The Kraken Monster Family Tree: A Movieline Geneology

This week's new Clash of the Titans trailer sparked intense interest in some of the creatures and critters revealed ahead of the film's March release date. But while Liam Neeson's malformed beaver-beard struck fear into the fragile hearts of young viewers everywhere with its order, "Release the Kraken!", a more seasoned, observant reader noted to Movieline the uncanny resemblance between the massive Kraken and its slobbering, befanged progenitor of 27 years ago, Return of the Jedi's Rancor Monster. An investigation was launched, and soon, our Dept. of Monster Geneology had traced a few of the other offshoots in this handsome family line. Do you see the resemblance?

In fairness to the folks in charge of creature design for COTT, there are only so many ways to really design a modern sci-fi/fantasy film's requisite Huge Greenish-Brown Beast With Freaky Screeching Maw. You can do it like Lucas and Co. did back in 1983, all lumbering, hungry and fearsome. Or semi-jokey and revisionist, like Roland Emmerich did in his ghastly 1998 remake of Godzilla. Or you can make him more humanoid, similar to the Cave Troll in The Lord of the Rings. Or there's always the long, distended jaw of cataclysm we witnessed in Cloverfield.

Or you can roll them all up into one as director Louis Leterrier did for Titans, revealing a legendary, tentacled sea monster known far and wide for its ability to devour metal-riff trailer soundtracks in seconds flat. Be afraid, be impressed... just be informed.

· Clash of the Titans Trailer [Apple]