Japanese movie studio best known for the Godzilla films. Toho's cash cow (or cash monster, I guess) was created by producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya, and screenwriter Takeo Murata. Impressed with the success of "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms", Tanaka envisioned an even larger monster that would attack Tokyo. Tsuburaya pitched his idea of a giant octopus, but Murata wrote up a giant radioactive dinosaur with fiery breath. They named the creature "Gojira" (it sounds like "Godzilla" to Westerners) after a chubby technician who worked for the studio--the name translates as "Gorilla-Whale".

The finished film (with a million dollar budget, it was ten times more expensive than the average Japanese film) was a huge success and American rights to the film were quickly sold. "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", redubbed and with extra footage of Raymond Burr as a reporter, was as successful in America as it was in Japan, and Toho's future success and its place in film history was assured...

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