Kaiju Profile: Dogzilla & Kat Kong
The Dogzilla & Kat Kong kaiju profile is the 65th episode of Wikizilla's Kaiju Profiles video series. It was uploaded on April 1, 2021, the day after Godzilla vs. Kong opened in American theaters. As an April Fools joke, it was originally titled "Godzilla & Kong", with a thumbnail showing the MonsterVerse Godzilla and Kong squaring off.
Hey kaiju fans, I'm Goldn, and this is the Kaiju Profile you've all been waiting for. Now that "Godzilla vs. Kong" is finally out, we can give a proper kaiju profile to the two mightiest monsters of all time… Dogzilla and Kat Kong!
Dogzilla and Kat Kong terrorized the city of Mouseopolis in two 1993 picture books written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey, now famous for his "Captain Underpants" series. Pilkey has never returned to the characters, but those who read about them as kids remember them fondly.
Dogzilla (1993): Awakened by the mouthwatering smell of a barbeque cook-off in the city of Mouseopolis, the greatest danger ever posed to mousekind emerged from a nearby volcanic crater: Dogzilla! Led by the Big Cheese, a small mouse army rushed to do battle with Dogzilla, but she repelled them with her stinky, powerful doggy breath. The horrific hound trotted into Mouseopolis, her canine instincts causing mayhem and mass destruction. The Big Cheese returned with a fire truck to confront Dogzilla with her worst nightmare: a bath. He blasted her with a powerful stream of water, while other mice deployed a giant brush and poured on the shampoo and conditioner. The bubble bath scrubbed into her memory forever, Dogzilla retreated into her volcano, forever banished from Mouseopolis. The mice rebuilt, but as they kicked off another cook-off a year later, a new threat emerged… puppies!
Kat Kong (1993): The god of a remote island, the mighty Kat Kong was worshipped by a tribe of mice with offerings of tuna. One day the mighty beast tripped and knocked himself out before he could feast on his prize. Three explorers - Captain Charles Limburger, Rosie Rodent, and Dr. Varmint - brought to him Mousopolis for fun and profit. Dr. Varmint introduced him as the ninth-lived wonder of the world to a massive audience. Despite his assurances, the pugnacious pussycat broke free of his constraints and tore through the city, swatting at buildings, power lines, and a train. It was a major CAT-tastrophe! As Limburger prepared to lead an offensive, Kat Kong abducted Rosie and scaled the Romano Inn. Unfazed by a squadron of planes, Kong forced Limburger to unleash his ultimate weapon: a present. Limburger flew circles around the feline, taunting him with the mysterious gift. At last the meowing mammoth gave into temptation and lunged out, only to lose his balance and topple off the building to his death.
"Well," remarked the police chief, "It looks as if beauty killed the beast."
"No," replied Dr. Varmint. "It was curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat!"
In the words of Pilkey himself, "The inspiration for Dogzilla came one day when I was at a friend's house watching one of my favorite movies, "Godzilla vs. Megalon." My friend's son, Nate, was sitting on the floor building a castle out of Legos. Everything was fine until Nate let his dog, Leia, into the house. Leia came charging into the room and smashed right through the Lego castle. With the mass of little Lego blocks and action figures scattered around her, Leia looked like a silly monster who had just rampaged a city. ‘I should write a book about that,' I said. So I did."
Kat Kong had an equally wholesome origin. Pilkey was in the process of writing "Dogzilla" when his pet cat Blueberry, who usually sat with him as he illustrated his material, came into the room and glared at him from atop a nearby bookshelf, seeming to judge him for not writing about her. He quickly scribbled down the words "Kat Kong," and the story was born. He thought his pet mice looked jealous as well, so he made them the heroes in both books.
Pilkey wrote each book in about a week. Six months later, he sent a fully illustrated "dummy" book and several sample color pages to his editor, only to be met with rejection. He was prepared to give up on the stories, but when another editor visited, she inquired about the Dogzilla painting on his wall, and agreed to publish both books before the day was out. The final art in "Dogzilla" and "Kat Kong" was a combination of manipulated photography and painted scenery. Nearly all of the animals featured in the books were Pilkey's pets, with Leia as the Dogzilla and Blueberry as Kat Kong, and he took over 2,000 photos of them in all! To get Leia to perk her ears up, Pilkey would repeat, "Do you want to go for a walk?" until he got the shot he wanted. She would eventually stop doing this until he actually took her for a walk. He rewarded her for her efforts with a new collar, dog bed, Milkbones, and plenty of belly rubs. The puppies on the final page lived on a farm in Mentor, Ohio.
Blueberry's "acting" was achieved through similar means, though with a lot more bribery. The cat hated being constantly photographed, so he compensated her with a supply of petromalt during the process. To achieve the cat's ferocious appearance, his friend Nate Howard would position her and blow on the back of her head as she was photographed, causing her to meow in fury. He didn't have Photoshop, so he had to remove Howard's fingers from each shot with India ink and white acrylic paint.
Dogzilla's jaws are powerful enough to chew through furniture and furniture stores alike, while her paws left a hole in the Museum of Natural History. Her doggy breath has a nasty stench that was potent enough to force an army of mice to retreat. Later, she unleashed fiery breath inches above the Big Cheese's head. Perhaps all the barbecued food she ate ignited it, like the TriStar Godzilla's Power Breath.
Weaknesses: Like the Heisei Godzilla, Dogzilla is fine with volcanoes but endangered by suds. A combination of water, soap, conditioner, and a huge brush sent her packing.
Kat Kong wielded incredible strength, able to break his metal restraints and tear through buildings. He also proved impervious to the unspecified weapons of an airplane squadron.
Weaknesses: His clumsiness was his downfall, first leading to his capture and then to his death. Of course, that present would've held no sway over him if not for his curiosity.
Monster mania: Pilkey's fascination with giant monsters began at a young age, when he would watch their adventures on a program hosted by the late Cleveland TV personality Marty Sullivan, who played a parodic superhero named Superhost. The character's silly antics evidently had an influence on Pilkey's brand of humor.
Kaiju inspiration: "Kat Kong" and "Dogzilla" aren't the only Pilkey stories influenced by kaiju media. His "Captain Underpants" series typically features the titular hero doing battle with giant foes at the end of each story, and while this is a common trope in superhero media there are points where influences from kaiju media are snuck in there. In "Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman," George and Harold watch a "cool Japanese monster movie," starring a certain fire-breathing turtle. The boys' love of monster movies seeped into their comic books, as in "Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future," the titular characters befriend a giant dinosaur in a conflict with a gorilla, and later face a trio of robots called "Mechasaurs." Another one of Pilkey's long-running book series is "Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot," starring an anthropomorphic mouse saving the world from monsters with the help of a giant robot; a reference in both name and premise to "Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot," otherwise known as "Giant Robo." Giant Robo can also be seen on a TV in "Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers."
That's all we have for Dogzilla and Kat Kong. Whether or not Pilkey will eventually make a "Dogzilla vs. Kat Kong" remains to be seen, but it's never too late. Thanks for watching!