Mothra (1961)

Mothra (1961)

“Mothra doesn’t understand right and wrong. She has only the instinct to take us back to the island.”

A scientist (Hiroshi Koizumi) investigating an irradiated island discovers a pair of tiny singing fairies (Yumi and Emi Ito) who communicate telepathically with a gigantic, protective, caterpillar-like creature named Mothra. When the fairies are kidnapped by a mercenary gangster (Jerry Ito) who puts them on display as performers, a plucky reporter (Frankie Sakai) and his camerawoman (Kyoko Kagawa) try to help them make it safely back to their island before Mothra destroys civilization.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, and Mythology
  • Insects
  • Japanese Films
  • Kidnapping

This Japanese kaiju film — a follow-up to Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) with clear inspiration also derived from King Kong (1933) — featured Toho Studios’ second most popular movie monster, albeit a less insidious beast who only causes destruction when she’s on a rampage to protect “her people”.

Mothra — so named, one presumes, because she eventually emerges as a moth-like creature from a cocoon:

— was featured in quite a few other films in the franchise (including a trilogy focused specifically on her rebirth), and is beloved by fans — though it’s a hard not to chuckle at the obvious models and puppets being used throughout. Kaiju fans obviously won’t want to miss this flick, but other film fanatics should consider it optional.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Colorful cinematography

Must See?
No, though of course fans of Japanese monster flicks will want to check it out (and probably already have).


One thought on “Mothra (1961)

  1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    One of the best of Toho’s Kaiju Eiga (giant monster) films with plenty of charm and great SPFX. Not must see by any stretch (for FFs) but recommended as a charming, fun fantasy flick.

Leave a Reply