Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)

Godzilla vs. Mothra (Soundtrack) | Gojipedia | Fandom

Composed by: Akira Ifukube

Having learned with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah that bringing back classic monsters would draw larger audiences, Toho thought it only natural to resurrect their second most popular creation: Mothra. Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth as an alright movie. The general plotline is too much of a mash-up of Mothra and Mothra vs. Godzilla. Once again an unscrupulous corporation wants the Mothra egg and once again they abduct the giant butterfly’s twin fairy priestesses. This again prompts their goddess to go on a justified rampage. Godzilla himself is pretty much a secondary monster character in his own movie, showing up once early on and then reemerging for the last act. The one aspect that gives the film a good injection of creativity is the addition of Battra, Mothra’s darker twin. As with King Ghidorah, Ifukube already had plenty of pre-created themes to use, but he does show more originality with this entry.

Ifukube once again brings back the Godzilla March for the Big G. Like the monster it doesn’t make a whole lot of appearances, but when it does it plays for its full length. Ifukube’s Mothra themes return, but he gives them an update. In addition to the superior sound and orchestral quality, he utilizes her “Sacred Fountain” theme in a new way. This theme was originally reserved for peaceful or mournful scenes, but Ifukube also incorporates it into action cues, notably “Birth of Larval Mothra” and “Godzilla vs. Mothra.” “Mahara Mothra” makes its return as well, backed by exotic tribal percussion. “Mothra’s Song” is obligatorily thrown in with an okay version. Ifukube seems to have more interest in his own thematic creations. Some of the albums do have an energetic pop version. It’s very 90s, and sung by the actresses who play the Cosmos (correct me if I’m wrong). I rather like it.

The strongest point of the score in terms of originality is Battra’s theme. It’s a sinister piece that partially debuts in “The Iceberg Incident.” Its earlier appearances tend to play at a slower tempo when she’s in larval form, with a faster tempo later on in “The Birth of Adult Battra.” Less original, but awesome is the use of a military march from War of the Gargantuas (a 60s Toho film without Godzilla). It represents the maser tanks, vehicles with mounted laser beams. It sounds really great with better sound quality, though it’s ironic how heroic it is when it backs up the military getting their asses handed to them by Battra and then Godzilla.

As far as I know the remaining underscore, while often simple, is original. The Southeast Asian style in “Ruins of the Ayutthaya Dynasty” and “The Hotel in Manila” add some variety and “Midori’s Letter” is a nice one-off emotional tune. The last two cues, which center on the Sacred Fountain theme, provide a calm conclusion to the proceedings. “Mothra Heads in Space” has the theme on harp and guitar. “End Titles” repeats it with a fuller orchestra and heavenly choir.

While not much more original than its predecessor, the music for Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth is a definite improvement. It’s not as energetic, but it does have more in the way of original music and Ifukube does try a couple new things with Mothra’s themes. Ifukube actually won the Japanese equivalent of the Oscar for this film, so that’s nice.

Rating: 7/10

Tracklisting

  1. The Fall of the Meteorite
  2. Main Title
  3. The Golden Image of Ganesh
  4. Destruction of the Temple
  5. The Iceberg Incident
  6. Infant Island
  7. Collapse of the Suspension Bridge
  8. Midori’s Letter
  9. Strange Cave
  10. Discovery of the Giant Egg
  11. The Legend of the Cosmos
  12. The Giant Egg in Tow
  13. Battra’s Fury
  14. The Appearance of Godzilla
  15. The Hotel in Manila
  16. Mothra’s Song
  17. Mahara Mothra
  18. Mothra Heads to Akasaka
  19. The Young Girl and the Cosmos
  20. The Cocoon at the Japanese National Assembly Building
  21. Godzilla Comes From Fuji Volcano
  22. The Birth of Adult Mothra
  23. The Birth of Adult Battra
  24. Mesa March
  25. Mothra vs. Battra
  26. Luminous Fairies
  27. The Three Monsters Fight to the Death
  28. The Halo Above the Water
  29. Mothra Heads Off into Outer Space
  30. Rolling Titles/Ending

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