Tuesday, February 5, 2013
All this week I'll be blogging about my five favorite animated feature films written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is a Japanese film director, animator, manga artist and screenwriter. He also co-founded Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most well known animation film studios.
1984's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one of the first Science-Fantasy tales I ever came across (as in guns, motorized gliders, giant-airships, but also knights and swords and monsters). Technically, it's actually a post-apocalyptic setting, but you wouldn't necessarily know that unless you'd read the manga. From IMDB:
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.
Nausicaä is a young princess, who rules the Valley of the Wind, and spends much of her time researching the mutant giant insects in the poisonous jungles surrounding her homeland. When the kingdom of Tolmekia invades, and tries to use ancient technology they don't understand to destroy the jungle, Nausicaä must convince them of the errors of their ways.
Set in one of the most fabulous landscapes, and containing some of the most iconic creatures ever to grace the animated silver screen, including the gigantic, armored caterpillars/trilobites called Ohmu, Valley of the Wind is Miyazaki's second feature film. And though it is not technically a Studio Ghibli production, it is considered by most the spiritual antecedent to that studio's rise to fame.
Upon it's English re-release, the film continued in the Miyazaki tradition of casting famous actors to voice the adaptations, and included such heavyweights as Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Mark Hamill, and Eward James Olmos.
I could not actually find an official trailer, because this movie is old and somewhat rare, but this one will give you a good idea of the tone of the film: