Readers Recommendations: Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind

nausicaaHey everyone, we’re back with another entry in the Reader Recommendations series!

The Reader Recommendation series is intended to help me formally pursue all the great films that commenters bring up each week in discussion which I’ve never seen. If there’s a movie that comes up that I haven’t seen, but you think I should, email me @ or let me know in the comments that you’d like to participate.

P1200697 gravatarThis time up, our recommendation comes from Kim from She’s recommended “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds”, joining in the effort to further my Hayao Miyazaki education! I’m more than happy to check it out, since “Howl’s Moving Castle” was really awesome.

Click through to read a little more about why she felt it was worthy of recommending, followed by my thoughts on the film!

My questions in bold. Kim′s answers below.

1) Do you remember when you first saw the movie?
Not really. It’s too long ago to remember the actual date but I was probably 8 or 10 years old. That makes it over 15 years ago. My cousin was a huge fan of this one so she always watched it. We all grew up with Miyazaki but we watched them mostly in Chinese until recently it was released in Blu-ray in English I watched that one (I think) some time last year with my boyfriend and it blew him away. It’s now his favorite Miyazaki animation.
2) Why do you think that it’s recommendable? What do you like about it?
It’s recommendable because its Hayao Miyazaki, paired up with the orchestral background music by the genius of Joe Hisaishi, it’s a pretty flawless movie. Plus, the animation is captivating.
The story itself holds a lot of meaningful messages and it gives it to the audience in a very effective and amazing way.
3) Is the movie underappreciated, do you think? Or does pop culture have it fairly rated?
I haven’t really looked into how appreciated it is. People who have seen this usually rate it pretty highly. RT gives it 82% so I’d say its pretty well-received although I’m somewhat surprised that Nausicaa has the lowest rating amongst all of Miyazaki’s work.
4) Is there any particular reason you thought I should watch it, or were you just surprised I hadn’t seen it?
I wasn’t surprised that you haven’t seen it. But its one of the best animations out there so being an awesome reviewer like yourself, you should be exposed to it especially now that Disney has bought the rights to Studio Ghibli movies and releasing them one by one on Blu-ray.
5) Have you written about the movie yourself? (Insert plug here! LOL )
I actually haven’t written about it. I just started dedicating my blog to doing movie reviews regularly so eventually, it will happen!

Big thanks, Kim! My Review Below.


One of the things that impresses me with the couple of Hayao Miyazaki films that I’ve seen is just how wildly imaginative they are. Right from the opening frames, we know we’re not in Kansas…A gas-masked figure rides ostriches through gas emitting spore trees. This is a post apocalyptic world where man’s wars and pollution have turned mankind into an endangered species. The vegetation of the world emits poisonous gasses, and the planet’s insects have grown enormous and hostile.

In this future, there is one colony that has been protected from the toxic jungle: The Valley of the Wind. The Valley of the Wind’s proximity to the ocean has kept it protected from the toxins prevalent everywhere else in the environment. Its residents live a happy, pacifistic existence. Living there is Princess Nausicaä, who explores the world on her glider, seeking out explanations within nature for the change in the Earth, in order to protect the Valley from environmental dangers.

Nausicaä gets drawn into a conflict between two warring city states, however, when an airship carrying an ancient weapon of mass destruction crashes in the Valley. From then on, she not only has to survive the conflict, she has to protect the Valley as the battle draws hordes of giant, vicious insects swarming towards the fighting. She’ll have to rely on her deep sense of empathy and her understanding of the natural world in order to stave off catastrophe.

“Nausicaä” is an incredibly imaginative, supremely animated film. The dub I saw was excellent, featuring the voices of Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart and Edward James Olmos. The score is fantastic as well. The storyline is great, and just as imaginative as the visuals.  Miyazaki seems to have a way of creating entirely different worlds, and then creating rapidly moving plots that sweep the viewer along, immersing them in these fantastic worlds as the events quickly unfold. On top of which, his films seem to be full of clear, understandable themes, in this case anti-war themes and environmental themes.

His films really are incredible, enjoyable experiences. I was more than happy to check this one out. Thanks Kim, it was a great recommendation!


Daniel Fogarty


47 thoughts on “Readers Recommendations: Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind

  1. I’m a big fan of miyazaki but for some reason I couldn’t get into this one. It was a bit too lethargic for me. I ended up losing concentration and turning it off. I will go back to it again some day though.

  2. Think I need to see this one. Do love the older Miyazaki films, and for some reason not seen this one! Though, I’ll aim for watching the original, rather than the dubbed one. Can not stand the dubs!

  3. I watched Nausiccaa for a marathon of movies from 1984 back in 2011, and I enjoyed it. I’m totally with you that it’s wonderfully imaginative and has so much going for it. The only issue that I had was the length, which didn’t hold everything together over the entire two hours. It’s still a very good film, but it falls a bit short of being one of my favorites from Miyazaki. I’m glad that you were able to check it out!

    • Well, unfortunately to this point I haven’t seen that many Miyazakis LOL. So, for me, I dont really have many to choose from to rank them!

      I didnt think it was that long, I enjoyed it. But you’re not alone, I think someone else said that earlier, so there’s probably something to it.

  4. Great going, Kim! Glad you saw the awesomeness in this one, Fogs. It’s one of my faves. Nausicaa started out as a hugely popular manga in Japan, btw, authored by Miyazaki.

  5. I love this movie. I love all of the Miyazaki films. I am glad you are getting into them,. His films have such simple stories and messages but you can’t help get immersed into the worlds he creates.

    If you haven’t already, check out Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totorro. Kiki’s Delivery Service is good, but those other 2 are better. Spirited Away has been nominated for awards too. I have most of these on Blu-Ray and they are fionally releasing Howl and Totorro on Blu-Ray.

  6. Awesome review yet again! Glad you enjoyed it! Its my boyfriend’s absolute fave. No other Miyazaki has beat this one yet. It is definitely in the top 5 for me 🙂 You have to continue watching these though! Miyazaki does probably one every year or two but its always quality work 🙂 I’m still discovering more and more of his wonderful imaginative world!

    • Thank YOU Kim, it was definitely an excellent watch, and I look forward to the day when I’ve seen enough of them to feel like I can DO a ranking. LOL

      There’s no doubt he’s supremely imaginative and the artistry that goes into these is impeccable. Looking forward to seeing more and more of his catalogue because (obviously) everyone is enjoying seeing these get attention here! 😀

  7. Nice one, Kim/Fogs. Glad to see the Miyazaki education continuing here. 🙂 I actually haven’t seen this one, but we have it on DVD. I’ll probably be checking it out then after My Neighbor Totoro. Sounds like a fun one!

    • LOL “Becoming”? 😀 It pretty much has been from square one. My fault I suppose for telling everyone I had never seen any. 😉

      There’s some other flicks mixed in, I’m going to try to juggle the line up so its not just animation…

  8. For me, this is Miyazaki’s worst movie. Extremely heavy handed environmentalism message, combined with the lead character’s apparent sexual lust for giant bugs. I had written a scatching, hilarious review on my old blog, but it crashed and is forever lost to the ages.

  9. Pingback: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind/Kaze no tani no Naushika (1984) | timneath

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