Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (1984)

Rating: A

Dir: Hayao Miyazaki
Star (voice): Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyôda, Gorô Naya

“I’m not making movies just to make appeals on particular problems. The close relationship between nature and mankind is something we should be aware of as people living in the present-day, regardless of whether or not we make movies.” — Hayao Miyazaki

[14] This was reviewed way back in TC6 – or at least, 3/4 of it was. What I didn’t realise at the time was the savage trimming Warriors of the Wind had undergone. It’s 25 minutes shorter than the original Japanese version, and it says a lot about Nausicaa that Warriors is at all watchable. In it’s complete version – 116 minutes, letterboxed, undubbed – it blossoms into perhaps the only truly “green” film yet made. For those without a TC6 to refer to (what took you so long to get here?), a brief re-review. Set post-holocaust, when nature has reclaimed all but fragments of the Earth under a “toxic forest”, Nausicaa is princess of one of the few remaining inhabitable areas.

She feels an attraction to the toxic forest, but it is threatened by the actions of a nearby kingdom, who plan to resurrect pre-devastation technology to destroy it, little realising the dangers of their actions. This illustrates perfectly the imagination anime permits; Miyazaki creates an entire world: plants, animals, insects, fungi, transport, all with painstaking detail. All the characters are plausibly constructed, with justifications worthy of real people. Even in the truncated version, this deserves B+, in the full-blown “director’s cut”, we’re looking at an A grade.