Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind

Cleave January 11, 2012

One of the classic animated films by the renowned director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli where we are taken to a world that has been ravaged and is now poisoned. It is far into the future and not many people are left after the great war and burning of the planet. All the places where the giant warriors have fallen there have grown poisonous jungles of fantastical trees and fungus. Living in these jungles are insects and bugs, the largest called ohmu, who protect the plants that are there. No one knows how or why they are there but everyone knows that to go into one of them without a protective mask is certain death. The people also know not to make the giant insects angry for if they do the bugs will fallow them till they are or the bugs are dead. This is particular dangerous in the fact that where ever an ohmu dies another poisonous jungle will sprout up where they have fallen. Such is the toxin that they carry within them.

There is one place that still is not infected to the degree the rest of the world is, that is the Valley of the Wind. It is named so because of the strong winds that sweep in from the waters and marshes and then out through the passes at the end of the valley. Another reason is also the wooded forest that is at the mouth of the valley as well, it blocks spores coming into the valley and with constant patrols is easily cleaned when spores do get in. It is this unique landscape that the valley is lush and fertile even with poisons in the dirt. In other parts of the world they use similar methods by building great walled cities and then digging deep into the earth to find good clean water for the people to be able to use. It has been this way since the great war and the giants that were used as warriors. No one really knows why they were made or who controlled them but it seems that they might have originated from Pejite.

One of the ancient warriors has been found and another kingdom is seeking to awaken it. It is so big and heavy that it causes their airship to crash land in the valley where Princess Nausicaa and her family live. Being the person that she is, she rushes in to help save as many people as possible and to make sure that the valley is safe from any spores that they ship might have had on it. They have to make sure that all are burned before they can turn the valley into yet another poisonous jungle. Even with the airship gone and burned to the ground the warrior that it carried in its larval form still had not been destroyed and the ones that want it are going to make sure that it lives again. It is this mentality of global domination that Nausicaa must fight to overcome and in the process become even more then she is. She is going to have to trust where none have trusted before as well as speak to the insects and get them to help where they would never help before. She is the worlds only salvation yet those in it want to see her put away or dead.

This film touches the heart at so many levels. We see a teen becoming a young woman that is thrust into serving her people and all of humanity in ways that she never knew were possible. We see he become the translator between human and insect in a way that had only been talked about in legend. So much she is expected to do and with the loss of her family she still has to stay strong for her people. To make sure that they survive she can not take the time to even morn the passing of her father for fear of seeming weak in front of both her subjects and her enemies. She needs to show both that they can work together and not have to fight one another.

We are taken on such a ride with this film from Studio Ghibli and presented by Walt Disney Home Entertainment where we get to see what can happen when war covers the earth and how great it can also be when people band together to form communities and friendships. It shows just how fragile the planet is and yet at the same time shows us that it can indeed protect itself even if humans are not on its protection list. By working with the planet and each other a way of saving it and ourselves is shown in the film. This is a great film for anyone to see not just the young. It is light and full of color for the young and yet at the same time can teach great values. On the other hand it is full of passion, intrigue and even romance for those who are older and shows them as well the importance of working with one another. This is one of Hayao’s great animated films and is a must for any collection of his works.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★★ 

Available on DVD from Amazon
Available on Blu-Ray from Amazon