Saturday, September 18, 2010

86. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

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There's nothing to fear...

Be very careful with labels. This movie is Japanese, it is based on a manga (Japanese comic book), and I guess you could label it early anime. Still, don't put this movie in the same box as Dragonball Z. I would list Hayao Miyazaki as one of the top five greatest filmmakers of our modern era. His movies do things and go places that no other movies have. They blend uber-imaginative visuals with stories that stick with the viewer long after the last strains of beautiful orchestration fade from the credits.

"Nausicaa" was the first film to be completely conceived, written, and directed by Miyazaki. If it came out next week in the theaters in America, it would be seen as groundbreaking. He made "Avatar" twenty-six years ago. Adventure, peril, and high-flying action all meet as Princess Nausicaa fights to understand the "toxic forest" and its dangerous creatures while other forces seek to simply destroy the blight on post-apocalyptic Earth. I urge you to watch this film with the original Japanese dialogue, but I am assured by those that know that the recent Disney English dubs are passable. With this is mind, there is no excuse for not seeing this movie immediately. Even if you are cool enough to have seen it at its original release, please revisit it today for a couple of reasons. First, the movie was released in America as "Warriors of the Wind" and hacked up to be more "kid-friendly". Second, this movie is more relavent now than ever as we are at war with those who would have us believe that climate change is a hoax and others that see no problem with there still being such a thing as a plastic water bottle.

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