Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
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I have been a fan of Japanese animation in partuclar for years. I have seen countless animated films and studied them in depth. I own almost every Studio Ghibli film ever made (including Whisper of the Heart, the Cat Returns, Castle in the Sky, and Castle of Cagliostro). I am here to tell you that Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is without a doubt the greatest animated film I have ever seen in my life...
First of all, this is the first film that the animation genius Miyazaki ever attempted through his own studio. It is also a greatly condensed story, being adapted from a manga that it's creator wrote which was quite lengthly. That being said, this movie is PERFECT.
The animation may be old, but it rivals, and sometiems even demolishes, animation released in the theaters today. The action sequences (and particularly the flight sequences) are truly amazing to behold. The sound effects are marvelous. The music is mind-blowing. The pacing is perfect, the voice-acting beyond perfect. The quality of the artwork continues to astound. But that's not why this is the greatest animated film ever.
At it's heart this is s complex story of man vs. nature and man vs. man. How many times have we been over the topic of how man's meddling is threatening to destroy the world, and how perhaps one day the world will fight back? In the world created in this film, the world has been destroyed by what can only be desribed as an apocalypse (of man's doing). In response, plants and giant bugs are taking over the whole world and inhabiting vast patches fo wasteland.Read more ›
Disney, after originally having scheduled the release of this masterpiece for August 31, having moved it to Feb. 22, and having taken it off the release list, has now reinstated its release on Feb. 22. It will be released with Porco Rosso and The Cat Returns; originally, it was to be released with My Neighbor Totoro, but The Cat has been substituted. This is mistifying, because Cat is a sequel to Whisper from the Heart, a sweet and endearing film that has never been released in the U.S.; a studio does not usually release the sequel first. What is Disney thinking, and what is to be done with Totoro?
That said, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind was Miyazaki's first full-length original film (I don't count the Lupin films because they're part of someone else's work), and it is utterly superb. It is adapted from the epic manga series that he created in between projects while working for other directors, and only covers about 30% of the enormous story. It has a heavy ecological message, and shows Miyazaki's trademark fascination with flight and unusual animals. The story is deep, rich, emotional, and satisfying. The soundtrack, Jo Hisashi's first for Miyazaki, is one of his best; it is not extremely varied, but it is rich and emotional.
A version of this film was introduced as Warriors of the Wind in the late 1980's in the U.S. While the dub was excellent, twenty minutes of cuts made in the film infuriated Miyazaki to the point where he refused to allow any more U.S. sales of his films until Disney agreed to release the films uncut and to do their prodigious best with the vocal talents for the dubs.Read more ›
Some of the themes and undertones of later Miyazaki works can be seen in this earlier film. In particular, the environmental interdependence of man and his environment that later defines "Princess Mononoke" begins in "Nausicaa." The "ohmu," giant armored bugs who attack when one of their own is injured, have the mysterious inner lives that many of the fantastical spirits/gods possess in "Spirited Away." His fascination with wind and flight , lush and complex scenery, and the dynamic "acting" of his characters mark "Nausicaa" as an archetypal Miyazaki work.
Although I watched this anime in the original language with subtitles, Disney has assembled a remarkable cast of voices: Uma Thurman, Chris Sarandon, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos, Alison Lohman, and Mark Hamill. (The extras in the DVD contain interviews with these English-speaking actors about their dubbing experiences.) I watched bits with these voices, and they are actually quite good in that they capture the emotional force and rhythms (to a degree) of the original. For those who get too distracted by reading subtitles , the high-quality dubbing should be appreciated. Still, I am a purist, much preferring the original language.
Because of its larger issues, Miyazaki's animation appeals to adults perhaps more than to children. His intense battles and ominous creatures will probably frighten younger kids, hence the PG rating. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can I say. It's Miyazaki. He weaves exquisite tapestries that illustrate the weaknessess as well as the strengths of humanity. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Diana M. Skill
We love these movies. this is pefect to add to our collection.Published 9 days ago by ashley kennedy
I am a big admirer of Studio Ghibli films and especially this one with a very strong female protagonist. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Angelique
Re-owning this film was a must and it came in great condition and in great time. Thank you!Published 17 days ago by gambitfu
For its age this is probably one of the most underrated hayao miyazaki films.Published 24 days ago by adrian
I want to collect all of miyazaki's animations. This allows me to do just that.Published 26 days ago by Glenda
My movie was used and the disk has scratches on it but it still played fine. LOVE THIS MOVIE!Published 1 month ago by liadmshields
This film is a classic if ever there was one. While there is animated violence and themes that may be harder for children to comprehend I do let my boys 6 & 2 watch it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nell
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Anime is Dead||
Anime is not dead. Hayao Miyazaki is still around making excellent movies.
Dec 15, 2009 by Douglas D. Evans | See all 7 posts
|Warriors of the Wind||
Wariors of the wind was the original dub of nausicaa that horibly mangled and choped up the story. they cut out over 30 more minutes and replaced it with nothing. Not only is the dub horible but the words comming out of their mouths just replace the peace and nature loving ideas with "war is... Read More
Aug 24, 2009 by Geraldeen Dale Levi | See all 5 posts
|READ THE MANGA!||
I would agree that the manga is the superior story, going deeper into the complicated relationships between the nations of naussica's world, and revealing a pessimistic view of humanity in the end times that seems to me sadly accurate.
bear in mind that when the movie was made, the manga was... Read More
Mar 15, 2007 by Frank A. Perna | See all 4 posts
|Where is the blu ray?||
Dec 12, 2010 by Digital Tiger | See all 3 posts
|The Blu ray received a substantial restoration||
I'm going to buy it as soon as I see it. Disney has really been showing this movie the respect it deserves. Disney and Ghibli make a great team.
Mar 27, 2011 by Ford Madox Prefect | See all 2 posts
|Avatar (James Cameron)||Be the first to reply|
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