On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.
Chloë Grace Moretz,
In the far future, man has destroyed the Earth in the "Seven Days of Fire". Now, there are small pockets of humanity that survive. One pocket is the Valley of Wind where a princess named Nausicaä tries to understand, rather than destroy the Toxic Jungle. Note that the old US release titled Warriors of the Wind is an entirely kiddiefied version which edits the original movie heavily, thus creating an entirely different story. -Andre Written by
Alan Takahashi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As the credits roll we see life returning to normal in the valley: Kushana, Kurotowa and the Tolmekian fleet leave peacefully, after Nausicaä has unheard words for Kushana. The denizens of the Valley of the Wind replant trees in the burned-down forest. Lord Yupa and Asbel ride Yupa's beasts to the Toxic Jungle and explore it. When the text "The End" appears on screen we see Nausicaa's discarded helmet in the forest, alongside a green, non-Toxic Jungle sapling. See more »
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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