Sumi Shimamoto, Goro Naya, Yoji Matsuda, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Iemasa Kayumi and others.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is the second animated movie in my Studio Ghibli Marathon, though it technically isn't a part of the Studio. Released in 1984 directed by the master himself, this movie is considered to be the starting point of what made Studio Ghibli so great. Their movies for me often surpasses any other animated studio efforts including Pixar. This is a Post-apocalyptic adventure movie which tells the story of Nausicaa who is a young Princess of the Valley of the Wind and her efforts to stop kingdom of Tolmekia who are trying to eradicate a jungle of giant insects using ancient weapons. A little back story about the movie is that a thousand years ago an apocalyptic war known as the Seven Days of Fire destroyed human civilization and turned the world into a toxic wasteland. The Jungles has giant mutant insects and every single thing is toxic to human, a few scattered settlements can be still found where there is no jungle.
We see Nausicaa who is very lovely, peace loving and caring person riding on her jet powered glider with a mask in the toxic jungle. She explores the jungle communicates with the creatures. One night, a large cargo aircraft crashes which has the embryo of a Giant Warrior. One of those genetically engineered bio weapons that caused the Seven Days of Fire. It was discovered by Pejite but Tolmekians seizes control of it and they are set to destroy the toxic jungle with it not caring about the extreme fatal consequences. Kushana who is leading the Tolmekians in the Valley holds Nausicaa as hostage while leaving for Pejite but their plane crashes after Asbel who is a Pejite pilot and twin brother of Lastelle who was killed by Tolmekian shoots them down. Both Nausicaa and Asbel discovers a non-toxic part of jungle below the toxic one, they return to Pejite, they find it destroyed and the few survivors tells both of them that they lured the creatures here to destroy Tolmekians and will do the same in the valley to destroy them and the Giant Warrior while they take Nausicaa as hostage knocking Asbel out of the plane.
It definitely was a good start for Ghibli and its legacy even though the movie itself couldn't match the greatness of the future Ghibli projects. I have heard some big praises about this movie and was looking forward to it but was not overall satisfied by the experience. The environmental themes have been handled very heavily and it goes awfully preachy, tiresome and complicated at many times. This rarely happens with me but i was very sleepy during the movie, not that i actually was sleepy that day but during the movie i grew bored and tired. The spectacle of the movie is very big, mindblowing and eye popping. The lush visuals, the whole atmosphere that it builds is timeless. There are some very quite moments, particularly with Nausicaa and they really works well in presence of the overall near-mess narration but still i was lost during the movie. Very uneven screenplay that feels very rushed and filled with various things at many parts and empty filling scenes providing no sense overall at other moments. With all these flaws still i can't help but praise the movie, it isn't an average movie but a above average flawed but well made effort.
One usually feel emotionally attached to every single character in Miyazaki's movie but i felt too distant. The finale act makes up for most of the things as its just spectacular.