The development of atomic weaponry in the 1940s gave rise to its involvement in popular themes. The American 1953 film featured a giant dinosaur that awakens due to nuclear tests in the Arctic.:42 The 1954 film involved giant irradiated ants. Japanese cinema began its foray into giant monster films with the 1933 film (an adaptation of the American film ). Later in 1954, the film was released. This was followed by an ongoing trend of giant reptiles created by nuclear radiation. Japan continued with a giant moth in , a turtle in , and many more that followed. Other countries have their own giant monster movies such as the with in 1961.
This is an alphabetical list of -. One of the first films involving giant monsters was the 1925 film , as developments in cinema and animation enabled the creation of realistic giant creatures. This was followed by the 1933 classic . These early films had themes of adventure and exploration of unknown regions, and incorporated fights with giant monsters as a climactic element.
|A Time of Giants and Monsters||Volume 53 Number 2, March/April 2000|
|by Adrienne Mayor|
The greatest and most influential movie monster in history is, without a doubt, the king of monsters: Godzilla (Japanese: Gojira). Godzilla did not only kick-start the Japanese giant monster “Kaiju” craze, but became a pop culture icon, inspiring dozens of sequels to the original 1954 version, including a big-budget (albeit terrible) American remake, in 1998. Godzilla was conceived as a mutated product of nuclear detonations, and as a metaphor for nuclear warfare in general. The famous scene of the devastation of Tokyo in the 1954 film when Godzilla rampages through the city destroying everything in its path, is commonly cited as an indirect portrayal of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in 1945.
Since the ground-breaking 1933 movie, King Kong has become more than just a giant monster. Kong is perhaps one of the most famous movie icons of American cinema. He is described as the last of a breed of prehistoric ape that evolved in the isolation of Skull Island. Despite being incredibly large, there is nothing abnormal about King Kong and he displays the basic characteristics of an ape. Kong’s main assets are his acrobatic skills, which he utilizes during the famous scene when he climbs up the Empire State Building. Kong also possesses immense strength, which he demonstrates when breaking the chains that hold him whilst captive in America. The inspiration behind King Kong and Skull Island came from the discovery of Komodo Island and the giant lizard, the Komodo dragon. The first Kong was an 18-inch model, animated using stop-motion techniques. Andy Serkis acted the part of King Kong in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake. This was done using motion capture technology in exactly the same way Serkis portrayed Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.