An environmentally friendly movie for Earth Day!
I gotta love me some Hayao Miyazaki even if his films aren't all that old. Nausicaa Valley of the Wind is one of Miyazaki's earliest works, and was released in 1984 before the formation of Studio Ghibli. Its a sci-fi, environmental film.
Nausicaa is the Princess of the Valley of the Wind, a remote agricultural village located on the sea. The valley is surrounded by desert and beyond that is the jungle where giant insects (including the Ohmu) live. The time is 100 years after the 7 Days of Fire. At that time, a huge war/battle obliterated the ecosystem leaving most of civilization in ruins. The land was covered by plants that release spores toxic to humans, but the Valley is safe due to the wind blowing in from the sea.
One night a large air ship crashes into the valley. Nausicaa tries to steer them clear of the mountain, but it was too late. In the ship is a young princess who warns Nausicaa that the cargo must be destroyed. The cargo turns out to be the heart/fetus thingy of a Giant Warrior. The Giant Warriors were used during the 7 Days of Fire battle, and if you have one, you are the king of the world.
A bigger, and more ruthless kingdom Tolmekia comes for the Giant Warrior fetus, and to kill Nausicaa's father, the King. They leave with several hostages, including Nausicaa. Nausicaa tells Yupa (some random old guy that is her father's friend and her mentor) that the plants in the toxic jungle are not toxic, its the soil. She also reveals a secret lab where she has the plants growing and they are thriving.
While the Tolmekians are returning to thier kingdom, a Pejite airship attacks them. They land to do some repairs, and Nausicaa finds out from the Ohmu that the pilot is still alive. The pilot ends up being the twin brother of the young princess. Nausicaa is taken to Pejite and finds the place destroyed. The people lured the Ohmu there to destryo the land and chase out the Tolmekians, they also plan to do the same to the Valley of the Wind so they can get the Giant Warrior back.
Of course Nausicaa has to save the valley.
Overall the film is exciting and intriguing at the same time. The plot implies that weapons of mass destructions will screw us some day, and it also shows that as a whole the Earth wants to right things. I was also surprised when I looked up some things for the film and found out who the voice actors were. They include: Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman and Shia Lebeuf.
It may not be for the youngest audience, as there aren't any musical numbers or flashy scenes like Disney, but it is a great film and one that I have a copy of and enjoy.