Kaze no tani no Naushika (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) (Warriors of the Wind) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kaze no tani no Naushika (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) (Warriors of the Wind) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 11, 2013
A grim and powerful epic that boasts an inventive, visually rich universe and an ecological message that only gets more and more relevant in our times - and it's wonderful to see a brave princess who fights to save her world with the fearlessness of a warrior.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2011
Hayao Miyazaki's second feature (based on the first two volumes of his own manga) and often considered Studio Ghibi's debut despite being produced before it's formation. It might as well be considered part of the Ghibli cannon since this is where Miyazaki's signature style finally came into focus. All the familiar themes and tropes of his works are present: strong female leads, environmental themes, Miyazaki's love for planes, absence of traditional villains (every character has a morally sympathetic motivation), and his unique sense of epic grandeur. The animation is a bit rough around the edges but it is still breath-taking even by today's standards; the awesome plane battle, the herd of giant mutant insects, the graceful scenes of Nausicaa effortlessly gliding through the air, and the sequence involving a super weapon known as "The Giant Warrior" are the definite highlights.

Nausicaa is a decent protagonist because she is very mature for her age and possesses a deeper understanding for the world than even the adults. She may come off as a bit too perfect or complainy at times but nevertheless you sympathize with her as she tries to protect her people, who are caught between an awfully chaotic three-way war. One of Miyazaki's biggest talents is being able to draw you into the film's universe with an eye for detail and organic characters that seem to jump out of the screen (a lot of the times, Miyazaki's animated characters come off as more real than even people in live-action films). The post-apocalyptic setting is suitably dreary but the charming array of relatable characters and subtle humorous moments gives the film tender charm, making it perfect for audiences both young and old.

Despite it's heavy handed environmental subtext (that becomes just plain text at times) and Miyazaki telling a similar story in the much superior 'Princess Mononoke', this post-nuclear war fable is an epic movie that is still worth seeing. We wouldn't have gotten all the other wonderful works of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli if it weren't for this flick.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2007
a fantastic fantasy story set in a very compelling world with fantastic characters. as usual the animation is stellar for this pre-ghibli film, and the effect that the story has on the viewer runs deep. one of the most fluid of miyazaki's films.
Super Reviewer
½ June 4, 2007
Stunning animation, memorable characters, and a timeless message inhabit Hayao Miyazaki's earliest masterpiece. Though it's environmental lecturing is a bit obvious and it looks dated compared to Studio Ghibli's later efforts, "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" remains both a benchmark in the world of animation and a brilliant work of cinema. There is a power and grace here rarely present in other films; animated or not.
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2011
In his second film, Miyazaki more strongly makes his case to be environmentally aware than in any of his other movies. The human race is on the line, and the quaint childhood adventure movie I've grown accustomed to in his later works is replaced with a princess caught between two (well, three) warring armies with planes, tanks, guns, and swords, and rage. Lots of rage. The result is a very epic movie: instead of a heart-breaking, precious and innocent protagonist, we have an awe-inspiring warrior of peace and harmony, in control of her emotions and already much further down the line of understanding the world than anyone else. Luckily, Miyazaki did find a way to add playful moments of children as well as tender and physically broken characters.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2008
A thoroughly typical Studio Ghibli movie, which means that it's charmingly and expertly animated, and has an environmentally friendly message.

I can't place NausicaƤ among my favorite Ghibli films like Spirited Away and The Cat Returns, though. Other than NausicaƤ herself, the characters aren't very memorable. The story is simple and straightforward, almost to the point of being bland, and the pro-nature message is very heavy-handed, even though it's appreciated. The first half of the movie is also better than the latter half, in my opinion.

Still, this is a movie I like to revisit from time to time, even though it lacks some of the imagination and immersion of superior Ghibli films. It's beautifully animated, though in a way that's more utilitarian than awe-inducing. Keep in mind, that even a merely "decent" Ghibli film is still more than worth checking out.
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2009
Masterpiece Hayao Miyazaki animated film with adventure after an apocalypse that brings it's imaginative and well-coneived world puts me in mind of Dune with its feuding factions, its giant creatures, and its strong ecological message.
There are fantastic aerial sequences like the jet-glider evading the flying snakes, which are just a tour-de-force of imagination and geometry. And yet this is a world that feels very organic, not geometric, with a cast of characters drawn in a unique cross between hobo, samurai, and pirate - totally blending in to an imaginary post apocalyptic world where humans scratch out a precarious life in villages hidden in the few green valleys left in a world of desert, where the only remaining resources are wind, sunlight, and humans.
It really is a film which is perfectly pitched at both a young and an adult audience. As Miyazaki's second feature film it is also, rightly or wrongly, usually considered the start of Studio Ghibli, and is arguably worth watching for historical reasons, too.
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2011
No-one could ever accuse Hayao Miyazaki of aiming low. His second full-length feature, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, is a hugely ambitious epic combining environmentalism, gender politics and the respective ethics of war and pacifism. And while like so many epics it is ultimately loose and sprawling, it contains all the classic ingredients which have made him the godfather of modern Japanese animation.

The first and most obvious of these ingredients is the animation itself. Although it might not have the bright, glossy sheen of Miyazaki's more recent offerings, there can be no denying that Nausicaa looks fantastic. The detail in every frame is immaculate, accurately capturing every changing hue in the ohmu's eyes or every strand of the princess' billowing hair. The colour scheme blends pale pastel shades for the Valley of the Wind with the ethereal blues of the underground forest and the sharper, more metallic tones of the ohmu and aeroplanes.

What makes Miyazaki's animation distinctive is his ability to make the beautiful seem creepy and vice versa without any real change in physical composition. What we initially view as being inherently malicious or horrid (like the charging ohmu) eventually reveal themselves as being good-natured, albeit easily led. Likewise when the Tolmekians arrive, their advanced technology and regal uniforms lead them to appear benevolent and civilised. But long before the Giant Warrior has been prematurely raised, we understand where their loyalties and intentions truly lie.

There are a number of through-lines in Nausicaa to Miyazaki's later, better works. As in Princess Mononoke, the central protagonist is a woman who defies traditional gender roles, a pacifist who hates bloodshed but is willing to fight to the death to protect her people. Both films also feature a domineering matriarch seeking to use the power of ancient gods for world domination. And like Porco Rosso, the film sees Miyazaki playing out his obsession with flight, giving us amazing flying machines and jet-powered gliders whose designs are enough to take one's breath away.

Like so much of Miyazaki's work, there are clear hints of Western film and literature in the story and characters of Nausicaa. But where later works would draw heavily on Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, the biggest influence in this case is the original Star Wars trilogy. The opening section, with Nausicaa wandering through the murky forest in her strange mask, recalls the mynocks sequence in The Empire Strikes Back. The design of the Pejitan ship bears a striking resemblance to Jabba's cruise vessel during the sarlacc scenes in Return of the Jedi. And Lady Kushana, with her high neckbrace and bionic limbs, is a clear stand-in for Darth Vader.

Despite these prominent overtones of space opera, Nausicaa is much less Star Wars than Silent Running when it comes to its themes and substance. The film is a brilliantly subtle look at environmental politics and the human impact on nature. Aside from making more general points about the need for humans and nature to live side by side and depend upon each other, it insightfully comments on Man's ability to misinterpret His surroundings in a way which is calamitous for both sides.

The thrust of Nausicaa is not so much that humans exploit their surroundings, but that they misunderstand them. The film makes no bones about humans being the cause of the Sea of Decay, but it doesn't simply condemn the existing foundations of civilisation and lay out an unrealistic alternative. On the one hand, we are shown that none of the races in this future are safe from the Sea of Decay: even the Valley of the Wind, with its seeming harmony and economy of nature, is rooted in the same toxic soil that covers the whole earth. On the other hand, there is the underground, non-toxic forest in the middle of the Sea of Decay. This symbolises the ability in nature and in humans for something good to come out of the most evil and toxic of places.

The film argues that the means of judgement humans employ and the attitudes they take in doing so are every bit as important as the actual actions they take. The problem is not humans using or developing technology, whether windmills or weapons; it is the ends which they serve and the methods of thinking which such decisions cultivate. Lady Kushana's attempts to use the Giant Warrior to fight off the ohmu and the Sea of Decay may be motivated by moral reasons, at least initially. But her efforts are ultimately in vain because they become driven not only by selfish political gain but an ignorance of the true nature of the environment and the insects that inhabit it.

Although the film is set in a post-apocalyptic future, the culture of Nausicaa is a blend of mediaeval and modern in terms of its design. The film counterpoints the sedentary lifestyle of the peasant communities in the Valley of the Wind with the WWI-like uniforms worn by the Tolmekian army. In addition to the universal environmental issues facing humanity, we have societies progressing through different stages of economic development, and their attitudes towards their surroundings change. Those in the Valley of the Wind utilise nature without manipulating it, while the Tolmekians use their planes and weapons to brush aside any aspect which opposes them.

In amongst all this cutting social and political analysis, we have a series of believable relationships which anchor the themes of the film. The 'romance' between Princess Nausicaa and Asbel never feels contrived and does not follow the predictable course of the male and female protagonists in other such films (Ferngully especially). Like all Miyazaki's works there is an inherent respect for both woman and the elderly, both of whom demonstrate their resilience and usefulness at key points in the storyline. The supporting cast are all believable, with even the smallest of characters feeling or at least appearing distinctive.

There are, a couple of flaws with Nausicaa, one contextual and one general. The contextual flaw is the soundtrack, which comprises keyboard or synth-based dance pop that never gels with the main action sequences. Rather like Giorgio Moroder's restructuring of Metropolis, the addition of 1980s keyboard instrumentals to the flying sequences detracts from what we are seeing rather than enhance it, and this is is the one aspect of Nausicaa that hasn't dated well.

The more general complaint is one of narrative structure. In the last half hour the film is cutting between so many different aspects of the final confrontation that the plot becomes a bit too much of a jumble. We can just about follow what is going on, but we have to balance so much that all the potentially impressive sequences sort of pass us by. The death of the Giant Warrior, which resembles Ctuhlu from the work of H. P. Lovecraft, is only on screen for a couple of minutes, and its death seems rather too hasty considering the huge amount of build-up.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a very good, brilliantly-made film which hints at the future greatness of Miyazaki as both a storyteller and animator. Despite its narrative shortcomings and dated soundtrack, it is every bit as visually ravishing as it was 27 years ago, and its thematic richness is plain for all to see. It's not Princess Mononoke, or Spirited Away, but it is an entertaining and enlightening introduction to a truly magical career.
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2010
This was okay type. Comparing with "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Spirited Away", this seemed to be boring to me. I did liked how Nausicaa have that special power to understand animals. And I did liked some scenes. The ending where everyone thought she died made me upset too. Hayao Miyazaki have that power to bring you into his animated world where you'll get involved, emotionally. But yeah, this didn't (or I must say, couldn't) reached my expectation.

p.s: I rate this by judging the movie. Not the creator of it. This is clearly overrated as some people simply rate this because of the director's other (awesome) movies. Please don't do that.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2009
Not my favorite Miyazaki movie but that's not saying much because I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I found it harder to get into than some of his other works. I definitely enjoyed the premise about the world getting back at the people for destroying it.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2007
It's been a while ago since I've last seen it, but hey it's a Miyazaki!!
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2007
The stage is set on a world ravaged by humans. Having depeleted their resources, remaining at war with nature, and having poisoned their homeworld they seek answers through more destruction. Various factions vie through violence to control the "ultimate weapon" while one persona seeks to unite. In this movie we witness the birth of a Bodhisattva, Nausicaa, becoming. Always looked to lead she puts ego aside and strives to bring peace to all creatures, both human and non-human. This is truly Miyazaki's finest moment and should not be looked upon as anything less than the artful tale of an enlightened soul. Nausicaa will leave you spellbound.
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2007
To date i still think this is the best Miyazaki/Ghibli film. All the Miyazaki elements are here, from the ecologic profile of the story to the strong heroine. The animation might be a tad bit dated, but the vast vision of Miyazaki is present as usual, along with the always trustable Joe Hisaishi on the music.
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2006
(Kaze no tani no Naushika) If I have a "least" favorite Miyazaki, this is probably it. Nausicä tackles enviromental issues, like Princess Mononoke, but the story lacks the clarity of Mononoke.
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2010
In the far future, a thousand years after a nuclear war left the Earth as a nuclear holocaust. The Valley of the Wind, a small kingdom ruled by King Jil struggles for survival as the community tries to defend the Valley from gigantic Ohm creatures and toxic plants that live beyond the Valley in the Sea of Decay, whilst Jil's daughter and heiress to the throne, Princess Nausicaa ries to understand and feels it is wrong to destroy the toxic jungle. The Valley is attacked by the Tolmekian people who plan to destroy the Sea of Decay by using the greatest warriors that started the holocaust. After Nausicaa is taken prisoner, Nausicaa escapes and goes beneath the Sea of Decay where she discovers the toxic plants are not what they appear to be...

There aren't really any major weak points in Nausicaa; unless you count the frustrating twelve drawings per second animation. The backgrounds aren't as amazing and the animation not as good as the last few Ghibli films but for 1984 it was plenty good enough. The really strong points of the movie are its pacing (at least until the very end, did not like the pace of the end), its story-telling, which manages to be sophisticated without being overly complex, its excellent dubbing, lead by cast Allison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Mark Hamill who were all superb but most of all in the amazing attention to detail in the fully realized post-apocalypse fantasy world in which the story is set. Every little thing is worked out and placed such that you find yourself admiring inventions, ideas, structures, creatures, etc...which don't draw attention to themselves, but simply exist as part of the backdrop of the movie. It's the sort of movie which you can get thoroughly caught up in, and which will stand repeated viewings. (I probably will watch it again).This really is a film which is perfectly pitched at both a young and an adult audience. As Miyazaki's second feature film it seems to be considered the start of Studio Ghibli, and is arguably worth watching for history reasons.

In the end, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is not the very best from Miyazaki or Ghibli, but an favorable beginning.

Story: A-
Acting: B+
Direction: B
Visuals: B
Overall: B

*** out of 4 stars
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2015
There's an argument to made that it's a tad overrated, yes it boasts the gorgeous visuals and unique world building that's a hallmark of Miyazaki's best work, but the themes get a little too heavy handed. Anyway I'm probably just nitpicking, the finale does have some great moments and it's positive ending seems earned.
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2010
Miyazaki draws you into Nausicaa's world and her cause so easily you forget you are watching a movie. It's films like this that films are supposed to be, an escapes from the world. With an earth friendly tone, the fantastically aspect far outweighs the political overtones and this is for the best. A beautiful world and a young girl who must protect it, I couldn't take my eyes away! Highly Recommended!
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2014
Visually striking and with a sweeping, epic narrative, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind represents director Hayao Miyazaki at his least restrained.
Super Reviewer
½ August 14, 2007
Beautifully done. Definitely one to get people thinking about the environment.
Super Reviewer
September 11, 2010
Who can say that many of Miyakazki?s shots or scenes are not the most fluid and beautiful shots ever animated. I guess I was expecting more based on the trailer and ratings. If I went back to 1984 this is a 5 or 5.5 movie, but looking at it now its ½ a dozen beautifully animated scenes with a lot of uninspired animated scenes. My favorite part is a world construction entirely of Miyazaki. Almost all the movies I watch today are sampled derivatives or just plain remakes of other movies. This movie borrows only from nature and then only loosely so. I was stuck by the pool of actors who are doing the dubbing, but in the end the voice talent and the foley (sound effects)work in the movie are my greatest disappointment. The 2.0 stereo just does not live-up to the action on the screen.
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