If you watch the original 1954 Godzilla, at no point do you stop and think of Godzilla as a small monster. In fact, he appears positively giant, capable of catastrophic damage no matter where he steps.
And yet, as decades have gone by, this early Godzilla has been more or less dwarfed by Godzilla’s to come, not to mention other big movie monsters. Just keeping it to extremes, the 1954 Godzilla stands 50m (164 feet) tall. Toho’s latest Godzilla rises to a whopping 118.5m (389 feet).
In a culture where every sequel has to be bigger than the film preceding it, one can easily blame Godzilla’s dramatically increased size on simple stake-raising. And in certain respects that might be the case. But as this illustration from Twitter user @FUKUBLOG shows, that’s not the only reason Godzilla needs to grow throughout his over fifty-year-career of stomping cities:
As you can see, this mockup aims to illustrate what the 1954 Godzilla would look like stomping around Tokyo today. While there are some caveats regarding scale (some of these buildings are HUGE - even the latest 389-foot Godzilla wouldn’t look all that big in this context), it still hammers home the fact that Japanese cities, along with pretty much all cities in the world, have grown much bigger and taller since the 1950s. So it only makes sense that our giant monsters would scale upwards with them.
But let’s be clear. Regardless of where you’re at, if you come across a 50m reptile that can shoot atomic breath out its mouth, it’s best to steer clear. No matter how small he looks next to the Burj Khalifa, he’s still a lot taller than you.