day one: nausicaa of the valley of the wind. [another day, another movie – post-apocalypse.]

We certainly kicked things off in style. Hayao Miyazaki is an absolute genius, peerless in his powers of imagination, and this just may be his greatest achievement.  It’s breathtaking, the way he creates a world of fantastic beauty, which is still believable as our distant post-apocalyptic future.

He sees humanity with clarity, yet still offers genuine hopefulness, which is the most amazing artistic gift I think one can possess. He uses metaphors to paint this tale of peace and environmental harmony, metaphors subtly rooted in eastern religion and philosophy. The result is a story of great depth. I’m sure on my fifth viewing of this film I will still be noticing bits of beauty I hadn’t seen before.

Nausicaa is also one of the few films which has been successfully dubbed into English. Normally, even in animated fare, the result is laughable. Yet, with the tremendous respect for Miyazaki in Hollywood, combined with all the resources of Disney (the English language distributor for all of Miyazaki’s films), the film found a superb voice cast for the English version (redubbed in 2005, 21 years after the film’s original release in Japan). Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos, Shia LeBeouf, and more round out the cast; which also includes the hilarious, dickishly villainous performance of Chris Sarandon.

This film was already towards the top of my queue, so I would have watched it soon anyway. Still, if all the rest of the post-apocalypse films are total garbage, this one makes the whole thing worth it.

Thank God for Hayao Miyazaki!

    • Brian
    • February 23rd, 2011

    Chris Sarandon was the shit. but yes, the movie was beautifully made. if only all anime were like this. i guess, if anything, this movie has made me more curious about the world of anime, and wanting to discover more like it.

      • Scott
      • February 23rd, 2011

      For a start, just watch everything Miyazaki has ever made.

      Watch ‘Akira’ too.

    • Emily
    • February 23rd, 2011

    I was very surprised when the movie started that the dubbing was done so well. I greatly enjoyed the movie and think it may eventually need to be added to our collection.

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