Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – ★★★★

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind poster

Took the kids to watch this in the theater today as part of Studio Ghibli Fest. First time for me to ever see a Miyazaki movie on the big screen.

This was one of my least favorites when I originally was running through my Miyazaki blind spots back in 2020, but giving it my full attention now I really enjoyed it quite a bit. I was pleasantly surprised how much both my girls liked it considering how “old” it is and how relatively few laughs there are. They were probably the only 2 people under 30 in the theater today.

Nausicaä is such a fantastic character as are all the other valley residents, but boy do I hate every single Tolmekian and Pejite moron. And they remain pretty much completely irredeemable for the entire movie. (I know we’re supposed to dislike them but still.)

It is bit depressing how little progress we’ve made as a society in 40 years towards the Nausicaä’s basic themes of environmentalism, empathy, and pacifism.

It’s early so not quite as breathtakingly beautiful as some of the films that followed it, but it sure is imaginative and interesting to look at. It is also remarkable how much imagery from this have influenced (or share influences with) current Japanese video games including Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. TotK’s “depths” areas seem like a mix of Nausicaa’s forest and the gloom from Mononoke.

Buying tickets now to go see Mononoke in a month.

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💿 Buy Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind on Blu-ray

Spirited Away – ★★★★½

Spirited Away

First rewatch since I saw it when it came out in college. I recalled thinking it was really odd and just ok. Now I think it is really odd (even for Miyazaki) and great.

Not as high up on my Ghibli favorites list as the ones that are pure delight, but definitely one of the most well made and best stories of all their fantastic films.

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💿 Buy Spirited Away on Amazon