Mothra (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mothra (1961)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Mothra Photos

Movie Info

Mothra was the third major addition to the Toho Studios' giant-monster stable after Godzilla and Rodan, and the first female beast in the series. The creature begins Ishiro Honda's entertaining film as a giant larva worshipped by island tribesmen and guarded by twin sisters (Emi and Yumi Ito) who stand only a few inches high. Eventually, the larva metamorphoses into a giant female moth and panic ensues as the creature attempts to regain her stolen egg and her tiny protectors. The usual pandemonium and destruction is tempered here by a softer edge which would come to dominate the genre for much of the decade. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

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Jerry Ito
as Clark Nelson
Ken Uehara
as Dr. Haradawa
Yûmi Ito
as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Takashi Shimura
as News Editor
Kenji Sahara
as Helicopter Pilot
Yoshibumi Tajima
as Military Advisor
Tetsu Nakamura
as Nelson's Henchman
Hiroshi Koizumi
as Photographer
Frankie Sakai
as "Bulldog" Tsinchan
Kyoko Kagawa
as Photographer Michi Hanamura
Emi Ito
as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Robert Dunham
as Rosilican
Andrew Hughes
as Rosilican Official
Haruo Nakajima
as Head of Mosura larva
Katsumi Tezuka
as Neck of Mosura larva
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Critic Reviews for Mothra

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

So Mothra is very much a family film, introducing a lighter vibe that would eventually settle on Toho Studio's monster universe.

November 16, 2020 | Full Review…

More like a paper dragon in a parade, Mothra is simply lovely. In none of its forms does it even try to look 'real', which sets it against a whole tradition of Western special effects.

July 30, 2018 | Full Review…

One of the maddest monster movies ever committed to the big screen, helped by some wacky special effects and the sheer ambition of Honda's vision.

November 23, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Honda found his vision largely constrained by a meagre budget but still managed to produce a colourful and inventive monster movie.

November 16, 2020 | Full Review…

For all its daftness, this is kind of a terrific film on its own terms.

November 9, 2013 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

... a marvelous mix of science fiction, monster movie and adventure fantasy filled with colorful characters and an unmistakable socio-political subtext.

August 15, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mothra

Mothra is always an uncomfortable mix with Godzilla, Rodan and the rest of them. Someone once commented suggested to me that Mothra could do no better than "piss off" Godzilla or Ghidorah in battle. Thankfully we have just Mothra alone in her debut and it is thoroughly entertaining.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


One of the best non-Godzilla Toho monster flicks. Not as dark as "Gojira" or "Rodan" but still possesses artistic merit. The special effects are remarkable and the story is full of colorful characters.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

They'd done Godzilla. They'd brought us color monster madness with Rodan. Now Toho continue to improve their Kaiju films with Mothra. Once again Mothra is the result of nuclear radiation, but those themes are just around to explain her size. The main plot is Mothra's rescue attempt of two miniature women taken from her island. Strange? Certainly, but it's nice to see the monster with a clear agenda and some actual motivation. The models and effects are the best so far. Remote controlled vehicles, green screen, monster puppets, are all thrown in to give us some truly exhilarating city smash ups. Even when "people" are obviously dolls, it's OK. Films don't have to be a replacement for the imagination. I was never dragged out of the film's universe, and the scenes of the dam bursting had me appreciating film making more than any CGI filled computer game-a-like. The use of a fictionalized nation allows you to easily ignore any overbearing political agendas. It isn't as dark as the previous efforts. But when your monster is a big moth, you don't get as much horror. Luckily, it also manages to create a more atmospheric and artistic approach. Mothra's initial hatching is juxtaposed with a beautiful and rather trippy song. A tale of, once again, man's mistakes. Only this time, it's the exploitation of these mistakes that brings destruction.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Mothra Quotes

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