Studio Ghibli

film 2 of 9

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Film Review by Dean Duncan Apr 16, 2015

Early days for Hayao Miyazaki, at least as a writer-director of feature films. This second features contains some interesting inconsistencies and gaucheries. Or could it be that, even at this early stage, he’s an utter individual, and we mortals don’t get it?

That’s always a possibility, and our justifiable fondness for this so-estimable artist can tempt us to be overly deferential. Because it’s also possible that this adaptation is a bit unsuccessful in reducing its creator’s vast (and exemplary!) manga. Which, when this film was made and released, he’d not come close to completing anyway. Anyway, inconsistencies and gaucheries go along with the shining things that he always so effortlessly tosses off. It all comes together when the conclusion comes. The princess dies! The Ohmu are nearly destroyed! (What an explosion!) The leviathan fails!

Hold on though. The previously alien Ohmu are agents of redemption and salvation. The princess is resurrected! The world is saved! The particulars are not fully in place, and maybe even the overall technique, or integration of elements. Still, here he is, right at the beginning. And here he goes. What a run!

Is this the first time that he/Ghibli does this? I love how the story continues to be illustrated, continues to go forward, during and after the rolling of the closing credits.