Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Hayao Miyazaki gained widespread attention in Japan for his complex ecological manga series, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1982), which he adapted for the screen two years later. One thousand years after a war devastated much of the Earth, humanity clings to existence at the fringes of a vast, polluted forest inhabited by monstrous insects. Only Nausicaä, the princess of the tiny realm of the Valley of the Wind, grasps the environmental significance of the forest. She sees beyond petty wars and national rivalries to the only viable future for the planet. In Nausicaä, Miyazaki began to explore elements he would develop more fully in his later films: daring, compassionate heroines; exciting flying sequences; colorful side characters; strong interpersonal relationships; and a call for an ecologically sustainable way of life. Nausicaä prefigures Sheeta in Castle in the Sky and Chihiro in Spirited Away, just as the rough and ready Asbel anticipates Pazu in Castle in the Sky and Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke. For years, Nausicaä was available in the United States only as the badly re-edited Warriors of the Wind. The new English dub from Disney presents the film in its entirety, with strong vocal performances by Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, Alison Lohman, and Edward James Olmos. (Rated PG: violence, frightening imagery)—Amazon
Year Released
Running Time
117 minutes
Studio Ghibli; Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Average: 3 (1 vote)


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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Makes The Case For Sustainability

Field of Interest/Specialty: Asian Studies
Posted On: 04/30/2019

This film touches on many subjects relevant to any Earth science or biology class, including pollution, sustainability, the resilience of life, adaptations, shifts in the water cycle, protecting ground water, and human interactions with the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. A large portion of the film is dedicated to action-packed, midair fighting scenes. These fight scenes could easily be skipped in order to view and discuss the film in the span of one class session. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind highlights the violence and chaos that often erupts during a shortage of crucial natural resources, and would be useful in helping students understand the importance of sustainability.