Rodan is a giant mutated pterodactyl that was awakened by the activities of a mining operation in a Japanese mining town. He and a female giant pterodactyl, apparently Rodan's mate, went on a rampage and wrecked havoc over much of Japan. Both of the Rodans were apparently killed when the humans mounted a resistance against them, however, one of the Rodans was only trapped in the lava of an erupting volcano, and managed to eventually get free. Rodan later returned in Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, as Godzilla's enemy at first, but with a little persuasion from Mothra, both Godzilla and Rodan joined forces with each other and Mothra to defeat the mighty King Ghidorah. Rodan returned again in the film, Invasion of Astro-Monster, as Godzilla's ally. This time, however, Rodan was being mind controlled by the evil Xian aliens, so they could destroy the world with the help of Godzilla, King Ghidorah, And Rodan. Humanity resisted, and freed Godzilla and Rodan from their evil alien masters. The two then joined forces once more to defeat the rampaging King Ghidorah.
Rodan appeared again in Destroy All Monsters, where he was under the mind control of the evil alien Killaks. He was later freed from mind control and again helped Godzilla fight King Ghidorah in the final battle. Though all he did against Ghidorah, was blow dust at him, then flew away when Ghidorah shot a gravity bolt at him.
In All Monsters Attack, a.k.a Godzilla's Revenge, Rodan is said to be on Monster Island but does not make an appearance.
Rodan appeared again in the Heisei era, (this time called Radon) and battled Godzilla in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II, defending a nest containing a giant egg, which would later turn out to be Radon's half brother Baby Godzilla. Rodan was badly injured in the battle with the mighty Godzilla, and nearly died on the island he had fought Godzilla on. Soon, however, with a little help from his above average healing abilities, he reappeared as Fire Radon. As Fire Radon, he became much larger and also gained a heat ray similar to Godzilla's.
Rodan also appears in "Godzilla Final Wars". This time he was controlled by the Xilians, and destroys New York City. He is quickly defeated when Godzilla fights him along with Angurius and King Caesar.