Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)

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Godzilla Films
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Godzilla vs. Mothra
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
Toho Company, Limited Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Godzilla vs. Mothra
Godzilla vs. Mothra
Alternate Titles
Flagicon United States.png Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (VHS 1998)
See alternate titles
Directed by Takao Okawara
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Shogo Tomiyama
Written by Kazuki Omori
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor TohoJP
TriStar PicturesUS
Rating Not Rated
Box Office ¥2,220,000,000
Running Time 102 minutesJP
(1 hour, 42 minutes)
100 minutesUS
(1 hour, 40 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Rate this film!
3.50
(44 votes)

Great battle of brilliant colors
Earth S.O.S.! The battle over the future of the human race begins. (極彩色の大決戦
地球SOS!人類の未来をかけた戦いが始まる。)
„ 

— Tagline

Godzilla vs. Mothra (ゴジラVSモスラ,   Gojira tai Mosura?, lit. Godzilla vs. Mothra), is a 1992 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the nineteenth installment in the Godzilla series, as well as the fourth in the Heisei series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 12, 1992.[1]

Plot

In 1993, a huge meteor strikes the Earth near the Ogasawara Trench, awakening Godzilla, who was hibernating there. The impact triggers a series of earthquakes and typhoons across the Pacific Ocean, unearthing a gigantic egg on an Indonesian island. Meanwhile, thief and ex-archaeologist Takuya Fujita explores an ancient temple in Thailand, searching for a valuable artifact. Takuya finds the artifact, but triggers the temple to begin collapsing. Takuya barely escapes with his life, but is immediately apprehended by Thai authorities. Takuya is visited in prison by Japanese government secretary Ruzo Dobashi, Marutomo Company employee Kenji Andoh, and his ex-wife Masako Tezuka. They inform him that the Marutomo Company is developing an island in Indonesia, with the backing of the Japanese government. Recent satellite scans of the island have revealed a bizarre huge object, which Andoh and Masako are being sent to investigate. If Takuya assists them in the expedition, he will be set free from prison. Takuya refuses at first, believing the Japanese consulate will set him free anyway, but quickly changes his mind after learning he may be held in prison for up to 15 years. In Japan, Dobashi informs Environmental Planning Bureau Chief Joji Minamino of the expedition, but Minamino is more concerned about the natural disasters the meteor has been triggering. Minamino and Dobashi meet with Miki Saegusa, who informs them that Godzilla has been roused from his hibernation in the Ogasawara Trench by the meteor, and is at large once again.

After departing from Bangkok via a boat, Takuya, Masako and Andoh arrive at the Indonesian island, known as Infant Island. The three come ashore on the island, which is covered in dense jungles and seemingly uninhabited. As they explore, they come upon a section of the island that has been cleared by the Marutomo Company, leading them to remark that man is destroying what nature has taken thousands of years to build. After further exploring, the three come upon a rickety bridge spanning a river. Takuya insists they can all safely make it across, but as they cross the bridge snaps and leaves the three dangling over the river. At Takuya's insistence, they all jump into the river below one-by-one. Takuya then consults the map of the island, and realizes they will reach their destination faster by traveling upriver. After canoeing up the river for several hours, the three set up camp for the night. As they sit by the fire, Masako gives Takuya a letter written to him by their daughter, Midori. Midori is unaware that Takuya is a thief, as Masako doesn't want her to know. The next morning, Takuya finds a large cave near the camp, and wakes both Masako and Andoh so they can investigate. Inside the cave, they see several ancient paintings, one of which depicts two huge moths locked in battle. As the sun passes overhead, it shines through a hole in the wall and casts light on a path outside the cave. The three follow it, and come upon the colossal object, which they determine is an egg. As they ponder what could have laid such an egg, they hear two voices say the egg belongs to Mothra. Two miniature twin women emerge from behind a flower and introduce themselves as the Cosmos. They explain that 12,000 years ago, Mothra was the guardian of Earth, which was inhabited by an advanced human civilization. When scientists developed a climate-controlling device, this greatly offended the Earth, which created the black Mothra: Battra. Battra not only destroyed the device, but declared war on all of humanity, believing it to be a threat to the Earth. Mothra battled Battra and defeated him, sealing him in the North Sea, then retreated to Infant Island to live with the Cosmos. The Cosmos express their fear that the recent meteor impact may have awakened Battra, who will no doubt resume his campaign against the human race. Andoh contacts his employer, Takeshi Tomokane, and tells him about the egg. Currently experiencing difficulties with his company's developments at Mount Fuji, Tomokane believes the egg will make a fantastic tourist attraction for his company to exploit, so he sends ships to escort the egg back to Japan. The Cosmos allow the egg to be taken to Japan, believing it could be safer in a controlled environment there than exposed on the island.

While the egg is being transported, the larval form of Battra appears off the coast of Japan, rapidly approaching the mainland. The JSDF assaults the beast, but their weapons have no effect, and Battra comes ashore. Battra begins burrowing underground, then comes ashore at Nagoya Castle. Battra begins terrorizing the city of Nagoya, blasting apart buildings with beams fired from his eyes and horn. Once Battra reaches Nagoya Tower, he is confronted by numerous tanks and MBT-92 Maser Cannons. They too fail to wound Battra, who topples the tower and returns to the ocean, heading toward the Philippines. As the Matrutomo convoy passes the coast of the Philippines, the captain detects a large object approaching their ship. The water begins to boil, and a blue beam shoots into the sky. Godzilla surfaces and begins to approach Mothra's egg. Hoping to save the ship, Takuya attempts to detach the raft carrying the egg from the ship, but Andoh attacks him, saying he has to ensure the egg reaches Japan. Takyuya is able to knock Andoh down, then pulls the switch to detach the raft. The egg begins to crack, and Mothra hatches from it. Godzilla fires his atomic breath at Mothra, who jumps into the water and hides behind the raft. Mothra swims behind Godzilla and bites down on his tail, but Godzilla flings her away. As Mothra and Godzilla battle, Battra approaches the area. Battra knocks Mothra out of his way, then attacks Godzilla. The two monsters sink to the ocean floor as they fight, while Mothra swims back to Infant Island. As Godzilla and Battra struggle on the ocean floor, the fault between the Philippine and Eurasian plates splits open, expelling magma into the water. Godzilla and Battra are pulled into the fissure, and immediately vanish from all radar. With Godzilla and Battra presumed dead, Masako and Takuya stay at a hotel in Manila, with the Cosmos staying with them. At the hotel bar, Takuya and Masako reminisce about their honeymoon in Cairo, and remember the feelings they once had for each other. The next morning, they find that the Cosmos have disappeared from their room, having been kidnapped by Andoh and brought to Tomokane in Tokyo. Tomokane congratulates Andoh for his efforts, and declares that the Marutomo Company will use the Cosmos as their next major attraction. The Cosmos sing to Mothra to summon her to their rescue, and she promptly leaves Infant Island and begins swimming to Japan. As Mothra nears Japanese waters, Dobashi and Minamino give the order for the JSDF to try and stop her. The JSDF's weapons fail to halt Mothra's advance, and she nears Tokyo Bay. Masako and Miki Saegusa, accompanied by Midori, try to find the Cosmos in order to prevent Mothra from destroying Tokyo. Using her telepathy, Miki traces the Cosmos to a hotel in central Tokyo, where Takuya has brought them after stealing them from the Marutomo Company, intending to sell them. Masako confronts Takuya, saying she is ashamed of him. Midori implores her father to let the Cosmos go, saying she doesn't want to be a thief's daughter. Takuya lets the Cosmos go, and they stand in a window and communicate with Mothra, telling her they are safe and that she doesn't need to keep tearing apart the city. Mothra acknowledges them and begins crawling away, but the JSDF opens fire on her. This time, Mothra is injured, and begins weakly crawling to the National Diet Building. Mothra begins spraying silk around herself, building a huge cocoon on the Diet Building. As a crowd of spectators looks on, Miki remarks that she can sense Godzilla.

At that moment, Mount Fuji begins erupting violently, and Godzilla emerges from its crater, having swum through miles of molten magma. Godzilla walks down the slopes of the mountain, heading directly for Tokyo. The JSDF deploys a squadron of MBT-92s and new ASTOL-MB93 Maser attack aircraft to engage Godzilla, but he easily destroys them with his atomic breath. Meanwhile, Battra appears in the ocean, and transforms into his imago stage. With both Godzilla and Battra approaching the Tokyo area, Mothra emerges from her cocoon in her imago stage, then flies off to destroy Battra once and for all. Mothra flies over the Cosmo World theme park in Yokohama, and is attacked by Battra near the Yokohama Bay Bridge. Battra blasts Mothra's wings with his prism beams, and she crashes to the ground in the Minato Mirai 21 district. Before Battra can finish Mothra, Godzilla enters the area, intent on finishing his battle with Battra. Godzilla clashes with Battra, who topples the Yokohama Landmark Tower onto Godzilla. As Battra flies overhead, Godzilla breaks free and blasts him with his atomic breath, knocking him to the ground. Mothra sees Battra being beaten, then takes flight and lands near him and begins communicating with him. The two monsters put aside their differences, and decide to fight together against Godzilla. Godzilla roars and begins approaching, and Mothra attacks him. Mothra releases scales from her wings that create a 3-D mirror around Godzilla, deflecting his atomic breath. Mothra releases arc lightning from her wings that shocks Godzilla and begins subduing him. Godzilla retaliates with a nuclear pulse, which breaks the 3-D mirror and sends Mothra crashing into the Cosmo Clock 21. Before the huge Ferris wheel can fall and crush Mothra, Battra grabs it and throws it at Godzilla instead. Mothra and Battra then attack Godzilla at the same time, defeating him after Battra fires his prism beams into Mothra's 3-D mirror, striking Godzilla multiple times. Godzilla falls to the ground, and Mothra and Battra grab him to carry him away from Japan. Godzilla bites into Battra's neck, causing him to bleed profusely. As Mothra and Battra carry Godzilla over the open ocean, Godzilla fires his atomic breath into the wound on Battra's neck, killing him. Mothra is forced to release Godzilla, sending him along with Battra's lifeless body plummeting into the sea below. Mothra then places a seal over the ocean, honoring Battra's sacrifice.

The next day, Mothra sits at Haneda Airport, where the Cosmos thank the humans who helped them and bid them farewell. They explain that Battra was destined to destroy a meteor set to strike and destroy the Earth in 1999, and Mothra agreed to take his place in the event of his death. Mothra will fly into deep space and try to change the meteor's course herself. The Cosmos tell humanity to remember the sacrifice Mothra has made for them, then travel with Mothra into outer space.

Staff

Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra/Credits.

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra/Credits.

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

Gallery

Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Butterfly Dragon Mothra (蝶龍魔斯拉, Dié lóng mósīlā; Taiwan)
  • Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (United States)
  • Godzilla vs. Mothra: Battle for Earth (Australia)
  • Godzilla: Battle of the Saurian Mutants (Godzilla – Kampf der Saurier-Mutanten; Germany)
  • Godzilla: The Mutant Dinosaur (Godzilla: El dinosaurio mutante; Argentina)

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - December 12, 1992[1]   [view poster]Japanese poster
  • France   [view poster]French poster
  • Germany   [view poster]German poster
  • Thailand   [view poster]Thai poster

U.S. Release

American Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth VHS cover

Godzilla vs. Mothra was released directly to VHS in the United States by TriStar Pictures in April of 1998, alongside Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. TriStar released the film under the title Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth in order to avoid confusion with Mothra vs. Godzilla, which was known as Godzilla vs. Mothra in the U.S. at the time. TriStar used Toho's international English dub of the film, but not the international title card, instead using the Japanese title card with "Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth" in parentheses at the bottom of the screen. TriStar later released the film on DVD in November 1998 on the same disc as Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. In 2014, Sony released the film on Blu-ray with its original Japanese audio track in a two-disc set with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.

Box Office

Godzilla vs. Mothra sold 4,200,000 tickets in Japan, the highest tally of the Heisei Godzilla series and best result for a Godzilla film since Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster in 1964. It was the highest-grossing Japanese film of 1993, earning ¥2,220,000,000, or roughly $20,000,000.[2] It is the second-highest grossing Toho Godzilla film in Japan, surpassed only by Shin Godzilla.

Reception

Although viewers appreciate some of the features of the film, such as the ethereal cinematography, the unusual final battle scene set in an amusement park, and the typically beautiful score by Akira Ifukube, some critics charge that the film is burdened by a confluence of over-the-top themes and moments. For example, there is a blatant Indiana Jones influence in a beginning scene, when Takuya escapes from a crumbling ancient temple. Another example is the heavy environmentalist message, with a character musing in almost every scene about the destructiveness caused by human misdeeds. Although there has always been some element of this in Godzilla films, since Godzilla was created by nuclear tests and in ways recalls the devastation caused by atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, critics argue that the topic is handled here too heavy-handedly.

Awards

Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa won Newcomer of the Year awards from the Japan Academy Prize for their portrayal of the Cosmos in the film. Akira Ifukube received a nomination for Best Music, and Takehiro Murata earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as Kenji Andoh in Godzilla vs. Mothra and two other roles in Okoge and Minbô no onna.[3]

Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2nd Tokyo Sports Film Awards[4] Best Actor Godzilla Won
Best Supporting Actor Mothra Won
16th Japan Academy Awards[5] Best Supporting Actor Takehiro Murata Nominated
Best Music Akira Ifukube Nominated
Newcomer of the Year Keiko Imamura & Sayaka Osawa Won

Video Releases

Universe Laser & Video DVD (Year Unknown)

  • Region: 3
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), Cantonese (2.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: Trailer for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
  • Notes: Includes traditional and simplified Chinese subtitles. Out of print.

TriStar DVD (1998)[2]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (2.0 Stereo)
  • Special Features: Trailers for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. Mothra
  • Notes: Cropped to 1.33:1. Packaged with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (same disc). Also included in The Toho Godzilla Collection - Volume 1.

Toho DVD (2002)

  • Region: 2
  • Language: Japanese

Madman DVD (2006)

Toho Blu-ray (2009)

  • Region: A/1
  • Audio: Japanese

Sony Blu-ray (2014)[6]

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Stereo) and English (2.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: 4 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah trailers and 5 Godzilla vs. Mothra trailers
  • Notes: Packaged with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.

Videos

Trailers

Japanese Godzilla vs. Mothra trailer
Japanese "Newsflash/Special Announcement" trailer #1
Japanese "Newsflash/Special Announcement" trailer #2
Japanese "Newsflash/Special Announcement" trailer #3
Japanese "Newflash/Special Announcement" trailer #4
Japanese "Newflash/Special Announcement" trailer #5
Manga Live promo for their Godzilla vs. Mothra VHS
Brazilian Godzilla vs. Mothra trailer

Credits

English export credits

Trivia

  • There were two Godzilla suits used in this film. The first was a new suit called the BatoGoji, and the second suit used for the film was the BioGoji which was used in Godzilla vs. Biollante and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. This suit was actually stolen from Toho Studios and remained missing for several weeks. Ultimately, an old woman discovered the suit near Tokyo Bay in a sorry state. It was returned to Toho and repaired in time to be used in both the underwater fight sequence with the larval Battra, and for Godzilla's rise from the erupting Mount Fuji. This was the suit's last film appearance before a well-earned retirement.
  • Scenes from the 1961 film Mothra are echoed throughout Godzilla vs. Mothra. In both films, Mothra survives a JSDF napalm attack at sea, attacks Tokyo as she attempts to recover her kidnapped priestesses, builds a cocoon on top of a Tokyo landmark, and reunites with the Shobijin at an airport in the final scene. Producer Shogo Tomiyama also attempted to find a part for Frankie Sakai, who played Senichiro Fukuda in Mothra, but the actor's schedule prevented it.[7]

External Links

References

This is a list of references for Godzilla vs. Mothra. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 ゴジラVSモスラ|ゴジラ 東宝公式サイト (official Godzilla.jp page)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stuart Galbraith IV. The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. 2008.
  3. Awards of the Japanese Academy, 1993
  4. (http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/tospo_movie/ 東スポ映画大賞とは?)
  5. (http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/prizes/?t=16 16th Japanese Academy Film Prize)
  6. Amazon.com: Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1992) - Set (Blu-ray)
  7. David Kalat. A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series. McFarland. p. 199. 1997.

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Movie
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Comments

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avatar

KaijuPotato

4 months ago
Score 0
I'm going to be completely honest, this is my least favorite Godzilla film. For starters Godzilla feels like he's barely in the movie first appearing about a third of the way in for a few minutes, and not again until the final fight and that the only reason he's in it is because his name's in the title. Second, and probably the biggest reason why i don't like it, it is way too centered around Mothra! She takes up like 70% of the total kaiju screen time, making Godzilla and Battra fell like side characters and not important or necessary whatsoever. I actually felt like i was watching a Mothra film rather than a GODZILLA film. Also this movie just shoves the environmental stuff down your throat so much. I get know the environment is important and must be protected but this movie talks about it way too much. This film is also one of the biggest reasons why i dislike Mothra, the other reasons are her being in more Godzilla movies than other monsters who deserve to be in Godzilla movies more than her like Ghidorah, Anguirus, Mechagodzilla, and even the more underrated monsters and the number 1 reason why i am no fan of Mothra are the twin Mothra larva that she spawned. those two little turds pretty much turn ruined Mothra vs Godzilla '64 and Tokyo: S.O.S. for me cause of how they just pop up and web up the king of the monsters! So to anyone who sees this, this is my opinion, this is my personal stuff with Mothra. If you are a Mothra fan, well that's cool, i'll respect your opinions as long as you repect mine!
avatar

Deathrock9

4 months ago
Score 1

Finally, somebody who agrees with me that this film isn't that good! I don't agree with your opinions on Mothra though. I think she's a great character. However, I can literally find no enjoyment in this film. Everything is just so boring. Even the battles are boring and most of them involve kaiju using boring beam attacks against each other. Battra may be cool, but he isn't enough to save this film. Also, this film features the worst Mothra of them all.

It's sad that I'd rather watch All Monsters Attack and GODZILLA instead of returning to this film. If I marathon the Heisei era, I usually skip this film or just sit through it and try not to fall asleep.
avatar

KaijuPotato

4 months ago
Score 0
Deathrock9 I've seen this film a few times most recently i showed it to my friend and his dad and they both thought it was awful. Hell i showed the All Monsters Attack and they found that movie more enjoyable due to how stupid Minilla is in it. My friends dad thought that the dialogue was terrible cause it was just a bunch of Marriage crap between the male & female protagonists and that the environmental message was way too preachy. the only parts i liked were when Godzilla & Battra returned. The way Godzilla came back from his lava bath was actually pretty badass with Fuji erupting and there's lava everywhere and the lightning striking was awesome and battra's transformation was pretty epic, but i strongly agree that the final battle was just dull and really boring. And the ending where Mothra & Battra defeat Godzilla really made me mad. Mothra is actually one the somewhat weaker Kaiju in the series yet she hold the most wins over Godzilla which is complete bullshit! And so i'm not a fan of Mothra, so what, i don't have to be a Mothra fan to be a Godzilla fan. After all it HIS franchise, he's the star of HIS movies, not Mothra. I will admit that she did have a pretty badass moment in Final Wars were she knocked over Gigan & Monster X, that was actually kinda awesome and funny. But i honestly don't ever wanna see Mothra in another Godzilla movie ever again but instead other Kaiju that deserve to be in more movies. Hell i would rather have Minilla in another Godzilla movie!
avatar

Toa Hydros

12 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Godzilla vs Mothra

While entertaining in its own way, I tend to label this film as the weakest of the second series.

The overall message of the film is a good one, but given the time this film came out, when moviegoers everywhere were being bombarded by movies with the same pro-environment shtick, and its somewhat clunky execution, it just melts into the crowd in that regard. The concept of an "evil Mothra" had potential too, but, with the exception of his larval form's underwater clash with Godzilla (which is both a cool design and sequence respectively), Battra's screentime doesn't really do anything with it. Maybe if Battra and Mothra had metamorphosed earlier and had more time to shine before their final battle against Godzilla, the film would have at least been stronger from an action standpoint.

In the end, if you're expecting something on par with the original Mothra vs Godzilla, you'll be disappointed. It's not nearly the strongest Godzilla or Mothra movie, but one or two decent action scenes make it worth the occasional viewing.