Mothra (モスラ, Mosura) is a fictional monster, or kaiju, that first appeared in the 1961 film Mothra, produced and distributed by Toho Studios. Mothra has appeared in several Toho Tokusatsu films, most often as a recurring character in the Godzilla franchise. She is typically portrayed as a colossal sentient larva (caterpillar) or imago (moth), accompanied by two miniature female humanoids speaking on her behalf. Unlike other Toho monsters, Mothra is a largely heroic character, having been variously portrayed as a protector of her own island culture, the Earth and Japan. Though identified as a kind of moth, the character's design incorporates elements more frequently associated with butterflies, and has caddisfly-like mandibles rather than a proboscis. The character is often depicted hatching offspring (in some cases, twins) when approaching death, a nod to the Saṃsāra doctrine of numerous Indian religions.
Mothra is one of Toho’s most popular monsters and second only to Godzilla in her total number of film appearances. Polls taken during the early 1990s indicated that Mothra was particularly popular among women who were, at the time, the largest demographic among Japan's movie-going audience, a fact that prompted the filming of 1992's Godzilla vs. Mothra, which was the best-attended Toho film since King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Mothra appeared in the Simpson's episode "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", May 16, 1999.
- Mothra (1961)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
- Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
- Rebirth of Mothra (1996) (as Mothra Leo)
- Rebirth of Mothra II (1997) (as Mothra Leo)
- Rebirth of Mothra III (1998) (as Mothra Leo)
- Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
- Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
- Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018)
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)