This was made in the 60’s so apparently every country lost its mind to the free drugs of the era. To begin with, there is a set of twins that are like six inches tall and they come from an island that worships a giant moth. Now, this is a giant monster movie so reality checked out early, but they were such weird characters to include. On top of that, the other islanders are all normal sized where I genuinely expected them to all be little pixie characters too.
Anyway, Mothra vs Godzilla is an amazing entry into this series! The story isn’t anything special but to see a couple heavyweights go around and around, this was well worth the watch. We start with a giant tsunami that washes up a Mothra egg and like anyone with money would do, a greedy corporate type snaps up the egg from the locals and decides to make an amusement park out of it with hopes it hatches and brings in lots of onlookers.
That plan seems to be going along ok until Godzilla pops up out of the beach on the other side of town and begins trashing the place. What follows is an amazing display of craft in modeling because there are power plant parts, army vehicles, and various other buildings that were all miniaturized for the guy in the rubber suit to destroy and it is glorious! There was some obvious repetition in the footage, but that’s ok for the time.
Eventually, Godzilla gets led over to where the egg is and starts to smash things up there. Fortunately, Mothra comes along to save the egg and the day. Except Mothra is at the end of its life and the egg is the continuation of its life. So Mothra fights a good fight but ultimately succumbs to age.
Godzilla then heads off to a nearby island as the egg hatches and a pair of larvae pop out to go finish the fight. Now I won’t ruin any more of this, but you have to see the ending because this culminates into something else that Japanese culture is known for that is, how you say, not family friendly.
That final battle is pretty good though. I thought how are these two little larvae going to take out Godzilla, but take them out they do, and Godzilla doesn’t go down without a fight either. His breath gets used extensively. Eventually, things settle off and our pixie people ride off into the sunset with a comment about living in peace.
By this point in the series, the message is loud and clear: Godzilla is really an anti-nuke message wrapped up in a rubber suit. The metaphors about atomic destruction only being fought by other atomic destruction are thundering in beneath the feet and wings of the monsters in this movie. People are portrayed as powerless to stop the decimation that the big guy causes. They can petition another, similarly powerful being to save the day though. So while things may seem bleak, there is a message that even the most feared and powerful force that Japan has faced can be conquered.