Today we are taking a look at an epic anime, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Now there are two Western versions of this, a butchered version that was released in the 80s and a version put out by Disney in 2005. It is the version put out by Disney that this review is based on.
How to Download Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you want to see more movies directed by Hayao Miyazaki, read our reviews of My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Castle in the Sky (1986), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Porco Rosso (1992), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Ponyo (2008), or The Wind Rises (2013).
The Movie Review
The backstory of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is actually very interesting. It was released in 1984 and was written and directed by the great, Hayao Miyazaki one of the co-founders of Studio Ghibli. However, the movie was made before Studio Ghibli, but over time it has been classified as a Studio Ghibli movie. When Disney acquired the rights, it was released under the Studio Ghibli banner.
I have only ever seen clips of the original Western release of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, but my goodness is it a terrible and hacked-up release. Disney worked wonders with this, including putting together a very talented voice cast. Seriously, the voice cast for the 2005 Disney release is amazing.
We have Alison Lohman in the titular role of Princess Nausicaä. We also have the likes of Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Shia LaBeouf, and Jack Skellington himself, Chris Sarandon! Say what you will about Disney acquiring the rights for Studio Ghibli movies in the late 90s, but you cannot deny they managed to always get a fantastic cast to voice the movies!
What we have here with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a wonderful fantasy with bits of sci-fi kind of anime story. The movie takes place over one thousand years after an apocalyptic event called, The Seven Days Of Fire. As usual, mankind was pretty much responsible for our own downfall here.
After this, the world pretty much turned into a massive jungle wasteland with these giant and dangerous bugs that would devour anything that came into their path. Now, that right there is a premise I can get right behind. It has a great setup and I think they do a very good job getting you invested right from the start.
We have some factions that are trying to come up with a way to destroy all these bugs for good, but the young Princess Nausicaä wants to find a way for the bugs and people to live in harmony. She is aided by some trusted allies such as Asbel and Lord Yupa as she tries to save the day and put a stop to the military and brutally ruthless state of Tolmekia who bring nothing, but war and destruction.
Look, this is just an awesome fantasy story and one that well and truly gets you hooked and interested in what is going down. I think that the visuals in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind are spectacular and I wish I could have seen this in the theatre when I was a kid… actually, that is not true as it would have been the butchered version and I probably would not have loved the movie as I do now.
You can get this on both Blu-Ray and DVD and if you can get the Blu-Ray, that is the way to go, it is truly spectacular and amazing considering this is the better part of 40 years old. If you are in the mood for an animated movie that has a compelling story, interesting characters and some epic action, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one that is very hard to beat.
- I love the core cast of characters in this movie
- At its core, it is a fantastic, 80s style fantasy movie and that is a very good thing!
- Even though this movie is rather old, it still looks amazing
- The Disney version has an amazing voice cast to bring the story to life
- It was rumored a 4K release was coming, but that was back in 2017 and it still has never happened
- I feel bad for those that watched the original 1985 American release of this!