[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mothra_1961_01_4886.jpg]]

Mothra is a giant moth monster, who later became a common recurring character in [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} Godzilla's]] films. Created when the {{Kaiju}} genre was still in its infancy, the 1961 ''Mothra'' wasn't dark and full of horror. In contrast, the film was colorful and had an air of fantasy about it. There's an influence of Western Christianity as well. Instead of ending with her death, Mothra achieves her mission and leaves on good terms. The actual villain is a greedy capitalist and tomb raider from the American and Russian stand-in, Rolisica.

The four survivors of a shipwreck are discovered to have been unaffected by the radiation on Infant Island due to the berries offered by the island natives. When this story breaks, the European country of Rolisica and Japan co-sponsor a scientific expedition to Infant Island. They encounter the natives and two tiny women called the Shobijin, who plead for the halt of atomic testing near the island. The crew acknowledges this, and returns home sworn to secrecy. But the greedy Rolisican Clark Nelson secretly returns to kidnap the Shobijin and exploit their singing abilities for profit. Our heroes manage to contact them, who are confident their goddess Mothra will save them but fear that innocents would get hurt. The Shobijin can't be rescued through legal channels and their connection to Mothra is ignored as she lays destruction upon Japan...

She is one of the most popular monsters in the Creator/{{Toho}} monster franchise. Whenever Godzilla is waning, Mothra is one of the classic monsters brought out to give a box office boost. She has been so popular that a [[DistaffCounterpart Spear Counterpart]] was featured in a trilogy in the late 1990s, called ''Film/RebirthOfMothra''.

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!!Tropes used in the films include

* BerserkButton: As mentioned below, Mothra is usually very peaceful. But, [[BewareTheNiceOnes she won't hesitate to unleash her full wrath]] upon ''anyone'' who dares to harm/kidnap her fairy companions.
* BigApplesauce: New Kirk City's an obvious stand-in for it.
* ButtMonkey: Fukuda, who ends up on the end of some good-natured and not so good-natured jabs.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Nelson.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Zenichiro manages to defeat four of Nelson's mooks ''by himself''.
* DeathRay: The Rolisican Atomic Heat-Ray Cannons.
* DivineIntervention: The natives believe this. They have a ritual to help awaken Mothra, which includes a fertility dance by a young couple. Lots of people partake of a ceremonial drink and get ceremonially stoned.
** There is a [[http://chneukirchen.org/tmp/www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Island/2295/ website dedicated to Mothra's faith]] and other fans discuss the religion on forums.
* {{Eagleland}}: Nelson is definitely a citizen of type two, though the other residents of Rolisica don't seem all that bad.
* FakeNationality: The natives of Infant Island are obviously Japanese actors decked in the Polynesian equivalent of {{Blackface}}.
* FictionalCounterpart: Rolisica for America and Russia.
* GentleGiant: Mothra is by far the most benevolent and peaceful amongst Toho's Kaiju. That is, as long as you don't harm her fairy companions.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Nelson had no idea that each theatrical performance by the Shobijin was strengthening Mothra and guiding her toward them.
* IntrepidReporter: Zenichiro "Bulldog" Fukuda and his clever photographer, Michi Hanamura. They will sneak into places that they shouldn't sneak into in order to get a story.
* KickTheDog: Where to start with Nelson...
* MacabreMothMotif: Inverted, Mothra is a symbol of peace and hope. Battra, the evil moth on the other hand...
* MamaBear: Never mess with Mothra's fairy friends
* NobleSavage: The natives on the island.
* TheProfessor: Dr. Shinji Chj, a cultural anthropologist, is the young cute one (Akihiro Tayama returned to play him in several subsequent ''Mothra'' pictures); Dr. Harada appears to be an M.D. with a number of other degrees under his belt.
* ShoePhone: Michi has a camera disguised as a lighter, in case she enters a No Cameras Allowed zone or to photograph a camera-shy person.
* PlayingAgainstType: This is the first film in which Haruo Nakajima (yes, the guy who played Godzilla in [[Film/{{Gojira}} 1954]]) plays a monster that's only destructive because it ''had'' to. His previous roles, being Godzilla and Rodan, are are just destructive by nature.
* {{Telepathy}}: How the Shobijin are able to communicate with humans who use other languages.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: How the Shobijin and Infant Islanders are able to summon Mothra, guide her to the Shobijin, and give her power ups.
* TooLongDidntDub: When the Shobijin are about to reunite with Mothra, the English dub just has the characters go "Sayonara."
* VillainousBreakdown: Nelson gets one when he's surrounded by ''very pissed off'' civilians of Roliscia. Yeah, you should listen to the Japanese and not hold that IdiotBall, moron. Otherwise a giant moth will chase you at the ends of the earth until you release the Shobijin.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Originally, Nelson and his men were to have kidnapped [[TagalongKid Shinji]] and then flee with him as hostage to the mountains with the heroes in pursuit. However Mothra beats them to it trying to rescue the fairies, [[spoiler:and winds up killing Nelson herself [[DisneyVillainDeath by knocking him off a cliff]]]].

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