NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (Theatrical Release Japan 1984)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Stars ììì

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind—another GREAT Hayao Miyazaki animated feature—was made in Japan with Japanese voices in 1984 and then remade with American voicing through USA Disney Studios in 1984. Hayao Miyazaki’s work unmistakably hits the Wow! factor’s bell every time. He somehow weaves tremendous international appeal, large creativity, wondrous imagination, and a certain ‘kindness’—a type of gentleness, quietness, peacefulness—no longer seen in America’s loud, fast, over-the-top cartoon features into every one of his animated features. That kindness makes his work highly recommended for family entertainment.

Storyline

Lord Yupa (voice by Patrick Stewart) sits astride a large, two-legged bird (like an ostrich). Both the bird and Lord Yupa have futuristic gas masks in place. Lord Yupa dresses in a long overcoat. A wide-brimmed hat droops around his head. He leads another bird who serves as a pack mule. Lord Yupa travels to a village that is covered in a type of cobweb, dismounts, takes his rifle from its case, and forces one of the house doors open. Everything inside is covered in spider webs and is completely desolate. Lord Yupa looks at the ground at the house entrance, sees a small doll, and picks it up. The doll crumbles to pieces in his hand and Lord Yupa says, “Yet another village—dead.” The camera flashes screens to dragonfly-like creatures swarming the village. Lord Yupa steps outside, looks at the sky, immediately mounts his bird, and flees.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Hayao Miyazaki for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Toru Hara, Michio Kondo, and Yasuyoshi Tokuma for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Nausicaä (voice of Alison Lohman), Kushana (voice of Uma Thurman), Kurotowa (voice of Chris Sarandon), Mito (voice of Edward James Olmos), Mayor of Pejite (voice of Mark Hamill), Gikkuri/Tolmekian Soldier (voice of Jeff Bennett), Obaba (voice of Tress MacNeille), and Narrator (voice of Tony Jay).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This director’s animated features typically are packed with action and compassion. That’s a difficult feat to accomplish, but successfully done by Director Hayao Miyazaki. This is a great film to introduce Japanese anime to American families.

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Ben Meyers

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