Thursday, June 4, 2009

Movie Journal: Nausicaa Of The Valley Of Wind

Kaze no tani no Naushika (or Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind) is an epic animated adventure, written and directed by none other than Hayao Miyazaki. Originally released in the year 1984, it's one of Miyazaki's oldest films, in addition to being one of his best.

The story of Nausicaa gives us a glimpse of a future in which the world is slowly being overrun by a steadily spreading toxic forest. Some simply try to avoid it, while others are actively seeking ways to destroy. Unfortunately, every time an effort is made to burn a segment of the jungle to the ground, the giant insects within fly into a rage, killing everything within miles until they eventually starve and die, producing new spores that cause the forest to spread further. Eventually a nation of industrialism and war comes forward with a plan to dig up an ancient giant of fire that could potentially destroy the jungle altogether. Supposedly.

This great story based on Hayao Miyazaki's own hit manga is not only epic in scope, but features rich characters and an exciting, action-oriented plot. Over all, it's certainly the best quality kid-centered action film there is. Next to Castle In The Sky, that is. In fact, in many ways, I probably prefer Nausicaa.

This is just the kind of intelligent storytelling that young kids deserve. The environmentalist undertones are undeniable, but underneath that is a deep and gripping message about love and self-sacrifice, in cool and epic ways that most stories for kids cannot boast.

9 out of 10

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