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Brand-New Short From Toho Uses Suitmation To Mark Anniversary Of Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Toho will pay a surprising tribute to Godzilla vs. Hedorah on the film's 50th anniversary via old-school practical FX in a special short.

Suits and suit-mation are returning to the Godzilla franchise in force after two decades in the exile of obsolescence when G-Day rolls around this November.

Source: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Toho Co. Ltd.

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They actually had their day again during last year’s G-Fest but, nevertheless, Toho goes back to the old ways for a new short, called Gojira vs. Hedorah, that’s debuting on the third of November (Godzilla Day) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 film Godzilla vs. Hedorah.

They could screen the short and its throwback effects in front of showings of Godzilla ’54’s 4K release, but instead, it’s premiering for all the world to see on the official Godzilla YouTube channel.

Much like they are doing with episodes of Godzilla’s 70s animated series, a trailer ringing in this news dropped to the YouTube channel on Wednesday.

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Both Godzilla and Hedorah suits were made for and last appeared in Godzilla: Final Wars, the pivotal conclusion to the Millennium Era of Godzilla films that began with Godzilla 2000.

Hedorah and other monsters – including Anguirus, Ebirah, and King Caesar – returned in Final Wars after many years on the sidelines, but only appeared briefly to get their butts kicked swiftly by the King of All Monsters.

On an odd yet intriguing note, the Final Wars Hedorah isn’t considered to be the same Hedorah from the 1971 film directed by Yoshimitsu Banno.

Source: Godzilla Final Wars (2004), Toho Co. Ltd.

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It’s been claimed the first one – which was destroyed and gutted by Godzilla and Japan’s military – was female and that the second one in Final Wars is a male, though this lore has never been explored canonically.

That is no surprise as Toho has always had a weird and strained relationship with Hedorah and its creator Banno since they all came together in the very early 1970s.

A monster with far-flung preposterous origins in outer space, like so many of Godzilla’s foes, Hedorah grew to a colossal size and developed lethal body-dissolving abilities after it absorbed Earth’s pollution and trash. 

Source: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Toho Co. Ltd.

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Godzilla vs. Hedorah was rooted in environmental themes Banno cared about. He was planning a sequel where a new Hedorah emerged in Africa but producer Tomoyuki Tanaka reportedly hated the film and fired Banno, prohibiting him from making any more Godzilla movies.

This didn’t stop Banno from acquiring the American distribution rights and pitching a 3D Godzilla movie Stateside that, while unmade, evolved into the MonsterVerse.

In a merciful move after such tumultuous history, Toho is celebrating Hedorah’s 50th anniversary as well as the release of the 4K restoration of the original Gojira in concert with Alamo Drafthouse locations throughout the country.

Source: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Toho Co. Ltd.

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Part of Godzilla Fest 2021, which is online this year, Gojira vs. Hedorah debuts on YouTube as of Nov. 3rd at 6:15 PM Japanese local time (or 5:15 AM Eastern).

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