#189: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

When and how did I watch this?

November 13th and 14th, 2015, on DVD.

Had I seen this film already?

Nope.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

I’ve become familiar with the director through his work on Castle In the Sky.

What do I know about it now?

We are thrust into a new world immediately. The creatures are inventive, the artwork is stunning, and the characters are all engaging.  It reminded me heavily of some childhood favorites on TV (The Adventures of Little Koala in particular), so I suppose it triggered some nostalgia. Nausicaä is a cute teenage girl with insane persuasive abilities and an inherent attachment to the natural world, which means pretty much everything in the end.  The musical score really pops out as well, reminding me of some older video games. This was an instant favorite for me.

What are some themes in the film?

Human impact, imperialism, courage, coming of age

Did this affect me personally?

Yes, especially the last 30 minutes or so. While the ending was somewhat predictable, the tension and presentation of the climax is not easily forgotten.

Why is this ranked #189?

Miyazaki is an anime favorite, though it’s not without warrant.  People love this genre — far more than I do — but his ability to write compelling stories and imagine worlds I can only come up with after having too much chocolate before bed will garner the respect of any lover of the arts.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She certainly did.

Would I watch it again?

Yes, definitely.  My young one was more restless than usual on the first night, so it’s probable I missed things.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yes.  I’m warming up to the genre — if you haven’t at least given this a shot, you should.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

I think so.  It’s better than Castle In The Sky and Akira, in my opinion.  The story borders on the whimsical but never becomes cheesy or agenda-driven.  It contrasts purity and corruption perfectly. This is a quality film.

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