135 of which suggested the final name. Prior to Minilla's name being chosen, the monster was referred to simply as Child Godzilla (子供ゴジラ or Godzilla Junior Kodomo Gojira) (ゴジラ・ジュニア, Gojira Junia) while he was referred to as Childzilla (子ジラ in the script for Kojira)Son of Godzilla.
"Minilla" is the character's official trademarked English name, while Minya and Milla are alternate translations used in English dubs. In Son of Godzilla, Minilla is never referred to by name, only called "baby Godzilla" or "Godzilla's son." Minilla is finally referred to by name in the Japanese dialogue for Destroy All Monsters, however in the international English dub he is simply referred to as "the son of Godzilla."
Minilla is given several subtitles throughout various Japanese sources, including Naughty Prince (わんぱくプリンス, Wanpaku Purinsu) Son of Godzilla (ゴジラの息子, Gojira no Musuko) and Small Child Monster (ちびっ子怪獣. Chibikko Kaijū) Additionally, Minilla is referred to as Godzilla the Second (ゴジラ二世 in the Japanese trailer for Son of Godzilla. Gojira Nisei)
Development[edit | edit source]
The idea for a "son of Godzilla" was considered as far back as three years before Son of Godzilla began production. A precursor to Minilla which utilized this concept was developed by Kazue Kiba in a screenplay for a 1967 film titled Two Godzillas: Japan S.O.S.!, where a bluish-skinned, thirty-meter juvenile Godzilla named Godzilla Junior would menace Japan alongside Godzilla himself. Unlike the gentle and meek Minilla, who hatched from an egg onscreen and was portrayed with much humanizing characterization, Godzilla Junior emerged from the sea and maintained a relatively serious presence as a threat to Japan. Godzilla Junior also hunted giant mussels on his own in the ocean, though he needed to be helped by Godzilla when the clams became too much for the young monster to handle. "Godzilla Junior" would later be used as the name for Godzilla's adopted son in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, though without an interpunct in the Japanese spelling. Minilla's name was not finally decided upon until Son of Godzilla was well into production, and he was simply known as "Childzilla" in the screenplay.
Minilla's face was patterned after the character Chibita from the popular manga Osomatsu-kun published by Shogakukan in Weekly Shonen Saturday at the time. The Minilla suit's head and body were modeled by Teizo Toshimitsu and Yasuei Yagi, respectively. In addition to the suit, a 2-shaku (Japanese foot) model was created to portray the newborn Minilla. The suit was worn by professional wrestler and entertainer Masao "Little Man Machan" Fukazawa, who had difficulty moving in the suit due to its body shape. This caused Fukuzawa to walk with a wobbly gait and meant he was unable to stand back up by himself whenever he fell over in the suit. However, director of special effects Sadamasa Arikawa was pleased with this effect, believing Fukazawa's performance perfectly embodied a toddler. Initially, Arikawa wanted Minilla's atomic breath to curve vertically through the air like a shuriken, but Eiji Tsuburaya advised him to have Minilla breathe smoke rings instead. Effects animation of Minilla firing the shuriken-inspired heat ray at Kamacuras were completed but ultimately unused.
The Minilla suit on set for Son of Godzilla
Filming takes place for the sequence in which Kumonga captures and nearly kills Minilla
For Destroy All Monsters, the Minilla suit was refurbished and used once more with slight modifications to its face. In addition, a small model of Minilla was created for distant shots of the monster. Masao Fukazawa once again wore the Minilla suit for this film. The following year, Minilla was given a major role in All Monsters Attack as he shared the screen with protagonist Ichiro Miki. The Minilla suit was repaired once again (though visible rips could be seen in the elbows at times), with considerable modification to the head to allow for a greater range of facial expressions. A guignol (hand-operated puppet) of Minilla's upper body to scale with the suit was also constructed to assist with scenes depicting Minilla speaking. Fukazawa wore the Minilla suit for the last time in this film, while the character was voiced by actress Midori Uchiyama, whose only other acting role came as a Kilaak in the previous film.
The refurbished Minilla suit used for All Monsters Attack
Preparation takes place for filming of a confrontation between Minilla and Gabara in All Monsters Attack
Minilla was one of several existing monsters included in Toho's low-budget tokusatsu shows aired as part of Nippon TV's Good Morning! Kids Show block of programing in the 1970's. While all of the other returning monsters, such as Gabara, Sanda, Gaira, Gorosaurus, and Kamoebas, simply reused their existing suits which were often in poor condition by this time, Minilla utilized an entirely different suit. This new Minilla suit was considerably lower-quality than that used in the films and possessed black skin. Minilla appeared in episode 46 of the series Go! Greenman entitled "Greenman vs. Minilla" in which the monster was portrayed out-of-character as a minion of the villainous Maoh who did battle with the titular hero Greenman. As Minilla was roughly the same height as Greenman, the new suit was built to accomodate a regularly-sized actor rather than a little person like Fukazawa, but it is unknown who wore the suit in this episode. It is also unclear whether the new suit was built specifically for this episode or was possibly an existing suit used for stage shows or attractions. Whatever the case, the Minilla suit used in Go! Greenman did appear onstage alongside the MegaroGoji suit at a promotional event for the film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in 1974.
In 1993, Toho requested that director Takao Okawara include Minilla in the film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II due to the character's perceived popularity among women. Okawara did not want to bring back Minilla, and decided instead to introduce a new version of Godzilla's adopted son named BabyGodzilla, whose design reflected that of a dinosaur more than Godzilla. The character returned as LittleGodzilla in the following film, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, in which he was given a more Minilla-like appearance and story role. Finally, this version of Godzilla's son appeared in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah as Godzilla Junior, ultimately maturing into an adult Godzilla by the film's end.
Minilla was brought back in earnest for the series' 50th anniversary film, Godzilla: Final Wars, in 2004. Shinji Nishikawa, who had also designed the various stages of Godzilla Junior in the Heisei series, was responsible for redesigning Minilla and most of the other returning monsters in the film. Nishikawa intended for his design to be a more refined version of Minilla's original design. A new suit was constructed for Minilla under Shinichi Wakasa's company MONSTERS and was worn by veteran Super Sentai suit actress Naoko Kamio, who also portrayed Rodan in the film and became the second woman ever to portray a kaiju in the Godzilla series through suitmation. The Minilla suit from Final Wars was used in live-action tokusatsu sequences in the various CR Godzilla pachinko games in the following years.
Design[edit | edit source]
Minilla resembles a smaller, pudgy version of his father. His snout is slightly upturned and his eyes are larger and placed further forward on his head, giving him a more human-like appearance. He also possesses pronounced brow ridges above his eyes, and a small crest along the top of his head. In the Showa series, his head is slightly elongated, the dorsal fins on his back are small and undeveloped, and he only has three toes, like his father did from 1962 through 1975. Additionally, he lacks the charcoal gray coloration and rugged skin of his father, with his smooth skin instead being a uniform desaturated green-gray. As a newborn, he was more of a tan color. For Destroy All Monsters, the original suit's face was modified slightly. Further modifications to the face were done for All Monsters Attack.
The Godzilla: Final Wars Minilla was designed by Shinji Nishikawa, who created the design to be a more refined version of the original. Minilla's new design for this film retains the core look of the Showa version, though it possesses a few differences. Namely, his body is more of a saturated green that is lighter on the belly and palms, and he has more noticeable dorsal plates, orange claws, prominent brown irises around his pupils, and more spread out teeth. This Minilla also has four toes on his feet instead of three.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Minilla is notably much more friendly with humans than any of the other monsters featured in the Showa Godzilla films, and demonstrates human-like behaviors and emotions. He is very playful, enjoying games like kicking large boulders and jumping over or riding on his father's tail. He also shook ecstatically after firing an atomic heat ray on his own while his father slept, and he showed childlike disobedience by falling on the ground and refusing to cooperate. While he is usually fearful of other monsters, he occasionally shows courage, although he is often outmatched by other monsters. Minilla's toddler-like waddling gait was a product of the suit's shape, which suit actor Little Man Machan had difficulty walking in.
Minilla's personality in Godzilla: Final Wars was unchanged from the Showa series, as he was very friendly towards humans. He also interceded on behalf of humanity to Godzilla, prompting Godzilla to end his war with the human race.
Origins[edit | edit source]
Minilla is an infant member of Godzilla's species. In both the Showa and Millennium series, it is never stated if Godzilla is Minilla's biological father or if he simply adopted him. However, the 1998 informational book The Official Godzilla Compendium and Toho's official English-language website both state that Minilla was adopted by Godzilla in Son of Godzilla. In Son of Godzilla, Minilla hatches from an egg on Sollgel Island after it is broken open by the Kamacuras. In Godzilla: Final Wars, Minilla appears near Mount Fuji with no explanation as to his origins.
History[edit | edit source]
Minilla was an infant member of Godzilla's species inside an egg buried on Sollgel Island. He began emitting a brain wave to call out for Godzilla, which interfered with the scientific equipment of a team of United Nations scientists on the island and caused their weather-controlling experiment to malfunction and trigger a radiation storm. The storm mutated the island's native giant mantises into huge kaiju dubbed Kamacuras, which dug up Minilla's egg and broke it open, intending to eat the hatchling. Fortunately, Godzilla arrived on the island and confronted the Kamacuras, killing two and forcing the third one to retreat. The recently-hatched Minilla came to befriend a human woman living on the island, Saeko Matsumiya, who fed him fruit and gained the ability to summon him with her call. Godzilla decided to raise Minilla as his son and train him to take up his mantle. Godzilla and Minilla took up residence next to a boiling red lake on the island, where Godzilla attempted to teach Minilla how to use his atomic breath. Minilla could only breathe pitiful smoke rings, but Godzilla found that when he stepped on his tail, Minilla fired a full atomic beam. When Saeko was threatened by the surviving Kamacuras, Minilla rushed to her rescue, but could not fight off the Kamacuras. Godzilla soon arrived, and Kamacuras promptly retreated. However, during the struggle Minilla accidentally knocked a boulder into the valley of Kumonga, a giant spider, awakening it.
While his father was asleep, Minilla began to wander the island, only to be ensnared in Kumonga's webbing, along with Kamacuras. Kumonga instantly killed Kamacuras by injecting it with venom, then prepared to do the same to Minilla. Minilla cried out for help, rousing Godzilla from his sleep. Godzilla arrived and attacked Kumonga, but found himself fighting a losing battle against the huge arachnid. Just as Kumonga prepared to move in for the kill, Minilla unleashed his atomic breath at the beast. Godzilla and Minilla then combined their atomic breath and set Kumonga ablaze, seemingly killing it. In the meantime, the U.N. scientists successfully executed their weather experiment, causing a snowstorm to form over the island. Godzilla and Minilla attempted to reach the ocean before Sollgel Island froze over, but Minilla fell in the snow and began to fall asleep. Rather than abandon his son, Godzilla went back and embraced Minilla, falling into hibernation with him.
By the end of the 20th century, Minilla was living with his father and several other kaiju on the human-monitored Monsterland in the Ogasawara Islands. When the Kilaaks assaulted the island and took control of its monster inhabitants, Minilla vanished and was not seen attacking any of Earth's cities. After the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 destroyed the Kilaaks' mind control device on the Moon, Minilla was the first monster to arrive at Mount Fuji to assault the invaders' Earth base. Minilla was joined by his father and the rest of the Earth monsters as they closed in on the aliens' base. However, the Kilaaks unleashed King Ghidorah as their final defensive measure to attack the monsters. Minilla took part in the battle against King Ghidorah alongside Godzilla, Anguirus and Gorosaurus, and managed to deliver the killing blow to the space monster by strangling his last living neck with a smoke ring. With King Ghidorah dead, Minilla stood triumphantly on the fallen kaiju's body and joined in celebrating the victory of Earth's monsters. After Godzilla obliterated the Kilaaks' base, Minilla was returned to Monsterland with the rest of the monsters to live out his days in peace. Minilla was seen standing next to his father as a group of humans observed the island from a helicopter.
When Ichiro Miki dreamed of visiting Monster Island, he found himself chased by a Kamacuras, eventually tripping and falling into a pit. Minilla, having shrunk to human size, lowered a vine into the pit and rescued Ichiro. Minilla told Ichiro how he was often lonely living on the island, with his father spending most of his time fending off the other kaiju. Minilla was also constantly harassed by a monster called Gabara, who liked to bully him. Godzilla would not fight Gabara for Minilla, as he believed Minilla should learn to defend himself. Ichiro helped build Minilla's confidence and the two worked together to spring a trap for Gabara. The trap worked and Minilla successfully beat Gabara. Godzilla arrived to congratulate his son, but the enraged Gabara bit Godzilla, sending him into a furious rage. Godzilla held Minilla back and personally beat Gabara into submission, sending him fleeing into the jungle. Ichiro then awoke from his dream, and using the lessons he had learned from Minilla, was able to escape from two bank robbers who had kidnapped him.
A darker, evil Minilla appeared in episode 46 of the series Go! Greenman. Minilla was deployed to obtain the blood of young children for Maoh in a scheme to reverse his banishment. Eventually, the kids called Greenman with their Calls and the two fought. After a short battle, the monster grew and began menacing a city with a pacifier in its mouth. During their battle, Greenman attempted to grab Minilla's pacifier, but resulted in the monster angrily throwing him into a building. After a few more attempts at grabbing the pacifier, Greenman managed to pull it out of the infant's mouth, causing it to fall to the ground and begin crying. Greenman readied his Breaster attack to finish the monster off, but decided to spare it instead. Minilla did not last for much longer, though, as he was then destroyed at the hands of his creator for failing his mission.
In the year 20XX, Minilla was encountered by the young boy Kenta while he and his grandfather were hunting in the forest near Mount Fuji. Minilla joined the two in their truck, which they used to drive to Mt. Fuji to witness Godzilla's battle with Anguirus, Rodan, and King Caesar. Upon witnessing this battle, Minilla's height sprung up to 20 meters. Minilla then traveled to Tokyo in the aftermath of Godzilla's battle with Keizer Ghidorah. When he arrived, he convinced Godzilla to let go of his hatred of the human race and spare the crew of the Gotengo. Godzilla then returned to the sea with Minilla, who fired a full blast of atomic breath into the sky before departing with his father.
Minilla appears throughout the entire series, joining his brothers Godzilla-kun and Little in their adventures. Minilla is usually slow and is just along for the ride most of the time, but he did fight against his arch rival Gabara, attempted to stop the giant Kamacuras, and even attempted to confront Desghidorah. Minilla even joined the massive gathering of monsters when two King Ghidorah attacked on two different occasions. Minilla also raised Radon when he was just an egg, even teaching the Pteranodon hatchling how to fly.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Smoke rings[edit | edit source]
Minilla's main weapon is atomic smoke rings. These smoke rings, while significantly weaker than his father's atomic breath, can interact with physical objects and tighten around opponents to injure or even strangle them. In Destroy All Monsters, Minilla delivers the finishing blow to the severely injured King Ghidorah, with one of his smoke rings strangling the space monster's middle head.
Minilla fires a smoke ring in Godzilla: Final Wars
Atomic breath[edit | edit source]
Minilla learned to use a true atomic breath in Son of Godzilla. Initially, despite his best attempts, he could not fire the atomic breath as Godzilla demonstrated to him. After Godzilla stepped on his tail, he managed to fire it, and later fired it on his own as his father slept, much to his delight. Minilla later used his atomic breath to assist his father during the battle against Kumonga. Minilla was then shown firing his atomic breath at the very end of Godzilla: Final Wars.
Unused composite shots from Son of Godzilla show Minilla using a curved atomic breath against Kamacuras rather than smoke rings.
Minilla fires his atomic breath at the end of Godzilla: Final Wars
Minilla's scrapped atomic breath from Son of Godzilla
Communication[edit | edit source]
Minilla can communicate with Godzilla over great distances by broadcasting a brainwave pattern over radio frequencies. This ability interferes with other radio transmissions in its vicinity. This signal has the ability to disrupt other forms of electrical transmission such as radar and radio.
In All Monsters Attack, Minilla is depicted as being able to talk. This is indicative of the fantasy element of this film, in which Minilla only appears in the dreams of a young boy.
Size changing[edit | edit source]
In All Monsters Attack, Minilla is depicted as having the ability to shrink down to human size. While this ability was only shown within the dreams of Ichiro Miki in the Showa series, Minilla demonstrated he could grow rapidly in Godzilla: Final Wars, going from 1.6 to 20 meters in a matter of seconds.
In Go! Greenman, Minilla could also increase in size, but was only able to do so when commanded by his master Tonchiki.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Son of Godzilla (1967)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- All Monsters Attack (1969)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) [stock footage]
- Go! Greenman (TV 1973-1974) [Episode 46]
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
- Godziban (Web 2019-) [episodes 1, 3, 5-8, 11-15, 17-23, 25, 28, 31-39, 41-47; special episodes 1-6]
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Monster's Fair (1985) - Microsoft MSX
- Godzilla vs. 3 Giant Monsters (1984) - Microsoft MSX
- The Movie Monster Game (1986) - Apple II and Commodore 64
- Battle Baseball (1993) - Nintendo Famicom
- Godzilla Movie Studio Tour (1998) - PC and Mac
- Godzilla: Trading Battle (1998) - Sony PlayStation
- Godzilla Generations (1998) - Sega Dreamcast
- Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly (1998) - Sega Dreamcast VMU
- Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact (1999) - Sega Dreamcast
- CR Godzilla 3S-T Battle (2006) - Pachinko
- Godzilla (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4 [Kaiju Guide]
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla Battle Line (2021) - Android and iOS
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Minilla.
Minilla in Monster's Fair
Minilla in Godzilla vs. 3 Giant Monsters
Minilla in CR Godzilla 3S-T Battle
Minilla 1967 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Minilla 2004 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Comics[edit | edit source]
- Godziman #1, 3 (2019)
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Minilla/Gallery.
Roar[edit | edit source]
Some of Minilla's vocalizations in the Showa series are actually recycled from the shriek of the Giant Condor from Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. When calling for Godzilla, Minilla cries out "Papa" (パパ. In Papa)Go! Greenman, Minilla used the Ultra Series kaiju Gesura's roars.
In other languages[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Following the conclusion of Toho's naming campaign for the still unnamed-Minilla prior to the release of Son of Godzilla, where as many as 8,211 applicants had submitted entries, a raffle was conducted and "Minilla" (which had been submitted 135 times) was drawn and ultimately became the monster's final name. The name was publicly revealed in a "naming ceremony" party at the film set with the movie's stars.
- There is a popular fan theory that the Godzilla featured in the films from Godzilla vs. Hedorah through Terror of Mechagodzilla is actually the Showa Minilla, now grown to adulthood. Although officially the 1970's Godzilla is the same incarnation of the character introduced in Godzilla Raids Again, the 2004 informational book Godzilla Dictionary actually acknowledges this theory.
- Minilla, specifically his role from All Monsters Attack, is referenced in GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, the official prequel novel to GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters. In one chapter, the character Alberto Ichiro Santos finds himself in the middle of the Amazon rainforest and meets an indigenous tribal woman named "Mira," who serves as the priestess of Mothra. Together, they spring a trap for the cruel monster Gabara, injuring him and leading him to be eaten alive by crocodiles and piranhas.
See also[edit | edit source]
- BabyGodzilla / LittleGodzilla / Godzilla Junior
- Baby Godzilla (TriStar)
- Godzilla (Godzilla: The Series)
Video[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
This is a list of references for Minilla. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: