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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind(風の谷のナウシカ)

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Japan, United States · 1984
Rated PG · 1h 57m
Director Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Sumi Shimamoto, Ichirō Nagai, Gorō Naya, Yōji Matsuda
Genre Adventure, Animation, Fantasy

After a global war, the seaside kingdom known as the Valley of the Wind remains one of the last strongholds on Earth untouched by a poisonous jungle and the powerful insects that guard it. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaä, the people of the Valley engage in an epic struggle to restore the bond between humanity and Earth.

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What are people saying?

Lily Bradfield Profile picture for Lily Bradfield

Every frame of this film is like a piece of art! Such a moving tale of environmentalism and feminism.

Conner Dejecacion Profile picture for Conner Dejecacion

Miyazaki holds life as infinitely sacred and precious, presenting every loss of life, every potential loss of life, as a tragedy. That doesn’t stop him from putting to the screen some of the most beautiful war machines ever conceived of. Miyazaki’s planes are penned down to the rivet, his weapons detailed down to the rifling of a barrel and the particular shine of a spent shell casing. Part of the wonder of watching Nausicaä as a kid was the allure of these machines, especially the hulking gunships bristling with turrets and missile launchers. For all my infatuation with Nausicaä and her dreamy idealism, I was equally amazed by watching futuristic flying machines shoot each other to pieces and go down in flames. I can draw from memory the gunship Nausicaä flies throughout the film, have memorized the antiquated, yet elegant profile of her rifle and still laugh at the chunkiness of the brass Torumekian tanks. Miyazaki’s craft is in machines just as it’s in people, and the way he’s able to imbue such beauty and terror into cold metal is a hallmark of his mastery of animation. Only Miyazaki is able to grieve over technology, the sheer waste of craftsmanship when something as beautiful as a plane is used to drop bombs, the waste of life when it’s shot down, death rippling through the skies as the grief travels like a shockwave from those aboard to the ones they loved. The effort Miyazaki puts into his creations proves everything has life, and everything can die. We’d best remember that.

What are critics saying?


Variety by Robert Koehler

Miyazaki’s first hit fascinates as a glimpse into the master’s then-developing style, even when the final-act storytelling gets woozy.


The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson

The film is good-hearted, energetic, and full of Ghibli's characteristically beautiful hand-rendered animation, but it's also lightweight and hyper, with none of Miyazaki's more resonant themes.

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