Reviews of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
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The animation is lovely with some incredibly rich, beautiful environments, well designed characters and creatures, and dynamic motion – especially flight (which is a recurring theme and particular strength of anything Miyazaki is involved with.
The story itself drags a bit and becomes a bit muddled. There’s not enough character development for us to invest emotionally in anyone except, perhaps, Naushika herself. Caring about the participants in the story relies on how much we invest emotionally in the archetypes: dying father, gruff mentor, martyred princess, cute stranger, endangered child. The environmental dangers needed greater clarity for the audience to share the character’s concerns. And, after a while, I sagged in my seat every time we returned to the visual of great herds of Ohm’s in motion. Again. And again.
But it’s beautiful animation and was a strong beginning for Studio Ghibli.
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is the first film to come out of Miyazaki’s Studio Gibhli (or what would become Studio Gibhli) and is one of the most beautiful and amazing animated films ever made. The art style is consistently fascinating and original, there is no telling what will happen next because the visuals are so nuanced and unique. The music as well is delightfully quirky and even experimental with dissonant avant-garde leanings. The English voice overs are surprisingly well done, especially Alison Lohman, whose full girlish voice fits the endearing charm of Nausicaa. The art style is a weird hybridization of Japanese and Western styles, with a European looking cast and an Olde English setting. Some characters even sport impressive Nietzschean moustaches. One thing that struck me most about the film, and I say this knowing little of Japanese anime, is how influential it seems. The Final Fantasy series must have been influenced by the artistic style and countless video games borrowed the battle music. Even Zelda seems to have used the whole close-nit village with an ancient myth theme, though this might stretch back much further into Japanese culture. Suffice to say, the whole experience comes off more genuine than other fantasy-adventure films, like the Lord of the Rings (which is also great, don’t get me wrong). There is just a kind of intimacy, an undeniable rush of sentiment gushing throughout the film (that doesn’t feel hammy). The environmental, pacifist themes do feel a bit naïve, but my major criticism of the film has to do with the many action scenes populating the second half. They eventually feel monotonous and the action starts to wash over you. Part of me wishes there was more story, more narrative. Nonetheless, I will definitely be looking up some Nausicaa anime porn immediately.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.