Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Movie review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Movie Poster Image
Beautiful anime with eco message and an amazing heroine.
  • PG
  • 2005
  • 117 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 13 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

Violence

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.

Sex
Language

"Old hag" is as bad as it gets.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that a shortened version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind came out in the United States in the 1980s, but this is review is for the full 117-minute film. Themes of protecting the environment, living peacefully, and respecting all creatures are very strong here, and the heroine, Nausicaa, is extremely admirable. But she faces a lot of danger in the form of intense airship battles with explosions, her people taken as hostages, and her is father shot and killed. Nausicaa is also injured by gunfire protecting animals from harm.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 resource... Continue reading
Adult Written byuffehellum January 16, 2012

Wonderful if you like flying, violence, guns, swords, war, female hero, cute pets, slightly scary rolypoly bugs

Amazing as always. Self sacrifice defeats brute violence. Some themes are clearly too violent for most young kids.
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: paci... Continue reading
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... Continue reading

What's the story?

In NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, 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. 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about great female heroes. What makes Nausicaa such a worthy role model in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind? 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 impact 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?

Movie details

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love animation

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate