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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's important to protect the environment and understand that all creatures play a vital role in the ecosystem. Violence just creates more violence -- a better path is peace.
Positive Role Models
Nausicaa is a pacifist who throws herself in harm's way to save people and animals, shouting that the violence has to stop. She's compassionate toward all animals and tries to understand them -- even the biggest, meanest-seeming creatures. She's also brave and resourceful, able to survive in a toxic jungle.
As the hero of the story, Nausicaa proves herself to be a capable, strong, and empathetic female lead. Aspects of Japanese culture and history inform the film's anti-war, ecological, and spiritual themes.
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Violence & Scariness
A parent is shot to death, and his child finds him. The main character gets shot twice, falls into quicksand. Most of the violence consists of giant explosions during airship battles and villagers held hostage and threatened. Giant insects get enraged and charge to protect their babies. A giant red creature comes back to life and looks menacing but then falls apart. A toxic jungle requires masks to enter and sickens those living nearby. The whole human race lives in danger of extinction.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a post-apocalyptic, fantasy anime by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, based on a manga he also authored. Themes of protecting the environment, living peacefully, and respecting all creatures feature strongly, and the hero, Nausicaa (voiced by Sumi Shimamoto in the original version and Alison Lohman in the English dub), is extremely admirable. But she faces lots of danger/peril in the form of intense airship battles with explosions, her people being taken as hostages, and her father being shot and killed. An example of her compassion and courage, Nausicaa is also injured by gunfire while protecting animals from harm. Note: This review is for the full-length film; a shorter edit is also available. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Beautifully done, the story features a great message and a very admirable hero. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind comes from director Hayao Miyazaki of Spirited Away, Ponyo, and many other striking Japanese animated films. The level of creativity displayed, from each giant insect and toxic plant to the battered airship, is captivating. The dubbing in this version is pretty good, too. It's guaranteed that many anime fans are thrilled that the original full-length version is now available. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind does feel a bit long at times, but if kids' minds wander during a discussion of why one village is fighting another, they can just stare at the cool animation until they get back into it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.