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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 117 minutes, Birth of Studio Ghibli featurette, Behind The Microphone featurette, original Nausicaa TV spots and trailers, complete storyboard version


RELEASE DATE: 2-22-2005

ANALYSIS: Princess Nausicaa lives in some far future of Earth where insects have taken over parts of the Earth and a toxic jungle makes those areas unlivable for humans. Nausicaa wants the world to live in peace while other kingdoms want to destroy the toxic jungle (and some want to take over the world). NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND is the movie that started the big career of great Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki.

NAUSICAA is a fantastically animated tale of wonder and destruction. It's a cautionary tale about the environment and how our actions affects it. For example, people tried to burn down the toxic jungle only to have the gigantic insects go in a rage and the toxic jungle extend further. Nausicaa discovers what is causing the toxic jungle and the secret hidden within the ground. A strong female lead is what drives this story as she tries to save her people in the Valley of the Wind from other empires who have their own plans. Other interesting characters include Lord Yupa and Kushana.

VIDEO/AUDIO: NAUSICAA is presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors and black are bright and vivid. Image detail is good.

You can hear the movie in a dubbed English 2.0 track or the original Japanese 2.0 track with the option of English captions or subtitles. Both tracks are mono. Dialogue can be heard clearly, but I did like the dubbed track. I chose to listen to that track more because I was charmed by the animation as you can see clothes and hair move when there is wind. That's just so rad.

SPECIAL FEATURES: BEHIND THE MICROPHONE is an almost eight minute featurette that features interviews with the voice talent of the English language dub of NAUSICAA and shows what work goes into doing an English language adaptation. THE BIRTH STORY OF STUDIO GHILBI follows the tale of how NAUSICAA was made (with the editor of Animage as a producer and the future creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion drew animation for a key scene in the movie) including how the movie was first rejected without a comic book tie-in (which was created before NAUSICAA was finally greenlighted as a movie) to the succesful animated movies that followed (PORCO ROSS, SPIRITED AWAY, KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE, and PRINCESS MONOKOE to name a few). Also included on disc one are various original Japanese trailers (and one TV spot) for NAUSICAA and previews for other Studio Ghibli movies on DVD (and Bambi and The Incredibles).

On disc two is NAUSICAA in full storyboard form (if you want to see what the storyboards for each scene looked like) which is of interest to diehard Miyazaki fans, anime fans, and those who want to draw animation.

FINAL ANALYSIS: NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND is a great anime film from a great talent and it's about time that it has arrived on DVD.

this DVD Review is (c)2-22-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia