Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
- Do not confuse with Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), which has been previously released on home video in North America under the English title "Godzilla vs. Mothra."
A richly-colored battle! (極彩色の大決戦！)
Earth S.O.S.! The battle over the future of the human race begins. (地球ＳＯＳ！人類の未来をかけた戦いが始まる。)
— Japanese tagline
— International taglines
Get ready to rumble!
— North American VHS tagline
Godzilla vs. Mothra (ゴジラＶＳモスラ Gojira tai Mosura) is a 1992 tokusatsu kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara and written by Kazuki Omori, with special effects by Koichi Kawakita. Produced by Toho Pictures, it is the 19th installment in the Godzilla series as well as the fourth in the Heisei series. It stars Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Megumi Odaka, Shiori Yonezawa, Akiji Kobayashi, Keiko Imamura, and Sayaka Osawa. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 12, 1992. Columbia TriStar Home Video released an English-dubbed version of the film under the title Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth on VHS in the United States on April 28, 1998.
Following the box office success of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Mothra brings back Toho's most popular kaiju after Godzilla himself: the giant moth goddess Mothra. After a meteorite impacts the Earth, both Godzilla and an ancient evil known as Battra are reawakened. Miniature twin fairies called the Cosmos appear to warn humanity of the danger posed by Battra, and allow the egg of their deity Mothra to be transported to Japan. En route, the transport is attacked by Godzilla, forcing Mothra to hatch and fend for herself. When Battra arrives, it becomes a three-way battle between the monsters, each intent on destroying the others. This culminates in a final showdown in Yokohama between Godzilla and the imago stages of both Mothra and Battra, who find that they must work together in order to overcome their common foe. Godzilla vs. Mothra was followed by Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II in 1993.
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 Fujito 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 Ando, 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 Ando 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 Ando 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 Ando 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. Ando 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 surfaces 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 TV Tower, he is confronted by numerous tanks and MBT-MB92 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 Ando attacks him, saying he has to ensure the egg reaches Japan. Takyuya is able to knock Ando 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 Ando and brought to Tomokane in Tokyo. Tomokane congratulates Ando 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-MB92s 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.
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Takao Okawara
- Written by Kazuki Omori
- Executive producer Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Produced by Shogo Tomiyama
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Theme song "Mothra's Song"
- Cinematography by Masahiro Kishimoto
- Edited by Miho Yoneda
- Production design by Tadashi Sakai
- 1st assistant director Kunio Miyoshi
- Director of special effects Koichi Kawakita
- 1st assistant director of special effects Kenji Suzuki
- Optical supervisors Toshihiro Ogawa, Hiroshi Onoda, Hajime Matsumoto, Tetsuo Ohya
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra/Credits.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Tetsuya Bessho as Takuya Fujito
- Satomi Kobayashi as Masako Tezuka
- Takehiro Murata as Kenji Ando, Marutomo Company President's Secretary
- Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa
- Shiori Yonezawa as Midori Tezuka
- Akiji Kobayashi as Ryuzo Dobashi, Cabinet Security Director
- Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa as Cosmos
- Yoshiko Tanaka as Mayumi Fukazawa
- Makoto Otake as Takeshi Tomokane, President of the Marutomo Company
- Koichi Ueda as Minoru Ōmae, Marutomo Company Managing Director
- Saburo Shinoda as Professor Shigeki Fukazawa, Tohto University Geology Professor
- Akira Takarada as Joji Minamino, Chief of the Environmental Planning Board
- Susumu Kurobe as Fuyuki Takaoka, Air SDF Chief of Staff
- Kenzo Hagiwara as Takeo Shimura, Ground SDF Chief of Staff
- Shin Tatsuma as Daisuke Hirata, Maritime SDF Chief of Staff
- Tetsu Watanabe as Tank Corps Captain
- James Nugent as Dixon, Institute for Cloning Biology representative
- Masahiro Matsudo as Mount Fuji volcano observer
- Jun Ortiz as NASA staff
- Joshua Lieberman as NASA staff
- Colby Diddle as NASA staff
- Jamie Cotton as NASA staff
- Robert Sercher as NASA staff
- Shinya Oowada as Captain
- Toshiyuki Honda as Japan Ground Self Defense Force Senior Tank Officer (uncredited)
- Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla
- "Hurricane" Ryu Hariken as Battra (larva)
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Jack Murphy as Takuya Fujito
- Sue Brooks as Masako Tezuka
- Simon Broad as Kenji Ando / Minoru Omae
- Sarah Hauser as Cosmos
- Warwick Evans as Professor Shigeki Fukazawa
- Pierre Tremblay as Jyoji Minamino
- Rik Thomas as Takeshi Tomokane / Captain
Weapons, vehicles, and races
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra/Gallery.
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mothra/Soundtrack.
- Butterfly Dragon Mothra (蝶龍魔斯拉, Dié lóng mósīlā; Taiwan)
- Godzilla's Dragon War of the Four Seas (哥斯拉之龍戰四海, Go1si1laai1 zi1 lung4zin3 sei3hoi2; Hong Kong)
- Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (United States)
- Godzilla vs. Mothra: Battle for Earth (Australia)
- Godzilla vs. Super Mothra (India)
- Godzilla: Battle of the Saurian Mutants (Godzilla – Kampf der Saurier-Mutanten; Germany)
- Godzilla: The Mutant Dinosaur (Godzilla: El dinosaurio mutante; Argentina)
- Godzilla and Mothra (Godzilla e Mothra; Portugal)
- Godzilla Versus Mothra (Brazil)
- Godzilla - The Battle of the Century (Godzilla - A Batalha do Século; Brazilian video title)
- Godzilla Against Mothra (Godzilla contra Mothra; Spain; Godzilla contro Mothra; Italy; Godzilla kontra Mothra; Poland)
- Godzilla Meets Mothra (Godzilla möter Mothra; Sweden)
- Return of the Dinosaur (Возвращение динозавра; Russia)
View all posters for the film here.
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. Despite being given a new title for its North American home video releases, the film typically appeared under its international title in television listings and streaming services, and was even referred to by this title on Sony's official website. This resulted in some confusion, with cover art created by Peter Bollinger for Simitar Entertainment's 1998 VHS and DVD releases of Mothra vs. Godzilla being erroneously used to represent Godzilla vs. Mothra on streaming services and websites.
In 2013, SciFi Japan co-founder Keith Aiken disclosed that Sony's rights to Godzilla vs. Mothra would be up for renewal in 2019. Sony evidently let their home video rights to the film lapse, and it is no longer available for digital rental or purchase on any platform. However, it became available on the streaming service Pluto TV through Sony Pictures Television in 2023.
United Kingdom release
Manga Entertainment released a letterboxed presentation of Godzilla vs. Mothra on VHS in July, 1995 under their Manga Live sublabel, using Toho's existing export dub and visuals, though as with their previous release of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, the opening Toho logo and production credit were again excised. The company reissued the film along with its predecessor with different packaging in 1998 to capitalize on TriStar Pictures' release of GODZILLA.
Godzilla vs. Mothra sold 4.2 million 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 ¥2.22 billion. It is the second-highest grossing Toho Godzilla film in Japan, surpassed only by Shin Godzilla.
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.
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 Ando in Godzilla vs. Mothra and two other roles in Okoge and Minbô no onna.
|38th Asia Pacific Film Festival||Best Special Effects||Koichi Kawakita||Won|
|2nd Tokyo Sports Film Awards||Best Actor||Godzilla||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Mothra||Won|
|16th Japan Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Takehiro Murata||Nominated|
|Best Music||Akira Ifukube||Nominated|
|Newcomer of the Year||Keiko Imamura & Sayaka Osawa||Won|
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)
- 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. Out of print.
Toho DVD (2002)
- Region: 2
- Language: Japanese
Madman DVD (2006)
- Region: 4
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Stereo, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono)
- Special features: Three teaser trailers for Godzilla vs. Mothra; trailers for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and Invasion of Astro-Monster; photo galleries
Toho Blu-ray (2009)
- Region: A/1
- Audio: Japanese
- 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. Some of the subtitles correspond to the script of the English dub. Out of print.
- After seeing a teaser for this film at the end of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Shusuke Kaneko sent producer Shogo Tomiyama a New Years card in which he asked to direct it. Tomiyama informed him that Takao Okawara had already been named as the director, but Kaneko's interest in directing a kaiju film led Daiei to approach him about rebooting Gamera, leading to the Heisei Gamera trilogy (1995-1999). He finally got his wish to direct a Godzilla film with Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001).
- 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.
- This film marks the first appearance of two Maser Cannon variants, the aerial ASTOL-MB93 and the double-barreled MBAW-93. The ASTOL-MB93 has yet to appear in another film, while the MBAW-93 returned for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, the first episode of The Gransazers, and the short film Dream Challenge: Godzilla Appears in Sukagawa.
- A building bearing Marutomo's logo briefly appears in the third episode of Godzilla Singular Point, "Tigerish".
- The scene where the Cosmos show Takuya, Masako, and Ando a cave painting of Mothra fighting Battra and explain their history is echoed in Godzilla Final Wars, with Gigan replacing Battra.
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