Monster Success

Japan's all-time box-office champion is 150 ft. (46 m) tall and has gray skin, opposable thumbs and very bad breath. Since he first lumbered onto the silver screen more than half a century ago, Godzilla has been the star of 27 feature films and countless documentaries, television series, animated cartoons, video games, comic books, T shirts, action figures and lunchboxes. There have been other Japanese movie monsters — lots of them — but only Godzilla has his own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Behind this successful movie monster there is a formidable special-effects...

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