Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

PG   |    |  Animation, Adventure, Fantasy


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) Poster

Warrior and pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

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  • Sumi Shimamoto in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Alison Lohman in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


15 April 2003 | TanjBennett
10
| loyalty, bravery, and adventure after an apocalypse
This was the film which introduced me (and many others in the 1980s) to Miyazake, and even in the form of a poor quality VHS on an ordinary TV, it was amazing. By 1984 Miyazake was already well known in Japan for his anime work in film, TV, and for the comic strip that this film was based upon.

In this early full length film he really got to spread his wings. There are fantastic aerial sequences like the jet-glider evading the flying snakes, which (this predates computed 3D, and aerial sequences are present in most of his work) are just a tour-de-force of imagination and geometry. And yet this is a world that feels very organic, not geometric, with a cast of characters drawn in a unique cross between hobo, samurai, and pirate - totally blending in to an imaginary post apocalyptic world where humans scratch out a precarious life in villages hidden in the few green valleys left in a world of desert, where the only remaining resources are wind, sunlight, and humans.

But it is also a world of enormous dangers, including airborne bandits and the strange, mutated creatures that have evolved to control the barren and scarred earth. When our heroine's valley home is attacked by raiders, she embarks on an adventure against them that will lead her, and some unlikely allies found along the way, to an eventual confrontation combining warring armies of bandits, ancient machines of infernal destruction, and the implacable, mysterious, threatening beasts which roam the badlands. The pace is swashbuckling - if this were a book, it would be one you could not stop reading.

It has the feel of the original comic books, but plays out wonderfully on the screen - you don't need to know the comics. The style is very unique. Even though it is very stylized (no photorealism here), you immediately get the feeling of the world and the characters. The story works for children of all ages (mine both first saw this before they were 6, and have memorized it long since), and combined with the wonderful visuals it is a treat for adults too. As a genre I would classify it as soft (no attempt at scientific correctness) sci-fi rather than fantasy, though some might think it more a work of fantasy. It is fascinating partly because its roots in style and action are unexpected for a western viewer. Japanese manga and stories had evolved in their own way, and although this is early Miyazake, it is already a product of that mature and distinct art form.

As always with Miyazake - if you haven't seen his work, well you haven't seen anything like it, and it is time you did.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Star Trek" alien species the Nausicaans, who were first mentioned in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Samaritan Snare (1989) and first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Tapestry (1993), were named after the film.


Quotes

Nausicaä: Please, dear God, please hear this prayer, you must protect the people of the Valley.


Goofs

During the climactic battle scene, the design of Ohbaba's headband changes several times. It sometimes has gold beads instead of gold-circled turquoise beads on the end-pieces, and alternately terminates with a single or a double line of cord.


Crazy Credits

As the credits roll we see life returning to normal in the valley: Kushana, Kurotowa and the Tolmekian fleet leave peacefully, after Nausicaä has unheard words for Kushana. The denizens of the Valley of the Wind replant trees in the burned-down forest. Lord Yupa and Asbel ride Yupa's beasts to the Toxic Jungle and explore it. When the text "The End" appears on screen we see Nausicaa's discarded helmet in the forest, alongside a green, non-Toxic Jungle sapling.


Alternate Versions

Released in the US and Europe in 1985 as "Warriors of the Wind". This version removed nearly 25 minutes of footage (including the entire opening credits sequence, much of Nausicaa exploring the toxic jungle, Yupa and Nausicaa's discussion in her laboratory, flashbacks of young Nausicaa defending the baby Ohmu, Asbel and Nausicaa's dialogue about the nature of the poisonous forest, several sequences leading up to the God Soldier, and the entirety of the ending credits montage save for the very last shot of Nausicaa's hat). In addition, character names were changed and most of the dialogue was completely rewritten with no regard for the film's plot.


Soundtracks

Saranbande
Written by
George Frideric Handel (as G.F. Händel)

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Animation | Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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