Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 7th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, 1964
Director: Ishiro Honda
Cast: Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi, Yu Fujiki, Emi Ito, Yûmi Ito, Yoshifumi Tajima
DVD Released: 2006
Approximate Running Time: 85 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Japanese Version) 4:3 Full Frame (U.S. version)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 & Mono
DVD Release: Madmen Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 4 PAL
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: A giant egg washes up on the shores of Kurata beach after a tropical storm. The egg is purchased by Torahata a wealthy land developer who quickly puts the egg on display. Torahata is asked by two fairies to give the large egg which carries Mothra’s offspring back he flat out refuse and even tires to capture them for exhibition. Everything appears to be fine until one day when a earthquake hits and awakens Godzilla from his slumber. Godzilla rampages through Tokyo as he searches for Mothra’s offspring. Mothra who refused to help the humans at first reconsiders when it finds out that its offspring is being threatened.
Godzilla vs. Mothra is a transitional film that would mark the end of an era and in future films he would receive a slight makeover where at one point he would even become the good guy. Godzilla vs. Mothra is also the only Godzilla film in which new scenes where shot by and added by an American distributor. The main difference between the Japanese and U.S. versions of Godzilla vs. Mothra is they both have different title sequences and the U.S. version has a scene where Godzilla is being attacked by the America’s with missiles. Once again all the key talent behind previous Godzilla films like Ishirô Honda (director), Tomoyuki Tanaka (producer), Akira Ifukube (Composer) and Eiji Tsuburaya (special effects) and the end result is nothing short of spectacular.
The Godzilla series would hit its stride with Godzilla vs. Mothra and even though it lacks the social commentary that is present in previous films it is still a strong contender as one of the best Godzilla films. If any social commentary can be found in this film it would be Mother Nature’s battle against big business which in this case would be greedy land developer Torahata. The plot is one of the more engaging entries in the Godzilla series and as it perfectly mixes fantasy, Sci-Fi and action sequences into one hell of a ride. The effects and use of miniatures is without a doubt the best ever captured on film. Besides having a giant reptile and giant bugs this movie also has a pair of sister fairies who had previously appeared in Mothra and would later appear in Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster. Godzilla vs. Mothra is one of the best Kaiju Eiga films ever made and it makes a good starting point for anyone who is interested in checking these types of films out
Madman DVD release comes with two versions of Godzilla vs. Mothra. The Japanese version is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors look nicely saturated and black levels look strong as the image remain clear and stable throughout. Print damage is minimal and there are problems with compression or edge enhancement. The U.S. version of Godzilla vs. Mothra is presented in a 4.3 full frame aspect ratio that severely crops information on all four sides of the frame. Colors look washed out and the image looks soft and there is noticeable print damage throughout.
This release comes with four audio options and two languages (Japanese and English). The audio is available in either Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital mono. The Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital mono are very similar with Dolby Digital 5.1 sounding too spread out at times and the Dolby Digital mono mix sounding slightly fuller. The English Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital mono tracks both have noticeable hiss and some minor distortion issues that crop up from time to time. Overall the two Japanese audio tracks sound cleaner and offer a more dynamic listening experience. Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and understand have been included.
Extras for this release include the original Japanese trailer, a poster gallery with eight images, a trivia gallery and trailers for other titles released by Madmen including other Godzilla titles. This release comes with a reversible cover that has alternative cover art on the inside cover and Japanese text written on it.
Madmen Entertainment’s Godzilla vs. Mothra is another solid release that like their other releases is English friendly and affordable.
Note: Sony in region 1 is releasing a Special edition DVD for Godzilla vs. Mothra on November 7th, 2006.