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Copyright 1964 Toho
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 24 February 2001

The Characters:  

  • Mothra - Lepidoptera gigantis! Ancient god of some backwater island in the Pacific, it apparently uses stealth technology as well. Dies of old age after tusseling with Godzilla.
  • Mothra's Larvae - The world's largest and most aggressive silkworms.
  • Godzilla - A walking natural disaster that is distantly related to the lungfish.
  • The Twin Fairies - Tiny (about eight inches tall) representatives of Mothra, they spend their days singing to the moth, ahhh... ...what a life.
  • Sakai - Bossy reporter who becomes a complete bootlicker when he finds out you can control a giant moth.
  • Yoka - She is the photographer assigned to work with Sakai, poor girl.
  • Professor Miura - Japan's leading expert on giant eggs.
  • Jiro - Newspaper reporter with a serious appetite for eggs, presumed dead from a cholesterol-related disease.
  • Kumayama - Corrupt entrepeneur with an eye on entering the fairy slave trade, shot to death by his mentor.
  • Torahata - The true brains and venture capitol behind Kumayama. Crushed under several tons of falling debris.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Mighty Godzilla has spent part of his career as a simple force of nature, evil only in the sense that an earthquake is evil for killing people. Of course, you don't attack a shifting of seismic plates with tanks and bombers. (And it certainly doesn't respond to said attack with nuclear breath.) It is still a good analogy though, since he wanderers along stepping on whatever he wants. Anyway, this is one of those movies.

Speaking of natural disasters, after a typhoon causes widespread destruction along Japan's coast one village finds a huge Easter Egg floating near shore. They bring the enormous thing ashore, somehow dragging or rolling it onto the beach so that Professor Miura can inspect the thing. During the tests he is hounded by Sakai, who evidently doesn't think having only your photographer despise you is enough. Just so we know how much of an idiot the reporter is, he asks if the subject of study might explode. Where in the world did that question come from? That is an egg and they are not prone to spontaneously detonating you goon. Well, unless McGuyver has created a rudimentary bomb using the yolk, batteries, and a coat hanger. You still get my point.

The villagers are easily won over by Kumayama's generous offer to buy the egg and who can blame them? Ever run across a rotten egg? Imagine one eighty feet long ripening in the sun, it's not a happy thought. We later learn the contract had some fine print of importance, but that is never pursued to its fruition. Events focus on the company's construction of a huge greenhouse around the egg, with the intent of hatching whatever waits inside and charging admission. I would be extremely leery of the "whatever" that is going to hatch from an egg that freaking large myself, but then I am not a businessman and definitely not Japanese.

Government has some prerogatives in regards to business, even though the current environment often supports a hands off approach. One of these prerogatives is protecting the public and the man be damned who says a thing (whose last name might be "Inc.") has more rights than a human being. Apparently there are a number of people destined for warmer climes in Japan's Parlorment, because Kumayama and Torahata are allowed to run wild. Even after the Twin Fairies appear the status quo does not change.

Ah, the Shobijin; those two little women are awesomely entertaining! Despite the fact that both are constantly whining about wanting the egg back, their charm lies in that very attribute. "Please return the egg!" gives me chuckles every time, plus they warn a huge larva will hatch and might cause grief during its beeline return to the island. We're with you sisters, we knew that an immense egg means a comparable offspring. Like ten million cute little chicks were going to spill out at hatching...

The newspaper reporters assist with the cause, but the good guys are unable to convince the greedy businessmen to return the egg. Returning to their island via air Mothra, the little women are appreciative of Sakai and Yoka's help. Good thing, because right about now Godzilla wakes up from his slumber underground and starts shuffling across Japan. Along with dragging his feet the Terror of Tokyo has grown flews which flop around when he moves quickly. Could be worse, he could drool too. Being struck by a huge dongle of radioactive reptile saliva would suck now wouldn't it?

Military efforts to stop the towering monster are largely ineffective, forcing the humble reporters to ask Mothra's publicity agents for help. Of course the Fairies and islanders refuse at first, but then Yoka launches into a long winded speech about philanthropy which convinces the natives. "Sure, borrow our moth god, just please shut up."

Just as well though, since there are precious few IHOPs around built to scale for Godzilla and he starts licking those chops when he sees the egg. Ireland is spared a famine (to provide the hash browns that go with the omelette - do I have to spell everything out?) when Mothra arrives with the demeanor of a Mockingbird defending its nest. Does a pretty good number on Godzilla too, coating him with poisonous powder and dragging the reluctant reptile away from the egg. Must have been several miles away, when the fight is over Godzilla forgets breakfast and recommences with shuffling across Japan.

She did good, but I'd hardly call pitting a moth against something that breaths nuclear fission a fair fight. Have you ever seen what happens to the fliers when they get inside of a jack-o-lantern? They go poof! Such is Mothra's fate once Godzilla scores a solid hit, she glides to a crash landing with one wing protectively hung over her egg. Do not believe the Fairies by the way, playing the sudden change off as the god's natural end. Right after being blasted with atomic death, isn't that a nice coincidence?

His opponent dead, Godzilla wanders off to menace a school's impromptu class in rock climbing as the egg hatches. Not one, but two huge catepillars are born and they set out to spin their mother's killer some new duds. The thrown together happy ending materializes, though I still am wondering how the tiny women caught up to the larva for their ride home.

Fans often heap praise on this incarnation of the King of Monsters and it does look neat, plus he uses that tremendous tail when flattening structures. With some beautiful bombardment scenes and fighting monsters the movie is lots of fun to watch. The major downer: as mentioned, Godzilla's face had too much wiggle for my tastes, making him look like a scaly version of Hooch at times.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Greedy businessmen keep all their money in metal lockers inside their penthouses.
  • Even primitive natives have to be concerned about beach erosion.
  • Monsters rarely have powers of attorney.
  • Geysers are caused by flatulent subterranean monsters.
  • Reporters are more effective at defending the Japanese homeland than the military.
  • Japan was responsible for post World War II nuclear tests.
  • Moths are capable of hovering in flight, even at a forty-five degree angle.
  • Schools should cancel class field trips when Godzilla is on a rampage.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - I wonder how many Paas kits that took...
  • 31 mins - Godzilla must have been encased in a thick shell of mucus he extruded while waiting for the dry season.
  • 36 mins - For some reason the U.S. military officer's english is much worse than all the Japanese character's.
  • 41 mins - How far out did that plane land? Geez.
  • 58 mins - An omelette fit for Godzilla!
  • 59 mins - The Fairies are there? Did they parachute down from Mothra as she flew over or something?
  • 67 mins - Just what do you two idiots hope to accomplish with those rifles?
  • 84 mins - Hehehehe! I didn't realize rocks melted like that!


  • Sakai: "This monster egg - is there a chance it will explode do you think?"
  • Twin Fairies: "Things would have been different if you had returned our egg!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note gvsmothra1.wav Twin Fairies: "Return the egg; please return the egg!"
Green Music Note gvsmothra2.wav Miura: "Will you help us? You must ask Mothra to fight Godzilla."
Green Music Note gvsmothra3.wav Mothra's cry.
Green Music Note gvsmothra4.wav Twin Fairies: "It has spent all its strength. Mothra, the mighty thing, is going to die!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgvsmothra1.mpg - 2.2m
Mothra is using some sort of kaijuicide on Godzilla here, luckily with no ill effects on the nearby humans (must be upwind).

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