Cue the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Monster

If you are a movie buff and were born after 1967, sorry, but you missed out on a cultural rite of passage enjoyed by cinephiles born before you: Cheesy science fiction movies.

Scroll down to see a scene from one classic:

Our personal favorite was Mothra, a Japanese film made in 1961. In this plot, scientists on an expedition to an island presumed uninhabited because of atomic testing are surprised to discover the existence of a native population. More shocking are the tiny 12″ tall priestesses (twins and fairies) who worship the island’s mythical deity, “Mothra,” and summon the creature by singing “Mothra’s Song.” When the princesses are kidnapped by a businessman intent on exploiting them for profit, Mothra sets out on a journey to rescue them. In the scene below, they call for Mothra as islanders dance behind them:

Mothra, Godzilla, King Kong, Reptilicus, Gamera, the Green Slime, the Blob – we couldn’t get enough of them, and at a time when movie tickets cost under a buck, most kids managed to see them all. When the first Star Wars was released in 1977, those of us who had cut our teeth on crude cinematic special effects were blown away by the advances. It was the difference between a Model T Ford and a 1971 Dodge Demon 340.

We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and though kids didn’t know it at the time, they were watching a Japanese film genre called Tokusatsu (a Japanese term for special effects), and specifically, Kaiju, the basis of science fiction movies that followed. Most of these films featured giant creatures like Godzilla, the 1954 film commonly regarded as the first kaiju film.

Over three decades later, pop culture had not dispensed with giant creatures. Cue the dog.

Dogzilla is a dog monster that appeared in the 1993 children’s book by the same name. Created by Dav Pilkey, Dogzilla was not just a parody of Godzilla with a Cardigan Welsh Corgi as the “monster,” but also an homage to the giant monster movies that Pilkey loved as a kid. It’s said that Pilkey was inspired to write Dogzilla when the son of a friend had let their dog into the house, and the canine proceeded to demolish the kid’s Lego castle. To Pilkey, it looked like the dog had just rampaged through a city. 

Dogzilla was written in a week, and includes photographic collages of Pilkey’s own pets. The plot is simple enough – and accurate to a dog owner:  The tantalizing smell of a town’s first annual Barbecue Cook-Off awakens Dogzilla who emerges from a volcano to terrorize the city by doing normal dog stuff, but with exaggerated effects. We won’t ruin the cute ending.

Amazon describes the book as a “winner” for kids not ready to read chapter books. We think it’s also a great way to introduce the breed to a child.

Image of Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog Riding Narwhal Collage by Elliott, owner of TeaStainedMadness, is available for purchase here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)