Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Imagine The Lorax as a concept album by Yes - and you get something of the flavor of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (or Kaze no tani no Naushika). It is one of Hayao Miyazaki's earlier films, an environmentalist tract that, in some ways, prefigures his 1997 Princess Mononke. Nausicaä is a princess forced to fight to defend her people in a future world devastated by years of industrial pollution. Pockets of the planet's population survive but all are threatened by a toxic forest teeming with monster insects. Until the rather abrupt ending, Nausicaä has a much more straightforward narrative arc than other Miyazaki movies like Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle. Oh, and my kids really liked it too.