Girish Mahajan (Editor)


Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
First appearance
Rodan (1956)

Fictional universe

Created by
Ken Kuronuma


Portrayed by
Shōwa series Haruo Nakajima Kōji Uruki Masaki Shinohara Teruo Aragaki Millennium series Naoko Kamio

Radon Monster Zero-Two Fire Rodan

Last appearance
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

King Ghidorah, Mothra, Anguirus, Mechagodzilla, Gigan

Rodan sora no daikaij radon 1956 trailer 8 mm

Rodan (Japanese: ラドン, Hepburn: Radon) is a daikaiju monster which first appeared as the title character in Toho's 1956 film Rodan. Though the character started off in its own stand-alone film, Rodan was later featured in the Godzilla franchise. IGN listed Rodan as #6 on their "Top 10 Japanese Movie Monsters" list, while Complex listed the character as #15 on its "The 15 Most Badass Kaiju Monsters of All Time" list.



The Japanese name Radon is a contraction of "pteranodon".

It was changed to Rodan for English-speaking markets in order to avoid confusion with the element radon. However, in Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, the English version of the film used the original name Radon.


As with Godzilla, writer Ken Kuronuma turned to prehistoric animals for inspiration in developing the character, though unlike the former, whose species is largely left ambiguous, Rodan is explicitly stated to be a kind of Pteranodon. Just as Godzilla was conceived as a symbol of an American nuclear threat, Rodan was seen as an embodiment of the same danger originating from the Soviet Union.

Rodan's debut appearance was the first and only time the character was given a chestnut color, and its face was given a menacing face with a jagged fanged beak, which would disappear in later incarnations as the character became more heroic. Rodan was portrayed via a combination of suitmation and wire-operated puppets for flight sequences. During suitmation sequences, Rodan was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima, who almost drowned when the wires holding the 150 lb suit above a water tank snapped. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, the Rodan suit was of visibly lesser quality than the previous one, having a more comical face, a thick neck which barely concealed the shape of the performer's head within, and triangular wings. The modification of the character's face was deliberate, as Rodan was meant to be a slapstick character rather than the tragic villain seen in its film debut. A new suit was constructed for Godzilla vs. Monster Zero which more closely resembled the first, having more rounded wings and a sleeker face. The sleek face was retained in Destroy All Monsters, though the wings and chest area were crudely designed.

Rodan was revived in 1993's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, this time portrayed entirely via a wire-manipulated marionette and hand puppets. Having received criticism for his emphasis on battle sequences relying heavily on beam weapons, special effects artist Koichi Kawakita sought to make the confrontation between Godzilla and Rodan as physical as possible.


In 2014, Legendary Pictures announced that they have acquired the rights to King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan from Toho to use in their MonsterVerse.


The character's shriek was created by sound technician Ichiro Minawa, who sought to replicate the "contrabass technique" composer Akira Ifukube used for Godzilla, though layering it with a sped up human voice. The sound would be remixed and reused for several other Toho monsters, including the second incarnation of King Ghidorah and Battra.


  • Rodan (1956)
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
  • Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
  • Destroy All Monsters (1968)
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972, stock footage cameo)
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973, stock footage cameo)
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975, stock footage cameo)
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
  • Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
  • Kong: Skull Island (2017) (Cameo)
  • Television

  • Godzilla Island (1997-1998)
  • Video games

  • Godzilla / Godzilla-Kun: Kaijuu Daikessen (Game Boy - 1990)
  • Circus Caper (NES - 1990)
  • Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters (NES - 1991)
  • Battle Soccer: Field no Hasha (SNES - 1992)
  • Kaijū-ō Godzilla / King of the Monsters, Godzilla (Game Boy - 1993)
  • Godzilla: Battle Legends (Turbo Duo - 1993)
  • Godzilla Giant Monster March (Game Gear - 1995)
  • Godzilla Trading Battle (PlayStation - 1998)
  • Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (GCN, Xbox - 2002/2003)
  • Godzilla: Domination! (GBA - 2002)
  • Godzilla: Save the Earth (Xbox, PS2 - 2004)
  • Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii - 2007)
  • Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash (NDS - 2007)
  • Godzilla: Unleashed (PS2 - 2007)
  • Godzilla: Dakaiju Battle Royale (Online game - 2012)
  • Godzilla: The Game (PS3/PS4 - 2015)
  • Literature

  • A version of Rodan appears in the 1986 novel It by Stephen King, in which the eponymous creature takes the form of the bird-like kaiju.
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
  • Godzilla King of the Monsters (1994)
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan and the Smog Monster (1996)
  • Godzilla on Monster Island (1996)
  • Godzilla Saves America: A Monster Showdown in 3-D! (1996)
  • Godzilla 2000 (1997)
  • Godzilla at World's End (1998)
  • Godzilla vs. the Robot Monsters (1998)
  • Godzilla: Journey to Monster Island (1998)
  • Godzilla vs. the Space Monster (1998)
  • Godzilla Likes to Roar! (1998)
  • Who's Afraid of Godzilla? (1998)
  • Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters (2011)
  • Godzilla: Gangsters & Goliaths (2011)
  • Godzilla: Legends (2011)
  • Godzilla: Half-Century War (2012)
  • Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (2013)
  • Godzilla: History's Greatest Monster (2014)
  • References

    Rodan Wikipedia

    Similar Topics