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Customer Review

107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Anime you'll see, 7 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind [DVD] (DVD)
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.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 May 2011 11:09:10 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 22 Jun 2011 13:57:47 BDT
DeBe says:
The info states that the language is Japanese with English subtitles, is this correct? Thank-you for your review :)

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2013 15:14:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jun 2013 15:15:48 BDT
Bob Loblaw says:
I take it you like alone R.A Pickard. If not, please send my condolences to your partner.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2013 19:11:22 GMT
The older releases - other than the now extremely rare "Warriors of the Wind" butcher-cut - were all only available as subtitled Japanese, but anything from at least the last 5 years should be using the really quite excellent Disney-produced English dub track (alongside the Japanese).

I would assume this also goes for the StudioCanal blu-ray, which is the version I saw this comment attached to, even though it doesn't actually seem to be for that...

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2013 19:17:26 GMT
Wow, harsh. There's a few other typos in MIB's post, you want to pick at them as well? Guy might be dyslexic, or using a recalcitrant mobile device soft-keyboard, etc. Doesn't actually hurt the content of the review.

Posted on 3 Dec 2013 19:38:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Dec 2013 19:38:57 GMT
Hmm, interesting opinion. I'm not sure entirely if I agree, but I can certainly sympathise.

Princess Mononoke was the first one of theirs I saw in full (after a fleeting brush with Laputa in childhood, along with some TV features at least partly animated by Miyazaki or people who had worked with him and picked up some of the style and sentiment), and it hooked me in quite hard ... but then, by that point, I was about 18-19 years old already. I'd be tempted to say that it's a good one for getting adults interested, as it could quite easily - perhaps in a different setting, e.g. feudal europe - have been done as a live action movie and made decent box office returns. However it has proven to have somewhat mixed results when shown to others, and it's not so great for younger kids due to the complex storyline, emotional impact, and, indeed, the general goriness.

Nausicaa is a pretty good blueprint for everything that came after and sort of demonstrates Miyazaki's general film making intent quite neatly in a single movie, and indeed my slightly corrupt, CD-capacity-challenging bootleg of it was a very preciously guarded thing when I finally managed to get hold of it in the early 2000s (way before there was any suggestion of a western release). It hit a number of sweet spots, being so unlike anything else I'd seen, certainly unlike any other animation, and also being deliciously "early 80s" in style :D ... it's something I'd happily show to any receptive adults, and maybe children from tweens on up. Again, it can be a bit scary, and the story is a bit tricky for the younglings, but it's certainly not as far out as PM on either front. (WotW only exists because someone thought they could mould it into a Star Wars type adventure after all).

Even so, if the challenge was to include "just one" film from the canon, on a top-100 list, I'd have to settle for my usual default of Laputa. It's a bit more universally suitable and accessible, and is a bit more cutesy, but it never strays into being twee, has all the usual hallmarks, and definitely doesn't follow the usual cliched plotlines (although you do get a happy ending after all, and a Disney Death for the baddies - and even a singable ending theme, once you learn the words! ;) ... my usual description of it is "Indiana Jones mixed with The Goonies ... in a cartoon version of Wales". I might also occasionally stray in to "the colours, children... the colours! ooougggh...", but that's neither here nor there (but srsly - the colours! Whoever did the grading needs a medal. It's a beautiful thing to watch on a dark night). Besides, it's also the first thing made by an outfit properly identifiable as Ghibli, even if it hadn't fully settled on a name by that point - the independent company which made it was formed by the guys who worked on Nausicaa /after/ that was produced, and then named between the time of Laputa and Totoro.

Ideally I'd like to cram all three of them in, but if it came down to one, it'd be that.

Or maybe Porco Rosso, as it does a lot of that, but with adult protagonists, even more flight time, and a neat film-noir subplot in-between the silliness, involving baddies who are, for all intents and purposes, Mussolini's fascist troops without being outright named as such.

Or maybe .... ahem, no, I'll stop now :D (... Grave? Kiki? Arrietty, even?)
There's too many choices, and, you know what, they're all good.

NB I didn't include Spirited Away ... that's not so much because it isn't a good film, which it is, but it's a bit too weird and a bit too confused, and as much as I love all the parts with dragon-form Haku in, still isn't in my top 5 of their works :) ((and it's also a massive, MASSIVE cliche thanks to the "ok, if we make up this category and give you the corresponding statue, will you shut up and go away?" Oscar...))
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