Channel four recently put a Studio Ghibli film into its 100 films to see before you die, and it was Princess Mononoke, which is a great film, but in my opinion this is the film that should be there instead. Credited as a Studio Ghibli film is was not made by Ghibli, but by the people who would eventually become Ghibli when they made the second film, Laputa. First seen in the west as a butchered film called Warriors of the Winds, it sank beneath the waves until the recent interest in Ghibli with the release of Spirited Away and it was released in an uncut form with new voice talent. It is based on a Manga that Miyzaki had been writing for 13 years until he bought it to the screen.
It shows a world devastated by mans folly 1000 years before in a war in which burnt the world. Survivors now live in isolated communities seperated by the Sea of Decay, a poisonous forest inhabited by giant insects, chief of which are the Ohmu. Nausicaa is a Princess who lives in The Valley of the Winds. A peaceful place until it is shattered by a aircraft from the warlike people of Tolmekia, which crashes into there valley. Closely followed by a resuce party from Tolmekia it is discovered that the crash ship carries a weapon left over from the old world, with which the Tolmekians plan to destroy the Sea of Decay and reclaim the earth for man. Needless to say it goes a little pear-shaped.
The film, despite being made in 1984, is beautfully drawn and is superior to anything that Disney produced at the time. Its plot could be confusing to younger children, but the action keeps flowing and the storyline is intelligent to keep the adults engrossed. A great film for both young and old alike, as it show that animation is not just for children.