Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind



Beautiful anime with eco message and an amazing heroine.
  • Review Date: December 3, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's a very strong message about the importance of protecting and understanding the environment, and that all creatures play a vital role in the ecosystem. There's also a call for peace, showing that violence just creates more violence.

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 very resourceful -- she has to be to survive in the toxic jungle.


Nausicaa's father is shot to death just before she enters the room. Nausicaa gets shot twice protecting the animals and gets sucked in by quicksand. Most of the violence consists of giant explosions during air ship battles and villagers held hostage and threatened. Giant insects called ohmu get enraged and charge when one injured baby ohmu is dangled as bait. 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 close. Talk of the end of industrialized civilization 1,000 years before in "seven days of fire" and the whole human race still lives in danger of extinction.

Not applicable

"Old hag" is as bad as it gets.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a shortened version of this Japanese film came out stateside in the 1980s, but this is a review of the full 117-minute film readily available on DVD. The themes of protecting the environment, living peacefully, and respecting all creatures are very strong here and the heroine, Nausicaa, is extremely admirable. She faces a lot of danger, however, in the form of intense air ship battles with explosions, her people taken as hostages, and her father shot and killed. Nausicaa is also injured by gunfire protecting animals from harm.

What's the story?

It's been 1,000 years since industrialized civilization ended in the \"Seven Days of Fire.\" A toxic jungle has taken over where giant bugs rule, especially the fierce beetle-like ohmu. Humans live in smaller cities and villages now and travel via airship and glider over the jungles. Princess Nausicaa's village is in a valley along the ocean with a steady breeze to keep out the noxious gasses of the jungle. It's almost idyllic, until airships from Tolmekia invade, insisting that \"uniting\" all peoples and then destroying the toxic jungle is the only way for humans to survive. Nausicaa, who has come to understand the ways of the insects and discovers a secret beneath the jungle, tries to make the Tolkemians understand their folly before it's too late for her village and all of humanity.

Is it any good?


Of course it's beautifully done, it's from Hayao Miyazaki, director of Spirited Away, Ponyo, and many other striking Japanese animated films. And the level of creativity displayed in each crazy giant insect, toxic plant, and battered airship is captivating. Add to that a story with a great message and a very admirable heroine -- one of Miyazaki's best. The dubbing in this version is pretty good too.

Guaranteed many anime fans are thrilled that the original long version is now what's available here -- the one released in theaters back in the '80s was shortened. It 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about great heroines. What makes Nausicaa so admirable? What other great heroines can you think of?

  • Families can also talk about the movie's eco-message. How is the earth repairing itself? Why is aggressive action to destroy the toxic jungle the wrong way to save the human race? What's the right way? How does the movie's message translate to current issues?

Movie details

DVD release date:February 22, 2005
Cast:Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman
Director:Hayao Miyazaki
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:117 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:violence.

This review of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was written by

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Learning ratings

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old December 11, 2011

Wonderful Movie, Positive Messages

This movie is wonderful. The characters are self-sacrificing and lovable. Nausicaa had me captivated from the start and to the exhilarating finish. There is violence, but the overall message is echo-friendly. A MUST!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byyoduh May 30, 2012

Might be my favorite movie of all time.

If you haven't seen this, watch it now. Besides the odd music (some of it is amazing, some is awkward), it is perfect. The messages are 100% positive: pacifism, love, feminism, and the importance of the environment. Nausicaa is an inspiring character. The only role model better than her is Jesus. The animation is, as in every Miyazaki film, beautiful. The characters, the world, and their movements are beautiful. I would also suggest the graphic novels of the same name by Miyazaki, which give a bit more story and add more characters and character development. Also, great voice acting. A tad of violence but it is not glorified; Nausicaa is a strong pacifist and the violence is portrayed negatively. Regardless, toddlers may be disturbed (not to mention, they would not understand the theme).
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 3 year old Written bymahalie23 March 11, 2014

Strong female role model, epic story, not for little ones

This movie is set in an world that has been made very dangerous due to a previous war that poisoned their planet. There is another war over scarcity of resources. The story addresses real, grown up life-or-death issues head on so consider if your child is ready. That said, this is absolutely my favorite cartoon. I loved it as a child, and still enjoy it as an adult. If my daughter must be a princess, let her be like the Princess of the Valley of the Wind who works always for the good of all, who doesn't make black and white judgements, who holds sacred animal welfare, the environment and human rights. She stands up for what is right, she is talented and she is not swayed by the easy option of staying with a handsome prince in fantasy land (which is offered). This is real story facing real issues for a real world. For those brave enough, a treasure trove of truth seeking, kindness and compassion.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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