Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) IMDb

Creators

Miyazaki Hayao (writer-director).

Categorization

Environmentalist pacifist post-apocalypse SF/fantasy.

Subject

Earth is being devoured by a new wilderness, foreign to humankind. A princess from a tiny peripheral kingdom is drawn into a war over the exhumation of a giant. It burned an earlier industrial civilization.

Commentary

Created by Miyazaki from the first quarter of his ongoing graphic novel. Anno did key animation for the kyoshinhei and had the use of Miyazaki’s moped—some sources call it a gift—based on his “Daicon IV Opening Animation” (1983).

A flawed, uncomfortably carefree film, loosely based on a masterpiece of ecological SF. To give you an idea of how much darker the graphic novel is, when a young girl is exhumed from her grave by filthy mercenaries who steal her possessions, the girl's brother finds comfort in the fact that her corpse wasn't raped.

Parts of the music are fantastic, others overuse the synthesizer. The shortened story is marked by fairytale traditions like monarchism and overloaded with improbable coincidences. The narrative also fails to communicate the supernatural power of Nausicaä, without toning it down. Her telepathy gets its own bubbles in the manga. The animation, although good, is clearly dated. If Nausicaä hadn't survived in this version, it would still have approached a masterpiece.

References here: Ghibli movie titles, The title of Princess Mononoke, “Albatross: Wings of Death” (1980), Urusei Yatsura (1981), Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature (1984), Dune (1984), Arion (1986), The Story of Yanagawa's Canals (1987), Visitor of a Museum (1989), Mobile Police Patlabor: The New Files (1990), Princess Mononoke (1997), The Iron Giant (1999), Blue Gender (1999), Ergo Proxy (2006), Ponyo (2008), Xam'd: Lost Memories (2008), The Tale of Iya (2013).

Japanese production animation moving picture