Cross-Cultural Efforts and ‘Not Getting It’

Few discussions of business start with the words "So, I was watching Godzilla: Final Wars" but this is going to be one of them.

So, I was watching "Godzilla: Final Wars", which was a giant festival of Kaiju-on-film (plus a lot else) done before the Godzilla movies took a hiatus.  In it, among many, many other famous monsters, was a parody of the American Godzilla.  Let us say this "Zilla" was not well treated in the movie, and it made me think about how the American Godzilla film frankly didn't get what Godzilla is about – and what that means for adaption of foreign material and ideas.

The American Godzilla treated the monster as having no personality – it was essentially a natural disaster.  The Godzilla films (and most Kaiju films, really) have creatures with personality.  Yes they're highly destructive, but they're highly destructive characters. The American film didn't get that.

Adapting foreign films, shows, and ideas to American media – or indeed adapting media from one culture to another – has one large risk well-illustrated by this film.

The risk of Not Getting It.

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