Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I Think Of: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Way back in the 1980's, my dad & brother, both who were into anime, showed me this film...kinda. I say kinda, because the version I saw was called Warriors of the Wind, which was a cut version of the original Japanese film, named Kaze no tani no Naushika. Back in the 1980's, the majority of Anime that was shown in the USA, whether movies or cartoons, did not have the best of dubbingm and were sometimes cut. Especially the cartoons. They were dubbed horribly, but since we were children, we didn't really care that much. That was the case for me with this film, but as I grew older and learned of such things, I always wanted to see the true version of this film. Thanks to the new owners of Marvel Comics releasing Studio Ghibli films on DVD, I was finally able to see Hayao Miyazaki's genius in it's true form.

Our heroine, Princess Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, is a peace loving girl who can communicate with the insects of the Toxic Jungle, like the Ohmu, the intelligent giant armored caterpillars who's eyes dictate their mood. When a ship crashes into the Valley of the Wind, Nausicaä and the citizens of the valley get caught up in a war between Tolmekia & Pejite, with the Tolmekian's taking over the Valley of the Wind to retrieve a creature of unimaginable power. What will become of the Valley of the Wind? Will Nausicaä be able to stop this war and save her people?

For those of you who watch anime, you have most likely seen the work of Hayao Miyazaki, who's makes timeless movie after timeless movie, at least in my opinion. Out of all of Miyazaki's movies, this is my personal favorite. Even though the Warriors of the Wind version was cut, I was always enamored by the world he created, and the visual way he brought it to life. This was one of the movies that got me into Japanese animation in the first place. The vibrant beauty of the Valley of the Wind, the unique design of the insects of the forest, and the awesomeness that was Nausicaä's glider just won me over from an early age. Not to mention that the soundtrack to the movie is simply beautiful, which is to be expected from any of Miyazaki's films. This film is considered to be the first Studio Ghibli film, even though it was made before Studio Ghibli was founded. I have yet to see Miyazaki's latest film, Ponyo, but with his constant track record of animated masterpieces, much like Pixar, I cannot wait to see it.


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