BUENA VISTA has just released several more titles from the famed director of “SPIRITED AWAY”, Hayao Miyazaki.
“NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND” is aimed towards more adult audiences than the other two(PORCO ROSSO, THE CAT RETURNS) but that doesn’t take away from its appeal towards younger viewers at the same time.
Long after a war has destroyed most of the world, a forest made of horrendous insects and deadly limbs, steadily increases its reach, attempting to wipe out the rest of humanity. Nausicaa, the film’s heroine, is from “VALLEY OF THE WIND”, an Oceanside kingdom wherein the forest’s deadly spores are kept at bay due to the climate of the “valley of the wind.” Although her kingdom hasn’t suffered the turmoil facing the rest of the outside world, things take a drastic turn when a ship crashes into nearby mountain, unleashing its stowed cargo, a powerful weapon. Those owing the cargo come for it and Nausicaa suffers great agony as her father is killed and her people enslaved.
As the story unfolds, Nausicaa gains help from other intriguing characters and a major valiant attempt is made to save all of mankind.
While the plot could’ve easily become confusing, it never feels convoluted. It’s an epic that keeps its story and characters in check throughout. It’s also great and all too rare to find a film that unabashedly makes its focus and salvation around a young girl.
BUENA VISTA has presented the film in its proper 1.85:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. It doesn’t offer the same vibrant and rich colors of “SPIRITED AWAY” and more recent BUENA VISTA animated releases, but it’s still impressive. In spite of grain and general softness the many scenes revolving around Nausicaa and her flying in a glider, are incredible.
BUENA VISTA has offered both the original Japanese track and a new dubbed in English track, featuring Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman and more. Both mixes are fine. Although both are mono, the fidelity is surprisingly quite good.
There are a variety of extras offered here, including a featurette devoted to the the founding of the Ghibli studio.