Also never thought I'd say this but Godzilla and Smog Monster and Godzilla's Revenge are better than these three film combined because though they suck they still have some sense of knowing what they are and what the franchise is where as this series is just lost like driftwood in the middle of a black ocean.
I see where everyone is coming from when they diss on Godzilla's Revenge, and I agree to a certain extent, but I'm going to critically defend and even celebrate Godzilla's Revenge anyway just to rub in how much better it genuinely is than this animated trilogy, watch me.
Godzilla's Revenge was originally known in Japan under the title "Gojira-Minira-Gabara: Ōru Kaijū Daishingeki," or, "Godzilla, Minilla, and Gabara: All Monsters Attack." It was directed by the extraordinary director Ishiro Honda, who was affectionally known in Japan as the "King of Wood Grain" given then lived-in aspects of many of the traditional Japanese houses that were feature in many of his films. Honda directed many different kinds of movies in Japan, Godzilla being no exception. In fact, in my humble opinion, Honda held the title as the best director to work on Godzilla until Hideaki Anno was able to make a Godzilla movie that lived up to the feats of Honda with his 2016 film Shin Godzilla. Now, Shin Godzilla has many of its quirky features and traits about it that distinguish it from other titles in the Godzilla franchise. It's not just about a giant monster wreaking havoc in Japan, it's actually about how the Japanese government generally tends to respond to natural disasters.
Likewise, Honda, being the one of the best Godzilla directors in town, makes Godzilla movies that aren't simply about monsters either. Every Godzilla movie he has directed has either centered around or has featured one very important aspect to arguably all of Honda's prevailing works: The importance of the family structure and how it changes throughout Japanese culture. Don't take my word for it, go back and look at every single Godzilla movie directed by Honda, and you'll see family units of some kind play a very important aspect in his Godzilla filmography. In the original 1954 film, it was about the traditional family traditions of Japan (that of arranged marriages that Dr. Yamane holds to) slowly breaking down in light of the more new, more Western ideas of family and marriage (such as Ogata's courting Emiko without the permission or knowledge of Dr. Yamane.) In the first two Godzilla movies that feature King Ghidorah, Honda implements two differing sibling relationships in each film, almost comparing a more care-free and whimsical sibling relationship in Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster, with the other relationship in Invasion of Astro Monster, in which the brother is why to over-bearing and protective over his completely matured sister. I could go on and on, listing even more examples, but I'm not here to defend these Godzilla movies. Both Godzilla fans and even those outside of the Godzilla fandom have seen these movies and have recognized them for the pieces of entertainment that they are. But I do need to refer to these films in order to establish Honda's narrative patters before going on into his magnum opus of family narratives in his Godzilla films: Godzilla's Revenge.
Throughout Honda's Godzilla career, we see Honda's commentary on the family structure take on a more and more concerned tone as the films progressed. Families didn't start in a completely healthy state at the start of the film, as I already demonstrated in Honda's film The Invasion of Astro Monster. In Godzilla's Revenge, Honda takes on the most concerned he's been over a family structure than he's even been in any of his other Kaiju works. In it, Honda tells the story of a young boy named Ichiro Miki (skillfully performed by child-actor Tomonori Yazaki, seriously this kid is an amazing actor as he accurately captures the every-day life of a kid with a pure professionalism to his craft). Ichiro's family is strained and spread very thin in this film. His father (played by Kenji Sahara) is never depicted at home in the first half of the movie, instead being shown operating a freight train in a very urban (and polluted) city of Kawasaki, a rough part of town where housing doesn't seem to be all that expensive. And yet, despite Ichiro's father's job, a second income still needs to be provided by Ichiro's mother (played by Machiko Naka), who works as a host of a vaguely-defined establishment. (I'm thinking he's a waitress of some kind, but the film itself isn't interested in her job. It's only interested in the fact that she's not at home most of the time either.) Despite the double-incomes of both parents, they can't live in any other places other than the rough part of town (as demonstrated by the bullies and robbers constantly running amok in the city). As a result, Ichiro spends most of his day with a family friend who is also a toy-maker (played by character actor Hideyo Amamoto). The city in which they live tears the family apart itself when the robbers kidnap Ichiro, making the parents worried sick over his whereabouts. When the boy escapes from the robbers, Ichiro's mother embraces him and promises to take more time off from work in order to spend more time with him. (Keep in mind that this wouldn't help the living situation of these character at all.) This film shows the effect the Japanese failing economy was having on its inhabitants at the time, and how the family was suffering as a result. Despite the parents' best efforts to keep their head above water, they cannot progress into a city more safe for the family, and struggle to even keep their only child safe from the dangers in which they live. It's a strong massage to the children for which this film was produced to speak up more about spending time with their moms and/or dads.
And children was the main demographic for this particular Godzilla movie. Godzilla's Revenge was originally produced for a children's monster film festival, and considering that, an astonishing amount of time and effort went into this film's production. This could have simply been only a clip show of different monster fights featuring Godzilla. But, instead, Honda went the extra mile, shooting new scenes and recontextualizing everything to fit his specific goal and to proclaim his own unique message about family. The most impressive part is that he did all of this without once reusing Godzilla footage from a film that he directed himself. He was able to give new context to Godzilla scenes that he didn't even have creative control over to begin with, using scenes from Godzilla movies that other filmmakers had directed. And the fact that we here in the United States have aches to a film that was only meant for a one-time screener at a film festival for children makes this an even more special Godzilla movie. The fact that we can see even the quirky festival specials that Toho made means a lot to me personally, and should mean a lot more to the film community as a whole than they currently realize. Only a truly great director can take material by other people and put his own unique and personal touch on it in such a way that the film becomes far more important and outlives whatever festival it was intended to die with. While Godzilla's Revenge isn't anywhere near Ishiro Hona's best work, it is the greatest testament to his abilities as a director of film and his control over the medium as a whole.
Now tell me what in the actual fuck the animated Godzilla trilogy is about. What are its underlying themes, and how does the director seed those themes seamlessly into his work? I can't answer that because there's nothing to those movies, really. And, honestly, I've gotten myself all too emotionally worked up writing in earnest about the inherent greatness of one of the poorer Godzilla movies ever made to really say anything nice or healthy about the animated trilogy, so I'll just stop typing now.