5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind"

Families can talk about everything from environmental issues to what makes Nausicaa such a powerful role model. By Frannie Ucciferri

With strong environmental messages and a strong female role model, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is still celebrated as an anime classic decades after its initial release. Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki combines gorgeous visuals with an exciting, epic story about a postapocalyptic world. Adventurous princess Nausicaa glides over a toxic jungle on futuristic airships, trying to protect both humankind and nature, even when they're seemingly at odds. Expect fierce battles, explosions, and giant insects, all of which might be too intense for younger kids. But tweens and up will find a ton to talk about after watching this captivating film. 

Throughout the United States in 2017, Studio Ghibli is releasing several of its most popular kids' movies on the big screen. Type in your city or ZIP code here to find out whether Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is showing at a theater near you. Then, after the movie, try some of these discussion questions with your kids:

  • What makes Nausicaa a role model? What other strong female heroes can you think of? 

  • There's quite a bit of violence in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. How did it affect you? How does it compare to what you might see in a live-action movie?

  • How do the characters demonstrate courage and compassion? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Talk about the movie's eco-message. How is the Earth repairing itself? Why is destroying the toxic jungle aggressively the wrong way to save humanity? Is there a right way? How are the movies' themes relevant to current issues?

  • Why do you think this movie is considered an anime classic? How is it different from the majority of Hollywood animated movies?

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About Frannie Ucciferri

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As associate managing editor, Frannie Ucciferri makes sure each of Common Sense Media's more than 30,000 reviews and 700 curated lists is as complete and comprehensive as possible. Frannie is a graduate of UC Berkeley,... Read more

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Comments (2)

Adult written by GoruchDiogenes

Slightly below Mononoke, IMO, but only because it's badly truncated and only covers the first few chapters of the manga. Miyazaki is un-retiring (for the 4th or 5th time) and I hope either he or Goro does movies of the rest of the story. The soundtrack is some of Joe Hisaishi's best work too, but again, I think Mononoke is slightly better.
Teen, 16 years old written by PAYSTCHR

This movie is by far, my all time favorite film ever!!!!! This film is the example of (in my opinion) everything being put where it needs to be put in a movie. The animation is a pure spectacle to look at, the characters are amazing, and I could probably do a large scale character study of Nausicaa alone. I also absolutely love what Miyazaki's message of the film. I tend to have extreme problems with environmental messages in movies, as I feel that they tend to not show the pros and cons of the message itself, and I feel don't have enough earnest love put into the message. Miyazaki however perfected the message I feel, and also showed the idea of that their must be a balance with nature and humanity, and that too much of each would be too dangerous on either side. The ending of the film always makes me cry, and I'm always so fulfilled by the conclusion to this story. This movie is one of the few films I can absolutely call, one of the best animated movies of all time. I am so glad to hopefully see this movie for its rare nationwide release.

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