Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (film)
|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind|
Japanese theatrical poster for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, designed and illustrated by Yoshiyuki Takani
|Hepburn||Kaze no Tani no Naushika|
|Directed by||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Produced by||Isao Takahata|
|Written by||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Based on||Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
by Hayao Miyazaki
|Music by||Joe Hisaishi|
|Distributed by||Toei Company|
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Japanese: 風の谷のナウシカ Hepburn: Kaze no Tani no Naushika?) is a 1984 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, based on his own 1982 manga of the same name. Isao Takahata produced the film for Tokuma Shoten and Hakuhodo, with Top Craft animating. Joe Hisaishi composed the film's musical score. The film stars the voices of Sumi Shimamoto, Goro Naya, Yoji Matsuda, Yoshiko Sakakibara and Iemasa Kayumi.
The film tells the story of Nausicaä (Shimamoto), a young princess of the Valley of the Wind who gets involved in a struggle with Tolmekia, a kingdom that tries to use an ancient weapon to eradicate a jungle of mutant giant insects. Nausicaä must stop the Tolmekians from enraging these creatures.
The film was released in Japan on March 11, 1984. While created before Studio Ghibli was founded, the film is considered to be the beginning of the studio and is often included as part of the Studio's works, including the Studio Ghibli Collection DVDs and Blu-rays.
One thousand years have passed since the Seven Days of Fire, an apocalyptic war that destroyed human civilization and gave birth to the vast Toxic Jungle,[Note 1] a forest swarming with giant mutant insects in which everything is lethal to humans. Scattered settlements exist wherever the Toxic Jungle relents. The Valley of the Wind is one such settlement. The Valley's settlers have a prophecy about a saviour, "clothed in blue robes, descending onto a golden field, to join bonds with the great earth and guide the people to the pure lands at last".
Nausicaä, the cheerful and peace-loving princess of the Valley of the Wind, has managed to befriend the Toxic Jungle. She explores the Jungle and communicates with its creatures, including the gigantic, armored trilobite-like creatures called Ohm.[Note 2] She often travels on a compact jet-powered glider in order to find out about the origins of the Toxic Jungle, understand its nature and even find a cure for both humans and the world.
One night, during a visit by the Valley's swordsmaster, Lord Yupa, a large fixed-wing cargo aircraft from the kingdom of Tolmekia crashes in the Valley. Nausicaä tries to rescue an onboard passenger, the wounded Princess Lastelle of Pejite, who pleads with Nausicaä to destroy the cargo before dying. The cargo is an embryo of a Giant Warrior, lethal genetically engineered bioweapons that caused the Seven Days of Fire. The invading Tolmekians seize the embryo and Lastelle. The Tolmekian plane, however, is attacked by mutant insects and crashes. One of the insects then emerges wounded from the wreckage and seems poised to attack the frightened villagers, but Nausicaä uses a small bullroarer to create a high-pitched tune that helps calm it and after mounting her jet-glider, guides the insect out of the village to safety.
The next morning, Tolmekian troops, led by Princess Kushana and Officer Kurotowa, enter the Valley and secure the Giant Warrior embryo, killing Nausicaä's sick father in the process. Kushana plans to mature the Giant Warrior and then use it to burn the Toxic Jungle, even though history warns of fatal consequences. After witnessing her father's death, Nausicaä goes berserk and kills several Tolmekian soldiers before Yupa intervenes. Kushana announces her decision to leave for Pejite with Nausicaä along with five hostages from the Valley. Before they leave, Yupa discovers her secret garden of jungle plants. According to Nausicaä, plants that grow in clean soil and water are not toxic. The jungle's soil, however, has long been tainted by humankind.
Kushana and her detachment are unable to reach their destination, as an agile Pejite interceptor shoots down the Tolmekian ship. Nausicaä, her fellow hostages and Kushana crash-land in the jungle, disturbing several Ohm, which Nausicaä soothes. She then leaves to rescue Asbel, the Pejite pilot and the twin brother of Lastelle, but both are swallowed by quicksand and end up in a non-toxic world below the jungle. Nausicaä realizes that the jungle plants purify the polluted topsoil, producing clean water that remains hidden underground.
Nausicaä and Asbel return to Pejite, only to find it ravaged by the insects. While boarding a single plane, the surviving villagers reveal that they lured the creatures to eradicate the Tolmekians and are doing the same in the Valley to recapture the Giant Warrior. To prevent any intervention, they capture Nausicaä. Later, with the help of Asbel and his mother, Nausicaä escapes on a glider. While flying home, Nausicaä finds a team of Pejite soldiers using a wounded baby Ohm to lead a furious Ohm herd numbering in the thousands into the Valley. The Tolmekians deploy tanks and later the Giant Warrior against the herd, but to no avail: the tanks' firepower is nowhere near enough to harm an Ohm and the Giant Warrior, having been hatched prematurely, soon disintegrates, despite successfully destroying a few waves of Ohm.
Nausicaä liberates the baby Ohm and gains its trust: in the process, her pink dress becomes stained by its blue blood, turning completely blue. The two attempt to stop the raging herd, but are run over, with Nausicaä seemingly killed. The herd, however, calms down, and the Ohm use their golden tentacles to heal Nausicaä. Nausicaä awakens and starts to dance on top of the hundreds of glowing golden tentacles. Clad in blue and walking as through golden fields, revealing Nausicaä as the saviour from the prophecy. The Ohm and Tolmekians leave the Valley afterwards, while the surviving Pejites remain with the Valley people, helping them rebuild. Meanwhile, a new tree begins to grow underground.
|Characters||Japanese voice cast||English voice cast (2005)|
|Nausicaä||Sumi Shimamoto||Alison Lohman|
|Asbel||Yōji Matsuda||Shia LaBeouf|
|Kushana||Yoshiko Sakakibara||Uma Thurman|
|Lord Yupa||Goro Naya||Patrick Stewart|
|Obaba||Hisako Kyōda||Tress MacNeille|
|Kurotowa||Iemasa Kayumi||Chris Sarandon|
|Mito||Ichirō Nagai||Edward James Olmos|
|Niga||Minoru Yada||Mark Silverman|
|King Jihl||Mahito Tsujimura|
|Muzu||James Arnold Taylor|
|Gol||Kōhei Miyauchi||Frank Welker|
|Gikkuri||Jōji Yanami||Jeff Bennett|
|Lastelle||Miina Tominaga||Emily Bauer|
|Mayor of Pejite||Makoto Terada||Mark Hamill|
|Lastelle's Mother||Akiko Tsuboi||Jodi Benson|
|Tomekian Soldiers||Shinji Nomura
|Pejite Citizens||Takeki Nakamura
|Pejite Peasant Girl||Takako Ōta||Ashley Rose Orr|
Hayao Miyazaki made his credited directorial debut in 1979 with Castle of Cagliostro, a film which was a distinct departure from the antics of the Lupin III media, but still went on to receive the Ofuji Noburo Award at the 1979 Mainichi Film Concours. [Note 3] Due to the success of the film, Animage contacted Miyazaki to produce works for the company. Miyazaki's movie ideas were rejected and Animage asked him to do a manga: this led to the creation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Miyazaki began writing and drawing the manga in 1982 and became a success upon its release. The owner of Animage and president of Tokuma Shoten encouraged Miyazaki to do a film. Miyazaki initially refused, but agreed on the condition that he could direct.
In the early stages, Isao Takahata, credited as executive producer, reluctantly joined the project even before the animation studio was chosen. An outside studio to produce the film was needed because Tokuma Shoten did not own an animation studio: Miyazaki and Takahata chose the minor studio Topcraft. The production studio's work was known to both Miyazaki and Takahata and was chosen because its artistic talent could transpose the sophisticated atmosphere of the manga to the film. On May 31, 1983, work began on the pre-production of the film. Miyazaki encountered difficulties in creating the screenplay, with only sixteen chapters of the manga to work with. Miyazaki would take elements of the story and refocus the narrative and characters to the Tolmekian invasion of Nausicaä's homeland. Takahata would enlist the experimental and minimalist composer Jo Hisaishi to do the score for the film.
In August, the animation work began on the film and was produced by animators hired for the one film and paid per frame. One notable animator was Hideaki Anno, who later wrote and directed Neon Genesis Evangelion. Anno was assigned to draw the challenging God Warrior's attack sequence, which according to Toshio Suzuki is a "high point in the film". The film was released in March 1984, with a production schedule of only nine months and with a budget equivalent to $1 million.
Miyazaki's work on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was inspired by a range of works including Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea, Brian Aldiss's Hothouse, Isaac Asimov's Nightfall, and J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Dani Cavallaro also suggests inspiration from The Princess Who Loved Insects folktale, and the works of William Golding. Nausicaä, the character, was inspired in name and personality, by Homer's Phaeacian princess in the Odyssey. While a connection to Frank Herbert's Dune is often made there is no confirmation apart from the name "Ohmu" being a syllabic rendition of the English "worm". Miyazaki's imagination was sparked by the mercury poisoning of Minamata Bay and how nature responded and thrived in a poisoned environment, using it to create the polluted world of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Ian DeWeese-Boyd agrees, "Her commitment to love and understanding—even to the point of death—transforms the very nature of the conflict around her and begins to dispel the distorting visions that have brought it about."
The most prominent themes are the anti-war and environmental focus of the film. Nausicaä, the heroine, believes in the value of life regardless of its form and through her actions stops a war. Loy and Goodhew state there is no evil portrayed in the film, but the Buddhist roots of evil: greed, ill will and delusion. Fear is what drives the conflicts, the fear of the poisoned forest results in the greed and resentment. Nausicaä, in addition to being a transformative force, leads people to understand and respect nature which is portrayed as welcoming, spiritual, and restorative for those who enter it peacefully.
The film was released, in 1984, with a recommendation from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). On July 30, 1995, a subtitled version of the film was screened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, in London, as part of the "Building Bridges" film festival, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In her March 25, 2013 presentation at Colorado College, on "Tapestries of Apocalypse: From Angers to 'Nausicaa' and Beyond", Dr. Susan J. Napier places the film and in particular the tapestry, depicted underneath the opening credits, within the tradition of artistic representation of apocalypses and apocalyptic visions. She explores the role such expressions play in understanding apocalyptic events and post-event recovery.
The film was released by Toei Company on March 11, 1984. The film would gross about 1.48 billion yen at the box office, sell 914,767 tickets and make an additional 742 million yen in distribution income. Home releases include the original April 1984 Laserdisc release and as part of Juburi ga Ippai Sutajio Jiburi LD Zenshuu (Ghibli Complete Collection: Studio Ghibli Complete LD Collection) from August 1996, the original March 1984 VHS version by Animage and re-release by Buena Vista on September 19, 1997. Three DVD sets were released in Japan with a regular DVD and figure set released on November 19, 2003 and a collectors set following on December 7, 2003.
Warriors of the Wind
New World Pictures produced a 95-minute English-dubbed version of the film, titled Warriors of the Wind, and it was released theatrically in the United States in June 1985, with the VHS video release in December 1985. In the late 1980s, Vestron Video would release the film and First Independent Video would re-release it in 1993 with another minute cut from the film. The voice actors and actresses were not informed of the film's plotline and the film was heavily edited to market it to children. Consequently, part of the film's narrative meaning was lost: some of the environmentalist themes were diluted as was the main subplot of the Ohmu, altered to turn them into aggressive enemies. Most of the characters were renamed, including Nausicaä who became Princess Zandra. The United States cover for the VHS release featured a cadre of male characters who are not in the film, riding the resurrected God Warrior—including a still-living Warrior shown briefly in a flashback. A total of 21 minutes and 50 seconds was cut from the original production for the release of Warriors of the Wind.
Dissatisfied with Warriors of the Wind, Miyazaki decided to adopt a strict "no-edits" clause for future foreign releases of Studio Ghibli's films. On hearing Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein would try to cut Princess Mononoke to make it more marketable, one of Studio Ghibli's producers sent an authentic katana with a simple message: "No cuts".
2005 English re-release
An uncut and re-dubbed version of Nausicaä was released on DVD by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on February 22, 2005 for Region 1. This DVD also includes the Japanese audio track with English subtitles. Optimum Home Entertainment released the film in Region 2 and the Region 4 DVD is distributed by Madman Entertainment. A remastered Blu-ray sourced from a 6K filmscan was released on July 14, 2010 in Japan. It includes an uncompressed Japanese LPCM stereo track, an English dub and English subtitles. On October 18, 2010 a Blu-ray version was released in Region 2 by Optimum Home Entertainment. The film was released on Blu-ray in the United States and Canada on March 8, 2011 by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
Other language releases
Spain first released two versions of the cut film, both called "Guerreros del Viento" (Warriors of the Wind) with the first in 1987 and again 1991, and then a version of the original uncut film under the "Nausicaä del Valle del Viento" title in 2010. France has had both versions of the movie appear with two cut versions named "La Princesse des Etoiles" (The Princess of the Stars) and "Le vaisseau fantôme" (The Ghost Ship): the uncut film had a regular and collector's DVD set released on April 18, 2007. In Germany UFA released the 86 minute long cut version on VHS as Sternenkrieger (literally "Star Warriors") in 1986 and Universum Anime released the uncut DVD release on September 5, 2005. The 2007 Hungarian release, titled "Nauszika - A szél harcosai" (Nausicaa - The Warriors of the Wind) is uncut despite the title's reference. The Korean DVD release of the uncut film was on March 3, 2004. China has had three releases of Nausicaä: the first on Video CD and two DVD releases.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind received generally positive reviews from film critics. The film frequently ranked among the best animated films in Japan and is seen by critics as a seminal influence on the development of anime, as the film's success led to the foundation of Studio Ghibli and several other anime studios. Theron Martin of Anime News Network praised the film for its character designs, as well as Hayao Miyazaki's direction and Joe Hisaishi's score. He also said that the film "deserves a place on any short list of all-time classic anime movies." Commonsense Media, which serves to inform parents about media for children, rated the film positively and cited its good role models and positive messages, but also cautions parents about its dramatic setting and violent scenes. As of August 2015, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 87% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 15 reviews with an average rating of 8/10.
Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has cited the manga and film as an influence on his series. As such, the horseclaws in the film were used as an inspiration for the Chocobos in the games. Numerous games have used Ohmu-like creatures, assumed to be reference to the film including Metal Slug 3 Cyber Core and Viewpoint. The game Crystalis, known in Japan as God Slayer: Haruka Tenkū no Sonata (ゴッド・スレイヤー はるか天空のソナタ), shares common elements with the film, including an insect that resembles an Ohmu. Helen McCarthy in 500 Essential Anime Movies praised the animation techniques of Miyazaki, stating that "the real strength of this film is the script, packed with incident, excitement and passion, and the soundtrack" of Joe Hisaishi.
Various gliders are seen in the film and the protagonist, Nausicaä, uses a jet-assisted one-person glider-shaped machine with folding wings. According to the accompanying film book released in Japan, the glider is called Möwe (メーヴェ Mēve?, or "mehve" in the English manga), the German word meaning gull. An official scale model lists it as having an approximate wingspan of 5.8 meters (1/20 model measured to be 29cm), while the design notes indicate it has a mass of only 12kg. In 2004, the Japanese-led OpenSky Aircraft Project began attempts to build a real-life, working personal jet glider based on the glider from the film. Two full-size gliders with no power source carrying the code name M01 and M02, with a half-sized jet-powered remote controlled mock up called moewe 1/2 was built. The designer and tester of the project refused the official endorsement of the project by Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, noting that he did not want to cause trouble for them if an accident occurred. A jet powered version (registration number JX0122) was finally able to take off under its own power for the first time on September 3, 2013.
The film's score was composed by Joe Hisaishi, while the vocal theme song "Kaze no Tani no Naushika" was produced by Haruomi Hosono (Yellow Magic Orchestra and Happy End member) and sung by Narumi Yasuda. Numerous soundtracks and albums relating to the film have been released.
- Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Image Album <Bird Person> (風の谷のナウシカ イメージアルバム 鳥の人) released November 25, 1983
- Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Symphony <The Legend of Wind> (風の谷のナウシカ シンフォニー 風の伝説) released February 25, 1984
- Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Soundtrack <Toward the Far Away Land> (風の谷のナウシカ サウンドトラック はるかな地へ) released March 25, 1984
- Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Drama Version <God of Wind> (風の谷のナウシカ・ドラマ編) released April 25, 1984
- Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Best Collection (風の谷のナウシカ BEST) released November 25, 1986
- Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Hi-tech Series (風の谷のナウシカ・ハイテックシリーズ) released October 25, 1989
- Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Piano Solo Album <For the Easy Use with Beyer> released March 15, 1992
Miyazaki's manga version of Nausicaä was written over a period of 12 years, with breaks taken to work on Studio Ghibli films. Serialized in Tokuma Shoten's Animage magazine, the first chapter was published in February 1982 and the last chapter in March 1994. Miyazaki adapted and altered the work for the film because only sixteen chapters of the manga were written at the time of the film's production. The manga would continue to be produced until the seventh and final book was released in January 15, 1995. The English localization was initially done by Toren Smith and Dana Lewis of Studio Proteus. After Miyazaki resumed production of the manga, Viz Media chose a new team and continued to release the rest of manga.
Three video games were released based on the manga and the film. All three of the titles were developed by Technopolis Soft and published by Technopolis Soft and Tokuma Shoten. Nausicaä in the Nick of Time also known as Nausicaä's Close Call (Naushika Kiki Ippatsu or Nausicaä Kiki Ippatsu) is a Japanese shoot 'em up video game developed and published by Technopolis Soft for the NEC PC-6001 computer system in 1984. The game marketed as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and known by its title screen as Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä (風の谷のナウシカ?, Nausicaä Adventure Game), is an adventure game developed by Technopolis Soft for the NEC PC-8801: it was released in the 1980s, most likely 1984. The third game, Wasure ji no Nausicaä Game (忘れじのナウシカ・ゲーム?, Nausicaä's Forgotten Game) for the MSX is the most well-known of the releases and has been frequently and erroneously referred to as a game where the player kills the Ohmu. These games signaled the end of video game adaptations for Hayao Miyzaki's films. The only other game was Cliff Hanger, a Laserdisc game that included Miyazaki's Castle of Cagliostro film scenes. Luke Plunkett describes these "two awful adaptations" as the reason Miyazaki does not allow further video game adaptations of his films.
An art book titled, The Art of Nausicaä (ジ・アート・オブ 風の谷のナウシカ Ji āto Obu kaze no tani no naushika?) was released by Tokuma Shoten on June 20, 1984. It contains artwork during the early stages of production of the film and commentary of assistant director Kazuyoshi Katayama. Kaze no tani no Naushika Miyazaki Hayao Suisaiga-shū (風の谷のナウシカ 宮崎駿水彩画集?, literally "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Hayao Mizayaki Watercolor Art book") was released by Tokuma Shoten on September 5, 1995. The art book contains artwork of the manga in watercolor, examples of storyboards for the film, autographed pictures by Hayao Miyazaki and interviews on the birth of Nausicaä. The book has been translated in English and French. Two bunkobon volumes containing the story boards were released, on March 31, 1984. In 2001, the Nausicaä storyboards were re-released, bundled into a single, larger, volume as part 1 of the Studio Ghibli Story boards collection. A selection of layout designs for the film was also incorporated in the Studio Ghibli Layout Designs exhibition tour, which started in the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (July 28, 2008 to September 28, 2008) and subsequently travelled to different museums around Japan and Asia, concluding in the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (October 12, 2013 to January 26, 2014). The exhibition catalogues contain annotated reproductions of the displayed artwork. Tokuma Shoten released a film comic, in four volumes, one each week from November 20, 1990 to December 20, 1990. A two-volume children's version was released on March 31, 1998.
- Toxic Jungle: Sea of Decay in the film's subtitled version, Sea of Corruption in the manga translation
- Pronunciation: Ohm: //. The Japanese name, Ō mu(shi) (王蟲?), consists of the kanji for king and insect or bug. Transliterated as Ohmu in manga translations and as Ohm in the film's subtitles.
- Previously, Miyazaki had co-directed episodes of Lupin III with Takahata and was writer and director of two episodes in Lupin III Part II under the pseudonym "Telecom".
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There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: 'No cuts.' / The director chortles. 'Actually, my producer did that.'
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Okay, so the Chocobos -- big, yellow riding birds -- were actually stolen from Hayao Miyazaki's movie Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind, and Hironobu Sakaguchi freely admitted that way back when.
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind|
- Official website
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind at the Internet Movie Database
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind at AllMovie
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Info and review of Warriors of the Wind with audio clips, archived from the original on December 24, 2008, retrieved December 8, 2013
- Review of Warriors of the Wind
- "風の谷のナウシカ (Kaze no tani no Naushika)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
- Entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction