Let’s face it, it was only a matter of time before I did a Hayao Miyazaki film so I might as well get it out of the way. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind actually came out in 1984 so pre studio Ghibli, which was set up a year later. But all the Ghibli elements many of us have come to love are still there probably due in no small part to both the founders of Ghibli all been involved i.e. Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki.
The story is set in the for mentioned Valley of the Wind which is surrounding not only by a poisonous forest full deadly animals, but between two warring nations both of whom are vastly militarily superior to the Valley of the Wind. The story follows Princess Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind as she tries to help provide for the land and stop her country been torn apart by the two waring nations.
Why watch it
First of all like Coraline (Selick, 2009) (which I have previously written about) this film is an inspiration for young girls around the world. Nausicaä is strong both physically and mentally, she is resourceful smart and caring. But she is also a three-dimensional person who struggles with the enormity of the situation as well. So many characters in movies are so one dimensional that they are impossible to ever become. Nausicaä is someone everyone in the world can become.
There is also a very, very strong political message. If you are those few people on earth who don’t believe that climate change is happening, then you might get angry at this film. Because it is very strongly point out that what we are doing as humans is destroying the world, it is also very anti-war and is all about conciliation.
But if you don’t look for any of the political messages at all then you are left with a wonderful movie. A action movie with a hint of a love story. It is absolutely beautiful to look at, the animation on this film is simply outstanding. The Ohm particularly are amazing to look at.
Why I am writing about it
Generally I have found a lot of people are against the idea of watching anime movies for some reasons I can’t quite understanding because these same people usually don’t mind watching a Pixar movie i.e. CG, but no anime. Unless you are a Ghibli fan chances are you haven’t watched Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Because generally the causal fans have watched Spirited Away (Miyazaki, 2001), Princess Mononoke (Miyazaki, 1997) and My Neighbor Totoro (Miyazaki, 1988). All of which are great films don’t get me wrong, but they are missing out on some major classics such as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and if I can get one more person to see how great this movie is, it will be worth it.
The other issue people generally have with foreign language movies is the fact that don’t want to read subtitles it is distracting or they just can’t be bothered. Well as with all Ghibli movies it has both a subbed and dubbed version, I have seen both and they are both good so no worries and no excuses.
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