Mothra (1961)

Updated: Jun 11, 2019



Mothra is the first movie to present the idea of monsters being their own individual, identifiable characters rather than a menace who are meant to be defeated. This idea will be reused in the future Godzilla films to represent the monsters being misunderstood.


When the movie was released, the fictional country, Rolisica, was thought to represent America. Years later, it was revealed that Rolisica is based on both America and the Soviet Union. Even the country's flag is a hybrid of the "Stars and Stripes" and "Hammer and Sickle."


Mothra has been in 4 solo films (Mothra and Rebirth Of Mothra I, II, and III) and 9 Godzilla films (Mothra vs Godzilla, Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth, GMK: Giant Monsters All Out Attack, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., Godzilla: Final Wars, and in the upcoming movie, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters)


Review:


Mothra, the goddess of Infant Island, causes havoc on Japan after her two, inch-tall worshippers were kidnapped.


Mothra is another classic monster movie in TOHO's roster of monsters that presents a new way of looking at monsters. Mothra is presented like a character that people can relate with rather than an obstacle. It starts this trend in the later Godzilla movies that not all monsters represent a tragedy. Even though Mothra is seen attacking cities, she has always been a benevolent monster. She doesn't attack because she wants to, but the movie gives her a motivation and her motivation is that she is looking for these tiny twin fairies that worship her and bring them back home. Like the synopsis says, there were these twin fairies that live on this island and there were these guys that kidnapped them from their home and were exploiting them. So these fairies cry for their goddess to save them. The fairies even try warning everybody that Mothra is coming and that she will cause a lot of damage even if she doesn't mean to cause harm.


The story is only okay. It presents itself as sort of light hearted, but it has some dark themes about greed and the exploitation of women. The fairies did not want any harm to come over anybody and manage to convince a few people that their situation will only escalate if they are not brought to Mothra. The movie ends on a happy note that the fairies got to go home with Mothra and it was at the cost of two cities being destroyed. The human antagonist, Nelson, was too greedy and arrogant for his own good to see that his problems would have been resolved sooner if only he gave them up. Nelson would rather let the city that was making him money be destroyed than to let the fairies go and he became the true monster of the movie.


As usual, the practical effects are really well made. TOHO has always been the master at practical effects. Like Rodan, the movie looks outdated and grainy. However, it doesn't look as spotty as Rodan did. I'm not sure if the blu-ray version is any better since I don't have it, but if anybody does have it let me know. I really want to know if the blu-ray version improved or enhanced anything.


Final Thoughts:


Mothra is a classic movie with an okay story. It is the first movie to present a trend for the future monster movies that monsters are not always tragic and that they can be misunderstood. Even though Gojira and Rodan already sort of presents them in that light Mothra shines a brighter light that got people looking at monsters differently.


What are your thoughts on Mothra? Did you get the steelbook blu-ray version? If so, is the quality better? Leave a comment in the comment section and make sure to follow me on my Facebook and Twitter pages to stay up to date on more news, reviews, and discussions.


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