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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Mothra" or "Mosura")

 

Directed by Ishirô Honda
Japan 1961

 

One of the most iconic Japanese kaiju, Mothra has appeared in over a dozen feature films. Presented here is her debut, a gloriously vibrant piece of filmmaking that forever changed how kaiju eiga would be produced in Japan.

Following reports of human life on Infant Island, the supposedly deserted site of atomic bomb tests, an international expedition to the heavily-radiated island discovers a native tribe and tiny twin female fairies called "Shobijin" who guard a sacred egg. The overzealous expedition leader kidnaps the Shobijin to exhibit in a Tokyo stage show but soon they summon their protector, hatching the egg and releasing a giant caterpillar. When Mothra arrives in Japan and transforms into her final form, the nation and its people face their destruction.

Psychedelically colourful, with an intelligent, benevolent protector as its lead kaiju, Mothra was radically different to every other monster movie that had come before it, and it remains a classic of the genre to this day. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Ishir Honda's Mothra on Blu-ray for the first time on home video in the UK.

***

Shipwreck survivors are found on a presumably uninhabited and irradiated island called Infant Island. A joint expedition of Roliscan and Japanese scientists explore the island and discover the Shobijin, the twin priestesses of the island's deity, Mothra. When a greedy businessman kidnaps the fairies for profit, the divine Mothra sets out to rescue them.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 30th, 1961

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Review: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime

Japanese Version: 1:40:51.378

US: Version: 1:30:12.406

Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,089,627,411 bytes

Japanese Version: 31,929,991,872 bytes

US Version:12,883,859,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.86 Mbps / 15.40 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate (Japanese version) Blu-ray:

Bitrate (US version) Blu-ray:

Audio

Japanese Version:

LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Isolated Music and Effects:

LPCM Audio Undetermined 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

US Version:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,089,627,411 bytes

Japanese Version: 31,929,991,872 bytes

US Version:12,883,859,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.86 Mbps / 15.40 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Includes both Japanese and English versions of each film (101 mins & 90 mins respectively)
Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat (Japanese Version)
Audio commentary with authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (US Version)
Kim Newman on Mothra an interview with film critic and author Kim Newman on the history and legacy of Mothra (14:42)
• Two Stills Galleries featuring rare archival stills and ephemera
Trailer and Teaser (1:55 / 1:25)
Hardbound Slipcase
Reversible poster featuring the film's original US and Japanese poster artwork
PLUS: A Perfect Bound 60-PAGE Collector's Booklet featuring essays by Christopher Stewardson and Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp (Midnight Eye); a new interview with Scott Chambliss (production designer on 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters); an extract from Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski's Ishir Honda biography; and archival reviews and stills.


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 16th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case in a hardbound slipcase

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema Blu-ray (November 2020): Masters of Cinema have transferred Ishirô Honda's Mothra to Blu-ray. It offers both the Japanese and, 10-minute shorter, US versions of the film. They share the same dual-layered Blu-ray and are totally separate (not seamlessly-branched). The longer Japanese version has been given the robust, max'ed out bitrate, transfer and the US version has less than 1/2 the bitrate. It shows in compression issues - and the smoothness in-motion, but colors are mostly there looking rich and deep. There is plenty of appealing grain texture in the Japanese version 1080P transfer. Aside from a few spots with light vertical scratches and speckles it looks impressive.

NOTE: We have added 62 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Masters of Cinema use linear PCM mono tracks (24-bit) on each version in their respective languages. It is another advancement in the film's effect-heavy audio and score by Yûji Koseki. It sounds authentically flat punctuating Mothra scenes with heavy music. He also wrote "Mothra's song", sung by 'The Peanuts' (twin sisters Emi and Yumi Itō) miniaturized-in-effect for the film. Masters of Cinema include optional English subtitles for the Japanese version and English (SDH) subtitles for the DUB'ed version - on their Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray offer a different commentary for both Japanese and US versions. MoC recycle the commentary from Sony's 2009 DVD, REVIEWED HERE, for the English DUB'ed version with Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle (writer of Japan's Favorite Mon-star  - The Unauthorized Biography of Godzilla) and Ed Godziszewski (Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!: The Incredible World of Japanese Fantasy Films). They work well together and seem prepared and professional with plenty of details about the film(s) and science-fiction in general. The commentary on the Japanese version is by film historian and writer David Kalat (author of A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series.) He is excellent adding personal stories of seeing the film and highlighting important details of the production. We all love Kim Newman and he discusses the history and legacy of Mothra for about 1/4 hour. There are two stills galleries featuring rare archival stills and ephemera, a trailer and teaser for Mothra. The package has a hardbound slipcase that includes a reversible poster featuring the film's original US and Japanese poster artwork and a perfect bound 60-page collector's booklet featuring essays by Christopher Stewardson and Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp (Midnight Eye); a new interview with Scott Chambliss (production designer on 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters); an extract from Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski's Ishir Honda biography; and archival reviews and stills.

Mothra has Ishirô Honda's kitschy 60's Japanese sci-fi appeal. I much prefer it to the later efforts of the kaiju genre that were being cranked-out endlessly.  'The Peanuts' (twin sisters Emi and Yumi Itō) inclusion adds more of the desirable 'camp' element. Having both version and the commentaries is a big bonus on the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray as is Kim Newman and the entire slip-cased package cover. Yes, there is value here and Mothra maintains the innocence, eventually lost in the ensuing cycle of Japanese monster films.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Masters of Cinema (Japanese Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Masters of Cinema (Japanese Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Masters of Cinema (Japanese Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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