Rebirth of Mothra
|Rebirth of Mothra|
Japanese film poster for Rebirth of Mothra
|Directed by||Okihiro Yoneda|
|Produced by||Hiroaki Kitayama|
|Screenplay by||Masumi Suetani|
|Based on||An idea
by Tomoyuki Tanaka
|Music by||Toshiyuki Watanabe|
|Edited by||Nobuo Ogawa|
|Box office||¥1.150 billion|
Rebirth of Mothra Mothra (モスラ Mosura?) is a 1996 Japanese film directed by Okihiro Yoneda. The film was the first in a trilogy of kaiju-films produced by Toho, in which Mothra's son saves the world from environment-threatening monsters. This film features the monsters Mothra, Mothra Leo, Fairy Mothra, Desghidorah (or Death-Ghidorah), and Garugaru. Rebirth of Mothra was the final Toho kaiju film with which long-time producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was directly involved (he died less than six months after its release).
Millions of years ago, a titanic terror from another realm arrived to destroy the planet Earth. Named Desghidorah, this three-headed dragon was forced to deal with resistance in the form of a species of highly advanced, enormous moths. These monsters were the protectors of the Elias, a race of tiny, humanlike beings who inhabited the planet. After the ensuing battle, Desghidorah was defeated and sealed within the Earth, although a great deal of life on the planet Earth was lost. Three Elias sisters, Moll, Lora and Belvera, were all who were left of their once prosperous civilization. Though the benevolence of Moll and Lora was undeterred, Belvera became twisted and vengeful due to the mass extinction of her race. These tiny fairies, along with one final guardian named Mothra, lingered on for thousands of millenniums. To preserve her species, Mothra created an egg in 1996; however, she became physically exhausted from the ordeal. Shortly thereafter, a logging company uncovered the subterranean prison of the demonic space beast that had ravaged the Earth so long ago. When the seal that had bound the creature was removed from the area, one of the workers of the company took it home and gave it to his young daughter, Wakaba, as a souvenir. Seizing the advantage, Belvera controls Wakaba and uses her to torment her brother Taiki, reminding Belvera of her hatred towards her sisters.
Moll and Lora, riding a smaller Mothra named Fairy, then fought Belvera for control of the artifact. Belvera prevailed and managed to release Desghidorah from its rocky tomb to exact her warped plans for destruction of the human race. Mothra was summoned to halt the detestable dragon, which was absorbing the life out of the environment. She fought a long and difficult battle to repel her ancient adversary, and in response to her declining strength, her young son, named Mothra Leo, hatched prematurely to assist his mother. Though his energized silk seemed to turn the tide of battle in the favor of the protectors, Desghidorah sank the teeth of two of his heads deep into Leo and Mothra became desperate. She quickly airlifted her son to safety, and to keep Desghidorah at bay, lured the beast to a dam. With Desghidorah distracted by a wall of raging water, Mothra carried her son to safety. Unfortunately, Mothra's wounds, age, and exhaustion were ultimately too much. Her strength failed, and she plummeted into the sea below. The crestfallen larva attempted to save his beloved mother, but she sank in the ocean, to no avail.
Angered, the young moth created a cocoon and began to change into his adult form. Desghidorah had to be defeated; his mother's death couldn't be in vain. Desghidorah then goes on a rampage, destroying everything in its path as the humans watch helplessly. Moll and Lora, who had befriended Taiki and Wakaba, encourage them to have hope that reminded them that Mothra will be reborn to save the Earth. Fortunately, Leo emerged into his adult form as a swarm of multi-colored butterflies. As the butterflies coalesced into one massive insect, Leo took to the air and headed back towards Desghidorah, righteous fury burning in his wake. Arriving in a hail of energy beams, Leo relentlessly blasted his mother's murderer, throwing wave upon wave of searing beams and energy blasts at Desghidorah, who could only feebly attempt to defend himself against this, the most powerful Mothra of all time. Drawing upon an ancient legacy, Leo relentlessly assaulted Desghidorah, eventually renewing the seal that bound the world destroyer beneath the soil of the earth; but his work was not done with the end of the fight.
Drawing upon the power of life that filled his very being, Leo restored the balance to a blasted region that was deforested during the assault of Desghidorah. His work done for the time being, Leo went to his ancestral home and planet Earth was once again safe from Desghidorah. Moll and Lora thanked the children for helping them on their journey and returned home to Infant Island with their pet, Fairy, as Belvera, still vengeful, escaped into a hole in a tree.
- Sayaka Yamaguchi – Lora
- Megumi Kobayashi – Moll
- Aki Hano – Belvera
- Kazuki Futami – Taiki Goto
- Maya Fujisawa – Wakaba Goto
- Kenjiro Nashimoto – Mr. Goto
- Hitomi Takahashi – Mrs. Goto
- Mothra Leo, the titular Mothra of the film and the monster protagonist who becomes the last of his kind and battles Desghidorah after his mother's death.
- Mothra, the mother of Mothra Leo, who was somewhat killed in battle while fighting Desghidorah.
- Mizuho Yoshida – DesGhidorah, the three-headed villain of the film.
Rebirth of Mothra was released in Japan on December 14, 1996 where it was distributed by Toho. By January 1997, Rebirth of Mothra grossed 1.15 billion yen in Japan. It was followed up with a sequel the following year with Rebirth of Mothra II.
Rebirth of Mothra was released directly to video in the United States. It was released with an English dub by Columbia/Tri Star Home Video on August 3, 1999. It was released on DVD on February 1, 2000 as a double feature with Rebirth of Mothra II. Both films were only available with an English-dub. A triple feature of all three Rebirth of Mothra films was released on blu-ray by Sony on September 9, 2014 with both the Japanese and English voice tracks.