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Rebirth of Mothra (モスラ, Mosura, released in Japan simply as Mothra) is a 1996 Japanese tokusatsu kaiju film featuring Mothra, produced and distributed by Toho. The film is directed by Okihiro Yoneda and serves as a reboot of the Mothra film series and is the first installment in the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy. It is also the last kaiju film produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, who produced various kaiju films featuring Mothra, Godzilla, and others. The film was released in Japan on December 14, 1996.

Rebirth of Mothra
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOkihiro Yoneda[1]
Produced byHiroaki Kitayama[1]
Screenplay byMasumi Suetani[1]
Based onAn idea
by Tomoyuki Tanaka[1]
Music byToshiyuki Watanabe[1]
CinematographyYoshinori Sekiguchi[1]
Edited byNobuo Ogawa[1]
Distributed byToho
Release date
December 14, 1996
Running time
106 minutes[2][3]
Box office¥1.150 billion



Millions of years ago, a giant three-headed dragon called Desghidorah arrives on Earth and wars with a species of enormous and highly advanced moths. The moths were the protectors of the "Elias", a race of tiny, humanoid beings who inhabited the planet. After the ensuing battle, Desghidorah was defeated and sealed under the Earth - at the cost of almost all life on Earth.

Only three Elias - Moll, Lora and Belvera - and one last moth - Mothra - remained. 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. Mothra's wounds, age, and weariness were ultimately too much. Her strength failed, and after lowering her child carefully into the sea, she fell exhausted onto the waves and sank to her death. The distraught larva attempted to save his beloved mother, but 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 went on a rampage, destroying everything in its path as the humans watched helplessly. Moll and Lora, who had befriended Taiki and Wakaba, encouraged them to have hope and reminded them that Mothra would be reborn to save the Earth. 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.



Rebirth of Mothra was released in Japan on December 14, 1996 where it was distributed by Toho.[1] By January 1997, Rebirth of Mothra grossed 1.15 billion yen in Japan.[4] It was followed up with a sequel the following year with Rebirth of Mothra II.[1]

Home mediaEdit

Rebirth of Mothra was released directly to video in the United States.[1] It was released with an English dub by Columbia/TriStar Home Video on August 3, 1999.[1] It was released on DVD on February 1, 2000 as a double feature with Rebirth of Mothra II.[5] Both films were only available with an English-dub.[5] 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.[5] In November 2017, Toho released the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy on Blu-ray in Japan.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Galbraith IV 2008, p. 397.
  2. ^ Pratt 2004, p. 985.
  3. ^ "モスラ (1996)". Movie Walker. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "1997年(1月~12月)" (in Japanese). Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Mothra (1996)". AllMovie. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "ついに出ました!平成モスラ3部作のトリロジーボックスBlu-ray". Audio Eiga. Retrieved March 4, 2018.


  • Rhoads & McCorkle, Sean & Brooke (2018). Japan's Green Monsters: Environmental Commentary in Kaiju Cinema. McFarland. ISBN 9781476663906.
  • Galbraith IV, Stuart (2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 1461673747.
  • Pratt, Douglas (2004). Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More! Vol. 02. Harbor Electronic Publishing. ISBN 1932916008.

External linksEdit