Welcome to the Toxic Jungle

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind – This Hayao Miyazaki film was originally released in 1984 in Japan, but it was some time before we got a decent dub of it in this country. One thing I have to say for Miyazaki’s movies is that they’re very inventive. In this one, we have giant insects with eyes that turn red when they’re angry, a fox-squirrel that was probably the model for a few Pokémon, and giant riding birds that influenced the Chocobos from the Final Fantasy series. Princess Nausicaa herself is an admirable character, communicating well with animals and favoring peaceful solutions over violent ones. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, where humans have to wear gas masks in the open air. There’s a message here about letting nature run its course, as seen in how the Princess of Tolmekia’s plan to destroy the poisonous jungle would only make things worse. The animation is superb as well. As for what I didn’t like so much about it, I have to say it was sometimes kind of slow, and I noticed myself starting to nod off in a few spots. At around two hours, it’s hardly a long movie, but it is perhaps longer than it needed to be. Incidentally, Nausicaa was named after a character from the Odyssey, who was Princess of Phaeacia. I also have to note that I couldn’t avoid hearing the name the of the blind wise woman Obaba as “Obama,” and thinking of Phantasy Star when the characters mentioned ceramic weapons and armor.

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