I have been an animation fan all of my life. I've seen almost every Disney animated flick countless times. I've studied the work of Chuck Jones and marveled at the best of Don Bluth.
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. Various countries are fighting endless wars with each other in a quest to survive. A new danger arises though, as one of the ancient weapons which destroyed the world is found. The nations all claim they want to use it to destroy the bugs that would destroy humanity (not to destroy each other, as each nation claims it's rivals would).
Toss into this mix an oasis from the harshness of the desert wastelands where everyone lives in peace and harmony...and a young girl may hold the secret to ending the eternal battle between man and nature.
The story in Nausicaa is incredibly stong, and the plot is quite deep. What really holds this movie together though, is Nausicaa herself. This young girl is the single greatest anime character ever to grace film. The key lies in something Miyazaki himself once said. A man who is the protagonist would destroy his enemies and defeat them. But the real world is not like that. In the real world, empathy and understanding is the only thing that can save us. And so rather than fight everyone to the death, Nausicaa takes on the far more dangerous goal of making everyone stop fighting before they annihilate everything worth saving. The Japanese are very in touch with the theme of the futility of war (having experienced its effects first-hand), and this film is a perfect example of the pinnacle of where that philosophy can take us.
Miyazaki has changed in his views over time, and this film is not what he considers his best work. I find this to be the ultimate irony. The man doesn't even realize the magnitude of what he has created...
I said it before and I'll say it again. This is the greatest animated film of all time. It covers the full range of emotion, from friendship and understanding to death and destruction and the chance of forgiveness and renewal. I can often tell whether I will enjoy a movie by it's beginning. This movie has the best beginning of any movie I have ever seen. I always know if I will continue to love a movie when it ends, and this movie has the best ending of any movie I have ever seen...
on August 24, 2004
Absolutely, BUY THIS FILM. IT IS ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF ANY TYPE EVER MADE.
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. I still do not feel that their choice of voice actors has always been the best; some of the performances in Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke were at best lackluster, but there's always the subtitles and original Japanese soundtrack for purists who aren't happy with the results.
This film is an absolute must-have for any animation fan. Even being Miyazaki's first film, it is a detailed, mature work far beyond the scope of most animation directors and storytellers. I just hope that Amazon will release this film in a 3-pack with Porco Rosso and The Cat Returns.
This classic anime by Hayao Miyazaki pits a spunky, loving princess against those who misunderstand the precarious balance of nature in their diseased environment. Like most Miyazaki heroines, Princess Nausicaa is an independent girl, full of wisdom despite her young age, and one who approaches life with both awe and determination. When well-meaning but ignorant invaders from another land threaten to destroy the Valley of the Wind, Nausicaa must rely on her special understanding of nature to save them all.
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.
on July 18, 2011
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Animation, Action, Adventure)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman and Shia LaBeouf
Disney / Buena Vista | 1984 | 118 min | Rated PG | Released Mar 08, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
English, English SDH, French
50GB Blu-ray Disc
The Film 5/5
When it comes to animation, my favorite director by far is Hayao Miyazaki. If you have read my Top 20 animated list, you'll see how often his name appears. Studio Ghibli has been responsible for many good films, but Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was actually released in 1984, just before the studio was founded. It remains Miyazaki's most ambitious work because of its epic scope.
Nausicaä is set approximately a thousand years in the future when pollution levels have threatened to destroy life on the planet. The land is dominated by the Toxic Jungle which is filled with poisonous plants. The jungle is protected by giant insects and other creatures.
We meet Nausicaä (Lohman) early in the film when she discovers a discarded ohm shell. Ohms are giant creatures which seems wiser than any humans they may encounter. Nausicaä recovers one of the parts of the shell and takes it home. Ohms are not always calm and their eyes grow red with rage when they are angry. Nausicaä helps save Lord Yupa (Stewart), a master swordsman, from an enraged ohm.
Yupa knows Nausicaä well and has a present for her; a small fox squirrel which she names Teto. Her first encounter with the creature shows us her true nature. She says that there is nothing to fear, but the fox-squirrel bites her. She makes no move, but simply repeats that there is nothing to fear. It stops biting and licks the wound. It's such a touching scene and gives a hint at how Nausicaä interacts with strangers later in the story. She's an easy character to love.
Nausicaä's life is peaceful. She lives in the Valley of the Winds where everyone works together in harmony farming the land. Although her father is the king, princess Nausicaä doesn't put herself above other people. She lends a hand repairing machinery or whatever else is needed. Her people love her; especially the children. For any parent thinking of showing the film to their children, Nausicaä is a good role model.
The film has quite a few battle sequences, but they are brief and involve misguided people who think their causes are just. I think Miyazaki is showing us what could happen if we continue to pollute and exploit the planet without giving any thought to the future. It's a common theme in his stories and is more prominent here than in later films.
Unlike any other animated film I have seen, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind shows us a vast world. We explore some of it and see Nausicaä discover secrets about the world and the creatures inhabiting it. She has a way with animals and insects and seeks solutions that avoid killing any kind of creature. She seems to empathize and realize how to stop seemingly wild creatures from attacking. People around her are frequently amazed by her actions.
The film shows the futility of war and the power people have to change their lives by thinking about their course of action. So much happens in the two hour running time that the film seems to move at a breakneck pace. There is always something happening, whether it's action or a discovery of some kind.
Joe Hisaishi is again responsible for the music, and it's one of the best scores he has ever produced. There's a particular scene with a piece of music using children's voices which has me in tears every time. I'm not sure why, but the music is powerful and fits the scenes perfectly.
I know I haven't revealed much of the story. That's because I want you to discover the secrets for yourself. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind reminds me of scenes in Avatar and Star Wars, but the story is arguably more powerful than both. If you have seen other titles from Hayao Miyazaki, be aware that this contains more adult themes than most. That said, it can and should be enjoyed by the whole family.
Video Quality 4.5/5
If you have seen any of Miyazaki's films, you'll know that his animation style looks nothing like modern studios such as Pixar or Dreamworks. He's an artist in the true sense of the word and the frames of the films look like watercolor paintings. It's been 27 years since the film was released, so the animation style looks a little dated. Some of the supporting characters in crowds won't move, but the overall effect is still wonderful. Disney has delivered another great transfer. Colors improve dramatically over the DVD version. Some scenes look slightly soft, but that's partly due to the animation style. This doesn't look like Up, Ratatouille or Rango, but detail is strong and any Miyazaki fan will be delighted with the result.
Audio Quality 4/5
The film comes with three audio mixes. Disney failed to provide a lossless Japanese option for Ponyo, but purists will be happy to see the Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track included this time. Other versions include English and French: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Although a 5.1 mix would have been welcome, I'm not disappointed by the options on offer. Dialogue is clear throughout, while battle scenes pack a considerable punch. Ambient sounds such as wind in the valley come across well, as does Joe Hisaishi's score.
Special Features 3/5
The additional features are split between the BD and the DVD.
As with other Miyazaki films, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind includes the option to view the entire film with the original Japanese storyboards. It's interesting to see how Miyazaki's original sketches developed.
Enter the Lands of Ghibli gives the viewer the option to click on characters from some of the other films. There's not a huge amount of content, but it's nice to see.
Behind the Studio: Creating Nausicaä (12 minutes, HD) - A brief feature which includes thoughts from Miyazaki.
The Birth Story of Studio Ghibli (28 minutes, SD) - A TV documentary from Japan talking about Studio Ghibli's origins.
Behind the Microphone (8 minutes, SD) - The American cast is shown recording some of the scenes and talking about the film.
Original Japanese Trailers and TV Spots (8 minutes, SD)
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind includes a lot of themes and elements that we have come to expect in a Hayao Miyazaki movie, but it's more epic in scope. Like Avatar, this makes me feel like I am stepping onto another world. Unlike Avatar, the dialogue isn't dumb in any way. I like Nausicaä as a character because her intentions are always good. She sees the best in everyone and is a positive force. The whole experience makes the film one I love to revisit and it's always rated among my favorite animated titles. Disney's Blu-ray presentation does the film justice and is highly recommended as a story that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Overall score 4.5/5
on March 13, 2005
Before I start my review, let me state that I did manage to see this film subtitled at an art museum in New York. For me, it was a very interesting experience to discover Miyazaki in his youngest days. While some may find the quality of this film to be a bit dated upon initial glance, it is important to remember that NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND was made back in 1984, so the animation, likewise, does not have as much polish as Miyazaki's later work displays. But this is not to say that NAUSICAA is unwatchable because of that. This is a deeply complex, imaginative tale set in a post-apocalyptic world that will remind many of PRINCESS MONONOKE, only the protagonist is a girl. Nausicaa is a compassionate princess who prefers to solve problems with peace, not vengeance. Her struggle to resolve a bitter conflict between two warring kingdoms and prevent them from reaching her home valley is not a good vs. evil tale. The characters are all flawed, believable people with their own agendas and redeeming qualities.
In a testament to Miyazaki's admiration of nature, the film offers a sub-plot involving a supposedly poisonous jungle. The product of a terrible global war, this thick, lush forest not only showcases Miyazaki's imagination (those insects sure are creepy-looking!) but also emphasizes the dangers of world pollution.
While NAUSICAA is an older movie from Miyazaki, it manages to hold surprisingly well--most classics have such staying power.
Its long journey to America is a story in and of itself. In 1985 (a year after the film broke records in Japan), NAUSICAA debuted in America--renamed WARRIORS OF THE WIND, drastically altered, and cut by a quarter of its two-hour running time, much to the outrage of Miyazaki and his colleagues. Since that time, Miyazaki declared that any adaptations of his films for American release must be done under the supervision of his company, Studio Ghibli.
As much as some folks love to hate Disney these days, one can credit them for taking the time to strike a deal with Miyazaki to distribute his films globally. While the Mouse House has made their share of marketing mistakes with his films, the dubs they've produced thus far--KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE, PRINCESS MONONOKE, SPIRITED AWAY, and CASTLE IN THE SKY--all have maintained a quality of excellence and strong performances from a solid cast of well-known actors and actresses. This brand new English version of NAUSICAA is no exception.
As the title character, Alison Lohman provides commendable sincerity, compassion, and vulnerability, and is amply supported by a grand cast of side characters, which include Uma Thurman (the embittered empress Kushana); Chris Sarandon (the sneaky, smarmy Kurotowa); Edward James Olmos (feisty, loyal Mito); and unexpected appearances by veteran character stalwarts Tress MacNeille, Jeff Bennett, Tony Jay (who does a brief opening voiceover), and the Little Mermaid herself, Jodi Benson. Shia LaBeouf's Asbel sounds a bit rocky at first, but he grew on me. Mark Hamill, fresh from his outstanding turn as the evil Muska on the brilliant yet underappreciated (on some places anyway) CASTLE IN THE SKY dub, plays a small role as the Mayor of Pejite. He only appears in two scenes, and consequently, his performance here isn't as remarkable as his work in CASTLE IN THE SKY, but it's nonetheless great to hear his golden voice in another Miyazaki dub. Arguably the highlight of this dub is Patrick Stewart as Nausicaa's mentor, Lord Yupa. He speaks with strong Shakespearian diction and carries the dub as a whole through his subtle, charismatic rendition of this skilled swordsman.
Miyazaki declared that any new adaptation of his masterpiece should be nothing but a straight translation and no cuts. English dub scriptwriters Donald H. Hewitt and Cindy Davis Hewitt (who worked on Spirited Away) honor his wishes through their adaptation, remaining faithful to the story while tweaking a bit of terminology for comprehension purposes.
As with Miyazaki's other works, Joe Hisaishi provides the music score. Compared to the more lush soundtracks he composed for Miyazaki's later films, his score for NAUSICAA, while undeniably beautiful, occasionally comes off as a tad primitive, notably when it breaks into sometimes jarring techno-synth jingles. For better or worse, his score remains intact in the new cut of NAUSICAA, which will no doubt please purists. I was a bit disappointed, however--especially when his ambitious reworking of the CASTLE IN THE SKY score (composed exclusively for that dub) turned out so well IMO. A film like this deserves a 5.1 remix! Nonetheless, it's my one quibble of this otherwise top-notch English track of Miyazaki's most revered masterpiece.
The DVD sports a near flawless visual transfer and a humble serving of extras--which include the typical English voice talent featurette we saw on Disney's previous wave of Miyazaki's films, trailers and TV spots, and a second disc devoted entirely to storyboards. The most noteworthy feature on this disk is a 30-minute long documentary, "The Birth of Studio Ghibli", which is undistractingly dubbed into English. For fans that are curious about the upbringing of this animation studio and wondering which of their films have yet to be released, this is a must-see.
As someone who has been very pleased with Disney's releases of Miyazaki's works so far, I am delighted to say that they have done yet another bang-up job on polishing this legendary classic for new generations to cherish. Don't be fooled by its primitive looks; NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND's status as a masterpiece resonates from the first minute to the last.
on July 31, 2004
This is my favorite Miyazaki movie; I like it better than Laputa (Castle in the Sky), Spirited Away, or even Mononoke. As amazingly imaginative and touching as those movies are, I found Nausicaa to be even moreso. It just moved me in a way that is hard to describe. Visualy, the film is just plain beautiful. Even by today's standards. The music, as someone else stated, is haunting. Miyazaki's wonderful inventiveness is at its greatest here; the unusual post-apocaliptic world the film is set in is alive and unique.
The great tragedy is that I've only been able to watch this movie as a poor copy-of-a-copy fansubed bootleg. It simply has not been available in the States in any other form. Hopefuly we'll soon see what we were missing; props to those responsible for finaly getting this movie released here.
If you've liked any of Miyazaki's other films, or if you are an anime fan in general, check this movie out.
on March 9, 2011
This review is for Nausicaa on Bluray, unfortunately I have to specify since amazon has compiled reviews for Warriors of the Wind, Nausicaa on DVD, and also Nausicaa on Bluray all under this Blu Ray release.
Also, this is not a "movie review" it is a review of the BluRay edition of this film. If this was a movie review it would easily earn five stars since this is one of the greatest works of animation ever created, but has it been treated so with this BluRay release? read on to find out.
I couldnt be more excited upon hearing that Nausicaa as well as some other Studio Ghibli films would be released on Bluray in the United States!
I bought this release day at my local Target, it wasnt easy to find at least for its initial release, it took a few tries at other major retailers to find it. And even when I did it wasnt on the shelves they had to retrieve it from the inventory room, the man told me they only recieved 3 copies.
I was very pleased with the chosen artwork for the front cover, a beautiful hand drawn nausicaa with a very minimalistic brown and blue color palette.
Unfortunately, The packaging has no more surprises up its sleeve.
I was a little bummed with the obvious lack of effort that went into this packaging. When opened you will find only Disney advertising inserted inside. No collectable artwork like the new releases of Totoro, Kiki, and Laputa?
nope, you get no inserts that pertain to the movie, just two ugly discs with the same artwork on the disc as the front cover! lame, could this have been any more lazy? It is great artwork dont get me wrong, but repeated 3 times!
The strange thing is the printing on the DVD is really good with high resolution and DPI. But some lazy designer tried to add some really lame design patterns over the BluRay disc art and the image is low resolution and blurry. Thats right, it looks like it was printed on low setting on a home printer. I was very dissapointed with this.
Now on to the BluRay version of the film.
After watching the bluray version a few times I can honestly say this is the ultimate version of this film, but that still doesnt mean it is as good as it could have been.
This is by far the noisiest bluray film I have ever seen. And by "noise" I mean digital picture noise. Its really bad. Some scenes look very nice and the Noise level is down, usually on the darker scenes or scenes with a blue tone palette. But some of the day scenes, especially the very beginning of the film and the dust storm look awfull! I would actually prefer watching some of those scenes compressed, and blurred over.
But, on the other hand I realize this is now a pretty old film, about 27 years old now yikes! So I can give them the benefit of the doubt and understanding that converting this film to bluray isnt always going to be a seamless transition.
But just so im clear, there is far more eye candy in this movie watching it in high def, enough at least to forgive some of the noisy textures. The planes and rigs, as well as some of the scenes from the sea of decay look phenomenal!
The jump to BluRay also doesnt really help with the sound catagory of this film at all. So if you are buying this hoping to watch this film in booming surround sound you wont. Though the english dubs are fairly new recordings the music and sound effects are mostly original and so you are still playing early 1980's recorded music and sound. It still sounds compressed. The quality lacks but the actual musical score is still in my opinion one of the best of Joe Hisaishi.
The extras are very lacking in this realease, there is nothing new here that isnt on the DVD version of this film. The" Enter the lands" world of ghibli is nothing special and is essentially just ads for other ghibli films. The only new addition is the trivia game. It will ask various questions about the film and give you a ranking of your knowledge. Its only mildly entertaining the first time through.
overall 4 out of 5
If your a fan of Nausicaa you are still going to want this release, but if your on the fence about upgrading from the DVD remember your really only spending the extra money for slightly better picture. If you dont own this film at all I would still recommend this version.
I hope with the future ghibli BluRay releases a little bit more care and effort will go into them.
p.s. the menu screen is really lack luster and at least for me its a pain to load! also the sound effect for the buttons is mixed really load, even when the sound is only playing from the tv speakers the title screen music will be really subtle and the buttons go BOP! BOP! BOP! yikes Disney.
In the early nineties, one of my pre-school daughter's favorite videos was something entitled WARRIORS OF THE WIND. As an adult, I found much in it to be of interest, and much of the animation to be of an exceedingly high quality, but overall the film lacked balance and a cohesive structure to make it a truly great animated film. Later I learned that the animator/writer/director Hiyao Miyazaki had been horrified with the way his Japanese original had been transferred into English and that many of the ecological concerns of the film had been muted by aggressive editing on the part of the American distributors. During the past two decades the English-language revision of NAUSICAA AND THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, the film which through reediting became WARRIORS OF THE WIND has generated as much anger as any film ever made. Now, however, arguably the greatest injustice in the history of animation has been redressed with a marvelous new edition of what is easily one of Miyazaki's greatest achievements.
There is a lot of debate about where NAUSICAA AND THE VALLEY OF THE WIND stands among all of Miyazaki's films Even while there has been a growing consensus that Miyazaki is the greatest maker of feature length animated film ever, there is controversy as to whether this film is or is not his greatest film. I'll confess my bias that it is his finest film, though I certainly can understand why someone would defend the assertion that THE PRINCESS MONONOKE or SPIRITED AWAY deserves that designation. Both of those films are a bit more polished and even more lavishly and elaborately drawn. My own reasons for preferring NAUSICAA are several. First, I personally believe that NAUSICAA is the first truly great Miyazaki film. Although he had done many superb films before this one, it was at this point that his art reached an apex that he has matched on other occasions, but never unquestionably surpassed. Second, I loved the story, both the scope of Miyazaki's vision, the cohesiveness of his narrative, and the richness of the moral message underlying the film. Finally, the animation of the film just blew me away even in the bowdlerized version of the film, and does so even more in this fully restored version. Miyazaki pioneered in animation the framing of images in cinematic fashion. For instance, Miyazaki manipulates in scenes in which Nausicaa flies her glider beside a larger ship to be from the same point of view a camera would be if it were a live action scene. His perspective is always driven by an imaginary camera, unlike, say, the Disney films, in none of whose films from the forties to the eighties can be found a similar manipulation of perspective. Several Disney films from the late eighties to the present display such perspective at times, but I would suggest that it is not an accident that these were made after Miyazaki had perfected the technique in a number of films. Perhaps Miyazaki has made minor improvements in his films since NAUSICAA, but none represent the quantum leap forward that this one did.
One reason my daughter watched and rewatched WARRIORS OF THE WIND, until she literally wore out the video, was the lead character. If my memory serves me correctly, they changed the central character's name from Nausicaa to some far blander name, a change that is emblematic for the production as a whole. But even in that version, Nausicaa stood out as not merely one of the most compelling heroines in animated film, but in all films. In fact, even today Nausicaa compares favorably with such characters as Ripley from the ALIEN films and Buffy Summers as a compelling heroine. She is at moments subject to the kind of preciousness that mars many moments in anime in particular and Asian film in general (think of key moments in films when Jackie Chan ceases his chase of the villains to save a baby in danger, or the way in this one where Nausicaa cuddles with the half cat/half fox creature that attaches itself to her), but all in all, she is utterly courageous, amazingly inventive, unstintingly moral and compassionate, fiercely uncompromising in her principles, and unfailingly resourceful. In scene after scene after scene, Miyazaki invents new and strangely believable ways for his diminutive heroine to resolve seemingly impossible crises. By the end of the film, one has as much confidence in Nausicaa to save the day as Superman or Batman or Indiana Jones. As the father of a girl I can't express how important it was to her when she was young to have such a female heroine to enjoy. Male or female, heroic characters do not come any better than Nausicaa.
No review of this film would be complete without adding some praise for the score. Although I had a tad bit of trouble with the childlike voice that intentionally intones lyrics slightly off key (Sarah Vaughan would famously sing out of tune when she would sing the Ira Gershwin line "The way you sing off key," but she even sang off key musically in a way that enhanced the song as a whole) to produce a decidedly irritating effect, the score as a whole is amazingly effective.
The wonderful thing about the entire series of new issues of the entire Miyazaki catalog is that they consistently provide both the original which can be watched with subtitles and an extremely high quality dubbed version. In live action films I am an unstinting purist. I simply won't watch a dubbed version of a film with live actors, since one gains so much from hearing the actual voices of the actors. I always get a kick on the X-FILES DVDs listening to the various foreign language dubbings and chuckling at the gap between, say, the voice of Gillian Anderson as Scully and the voice of the low-voiced actress dubbing her into German. But with animation it is a different matter. For one thing, the animated characters do not possess actual voices, but have only what any actor gives them. Additionally, animation is even more than live action films driven by the images on the screen. I find I always enjoy the visual aspect of the film more by not having to focus both on what is on the screen and on subtitles. Luckily, one can with this DVD set do both, watch it first in the dubbed version and then in the subtitled, or vice versa. I very much enjoyed the actors used to dub the English version. There were some obligatory big names-Patrick Stewart, who is outstanding as Lord Yupa, Alison Lohman (who voiced Nausicaa), Uma Thurman, Edward James Olmos-but most of the people were highly appropriate for the character they were dubbing.
My only complaint with the DVDs is the way that Disney programs the DVDs to try to steer you to an endless series of Disney commercials when the discs are first inserted. Such spamming is just not appropriate to DVDs and especially not to an otherwise high quality version of a Miyazaki classic. Still, I applaud Disney for taking the effort to make almost Miyazaki's entire incredibly impressive corpus available. Only a few years ago, before the release of PRINCESS MONONOKE, Miyazaki was still unknown to most American filmgoers. He still doesn't enjoy the reputation that he deserves, but the release of his films on DVD is treated as event even by Wal-Mart and Target. He truly is without his peer in the world of feature length film animation, for not only does he do an amazing percentage of the animation himself, he also writes the stories, and acts as both producer and director. No other great animator has involved himself in his films at such great length and in such detail.
on April 12, 2004
This is the movie that started it all. Without this, Hayao Miyazaki wouldn't be where he is today. There would be no "Princess Mononoke" or "Sprited Away".
(ok , maybe that's wrong. But wouldn't be as big as they are)
"Nausicaa" has all the ingredients a Miyazaki movie needs. Beautiful pictures, rich human characters, complex but highly relatable and understandable themes, amazing imaginations made into reality (almost.. But you likely will forget that you are watching a "CARTOON") , great music by legendary Joe Hisaishi, and above all this, the flying sequences! There's no good or bad in this story. There are people just like us trying to survive on the edge of collapse. Even though it takes place in distant future (2000 years later), you can see the same is happening in today's world.
This was made 20 years ago, so that the graphics maybe a little primitive compareing to his later work. But I know you will be totally sucked into it once the openning credits starts. ( Be aware of the openning theme tune, too. It's hauntingly beautiful )
Mr. Miyazaki reportedly isn't as fond of this movie as his fans are, because of the religious imagery in the end. But If you liked his other work, This movie is a MUST SEE! I'm very happy that It's finally going to be released in the states, and the rest of the world (I assume?), because this movie carries a very important message, especially since the state of the world now is more alarming than ever. Also because I get to see it again!
Thank you Disney. Can't wait 'til August. But I wish this would be released in the theatres.
on February 27, 2005
From the director of academy award winning Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki brings to us his personal first, Nausicaa of The Valley of The Wind. This epic fantasy is based off the manga, and shortend to bring it to the delight of fans everywhere.
Nausicaa takes place a thousand years after a global war which left many parts of the earth covered in toxins an unihabital to humans, but not to bugs which are literally the size of houses. Nausicaa, the princess of the Valley of the Wind, leds the people of the Valley of the Wind, which is one of the places still populated, with courage and heart unlike any other. The people look to her for strength and reasurance when they are invaded by an empire looking to awaken one of the Giant Warriors to exterminate the bugs they view as the problem of the toxins. This remains untrue due to Nausicaa's discovering it is in fact that these bugs protect the forest which are slowly cleansing the earth of the toxins. it is now left up to her to stop the empire's that threaten the vally from angering the bugs and destroying the world.
This epic fantasy focuses on the environment and a possible future which could happen years from now if nations keep waring and destroying the earth. Its a touching tale one sure to keep you on the edge of your seat, and im not just saying that. It goes from one susupensful scene to another as you watch Nausicaa strive to save her home and her people: she sacrifice everything to save them. The music in this film is also absoluting enchanting, i love films with great music and this one tops it off. Plus it has such vivid color and imagination that you forget that its a movie and not the real thing. Its simply breath taking.
I personally love the japanese voice track myself, but with an all star cast doing the english track, and you can tell the hard work they put into it to make the story flow right and stick to the original script, it makes it doubly enjoyable. While i do think they could have gotten a better voice for Nausicaa in the English track all the other voices are A+. Voice talents include: Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart (awesome choice!), Edward James Olmos, and Mark Hamil.
Here are the features that come with in the two disk set:
-Behind the Microphone with the english voice talents listed above
-Complete Storyboards: Get an insiders look at the films artistry
-Original Japanese Trailors
-The birth Story of Studio Ghibli Featurette
-English and original Japanese Soundtracks
-THX-Ceritfied, including THX Optimizer
-Widescreen (1.85:1)-Enhanced for 16x9 televisions
This movie is surly made for anyone who loves great fantasy and a deep lover of anime and Miyazaki's work. I have watched this film a dozen times all ready and i never tire of it. It is surly the best anime i have ever seen. I hope there is more to come. You will not be left wanting when you watch Nausicaa, i gaurantee it.