After ending the Godzilla series with the Heisei series, Toho wanted to maintain a higher grossing monster movie. The one that drew in females in what's admittedly a pretty male-centric genre was Mothra. Mothra is definitely known for her numerous roles as a hero of sorts in Godzilla films ever since her first role in a Godzilla movie (Godzilla vs Mothra, 1964). But actually, Mothra had her own movie before all of this, like some other monsters best known for their role in Godzilla movies (Rodan comes to mind). Her 1961 movie is something to check out, but getting that history out of the way brings us back to 1996's Rebirth of Mothra. Unlike the Heisei series of Godzilla movies, Toho decided to cater more towards kids with the Mothra series.
Mothra received a huge intake of power with her Heisei Godzilla redesign, and that continued even more so with this RoM series. Boy, even the larvae can beam spam! Mothra looks okay, but a bit fuzzy in moth form. Her offspring, named Mothra Leo, looks pretty good and doesn't fall apart like the larvae of the Showa series. This is also the first time we have a distinctly male Mothra, Leo. In moth form, Leo looks notably different from the female Mothra. Mothra also has blue circular eyes, whereas Leo has more angled green eyes and other design tweaks. I like that. How about the villain monster in this movie, Desghidorah? He's an interesting take on the Ghidorah family, relying on four legs and with an almost elephant-like roar. He sure makes you hope for his death the way he heartlessly attacks Mothra and Leo in larvae stage. Kinda graphic actually if the kids are too young. Overall the monsters are a plus and the action is pretty good. The drawback is that the final battle between Leo in moth form and Desghidorah is just way too easy. Desghidorah overpowers the aging Mothra in the beginning, but then Leo just comes in and gives him a good one-two. Easy peasy. Except it was annoyingly easy. Maybe this has something to do with the kid-centric theme.
Moving on, what else does the film bring? Well, the RoM series has one distinctly annoying trait for me, at least with the region one release: the women just scream and scream and SCREAM. It gets old. The pacing is a bit iffy here too and a number of scenes could've been cut entirely or trimmed.
What we have here is a decent movie, and you might certainly be emotional when you see the larvae desperately trying to keep its dying/dead mother alive. It's probably worth more than a 6/10 for younger people, but if you're a much beyond perhaps a teenager you may not enjoy as much. Its sequel, Rebirth of Mothra II, is arguably even more child-themed, so it doesn't get better here on out in that sense. But for all this kid theme talk, I still like the movie and have a copy on DVD.