Godzilla and King Kong have become cultural icons and cinematic legends remaining popular from their conception over 50 years ago. Today we focus on their size, power, and CGI graphics, but these monstrous icons began as so much more. Both of these grand creatures although separated by time, were influenced by the single factor of fear.
Two adventuring friends named Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack first released the movie King Kong in 1933. In the years prior a new scientific discovery was being made and showcased in the countries major cities. New York in 1905 was home to the first Brontosaurus to ever be mounted. With Darwinism really starting to gain some ground along with the astonishment of the beast came a fear. This fear was that somewhere in a yet undiscovered place on earth lie creatures larger and more powerful than we could ever dream of and perhaps could be powerless to stop. From this Skull Island and the king of the apes known as King Kong was born.
So that is how it all began, but what about the ending? It was becoming a common thought among many influential characters like Teddy Roosevelt that the world was becoming too civilized and destroying our masking our true selves. Also, Cooper and Schoedsack had a friend that captured two Indonesian Komodo Dragons that were now in captivity. Sadly soon after going on display the two creatures died. Cooper and Schoedsack blamed civilization for their deaths and this influenced the ending of the movie. Atop the Empire State Building, which was at the time the symbol of civilization and progress, sat King Kong swaying about trying to defend his mistress and himself from the onslaught of modern day civilization. Cooper and Shoedsack themselves wanted to pilot some of the planes to show that in the end it was civilization that killed the amazing eighth wonder of the world, King Kong.
Godzilla was not to be destroyed by civilization, but created out of its fire. Godzilla was created after World War II from war torn Japan. With two atomic bombs devastating the country there naturally followed enquiries into the dangers of nuclear fall out. Godzilla embodied the fears of both Japans future and past. Japan after WWII had lost faith in its military power and the age-old fears of earthquakes, tsunamis, and tidal waves still existed. The big green monster (who originally was actually grey) was created by nuclear radiation, which gave him his size and powers. Unlike King Kong Godzilla could not be killed by civilization even when they threw every piece of military technology and scientific advancement they had at it. At the end of the first film when the humans believe they have succeeded the shot goes to Godzilla’s still heart, and after a few seconds it begins to pump once again.