While there are more Godzilla movies than you can possibly imagine, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at King Kong vs. Godzilla! While Godzilla is going to have himself a rematch with King Kong at theatres near you soon, we’re hitting up the 1962 version for some trivia! Let’s see what we’ve got here, shall we?
1. King Kong was given a rather innocent and almost comedic look to him because special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya (who you’ll read about further) was concerned children would be afraid of Kong. These movies were hoping to get a mixed audience of children and adults in order to market toys, so they wanted a less terrifying look for their lead beasts.
2. King Kong vs. Godzilla sold 12,550,000 tickets when it was released in 1962, the most attended Godzilla film (even including re-releases) to this very day.
3. While four live octopuses (or octopi) were used in King Kong vs. Godzilla, only three of them were released while the other was made up as a dinner for Eiji Tsuburaya.
4. While most of the Godzilla films took on a far more serious and intense tone, this one was purposely written to be a family film in hopes to draw audiences all over the world to have interest in seeing it. There was a team of twelve writers who worked on several versions of each scene before focus grouping them with family members of the staff in the studio to make sure it was friendly enough for all ages.
5. Despite the fact it’s so beloved now as a cult classic, American critics notoriously hated the film at the time because they felt their beloved King Kong was being degraded and turned into a comedic foil to Japan’s renowned Godzilla. Edits had changed out quite a bit of the Japanese script which made it hard to follow for many audiences overseas. It definitely didn’t hit all the marks it hoped to at the time, but now it’s still one of the fan favorites from the cult classic Godzilla fan scene.
6. Tako, the amusing businessman in the film, actually aids in the nod to the Octopus. Tako means Octopus in Japanese.
7. Godzilla only has three toes in this film… and some others. Why is this? Because the number four is considered an unlucky number in Japanese culture. Once the series was brought back to being darker and less comedic, they adopted the four-toed Godzilla look once more.
8. King Kong vs. Godzilla is also the first time viewers of the series would hear an alternate more high-pitched roar come from the famous Godzilla. Even though it would be slightly adjusted, it would become the one used even when the series went back to its darker toned films.
9. This is the first time that a Godzilla movie was filmed in native color rather than colorized in post-production. Quite a huge deal when you think about the fact they continued from then forward. Subsequently, it was also the first time King Kong was ever seen in color, even if those vibrant hues only highlighted his less-menacing look.
10. Legendary Pictures is slated to release its reboot of King Kong vs. Godzilla in 2020. Are any of us ready?