Every journey has a beginning and Studio Ghibli began their foray into feature animation right back with the release of this post-apocalyptic tale. Anyone familiar with the studio’s work will know how much they like to tell tales of man vs nature as a warning to us to be more pleasant to the planet we live on. There is often a heavy look at the spiritual side of life too and it is here where they tend to divide their crowd between those that love it and those that get very confused.
We find Nausicaa living in a valley with a small group of settlers. She spends her time flying about in her glider seeking to better her life with what she manages to scavenge as well as helping in the effort to discover why a lot of the plant life has suddenly become hazardous to mankind.
From here the plot thickens, combining elements of the natural world with the spiritual as at first their battle seems to be with the giant bugs that have taken over a large part of the forests and wastelands (not too dissimilar from something you might see in Dune).
It is frankly amazing to see how well thought out the animation is here for something that was made back in the first half of the 80s. The Blu-Ray transfer is a great watch but, whilst somethings impress, other things have not seemed to have changed – and that would be the writing style. But then, this is what they do and you either have to like it or lump it. As previously mentioned, Ghibli are not for everyone.
This re-release is not one to be brushed off lightly – just looking at the voice talent involved is impressive – Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Alison Lohman, Edward James Olmos, Mark Hamill, even Shia LaBeouf(!?) and of course the king of voice-overs, Frank Welker.
The extras on the disc include a short on the new voice cast, an hour long audio interview (with a blue screen background and a clock ticking down), a half hour ‘making of’ which wasn’t put together very well, trailers and an audio commentary. All of these extras are pretty much in their native tongue, save for the voice cast session.