Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) Poster

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A masterpiece, if you can find the real version
GDC18 November 1999
First off, let me state emphatically that I'm referring to the REAL version of the film, not the pathetic crippled creature distributed as "Warriors of the Wind" on video. Although I must admit that I first fell in love with the movie in that form, I have now seen the full subtitled version, and I place a hideous curse on those who hacked over 20 minutes from its running time.

Although the incredible "Princess Mononoke" later upstaged this early work in terms of art and detail, in many ways I still prefer "Nausicaa". Its imaginitive and well-conceived world puts me in mind of Dune with its feuding factions, its giant creatures, and its strong ecological message. Even with a rather long running time, the story moves very briskly (boiled down as it was from a very lengthy manga series). The music deserves special mention, as well, as it is a large step up from the electronic pop stylings of most anime.

If you can get your hands on a copy of the original version, you'll find it more than worth the effort.
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loyalty, bravery, and adventure after an apocalypse
TanjBennett15 April 2003
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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THE film to challenge people's assumptions about anime.
insightstraight19 February 2004
I saw the dubbed version years ago and, even in that form, was taken by the imaginative visuals, interesting storyline, and worthwhile characters. I was also impressed by the fact the lead character was a strong young woman, who was a "warrior" yet whose greatest strength lay in her compassion (rather than striving to become a female Rambo.)

I tracked down a copy of the VHS and sent it to my young nieces, pleased with a "kid's" movie which provided a positive role model without being dumb. The movie captivated them as well -- they wore the tape out, and it started them on a lifelong interest in anime. It was they who sent me the uncut subtitled version years later, completing the circle.

Nausicaa is decent science fiction, often breath-taking animation, and unusually *human* characters, and every time I see it I am glad I returned. Everyone should give it a chance, especially those who have written off anime as "round eyed kids and lots of explosions".
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A Masterpiece of Animated Cinema
mahlersoboes25 May 2005
Director Hayao Miyazaki won a place in my heart after I saw his 2001 film Spirited Away. I'm in no position to claim to be an expert on Miyazaki (I've only seen three of his films), nor am I really a big fan of Japanese animation; but I can safely say that Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one of the very best animated films I have ever seen. The beauty of the animation is stunning, with its close attention to detail--every frame is constructed as a work of art--and the story is enthralling. As with other Miyazaki films, the majority of characters are much more three-dimensional that you typically get in Western animated features, and nearly all of them aren't exactly what they seem to be.

Nausicaä, which is based on Miyazaki's gargantuan Manga series, is set in the distant future, after fires destroyed much of the earth. The world is being consumed by the Sea of Decay, a toxic forest that spreads through airborne spores and is protected by giant insects called ohmu. The Valley of the Wind is one of the last pure places on earth, and its Princess, Nausicaä, is a strong-willed yet free-spirited young woman seeking to solve the mystery of the Sea of Decay. A nearby nation, which claims to have harnessed the power that allowed humans to rule the earth a thousand years before, takes over after a plane carrying a mysterious living cargo crashes in the valley. What follows in the film is a struggle, not of good versus evil, but of man versus nature. The story is complex, as is its message, and Miyazaki has ingeniously spun deep complexities into the animated characters: what look like foes may not be, and what look like friends may be a bit more dangerous.

The animation is colorful, sweeping, expansive, and beautiful, as are the plot and characters. There is an immediacy to the story that makes a big emotional impact and makes us question how we handle our position in nature. As one of the characters in the film asks, have humans become but a tribe destined to be swallowed by the Sea of Decay? It is ultimately a film about compassion in the face of violence and war, which is what makes it so different from Western features.

Disney's recent DVD release is excellent. The film can be watched either in the original Japanese audio or Pixar's dub with Patrick Stewart and Uma Thurman, and there are separate subtitles for each language track--a literal one (hallelujah!) for the Japanese track, and a more closed-captions style set for the English track. The film is so stunning in the Japanese that I have never considered watching the dub, though a fellow film buff has said that it is "not so bad." After this film was released in the US in the 1980s in a completely mangled version called Warriors of the Wind, Miyazaki suspended all US rights of all his other films until the distributor would honor the stipulation that they be released without any editing. The fact that Disney, which is known for watering down nearly everything it touches, has done this with such a non-Western-style movie is amazing.
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The first of the 'canonical' Miyazaki films.
Lupercali18 September 2004
The first thing to establish is that this is a science fiction epic. It has more in common with 'Dune' or any number of SF novels - Brian Aldiss's 'Hothouse' springs to mind for one- than it does with a typical western animated children's film. Therefore one's expectations should be a little different, and ultimately it was the SF aspect which gave the movie such a high grade in my books. Whereas it didn't have quite the emotional clout that I look for in an animated feature, it was a stupendously told SF story.

Technically not a Ghibli film (Miyazaki actually used the studio which did most of 'The Last Unicorn', and which more or less became Ghibli when 'Laputa' was made a couple of years later), 'Nausicaa' is a far-future SF story with a princess/warrior/nature-lover heroine and strong environmental themes. There's also an opposing princess/leader trying to use technology to overcome the apparently hostile environment. If you're starting to think 'Princess Mononoke', you'd be on the right track. In some ways 'Nausicaa' seems like an early stab in the direction of 'Mononoke', though the latter would delve far more into spirituality and mythology, eschewing the SF aspects.

There aren't really any major weak points in Nausicaa - unless you count the frustrating 12 drawings per second animation which I constantly complain about in Japanese animation. The backgrounds aren't as amazing and the animation not as good as the last few Ghibli films, but for 1984 it was plenty good enough. I have a fairly trivial complaint in that the character of Kuratowa is drawn in a slightly more 'anime' style, ala Lupin III, whereas all of the other characters are done in a realistic style. He just seems a little out of place, though he's quite delightfully drawn.

The really strong points of the movie are its pacing (at least until the very end. Miyazaki was unhappy with the end too), its story telling, which manages to be sophisticated without being impossibly complex, its engrossing background drawings and settings, - and most of all in the amazing attention to detail in the fully realized post-apocalypse SF-fantasy world in which the story is set. Every little thing is worked out and placed such that you find yourself admiring inventions, ideas, structures, creatures, etc which don't draw attention to themselves, but simply exist as part of the backdrop of the movie. Of course 'Nausicaa' had existed for several years as a serialised Manga, so Miyazaki no doubt knew its universe inside-out.

There's a very clever plot, which I won't give away, but which involves humanity's relationship with the Earth and nature.

It's the sort of movie which you can get thoroughly caught up in, and which will stand repeated viewings. It really is a film which is perfectly pitched at both a young and an adult audience. As Miyazaki's second feature film it is also, rightly or wrongly, usually considered the start of Studio Ghibli, and is arguably worth watching for historical reasons, too.

Not the very best from Miyazaki or Ghibli, but an auspicious beginning.

PS, in case you didn't know, there was a heavily butchered US version floating around called 'Warriors of the Wind', which is universally reviled as a disgrace. Just to make it confusing, some of the Japanese copies are also called 'Warriors of the Wind'. The thing to look for is the 116 minute running length. If you get that, you've got the right one. At the moment the only way you can get the film is in Japanese dialog with English subtitles. Personally I'd go ahead and do that, rather than wait while Disney squats on the US distribution rights (Amazon gives it a release date of 2010 for God's sake). You can always replace it later.

Good stuff.
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The film of all times.
Fangor1 October 2003
The film of all times. My personal favorite of all films, anime and non-anime. It has it all, a great, involving story that holds many important lessons of life. Interesting characters. Action, adventure, and above all feeling, the mood just sucks me in and holds on till the very end and beyond. The music is epic, and the animation is top class. The setting is a futuristic kind of midevil inspired fantasy... if that says anything... but anyway it feels very real although fantastic and apeals to me. This movie is from the very heart of Hayao Miyazaki, the master of anime... Its so sad that the dubbed version was so butchered, it was the first version I saw(actualy the swedish dubbing of the american dubbing(sigh)) and I thaught it was great, but now that I have seen the original, a new door has opened and revealed a true masterpiece. I recomend this film to all and everyone. Average 10(10)
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If Miyazaki had made that film only, his legacy would have been the same...
ElMaruecan8227 July 2017
The name of Nausicaä belongs to Greek mythology; she was the Princess who saved Ulysses from drowning. And the "Valley of the Winds" was loosely inspired from the tragedy of Minimata Bay and the way it maintained its ecosystem viable despite the pollution. "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds" finds the perfect balance between the theme of nature always finding its way and the dramatic struggle of a heroine saving humanity from "drowning" in belligerent wickedness.

I'm mentioning Minimata but the tragedy of Fukushima could have inspired a similar intuition that technological advances could only lead to the downfall of humanity inasmuch as men continue to display the same carelessness and arrogance. In his "Nausicaä", Hayao Miyazaki doesn't warn us but rather confronts us to a plausible future, a future with a few survivors driven to the last corners of Earth where wind and water prevented a toxic jungle name Fukaï from spreading.

The film, all in visual splendor, displays the usual Sci-fi and Fantasy archetypes but they don't distract from the environmentalist and pacifist message. We accept them in the sense that the story is set one thousand years after the apocalypse and we expect technology to have produced jet-propelled gliders and flying vessels. But the film also has a Renaissance look à la "Princess Mononoke", it's not an artistic license, the privileged people of the Valley represent a wiser side of humanity that got back to the roots, acknowledging the eminence of nature, a renaissance indeed.

They live in an oasis-like area where the air is breathable, outside; they must wear a gas mask, accentuating the dystopian look even within a natural setting. The hostility of nature is symbolized by giant mutant insects and the Ohm, armored trilobite-like insects whose eyes turn to an ominous red whenever they feel threatened. But Miyazaki never lets us get the wrong idea about these Ohm, understand they're not the most life-threatening creatures out there.

There's a key scene right in the beginning where a little fox-like creature bites Nausicaä, she patiently keeps her finger until its frenzy fades out and then the animal licks her wound. This moment is pivotal because it highlights the real tragedy that caused men's downfall, not violent actions but immediate assumptions of violence causing bad reactions. Only Nausicaä is capable of showing mercy and empathy toward any living creature, she challenges all the common conceptions and even tries to understand the place she lives in, which is the epitome of wisdom.

From the spores taken during regular expedition, she discovers in her laboratory that plants are capable of producing air, later in the film that some jungle plants purify the polluted topsoil and produce clean water. In other words, life always finds a way but humans can't see it. Nausicaä becomes the messianic character that will open the eyes of humanity, and as truth can be stranger than fiction, she's also a pivotal moment in Miyazaki's career, as the first film to have emerged from the fertile soil of his own imagination.

Nausicaä foreshadows all the elements that will define his work: the independent free-spirited heroine, the aerial settings and the environmental and anti-war messages, and more than that, the revolutionary notion that you don't need villains to make a story. Everyone is imperfect and fallible, even the most violent attacks are meant as defensive moves or precautions. The film contains a lot of action, lethal explosions and battles, people die by the sword, including Nausicaä's but Miyazaki couldn't have been more pacifists, every detail says in subtext that violence isn't the answer.

Indeed, how can the cause of the trouble ever be the solution? Miyazaki, a master storyteller, delivers crucial information even in the most unnoticeable moments, even the opening credits show through Roman mosaic and medieval tapestry the fate of the modern world. Seven giants launching immense fire blasts (metaphor for nuclear power?) into modern buildings, it's just as if Hiroshima was depicted like the Pompeii eruption. But what is the tragedy exactly, that history taught men a lesson or that men didn't learn it?

Nausicaä is set at a time that looks like a second chance but people are still fighting for good or bad reasons, from a sword master and father-figure named Lord Yupa, a young Pejite interceptor who respects Nausicaä's actions and the Tolmekian queen who (like Lady Eboshi from "Mononoke") is perhaps the tumultuous counterpart to Nausicaä, mutilated by the creatures, she believes in violence as the language of the force, illustrating its dangerously communicative effect, the never-ending spiral that killed the world… or that might lead to a third worldwide conflict.

And in the midst of nihilistic violence and desolation, Nausicca emerges as a beautifully inspirational heroine. There's a hypnotic flashback (with a so-catchy playful tone) where Nausicaä's father kills a baby Ohm, on the basis that human and insects can't live together. The whole conviction of Nausicaä is that every creature has its place on Earth; it's not just about empathy but the unshakable faith on Nature's equilibrium. It is very significant that the most beautiful images from the film, all in golden yellow, are provided by the Ohm's tentacles, weren't they supposed to be the ugly monsters?

Yet, at the time of its release, the film was badly edited for foreign audiences and lost into translation to become some Manga adventure in the air, and the Ohm were indeed hostile creatures. It's just as if Miyazaki was ahead of his time and it would take one decade and half before people would come back to their senses and realize that this isn't "Flash Gordon". Nausicaä is about conviction and goodness, pacifism and environmentalism deprived from any political innuendo.

Miyazaki drew the original Manga so the film could be made, showcasing as much confidence as his heroine. In a way, Miyazaki was the Nausicaä of animation, a man with a vision, spirit and guts.
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A Corner Stone
choden10 December 2004
Now that everyone knows Miyazaki is a great talent and he has been doing many great stuff, his earlier works are internationally popular. After Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi, Miyazaki's well deserved fame got huge. Since his fame increased, his older works has been taken from the drawers to upper shelves and this is leading to discussions of which of his works are better than which. Kaze no tani no Naushika has been compared many times with his Mononoke - hime, however regarding how Naushika formed a perfect background for the further works of Miyazaki, this comparison is not very fair. Kaze no tani no Naushika is the basis of Miyazaki's charming mastery which becomes more and more apparent in 1990s. It features one of the greatest heroines in anime history in an unusual sci-fi environment. The story of the film shows us how resourceful human imagination can be. What makes Naushika a cornerstone is not only this efficient story telling but also the visual fiesta that it has been presented in. So lose no time in comparing this film to another, instead savor it again and again.
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A Miyazaki masterpiece
silentcheesedude27 February 2005
Brilliant, captivating, and sometimes just plain awesome are some of things that come to mind while watching yet another one of Miyazaki's epic tales: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds. Deliberately slow-moving at points, yet undeniably exciting in and out of it's action sequences, and a fantastic introduction to anime itself.

Without revealing too much of the plot, it takes us through the life of Nausicaa, a princess of a small village, and her struggles to stop warring nations from destroying an important source that can save the planet. The planet has already gone through a major destruction that nearly wiped out humanity, and their are large insects called ohmu, that guard the source that is spreading through the world.

Miyazaki introduces an empowerment of female characters in his animes, such as Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service, and his most recent, Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no ugoku shiro). The characters are done with style and care, and, in Nausicaa, there is no exception.

It amazes me that this film created some controversy when released, being banned in Poland because of it's depiction of an ecological disaster. Though the movie is obviously fantasy, it turns out that some may consider it a touchy subject. I didn't find any offense whatsoever with anything the movie showed, just a futuristic disaster no doubt caused by man.

Combining fantasy and science-fiction, Nausicaa is nice to look at. It certainly shows it's age when compared to some newer animes, not having the help from high-end computers. Considering it was done in the 80's, Miyazaki's production team did a great job. Little details, backgrounds, gadgets, & animals are drawn slightly better then some Japanese animes from that time.

Keep in mind that my review is based on the Disney release (Feb 2005). It's cleaned up, unedited, with new voices from well known actors that sound great (but I still prefer subtitles). Keep far away from the old version 'Warriors of the Wind', which chops off more then half-hour from the movie.

9 out of 10
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Early masterpiece by Miyazaki finally gets the treatment it deserves.
JTurner8220 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
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 which 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 was brought to the America--retitled 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 voice-over), 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 under-appreciated (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.
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The greatest movie ever built
nibir20119921 February 2012
"Nausicaa of the valley of the wind" is about an epic story of mankind in the wastelands of polluted earth. Thousand years after the end of industrialized civilization mankind is once again in the wrath of nature as it is taking it's vengeance for the brutality it has received from the human. Although being an action packed adventure, the main story of the movie is one of the most humane stories ever told. Nausicaa, one of the most powerful characters of modern motion picture, tries to find a way to make the connection between earth and human to save mankind from extinction. I will stop here for rest of the story you have to find out yourself. I can assure you that you will not regret it. And for movie lovers it is a movie that you just cannot miss.

There are actually only three 100% real Hayao Miyazaki movies. They are 1.Nausicaa of the valley of the wind, 2.Laputa: Castle in the sky and 3.Princess Mononoke. All these films are considered as masterpieces of the history of animation. Of all the movies that Hayao Miyazaki has created "Nausicaa's" is the best. Many people will argue with me on that point because they have not seen the original uncut Disney version. If you are a people outside South America and speak in a different language than English and Disney's animations are available in your native language only then you can understand the quality of a dubbing of Disney. So please see the movie with the English dub by Disney, I am pretty much optimistic that you will surely say that "Nausicaa of the valley of the wind" is the greatest movie ever built.

NB1: Please try to watch only the Disney dubbed movies of studio Ghibli if that is not found it is better to watch it English subbed.

NB2: Try to watch the real Miyazaki movies (the three I mentioned here and whisper of the heart) in theaters or at night in a quiet place. Believe me I have tried this and I was able to understand the movies better.

NB3: one of the main problems in Miyazaki's movies is the expectation. Here are some tips the three movies I mentioned here are real movies (I don't like to degrade them by saying they are animes) not cartoons. Howls moving castle and Lupin the third are animation movies and the rest are cartoons just like cars or toy story.

NB4: Many people argue about the fact of watching foreign movies dubbed. I won't argue with them. I will just go with Miyazaki in the point, he told 20% of the movie will be lost if you read the subtitles instead of watching the movie.

Special request: because of the kidified version of "Nausicaa of the valley of the wind" many people have rated it quite badly. So please watch the movie rate it according to your enjoyment and rate my review too.

Many thank for viewing.
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Unlike anything you've seen
blackhawk.sc9 October 2000
Usually I try to compare one anime with another but I find it impossible to do for Nausicaa. I doubt if any other anime tried to repeat (or at least not successfully) the combination of science fiction, drama and medievalism that's in this film. However the most captivating (yet stereotypical perhaps) aspect of Nausicaa is her sympathy to all living things and her uncanny intuition about the things around her. Her abilities are the only drawback to this film because such characters can be found in most anime involving a heroine, whereas the storyline makes it a most unique experience.

I was somewhat dissappointed with the ending. I won't give it away but the character of the Princess was just made to conform to the "standards of a heroine". Animation was acceptable but not superb although the designs of some landscapes and characters were spectacular. Overall an 8.
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a tale pure goodness, and the inanities of greed, in human beings, set in Miyazaki's amazing world
Quinoa19845 March 2007
Before Princess Mononoke, which is still for me Hayao Miyazaki's greatest work, he made this film, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which like that other later film addressed issues that are paramount for the filmmaker: the environment, and the Earth, and how human beings can have highs and lows in attention to it. On the one hand Miyazaki gives us who is perhaps one of the purest heroes in any animated film, Japanese or otherwise, with Nausicaa as a woman who doesn't want killing on any side, and knows that there can be some peace with the environment of the world.

Her greatest strengths end up coming out in various ways, like when she goes to stop the Ohm, the big beetle-insects that are the largest "threat" (threat in quotes because it depends on the reaction of the two sides- the Tolmekian and the Pejite- and how either one inflames the reaction of the Ohm)- and in her general attitude to killing and violence. It's a fragile world, and she's perhaps one of only a few, and the only one willing to 'go the distance', to understand how what remains underground, what can't be seen, can make a difference. She's like a big action hero for preservationists and pacifists, but it's such a strongly defined character that the basic qualities come out wonderfully, like when she has to contend with her obvious emotional reaction to her father being slain (almost a Star Wars 'force' moment if you ask me).

So as she represents the good, there is the other side, which is represented by not necessarily the outright evil, even if the Tolmekian find the only way to combat anything is through warrior actions, but by ignorance and greed. It's not always as simple as that, and one could see a little dimension to the princess Kushuna, but even there the essentials get burned down to not just Miyazaki's points, but what works for the structure of classic fantasy. It might be tricky for Miyazaki to balance out his message of peace and understanding with what should be a sensational entertainment of a world 1000 years from now following an apocalypse; it treads the line, as Mononoke did, of becoming incoherent with the message and the manipulation of the audience.

But Miyazaki happens to be intelligent enough to trust the audience on the front of the message, and so he puts up his film in his usual thrust of indelible, one-of-a-kind images and exciting action. I especially liked seeing the Ohm themselves, one by one looking like even more detailed, nuanced versions of the Garthem in the Dark Crystal. Or in the sky-flying scenes, where the clouds are like unique formations that can't really be of the world we're in, but are in this world nonetheless that Miyazaki forges from classic mythology, reinterpretations of forests and insects, and post-apocalyptic technology out of a high-powered junk-yard.

And on top of this, as a word of note, this grandiose (in a good way) kind of epic work is supplanted with a better than expected voice cast- for the English language dub on the new DVD. They help back up the pieces of Miyazaki's world where there is some science fiction, but not in a fully compiled sense (if anything it's sort of like a 'used' science fiction world like Blade Runner, in part I mean). There's also some moments in the classical style, of a hero coming into her own that might seem too reminiscent of other movies. But Nausicaa is backed up by several cool supporting characters, like the equally heroic Lord Yuru, and the conflicted Pejite Asbel who has to choose the greater good (and common sense, in the Miyazaki form) over his tribe's priorities.

By the end, it actually left me like Totoro did with a huge, well-earned smile on my face, due to it being one of those happy endings that is so unlikely, yet is done as if there could be no other way in Miyazaki's universe. It's fresh and sublime anime, and the master of Studio Ghibli at one of his best.
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The most beautiful Anime film ever made!
abbeynormal2020 January 2006
I have been watching Anime since I can remember. Of every single one of the Miazaki films, and all the other Anime films that I have seen, without a doubt, this has to be my favorite one of all time. This movie is just so incredibly beautiful in every way. The characters are so easy to fall in love and sympathize with. The scenery and music are both simply spectacular. Hayao Miazaki is obviously a man who cares deeply for the environment, and I truly think this film shows his undeniable love and compassion for all living things better than all of his movies. This Anime contains some of the most powerful and touching scenes I have ever seen in any movie, anime or no. I cry without fail every time I watch it. In my opinion, this is truly the most precious masterpiece in all Anime films. I recommend this to anyone, whether you enjoy Anime films or not, there is just no denying how wonderful this film is.
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Miyazakis very best
hooby-114 February 2006
of all the movies i've ever seen (including nearly all of Miyazakis films) i can't seem to remember a single one that fascinated me as much as Nausicaa...

Kaze no Tani no Naushika opened on March 11, 1984 in japan. It's big success lead to the founding of Studio Ghibli, the film studio where all Miyazaki films after Nausicaa where made.

There is also a Manga of the same name, which was drawn by Miyazaki as sort of promotion, after the film was rejected by his financiers. After the success of the Manga (which counted already 16 chapters back then) the planned film finally got into production. The Manga should continue after that for a total of 13 years (with breaks) until it came to an unsuspected ending in chapter 59, that is quite different from what you might guess after seeing the film.

>>Around the mid 1980s, a severely-edited version of this film was released in video under the title Warriors of the Wind. The editing was done without the knowledge of Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli. They were unhappy when they learned about it and want those who have seen it "to dismiss it from /their/ minds.<< (

This is the reason why all negotiations about translations of Studio Ghibli films were so hard: After that disappointment Miyazaki won't allow any cutting or changing of his films. Warriors of the Wind was a Movie that had nothing to do with the original film and better never had existed at all...

so, what is the real film about?

1000 years after the breakdown of all industrialized civilization in a war only remembered as "the seven days of fire", mankind is on the brink of extinction. a deadly forest of fungi - spreading poisonous spores and gases - spreads over the world and threatens the very survival of the human race. this is the world that Nausicaa lives in, and amongst all the people fearing and hating the forest and the monstrous insects protecting it, she seems to be the only one full of love for all life, even the forest and the insects.

i have seen this film countless times again and again. so many times, that i can watch the Japanese version without subtitles and still understand every word that's spoken (without knowing a single word of Japanese)... i don't like to watch the translated movie (neither the English nor the German one) since Nausicaa doesn't seem to be the same girl like in the original. there's much too much anger in her voice, which absolutely doesn't fit her at all. she seems so naive at times, or even dumb... i'd really advise anyone rather to watch the original version with subtitles than any dubbed version.

so what is it, that makes this film so special, so extraordinary? IMHO it is Nausicaa herself! the film is great in all aspects: the story, the (absolutely not flat or typical) characters, atmosphere, etc... and still she outshines all of that. although she seems so fragile and helpless at times, she is incredibly strong and powerful. a typical Miyazaki heroine. but the one thing that i find adorable the most: she has (nearly) totally freed herself of all hate. she doesn't judge others because of their opinions or goals, even if they collide with her own... and i really admire that. that is what makes her a real hero in my eyes. she has something that doesn't seem to exist in the real world out there: unbroken, untainted love...
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Wonderful fantasy with ecologist significance by the Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki
ma-cortes24 September 2011
Riveting and marvellous film by the genius cartoonist Hayao Miyazaki , it's a classic cartoon movie set many years from now , a dangerous, desolate post-industrial world of the future where rules the strongest law . This magnificent cartoon movie concerns about Nausicaa legend, a young princess and heiress to the throne living in the far future who attempts to understand and feels it is wrong to destroy the toxic jungle . This fascinating and haunting adventure set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland world by the great Hayao Miyazaki and happens upon a thousand years after a nuclear war left the Earth as an aftermath , with the barren and stark lands . Human race has destroyed the Earth in the "Seven Days of Fire". Now, there are small pockets of humans that survive . Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately fights to avoid two warring countries from destroying themselves and their dying . The Valley of the Wind, a small community commanded by King Jil battles for survival as the kingdom attempts to defend the Valley from gigantic Ohm bugs and toxic plants that live beyond the Valley in the Sea of Decay . The Valley is invaded by the Tolmekian warriors who scheme to destroy the Sea of Decay by utilizing the greatest monsters that caused the holocaust. Nausicaa goes after the pirates, severely damaging their aircraft but she is gunned down . After Nausicaä is caught , Nausicaä breaks out and goes beneath the Sea of Decay where she learns the toxic plants are not poisoning the air and are purifying the world by draining the air of radiation and toxins . Later on , Nausicaa join forces with the creatures Ohms and makes a friend ; both of them will confront on the air taking place overwhelming chases , pursuits and dogfighting on the skies and set out to the Valley and foil the Tolmekians schemes of unleashing the Great Monster Warrior.

This attractive film is plenty of fantasy , adventures, spectacular dogfighting and with agreeable message . Masterfully made by Miyazaki who also directed other excellent cartoon movies as ¨ Ponyo , Howl's moving castle, Chihiro, Nicky , Porco Rosso , My neighbor Tororo , Castle in the sky ¨ and many others .The picture is narrated with sensibility and sense of wonder and being quite entertaining , it is apt for small kids but no contains graphic violence as ¨Monokome-Hime¨ and similarly contains an ecologist message. The film packs lively situations , hilarious scenes , spectacular images and culminating in an impressive confrontation with breathtaking ending . Note that the foreign release titled Warriors of the Wind is an adaptation well restored and remastered from television series and released in cinemas , being entirely kiddiefied rendition that edits the original episodes heavily, thus creating a completely diverse tale . All roles have multiple dimensions and display really astonishing humanity . Never remotely didactic , the movie is ultimately an enjoyable fantasy that touches brief thoughtful issues dealing with ethical , ecological and juvenile psychological themes . The drawings have a special ancient touch that conveys the forgotten wisdom of the past that could really affect the way you interact with others and with the ambient . This stunning film with appropriate runtime , converted the first of any kind to get a big hit in Japan .

The motion picture was splendidly realized by Hayao Miyazaki and accompanied with sensitive music score composed by his usual musician, Joe Hisaishi. Miyazaki wasn't yet a culture hero in Japan when made this animated mythic adventure ; later on , he directed ¨Princess Monokone¨converted the first of any kind to gross over the box office in Japan and all over the world , it raised him to a status approaching living national treasure . Miyazaki also directed other excellent cartoon movies as ¨Lupin¨ (1978) , Castle of Cagliostro¨ (1979) , ¨Howl's moving castle¨ , ¨Laputa castle of the sky¨ ,¨Porco Rosso¨ , ¨Kiki's delivery service¨, ¨Chihiro¨ or ¨Spirited away¨: the highest grossing Japanese film ever , and the cult movie : ¨My neighbour Tororo¨ . Sensational and fantastic tale, it's a masterpiece cartoon movie , a great animation with an enjoyable meaning . One of a kind, if you enjoy interesting stories and have a soft spot for deep characters and well planed scenarios, you are in for a great one. Rating : Better that average , worthwhile watching ; advisable to see for children and adults who appeal the gorgeous drawings .
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Idealistic, but not naive
burgan620321 May 2005
"Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" was Miyazaki's second movie, adapted from his own comic book. Viewers of the film may become involved in debates regarding the movie's relation to the comic(they are exceedingly different). I personally advise looking at them both as separate, but equally great pieces of art.

Regarding the film: The music is lush(the first film score of Miyazaki-veteran Jo Hisaishi), the animation impressive despite a few passages of static character movements, and the eponymous heroine is a figure of brilliant characterization; gentle, kind, valiant, passionate and pained.

It may lack the cognizant wisdom of "Princess Mononoke", perhaps, but NOTVOTW doesn't suffer by the comparison. I highly recommend checking it out.
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Miyazaki's best
younglibrarian14 April 2004
This is an epitome of animation and storytelling at it's absolute best. I am so glad that Miyazaki was able to tell the story of young Nausicaa, both in story form (the comics-- available on-line) and the silver screen. The movie brings the four-dimensional characters to life (they also change in time) in one of the most thrilling movies of all time. I can recommend this majestic sci-fi tale for action lovers of any age, and most wonderful for young girls, as Sandra/Nausicaa is one of the few human women in animation/TV/movies that is strong, independent, and caring for the people she rules.
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sasamijurai29 November 2003
This is a brilliant film (referring to the Japanese original).

I watched this movie shortly after watching Studio Ghibli's OCEAN WAVES by the same director. Ocean Waves charmed me but it was Nausicaa which put tears in my eyes.

The original Japanese version (with English subtitles) is now available on Region 2 DVD from Japan and also includes a commentary track - albeit in Japanese only.

One final point: Nausicaa is wearing trousers which are roughly skin coloured - someone here got the idea that she was naked from the waist down.
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Ah! That old man, Miyazaki
aonur198 June 2006
I don't know how he does this things (Mononoke, Nausicaa, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and goes on) but i know something that he is one of the most worthiest people living under this blue sky. Of course as he says people doesn't care about earth, they even can't feel it and i agree with him. He tries to make at least a few people feel it. Miyazakisan please go on what you are doing... In another part of this world, people that you don't even know they are living, sometimes laughs and sometimes cries with you. And i'm sure that when you finished making that movies. You cried out too.. Farewell This movie is for people who can feels the wind
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Story Unable To Match Interesting Visuals
ccthemovieman-111 August 2008
Visually - thumbs up; story - thumbs down.

The animated effort from the famous director-writer Hayao Miyazaki features, as usual for him, very nice animation. I especially enjoyed the beautiful colors in the landscapes, the interesting windmills, World War II bombers, strange insect-monsters and a lot more.

The problem is that it's too long and, despite the decent characters and colorful animation, 116 minutes of this so-so story is too much. Combine it with a story that can be convoluted at times, way too environmentally preachy at other times (tree huggers would like this storyline - literally) and I can see where viewers' minds would begin to wander or get discouraged after about 45 minutes.

Nausicala is a cute little heroine, but bland, someone I just couldn't relate to, and an unnecessarily unclad for a preadolscent. The main villain, "Princess Kushana," didn't excited me much, either. I couldn't get involved enough with the characters to sit through a two-hour animated movie and be entertained as I hoped to be.

More good and bad: I liked the main voices, those of Alison Lohman and Patrick Stewart. A little humor would have helped, but there is none in here. (Exteme environmentalists aren't a bunch of laughs.) This should be a lot of fun to watch, but I didn't find it such.
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Truly Enchanting
werewolf 910 July 2005
Nausicaa was my second Miyazaki, and I was blown away! Few Disney films touch this; and frankly, I can only think of "Watership Down" being a competitor for my undying affection. It's a shame that Disney seems to hide Miyazaki's works behind the Mousehouse money machine.

Dubs and subs war aside, the dialogue is good, the animation fresh, the premise disturbing, and the characters enthralling. Said dubs are not so bad, no one character jars my senses. For sci-fi junkies, the plot is pure nirvana, challenging minds to think and explore. So before moving on to the next soulless Disney sequel, give Nausicaa and Miyazaki the respect they deserve.
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The sci-fi story and environmental message blends together really well and produces an engaging film that is visually impressive and imaginative
bob the moo3 September 2006
In the future the Earth has been decimated by the "Seven Days of Fire" and the human population is clinging to survival in small pockets. Their main ongoing threat is the spread of the toxic jungle where the spores are poisonous to mankind and an uneasy tolerance exists with the creatures in the jungle – where they feel under threat the creatures attack with force and numbers greater that can be withstood. In one area called the Valley of the Wind, Princess Nausicaa strives to understand the jungle rather than fight it. However when her village discovers a surviving Giant Warrior, they are taken over by Princess Kushana and her men sparking a fight for not only the valley but the earth itself.

I couldn't really care less whether this is "officially" a Studio Ghibli film or not (I'll leave that to the "hard core" fans to worry about), the main thing that interested me was whether I would enjoy this film in the way I have some other Miyazaki or if it would be one of the ones that I felt fell short of the mark, for whatever reason. Despite only being a few years after the disappointing Castle of Cagliostro, this seems a world away from that average film and is a well rounded story full of great animation that will appeal to adults and children. The sci-fi plot is engaging and has a solid environmental message at its core regarding the balance of nature and the lack of understanding we (man) seems to have of it all. At times it is a bit heavy and obvious a message but it is never to the point of being a turnoff or patronising. It helps that the message is woven in with the narrative so it is not as clunky as it could have been.

The animation is great and again was a nice surprise considering how soon after the basic Castle of Cagliostro it came. The sci-fi setting makes for good use of Miyazaki's vision and imagination and it is a quite beautiful film to watch if you like the sci-fi genre. Whether it is in the aircrafts, the creatures or the whole environment, visually it is impressive and engaging throughout. I know there is always the debate over versions and dubs with these things but I can only watch what is available and I as happy that the 2005 dub of this was not the universally hated dub done earlier. However this is not to say that I loved Lohan in the lead role. She was OK for the most part but when the material asked more of her I occasionally found her wanting and a bit grating. Generally she was fine but it is hard to think she has the depth or range that the dub could have used at times. Stewart can deliver the phone book like it was profound writing and he is great value here, the only shame being his character has comparatively little screen time once it gets going. Support is generally good past these two from solid turns from Uma Thurman among others.

Overall this is an impressive film that doesn't feel even one of its 22 years of age. The sci-fi story and environmental message blends together really well and produces an engaging film that is visually impressive and imaginative. I don't have kids but if I did then this would be on my video shelf in place of some of the recent Hollywood animation offerings churned out.
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One of the best films I've even seen, if not THE best
jlovejoy24 February 2005
1984. I was born that year, and that was the year Nausicaa was released in Japan. That was a dang long time ago by my reckoning. Yet here, 21 years later, the US is fortunate enough to get a decent version of it on these shores. I saw a TV ad for this movie; I had never heard of it before. But I had seen Spirited Away, and I knew that Studio Ghibli was capable of creating cinematic masterpieces that blew any other animation out of the freakin' water. I had to see this, and I saw it the first day it was released, and I wasn't disappointed. Never mind it's age, this film is timeless in its power and imagination. It was definitely one of the best films -- anime or not -- that I've ever seen (just to make my tastes in film more specific, I also consider the godfather, Strangers on a Train, Citizen Kane, 2001 A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, the Untouchables, The Fifth Element, Brazil, Spirited Away, and Leon other great films...I know, its a wide spectrum).

Nausicaa has so much going for it. The story pulls you into this fantastic world; the legends engross; the landscapes are surreally breathtaking (saying something for an image on a 2d screen); especially with Joe Hishashi's score, which can only be described as virtuoso. With an ingenious mix of traditional orchestral and 80's electronic, seamlessly merged. The English dubbing is superb, too. Alison Lohman has a great voice. Patrick Stewart, whom I'd known for more than a decade as Picard, was a very welcome surprise.

These are all my opinions, I'm not selling anything; everyone's tastes are different, especially in film. But I really liked this film, and as such felt compelled to comment on it. I would recommend seeing it. I thought anime was stupid until very recently. A lot of it is. But not this. This is peerless cinema.
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the best anime film every made bar none!!!!!!!!!!!!
max3919833 April 2004
Nausicaa of the valley of the wind was the first anime I ever saw - I think the first time I watched it was when I was 9 year old. I watched the awful cut / edited version called Warriors of the wind (stay away from this version!) that makes no sense but I still loved it. You must watch the original uncut version ONLY.

I forgot the title of the film but could still remember images that were burned into my memory. I have been searching for this film ever since I first saw it when I was 9 and finally found it in 2003 under its proper name "Kaze no tani no Naushika".

This film should be apart of the school curriculum for children it is beautiful, touching and thought provoking. Nausicaa is an amazing heroine - I usually don't like female heroines but Nausicaa can save me any day.

I used to have dreams of flying when I was a child and I am sure they were inspired after watching this film with Nausicaa on her glider diving through the clouds.

The music in the film is brilliant in its self - its worth buying the soundtrack. It is impressive when a soundtrack can add so much emotion and ambiance to a scene.

Give this a chance if you have watched "Princess Mononoke" it is similar except it is much better - the only thing that is not perfect by todays standards is the animation I guess - its a little dated but still beautiful.

Trust me this is the GREATEST anime film ever - far surpassing any of Miyazaki's other works TRUST ME please watch this and do yourself a favour.
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