Godzilla vs. Mothra (ゴジラVSモスラ?, lit. Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth), is a Gojira buiesu Mosura1992 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., 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.
In 1993, one year after the Futurians attacked Japan with King Ghidorah and the attempt to remove Godzilla from history resulted in the Monster King growing larger and more powerful, a large meteorite crashes to Earth and lands in the Ogasawara Trench, causing massive environmental destruction around the world. In addition, Godzilla, who had been hibernating at the bottom of the Trench, awakens once again. Meanwhile, in Thailand, fortune-hunter/thief Takuya Fujita robs a temple and barely escapes with his life. However, as he crawls out of the temple, he is greeted by armed policemen, who promptly arrest him. Soon after, Secretary Ruzo Dobashi and Takuya's ex-wife Masako Fujita arrive from Japan and visit the thief in jail. They reveal that they are studying the effects of the meteorite's impact on the environment, and they have discovered something strange: a large object has been uncovered on the remote Infant Island in Indonesia. The development company Marutomo is planning to develop the island, but the giant mystery object is standing in their way. Marutomo has the backing of the Japanese government, and the Environmental Planning Bureau is sending a team to the island to investigate. Dobashi and Masako offer to get Takuya out of Thailand and suspend his 15 year prison sentence if he will lead the expedition and give the salary he receives to his daughter Midori as child support. With the threat of nearly two decades in prison, Takuya accepts.
Back in Japan, Environmental Planning Bureau Chief Joji Minamino has begun to worry about the state of the world. He and his team have connected many of the environmental disturbances caused by the meteorite to human activity on Earth. He claims that, although the meteorite started the chain reaction of destruction, mankind had, as it were, set up the dominoes. When psychic Miki Saegusa announces that she has discovered that Godzilla has also awoken, Minamino begins to fear the worst.
In Indonesia, the small yacht carrying the Infant Island expeditionary team, including Takuya, Masako, and Marutomo representative Kenji Andoh, sails towards its destination. They finally arrive on the island, and discover the appalling destruction caused by Marutomo's deforestation. As they pass, they wonder if such a thing will ever happen to Japan. As they trek across the tropical island, they soon discover a rope bridge, which must be crossed to continue on. Unfortunately, the bridge breaks as they cross, and the trio falls into the river below. They soon recover, but become all but lost in the center of the island. As night falls, they set up camp near a waterfall. As Andoh sleeps, Masako shows her ex-husband pictures of their daughter Midori, who believes that her father is a crime-fighter and capturing "bad guys". Masako could not bear to tell her child that her daddy is a "bad guy" himself. The next morning, Takuya wakes the others with the news that he has discovered a cave hidden behind the waterfall. As the trio enter the cave, they find a mural on the wall depicting a cross-like object. Takuya estimates the cave painting to be several thousand years old. On the opposite wall, they discover another mural, this one depicting what appear to be two giant, flying insects fighting each other. They then venture deeper into the cave, and finally emerge back into the jungle. When they reach the edge of the trees, they are greeted by a remarkable sight: a gigantic, blue and yellow egg is resting on a hillside. This, they realize, is the giant object they were sent to investigate. As the team wonders aloud what kind of egg it is, two voices, speaking in unison, respond. The culprits: two tiny women who introduce themselves to the trio as the "Cosmos". They explain that the egg belongs to Mothra, a gigantic monster that had lived thousands of years ago. They tell the team that over 12,000 years earlier, an advanced civilization had existed on Earth. This ancient society was completely peaceful, living without war or unrest, and the people worshiped Mothra as their guardian. However, the scientists of the ancient civilization invented a machine designed to control the climate of the Earth. Apparently offended by this, the planet's life force literally manifested its self as a monster, a giant insect that resembled Mothra herself. This monster, known as the "Black Mothra" to the people, was called Battra, and ruthlessly attacked the civilization. Thankfully, Mothra rose to defend humanity, and she and Battra engaged in an epic battle (and it is this conflict that was documented in the cave mural). Eventually, Mothra succeeded in defeating Battra, and the monster was laid to rest in Siberia. However, Battra had not been entirely unsuccessful in its mission, and the ancient civilization was left completely destroyed. Even worse, when the climate control device was destroyed in the conflict, the Earth had flooded, and much of the land was left underwater. Mothra escaped to the high ground and eventually settled on Infant Island. Now, 12,000 years later, Mothra's egg had been revealed. The Cosmos explain that human activity on the island had weakened the land, making it easy for the meteorite's impact to expose it. This, the tiny women explain, has put the egg in terrible danger, as they now fear that Battra himself may have awoken as well. As sworn enemies, Battra will surely head towards the egg with revenge in its twisted mind.
Far away, in Siberia, the Cosmos' fears begin to manifest into reality as the ice breaks, and a gigantic creature emerges, heading south quickly. In Japan, the JSDF (Japanese Self Defense Force) spot the creature as it grows closer to Japan. When Chief Minamino reads the report sent from Masako on Infant Island, he identifies the monster as Battra. Now on top of widespread environmental destruction, including rising sea levels, typhoons, and earthquakes, there is now a giant monster to contend with. Minamino now fears that doomsday may be near at hand.
Back on Infant Island, Andoh has hatched a plan to protect the egg. He has contacted his boss, Marutomo's powerful CEO Takeshi Tomokane, who has ordered that the egg be hauled back to Japan to be used as a tourist attraction. Andoh appeals to his team members and the Cosmos, insisting that moving the egg to Japan is a move to protect it. He claims that Japan will be a better environment to raise the egg in. The Cosmos agree, and also volunteer to travel to Japan as well. With that, a larger ship soon arrives off the coast of the island, and the egg is soon loaded onto a barge to be shipped back to Japan. However, near the coast of Japan, the JSDF has been deployed to attempt to fend off Battra as it continues to swim closer. Unfortunately, the missiles fired by the jets have no effect on the beast, and it soon hits the coast and begins to burrow under the country. The giant larva soon emerges in Nogoya, and begins to level the city with powerful beams fired from the creature's eyes and the giant horn. With Nogoya in ruins, the creature once again heads below ground and disappears.
Back out at sea, as the ship towing Mothra's egg sails along, the captain has spotted something concerning on the radar. Something big is approaching the area. Several minutes later, Godzilla himself rises from the sea and begins to approach the barge holding the egg. Knowing that they are in danger, Takuya rushes to the stern of the ship to release the barge, thereby eliminating the drag. However, Andoh interferes, not wanting to loose the egg, and the two duke it out on the deck. Eventually, Takuya punches Andoh into submission, and releases the egg, leaving it to the mercy of Godzilla. However, as the gigantic reptile approaches, the egg begins to crack, and soon, a gigantic larva emerges. As Godzilla opens fire with his atomic ray, Mothra slithers out of the egg and into the ocean. A few seconds later, Godzilla roars in pain as the giant larva latches on to the tip of its tail. Godzilla attempts to shake Mothra off, and eventually rips his tail out of the larva's pincers. Mothra then swims over to the barge and hides behind it, attempting to protect itself from the violent Godzilla. Mothra lifts its head up from behind the barge and begins to shoot a strand of silk from its mouth at Godzilla, who in no time is covered in the web-like substance. However, Godzilla fires his ray at the larva and quickly sends it diving back below the waves. Moments later, Mothra attacks again, biting Godzilla in the chest. However, the nuclear kaiju simply grabs the infantile insect and throws it away. Mothra, realizing that she stands no chance, quickly retreats. Unfortunately, in the distance, another gigantic object is rapidly approaching. Battra has finally arrived, and it quickly heads for Mothra. The demonic insect lifts Mothra from the water with its horn, sending the newborn worm flying away. When Battra attempts to fire its beam at the injured Mothra, the beam misses the intended target and hits Godzilla instead. Godzilla quickly retaliates and fires his atomic ray back at Battra, destroying the barge in the process. Battra then swims straight for Godzilla, and the two begin to battle. The fight soon moves underwater, and the two behemoths continue their battle on a deep sea shelf. On the surface, Takuya, Andoh, Masako, and the Cosmos watch from the deck of the escaping ship as Mothra heads back to Infant Island. Andoh moans about returning empty-handed to Japan, but there is nothing he can do now. Deep in the sea, Godzilla and Battra continue their bout. Unfortunately, their fighting has triggered the eruption of a massive deep-sea volcano, and as the two persist in their battle, they disappear in the lava and sink into the very depths of the Earth. On the radar, both monsters have disappeared. As the ship returns to Japan, both Godzilla and Battra are presumed dead.
In the city of Manila (which is rejoicing at the death of Godzilla), Takuya, Masako, and Andoh check into a motel after their adventure. As the Cosmos sleep in the motel room, the three drink downstairs. Takuya and Masako agree that loosing the egg was really for the best, as Marutomo could not have planned to do anything good with it any way. As they talk, they begin to grow closer again. As the two talk with each other, they fail to notice Andoh sneak away. The next morning, Takuya and Masako discover to their horror that the Cosmos have disappeared. It does not take long for them to realize who is to blame: Andoh, having lost the egg, has taken the two tiny women to his boss, Mr. Tomokane. At Marutomo, Tomokane admires his catch. He orders Andoh to buy a doll house and furniture to please his new spokespeople. Meanwhile, Takuya and Masako head to the airport to meet their daughter Midori, who had been staying with relatives while her mother was away. However, as Masako hugs her daughter, she turns to discover that Takuya has disappeared. At the Environmental Planning Bureau, Chief Minamino confesses that any attempts made by him and the government to reclaim the Cosmos from Tomokane have failed. There is little they can do now. However, at Marutomo, the Cosmos do have one last chance for rescue. As the sun sets, the two begin to sing a prayer to Mothra, a plea for help. Far away on Infant Island, Mothra hears their voices and begins a long journey to Japan to save her priestesses.
In Japan, a problem has arisen at Marutomo. The Cosmos, it seems, have once again vanished. As it turns out, Takuya has stolen them back from the company, but instead of setting them free, he is planning to sell them to an American business for $1,000,000. At the same time, the JSDF has spotted Mothra approaching the mainland, and is ordered to attack it to keep it out of the country. However, the giant larva easily defeats the Defense Forces and ventures ashore in Tokyo, heading for the Cosmos. As the monster demolishes the city, Miki Saegusa uses her psychic abilities to home in on the Cosmos' location. Miki, Masako, and Midori soon arrive at the hotel where Takuya is staying, and Masako angrily confronts her ex-husband. Midori also pipes in, saying she doesn't want to be a thief's daughter anymore. However, as they talk, Mothra arrives in the area and begins to demolish the hotel in search of her priestesses. Midori pleads with the Cosmos to stop Mothra, saying that she will make her daddy stop stealing if they help. Ashamed of himself, Takuya releases the girls, who ask to be brought to a place where Mothra can see them. Miki, Masako, Takuya, and Midori bring the Cosmos to a window, and the two twin girls stand before Mothra and ask her to calm down. Mothra, seeing that her priestesses are safe, relaxes and turns around, heading away from the hotel. Unfortunately, as she flees, the military fires on her, blasting her with a tank brigade. As Mothra is relentlessly shelled by the JSDF, Miki, Masako, Takuya, and Midori scream at the army to stop. When it is discovered that the four people are still in the building, a ceasefire is ordered. Mothra, seriously injured and weak, crawls away slowly. heading for the capitol. The giant larva soon arrives at the Diet Building (Japan's House of Parliament), and crashes through the west wing, eventually coming to rest at the center of the structure. Miki, Masako, Takuya, and Midori (with the Cosmos in tow) soon arrive on the scene and look upon the injured monster, who appears to be dying. However, the Cosmos reveal that the creature is not dying; it has simply reached the end of its first life stage. Sure enough, as the sun sets over the horizon, Mothra begins to spray its webbing into the air. The silky substance begins to fall around the larva, and very soon the monster is sealed inside of a protective cocoon.
A few hours later, however, the ground begins to shake under the feet of those around Tokyo, and it is discovered that the magma pressure under Mt. Fuji has risen to a dangerous level. An eruption is inevitable, and sure enough, Mt. Fuji soon begins to leak lava all over the land Marutomo had recently bought and prepared for development. Hearing of this, Mr. Tomokane wonders aloud why all of his projects have suddenly been singled out of destruction. Andoh believes that the Earth is angry with them, and is getting its revenge. He knows that Marutomo has gone too far, and will now be destroyed for harming the planet. Tomokane, incredulous, fires Andoh for his insubordination. Andoh, however, does not care, and leaves Tomokane with a warning: he will soon pay the price for what he has done.
Back at Mt. Fuji, a familiar form rises from the still erupting volcano. From out of the crater emerges Godzilla, still alive after falling into the under-sea volcano while battling Battra. The creature had simply swum through the molten lava under the ocean and up into Mt. Fuji, triggering the eruption that had now released him upon the world again. The news reaches the JSDF unit surrounding Mothra's cocoon, who are told that the monster may now be heading for them. Suddenly, the cocoon before them begins to stir, and as the Cosmos sing their ritual song, Mothra emerges in her adult form. Now a giant, beautiful butterfly-like creature, Mothra lifts herself from her cocoon and takes to the air on her giant and colorful wings. The Cosmos tell the heroes that Mothra is on its way to confront Battra, who has also survived the undersea eruption. Out at sea, Battra rises from the water and undergoes a transformation of its own. The larval creature morphs into its adult form, a darker and more twisted version of Mothra, and quickly flies to intercept its opponent. As it turns out, both Mothra and Battra, as well as Godzilla, are headed towards Yokohama, and when the three intercept, a climactic battle will be inevitable.
Enemies Mothra and Battra meet in the skies above Yokohama and engage in great combat. As the monsters bash each other and fire energy rays at one another over the city, Godzilla arrives and heads towards the two insects. Eventually, Battra forces Mothra to the ground in the Cosmo World amusement park, and begins to fire at her with its eye beams. However, Battra soon spots Godzilla, and leaves Mothra to continue its fight with the Monster King. After burying Godzilla in rubble, Battra flies closer to inspect. Suddenly, Godzilla emerges and grabs Battra, hurling it away. The nuclear titan then begins to blast the Black Mothra with his atomic ray. Mothra notices this, and begins to formulate a plan. She lifts off and attacks Godzilla, releasing a powder that weakens the behemoth and sends it crashing to the ground. Mothra then flies over to Battra and lands in front of the downed insect. She then begins to transfer energy to Battra, healing its wounds and empowering it again. However, Godzilla soon recovers and interrupts the process. Mothra lifts off once more and assaults Godzilla again with her antenna beams. She strikes the monster with strands of lightning released from her wings. Unfortunately, Godzilla uses a Nuclear Pulse to blast Mothra away, and she lands at the base of the Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris Wheel. Godzilla then hits the base of the Ferris wheel with his ray, sending it falling towards the downed Mothra. Suddenly, seconds before the wheel would have crushed the benevolent insect, Battra intervenes and grabs it. With Mothra safe, the Cosmos proudly announce that Mothra and Battra have become friends, and are now allied against Godzilla. Battra lifts the Ferris wheel into the air as Mothra takes flight, and rams the giant wheel into Godzilla, toppling the titan. Now working together, Mothra and Battra, once foes, assault Godzilla relentlessly with their energy beams. After a long battle, Godzilla finally crashes to the ground in defeat. Mothra and Battra then stop and fly into the sky. Facing each other, the two appear to communicate with each other about something. After a few moments, Battra descends and lands on Godzilla's chest, grabbing the creature tightly. Mothra lands and grabs Godzilla's tail. Suddenly, Godzilla rises and bites Battra in the neck, wounding it. Although weak, Battra, with the help of Mothra, succeeds in lifting Godzilla from the ground, and both creatures air lift the King of the Monsters out of the city and over the open ocean. However, as the monsters fly their captive out to sea, Godzilla fires his ray at Battra at point-blank range. This is the final straw, and Battra looses his grip on life and dies mid-transit. Now on her own, Mothra releases Godzilla, and the monster (along with the body of Battra) falls into the sea. Mothra then flies over the spot where Godzilla landed and releases a trail of pollen that forms into her cross-like symbol. The area is then sealed with an energy that, it is hoped, will keep Godzilla at bay for the time being.
The next day, the Cosmos greet humanity with a terrifying revelation: in 1999, a large asteroid, capable of destroying all life on Earth, will hit the planet. They reveal that Battra had planned to awaken in 1999 and intercept and destroy the asteroid, thereby saving the Earth it was sworn to protect. However, Battra was no longer alive. Fortunately, just before the creature had died, it had made a deal with Mothra, and now the job to intercept the asteroid fell to her. The Cosmos bid farewell to humanity, and as Takuya, Masako, Midori, Miki, Chief Minamino, and the JSDF watch, they merge with Mothra, and the giant monster lifts off and flies into space for her final mission. Masako tells her daughter that it is now their responsibility to help the planet, and the young girl takes the hands of her mother and father, uniting her family once again. In space, Mothra glides away from the Earth out into the stars and promising to return to earth for saving the humanity again if any danger to the planet.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Takao Okawara
- Written by Kazuki Omori
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Shogo Tomiyama
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Yoshinori Sekiguchi
- Edited by Michiko Ikeda
- Special Effects by Koichi Kawakita
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Tetsuya Bessho as Takuya Fujita
- Satomi Kobayashi as Masako Tezuka
- Takehiro Murata as Kenji Andoh
- Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa
- Shiori Yonezawa as Midori Tezuka
- Akiji Kobayashi as Ryuzo Tsuchihashi, Chief Cabinet Secretary for National Security
- Susumu Kurobe as Fuyuki Takaoka, Air Self Defense Force Chief of Staff
- Kenzo Hagiwara as Takeo Shimura, Ground Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff
- Shin Tatsuma as Daisuke Hirata, Maritime Self Defense Force Chief of Staff
- Tetsu Watanabe as JGSDF Tank Commander
- Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa as Cosmos
- James Nugent as Dickson
- Masahiro Matsufuji as Volcanologist
- Yoshiko Tanaka as Mayumi Fukazawa
- Makoto Otake as Takeshi Tomokane, Head of Marutomo
- Shinya Owada as Captain
- Koichi Ueda as Minoru Omae, Marutomo Employee
- Saburo Shinoda as Professor Shigeki Fukazawa
- Akira Takarada as Joji Minamino, Environmental Planning Board Chief
- Toshiyuki Honda as JGSDF Tank sub-commander
- 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 Sauriermutanten; Germany)
- Godzilla: The Mutant Dinosaur (Godzilla: El dinosaurio mutante; Argentina)
- Japan - December 12, 1992
Godzilla vs. Mothra was released direct 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 this time.
TriStar simply used Toho's international English dub of the film, performed by Omni Productions. TriStar did not use Toho's international title card, but rather included 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 of that year in a double feature with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
Godzilla vs. Mothra sold 4,200,000 tickets when it was released on December 12, 1992 in Japan, and earned ¥2,220,000,000, or roughly $20,000,000.
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.
Home media releases
- Released: November 3, 1998
- Region: Region 1
- Language: English
- Format: Multiple Formats, Full Screen, NTSC, Color, Closed-captioned
- Other Details: 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 205 minutes run time, 1 disc, TriStar version, double feature with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
- Released: 2002
- Region: Region 2
- Language: Japanese
- Released: 2006
- Region: Region 4
- Released: 2009
- Language: Japanese
- Released: May 6, 2014
- Language: Japanese, English
- Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Other Details: 1.85:1 aspect ratio, 216 minutes run time, 2 discs, Japanese version, double feature with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
- This movie is the most commercially successful Toho-produced Godzilla film of all time, even coming close to beating Jurassic Park in Japan when it was released in 1992. Although King Kong vs. Godzilla still holds the record for the highest attendance of any film, Godzilla vs. Mothra still performed slightly better at the box office.
- Mothra journeys into outer space at the end of this film. In Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla she is somehow aware of SpaceGodzilla and its intentions. It is possible that if Battra survived in this film, Mothra would have aided Godzilla and M.O.G.U.E.R.A. in the battle with SpaceGodzilla.
- There were two 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.
- The scene at the end of the film where Mothra and the Shobijin thank the humans and depart from the airport is a tribute to the ending of the original Mothra film, where Mothra is reunited with the Shobijin at an airport runway and flies away.
- Koichi Kawakita, special effects director for many of the Heisei series Godzilla films, originally wanted Mothra to be killed at the end of Godzilla vs. Mothra and have her turned into a cyborg in the sequel.