Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

A thousand years ago, the environment of the Earth was destroyed in the "Seven Days of Fire" which was a battle between several Giant Warriors, artificially created beings with great destructive power.  Only one of these beings survived but is dormant.  The war created the Toxic Forests all over the world, which are filled with deadly poison and giant mutated insects.  A few human settlements are able to survive outside the forests.

Nausicaä is the young princess of the Valley of the Wind.  This kingdom is able to survive because a constant sea breeze keeps the poison away from their small kingdom.  Two other small kingdoms, the Tolmekia and the Pejite, are at war with each other and their forces collide at the peaceful Valley of the Wind.  The Tolmekia want to burn down all the Toxic Forests, but the people of the Valley of the Wind know that this will bring the wrath of the giant insects, which apparently are easily enraged.  The Tolmekia are also interested in resurrecting the dormant Giant Warrior so that they can use it to destroy the insects and their enemies.

Nausicaä has learned how to live in peace with the Toxic Forests and she later learns that the forests are an important part of their ecology.   With war threatening to destroy her people and their environment, she must find a way to avert disaster.

For Japanese Anime made in 1984, this  probably seemed beautiful and pretty fantastic at the time.  Like most anime, its vision tends to be overly grand and stylized, while the animation is pretty simple and sometime repetitive.  Something is lost in the translation, because the movie has a lot of dialogue like, "Look over there!", which comes off as simplistic.  The story is pretty good, but the movie gets bogged down in battle scenes. 

The film is barely O.K. and kind of interesting as a cultural experience, but I can't imagine wanting to see it a second time.

Rating:  * * 3/4.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind has an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  The DVD is distributed by Disney.

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