Nausicaa

NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND. 1984

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Nausicaa is a nauseating family film, a feature length cartoon, Disneyesque in the worst sense of the word.

In the distant future, the polluted earth has rebelled, producing toxic fungal forests with only a few places still habitable by humanity. The peaceful Valley of the Wind is protected by perpetual seawinds from fungal spoor infection, but their peacefulness is soon destroyed by two nearby warring city-states.

Nausicaa is pretty princess who dons protective gear & visits the toxic wilderness & is even fond of the big scary insect monsters that live there. She discovers that the forest is only toxic because of pollution caused by humans of the past, & that it is actually, however slowly, cleaning up the earth. But the warring nations want to set fire to the jungles, disbelieving that this will actually cause the insects to rise up & destroy what remains of the human world.

The message is "can't we all get along." If only everyone would embrace the toxic forest & love the monstrous insects & stop behaving badly, then everyone could live happily ever after.

For such a famous & commercially successful anime, with such a significant director, the design is Anime 101, the story is merely juvenile, & none of the characters really spring to life with any depth. The character designs were minimalist; tricks like giving characters giant mustaches that hide their mouths means dialogue doesn't have to match movement of a mouth. None of the animation requires such things as facial expressions or individualistic body language.

There is one sequence that has a degree of strength, when the Giant Warrior is brought to life prematurely & tries to enter the battle even while his unfinished body is dissolving. The design of that sequence resembled Don Bluth animation more than the usual anime.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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