Godzilla’s Continuing Adventures On The Small Screen
Part One: The Hanna-Barbera Cartoon
by
John Rocco Roberto




“Up from the depths, 30 stories high, breathing fire, his head in the clouds. Godzilla, Godzilla, Godzilla….and Godzooky!” These were the infamous words that greeted Godzilla fans every Saturday morning from 1978 until 1981.  Hanna-Barbera Studios’ Godzilla cartoon was an interesting take on the King of the Monsters, and is a chapter in Godzilla’s history most serious fans would like to forget.  The series premiered on September 8th, 1978 on the NBC television network.  Producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera wanted to cash in on the popularity of the then current movies series (Godzilla vs. Megalon had been released in 1976 and Terror of MechaGodzilla received a March 1977), and contacted Henry Saperstein’s UPA Productions to arrange the licensing agreement.  Getting the clearance from Toho, the go ahead was given early 1978 to produce the original 13 episodes.  Originally intended to pick up where the movie series left off, NBC stations across the country felt that following the exploits of Godzilla’s big screen adventures would not appeal to their Saturday morning audiences, and that the cartoon should be more “child friendly.”  Thus the decision was taken to change the format of the show.  The plots would now follow a basic formula surrounding the adventures of a research team from the S.S. Calico.   Consisting of Captain Carl Majors, research scientist Dr. Quinn Darien, her assistant Brock, and her nephew Pete, while exploring the South Pacific, they rescue Godzooky, a Godzilla-like creature, from a coral reef.  Godzilla, thankful to the crew, decides to help them out whenever they are in trouble (and also as a way of keeping Godzooky out of any future trouble).  Armed with a calling device, Godzilla is never out of earshot of the Calico team.

It was unfortunately that Hanna-Barbera did not get the chance to produce the series as they had originally intended, especially seeing that the Godzilla films of the 1970s were more than “child friendly.”   For the most part the main characters were flat cardboard reproductions of the standard Hanna-Barbera characters featured in their productions of the 1970s.  Captain Majors represented the typical male hero role model, while Quinn catered to the growing feminist movement that had demanded stronger female characters for young girls to latch onto.  Brock represented the young ambitious 20 year old while also rounding out the crew racially, and Pete was there so that the average view could relate to the action (hey, didn’t we all want to be Pete, with Godzilla just a call away?).  Then there’s Godzooky.  If Minya was the lost son Godzilla never knew about, then Godzooky was the retarded son no one ever talked about.  His inclusion was obviously to appeal to the very younger viewers of the program, but his inane antics added nothing to the storylines and caused several of the older viewers to simply cringe. Overall the characters in reality added very little to the plots of each episode expect to get into trouble and move the story along.  The real star of the series was of course, Godzilla, and the monsters he’d fight.  For the cartoon Godzilla was rendered very well, except his dorsal fins were simplified and he did not have his trademark roar (it has been rumored that Toho wanted too much of a licensing fee for the use of the roar).  What was interesting was that no mater where the Calico was when they called Godzilla, Godzilla would come crashing out of the water, standing completely erect, the water swirling around his ankles.

Of the original 13 episodes the first eight aired as The Godzilla Power Hour and featured one Godzilla episode and one Jana of the Jungle episode.  In November 1978 NBC decided to expand the format of the program to 90 minutes, and lunked in their popular Jonny Quest reruns to round out the show as Godzilla and the Super 90.

The second season stated rather well, as in September of 1979, the show was separated from its "partner" programs and aired solo under the new, simpler title of The Godzilla Show.  This did not last long however and a month later NBC once again decided to team Godzilla up with another of it cartoon “classics;” reruns of The Super Globetrotters.  Under the new title of The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour, the show ran out the 79 season sometimes airing twice on Saturday’s.  

On September 27th, 1980 the show went into reruns, and Godzilla was once again teamed up with several of NBC’s cartoon characters.   The Godzilla-Dynomutt Hour (featuring the Funky Phantom) ran until November 1980 when the show once again went through a rework to become The Godzilla-Hong Kong Phooey Hour.  This ran until May 15th, 1981, and then on May 23rd, Godzilla once again went solo, returning to the half hour format of The Godzilla Show.

The last regular showing aired on September 5th of 1981, and the series rested in limbo (with the exception of a limited video release of two or three episodes), until it turned up on the Cartoon Network in 1998 to tie in with the American film.  It was quickly taken off Cartoon Network in 1999 and has since turned up on the Cartoon Network’s classic station Boomerang from time to time.

Voice actors for the series included Ted Cassidy providing the “voice” of Godzilla, while Don Messick was given the daunting task of voicing Godzooky.  Other talents included Jeff David as Captain Carl Majors, Brenda Thompson as Dr. Quinn Darien, Al Eisenman as Pete, and Hilly Hicks as Brock.  Hoyt S. Curtain scored the music.

Season One (1978 –1979):

The Godzilla Power Hour

1. The Fire Bird
When a long-dormant Alaskan volcano suddenly erupts, nearly killing 2 scientists, the Calico rushes to the rescue.  From the mouth of the volcano comes a Fire Bird, a Rodan-like creature that can breathe fire from its mouth.  While investigating the creature the crew learns that creature will melt the polar cap because of its great heat.  Calling upon Godzilla, the fire Bird is defeated and resealed into the volcano after a long fight.
Air date: September 9th, 1978.

2. The Eartheater
Without explanation buildings in San Francisco suddenly begin falling through the ground. The military calls upon the Calico team, who quickly discover that a weird looking creature is eating through the ground itself.  Unable to stop it, Majors calls on Godzilla who finally puts an end to the “Eartheater’s” rampage.
Air date: September 16th, 1978.

3. Attack of the Stone Creatures
While exploring a sacred Egyptian pyramid, an archaeologist is nearly killed it’s stone guardians.  The Calico team volunteers to help him, going back and making their way into the pyramid.  Once inside stone guardians wake up, and the Calico team has to call on Godzilla to come and save the day.
Air date: September 23rd, 1978.

4. The Mega-Volt Monster
While investigating the strange ship disappearances over an undersea desert, the Calico discovers creatures that can shoot aquatic lightning bolts.  These have been sinking the ships.  Godzooky, of course, gets too close, and its up to Godzilla to kill off the Mega-Volt Monsters.
Air date: September 30th, 1978.

5. The Seaweed Monster
In the West Indies, a mutated kelp creature is terrorizing islanders.  Instead of the military investigating, the natives call on the Calico team to investigate.  Being trapped by the creature they call on Godzilla, who does battle with the Seaweed monster, killing it by exposing it to the sun's rays.
Air date: October 7th, 1978.

6. The Energy Beast
When a meteor crashes through the Earth's atmosphere, it unleashes a huge beast. Making its way to a dam, the creature begins to absorb the energy out of it.  Trying to find a way to stop it, the Calico crew is amazed when the Energy Beast replicates Godzilla's form. Soon however, the real Godzilla shows up and sending the creature back into space.
Air date: October 14th, 1978.

7. The Colossus of Atlantis
A massive earthquake reveals the lost undersea kingdom of Atlantis. The city however, is in reality a spaceship, its crew under control of a monster.  Godzilla attacks and defeats the beast, freeing the Atlantians from its power.  Once freed, they fly off into space. 
Air date: October 21st, 1978.

8. The Horror of Forgotten Island
When a magnetic storm hits a remote island, it deactivates a force field created long ago by space visitors.  This unleashes a huge evil Cyclops.  The Calico team goes to investigate and soon calls on Godzilla to put an end to the one-eyed menace.
Air date: October 28th, 1978.

Godzilla and the Super 90

9. Island of the Lost Ships
While sailing the South Seas, the Calico team stumbles upon on a mythical island that only appears once every 1,000 years.  Three beautiful women lure them towards shore, where they start turning the Calico crew into stone.  Pete and Godzooky sneak away, only to be chased through a maze by a werewolf type creature.  Calling on Godzilla, the King of the Monsters traps the werewolf in its cage (after it grows to the size of Godzilla).  With the spell broken, the Calico team escapes just before the island disappears for another 1,000 years.
Air date: November 4th, 1978.

10. The Magnetic Horror
When a beast terrorizes an Antarctic oil-drilling outpost, the Calico team calls on Godzilla, to kill the horrible creature. Godzilla fails however, so the Calico team decides to overload the beast with energy causing it to explode.  
Air date: November 18th, 1978.

11. The Breeder Beast
When a sludge-type creature, similar to Hedorah, appears the Calico teams calls on Godzilla.  The King of the Monsters cannot defeat the creature out right, as the beast continues to harbor nuclear energy while eating all the gold and silver in the U.S. mint.  The Calico team however, out smarts the Slime-monster by having Godzilla shoot his eye lasers at its power generator, causing it to reduce in size.
Air date: November 25th, 1978.

12. The Sub-Zero Terror
While on a scientific expedition to the Himalayas, the Calico team is attack by Watchuka, a giant snowman.  They manage to call for Godzilla, who “melts’ the Watchuka with his atomic breath.
Air date:  December 2nd, 1978.

13. The Time Dragons
A falling satellite is about to crash into the Calico.  Godzilla catches the satellite, which transports Godzilla and the Calico team back in time.  Godzilla fights a varying array of monsters before the satellite teleports them back to the present day.  
Air date:  December 9th, 1978.


Second Season (1979-1980):

The Godzilla Show

14. Calico Clones
Seeking the location of a top-secret oil field, an evil mad scientist clones the Calico crew in hopes of learning its location.  The actual crew summons Godzilla, who after defeating a giant squid, rescues them.
Air date:  September 15th, 1979.

15. MicroGodzilla
After drifting through some strange pink gas, the Calico crew begins to notice a change in Godzilla.  Only Godzilla and a fly inhaled the gas, and soon Godzilla begins to shrink.  Growing ever smaller, Godzilla is soon attacked by a rat and eventually microorganisms.  The fly on the other hand keeps getting bigger.  Soon enough however, Quinn and Brock duplicate the pink gas, and Godzilla and the fly switch sizes again.
Air date:  September 22nd, 1979.

16. Ghost Ship
While sailing through an ice field, the Calico team finds a Second World War submarine trapped in an iceberg.  Once inside the wreck, they free the trapped crew (who somehow survived) and accidentally fire off one of its missiles, which awakens a giant octopus.  Majors calls on Godzilla, who quickly defeats the octopus.
Air date:  September 29th, 1979.

17. The Beast of Storm Island
Disturbing the lizard beast Axor, Majors, Quinn, and Brock are transformed into zombies.  Pete manages to call Godzilla, who shows up to help out his human friends by defeating Axor.
Air date:  October 6th, 1979.

18. The City in the Clouds
A huge cyclone sends the Calico team up into the sky, where a futuristic city is.  The people of the city capture our heroes, and tell them that if they want to get back down safely, they must trade them Godzilla.  Majors, of course, refuses, and Godzilla manages to rescue his friends while avoiding the city dwellers traps.
Air date:  October 13th, 1979.

The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour

19. The Cyborg Whale
The crew of the Calico is invited to get the first look at the Cyborg Whale, designed to farm the ocean bottom. A storm however, causes the mechanical cetacean to go out of control, trapping Pete and Brock inside! Not wanting to harm his friends, Godzilla bends the ships rudder, forcing it to harmlessly travel in circles until its fuel runs out.
Air date:  October 20th, 1979.

20. Pacific Peril
When a massive earthquake swallows up Godzilla, trapping the King of the Monsters in the Earths crust, the Calico team goes underground to try and help him out.  While exploring they discover a number of fire breathing creatures, but, luckily these creatures can only attack for a short time before having to retreat to re-fuel.  Stumbling upon an underground rocket, they use it to propel Godzilla back to the surface of the Earth.
Air date:  October 27th, 1979.

21. Moonlode
A lunar eclipse sends a monster to Earth, which threatens the Calico by sucking it down into a whirlpool.  The crew, of course, calls for Godzilla, who lifts the ship up out of the whirlpool before defeating the monster.
Air date:  November 3rd, 1979.

22. The Golden Guardian
An evil organization bent on world domination turns Godzilla into a golden statue.  The Calico team however reverses the process, and once back to his normal self, Godzilla destroys the evil organization.
Air date:  November 10th, 1979.

23. The Macro Beasts
A volcanic explosion causes some fish caught in the eruption to mutate to enormous size.  Unable to cope with the problem of giant size fish, the Calico calls on Godzilla.
Air date:  November 17th, 1979.

24. Valley of the Giants
While on another scientific expedition, the Calico team comes across a valley inhabited by giant insects. The team quickly gets into trouble, as the giant insects begin to attack the new comers.  They call on Godzilla, but a giant spider overwhelms him.  Eventually Pete and Godzooky free the king of the Monsters, who defeats the giant insects and frees the Calico.
Air date:  November 24th, 1979.

25. Island of Doom
A group of terrorists calling themselves the Cobra Council threaten the whole world with nuclear missiles.  The Calico team discovers their secret location and sends Godzilla in to destroy it.  The Cobra Council tries to kill off Godzilla, but fails, as Godzilla makes his way to their nuclear reactor and destroys it.  
Air date:  December 1st, 1979.

26. The Deadly Asteroid
Ice aliens from deep space plan to take over Earth by creating a new Ice Age.  The Calico team tries to stop them, but get frozen in the process.  Godzilla arrives but gets frozen by the alien’s freeze ray.  Soon however, the members of the Calico team thaw out, unfreezing Godzilla in the process.  Now unfrozen, Godzilla turns the alien spaceship upside down, which reverses the freezing process.
Air date:  December 8th, 1979.

Article © 2003 John Rocco Roberto/Visagraph Films International.

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