Studio Ghibli: Five Favourites – Post Two

totoro-studio_00311019Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika)
1984

Not precisely a Ghibli film, since the success of Nausicaa was part of what enabled Studio Ghibli to be formed, but basically so – and always sold as part of the Ghibli collection. Possibly my favourite, this time it’s another Miyazaki film and looking back it’s easy to see the roots of what might now be called a classic mix of Miyazaki’s environmentalism, fantasy and use of a female lead whose ability to solve conflict with kindness is a key part of both plot and charactarisation.

Nausica-of-the-Valley-of-the-Wind-nausicaa-of-the-valley-of-the-wind-27647506-500-300Here’s something of a blurb, not a great or official one by any means: Threatened by spreading toxic jungles, Nausicaa’s people rely on their own vigilance and the wind to protect their homes and people. When a ship carrying an ominous secret crashes in their valley, warring nations converge on the Valley of the Wind and it’s up to Nausicaa to save her people.

pkus_nausicaa_f_z

Part of why this film is so effective for me, is because the world building is detailed – you can feel that there’s so much more beneath the surface. The detail of the world, it’s interconnected environment and tensions, the prejudice of its peoples, it’s just as realistic as it is fantastical. (This is in part due to it’s basis in a multi-volume manga written by Miyazaki.) The insects especially, are impressively drawn and varied but also complex creatures – not in the least being the almost majestic Ohmu.

Ohm-nausicaa-of-the-valley-of-the-wind-32776892-800-449

Again there’s a beautiful soundtrack composed by Joe Hisaishi, this time with a electronic feel typical of the 80s, though the opening piece here is still quite orchestral. Below is a live performance for the 25 Anniversary, you can see Joe on the piano.

Stay tuned for the third in the list!

Post One
Post Three

3 thoughts on “Studio Ghibli: Five Favourites – Post Two

  1. Although Studio Ghibli would go on to make better movies in my opinion, Nausicaa is my sentimental favourite (see my site banner!). Joe Hisaishi’s score always evokes such emotion in me. Thank you for the writeup.

    • Hi Isaac! Thanks for the comment!

      Me too, I think that ‘Princess Mononoke’ probably expands and deals with some of the themes raised in Nausicaa in a more comprehensive and satisfying way, maybe? Brilliant film in and of its self too, but I, agree – Nausicaa is a definite sentimental favourite. It just has that place in my heart. And Joe’s score!

      Have had a quick look at your blog and you have some amazing posts on Ghibli over there, puts mine to shame! 🙂

      • Yes, Princess Mononoke is Miyazaki’s exploration of similar themes taken to their conclusion. I happen to think that the manga is his greatest work, bar none.

        Thanks very much for the follow 🙂 Stay tuned for a Nausicaa feature in the not too distant future.

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