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T.H.E.M. Animé Café Awards

6th Place Winner

[ café reviews ]



Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä
(Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
(Warriors of the Wind)

Copyright: © 1984 Tokuma Shoten Publishing (Japan), New World Video (Warriors of the Wind - North America)
Length: 120 minutes original, 95/94 minutes dubbed
Genre: science-fiction / fantasy
Rating: G, suitable for family viewing
Format: Original Japanese dialog (LD), dubbed (VHS)

Written, directed and produced by Miyazaki Hayao, Studio Ghibli. Warriors of the Wind directed and edited by David Schmoeller.

[ rated pg ]


Parental Guidance Advised - Several intense, violent and bloody battle scenes.

[ plot summary ]

Once again, we have a very classic case of two completely different movies. Do NOT mistake Warriors of the Wind for Kaze No Tani No Nausicaä - WOTW is merely a very pale shadow of the original. Kaze No Tani No Nausicaä is a rich, complex story about a society trying to survive the elements in their isolated valley, when they become involved in the middle of a war for control of the entire planet -- a planet rebuilding itself after a horrific global war. The residents of the Valley of Wind find that the outlying lands are either barren sand, acid seas, or covered with a dense, toxic forest populated by seemingly hostile creatures. Nausicaä is the heir to the throne of their fertile valley, her father terminally ill from over-exposure to the effects of the toxic forests. The princess discovers that things are not always as they seem -- and that perhaps, the outlying areas are not something that are to be feared and despised, but may hold the key for the survival of their people.

[ capsule review ]

Original Version

Who says that animated features can't be socially relevant? Once again, Miyazaki packs his social commentaries into a wonderful film, and gift-wraps it into a story so entertaining that you won't mind the preaching. Within this story are many life lessons: physical beauty is merely dependant on perspective; good and evil are too often oversimplified; great power can be overused and out of control; beware the potential long-term effects of damaging the eco-system. And this is merely the beginning! The soundtrack is once again marvelous (Get the CD! Get the CD!!!), and the animation smooth.

Nausicaä herself embodies one of Miyazaki's classic trademarks - a capable, strong willed, ethical young girl who's not merely a wallflower. And yes, there are once again lots of fantastic flying machines and creatures throughout. (The creature designs deserve special mention; a lot of thought was put into the inhabitants of the toxic forest.) The film does get a bit preachy; nevertheless, it's one not to be missed. - AN

It's another Miyazaki production. Need I say more? Seriously though, Nausicaä is another excellent movie by the venerable producer. Studio Ghibli has once again done a superb job with their attention to detail in the animation, and the music is also excellent, sweeping you away with its grandeur. The story can get a bit preachy at times, but the overall story-line is excellent. This movie, while reminding us of the conservation issue, is not limited to it. I truly hope that Disney will release this movie in a form that it deserves. Like Kiki's and Totoro, Nausicaä belongs in your video collection... provided of course that you can understand Japanese. There is a *very* nice MIDI file available for Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä floating around the web as well, released by Roland Corporation. -JYN

Dubbed Version (Warriors of the Wind)

Hack. Slash. Chop. Paste. YEECHH. Why do people do this? WOTW is so edited, so shortened, that the conservationalist intent of the original movie is all but lost. It seems that someone was more interested in the battle scenes, and thought that people who watch animated features aren't interested in real storylines. (In fact, there appears to be two dubbed versions -- one that's 95 minutes long, and a still shorter one that's 94 minutes long. Someone must have decided that the opening scenes were just too long!) What we're left with is a somewhat confusing mish-mash of beautifully rendered images, filled with very stereotypical characters. The music gets axed in several scenes which certainly does not help matters. The voice acting is better than average, however. But please - don't make me watch something like this again! - AN

Eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe I actually managed to somehow sit through watching this thing again to review it. As much as I would love to bury this tape in soft peat, quite frankly, I don't think the peat would allow it! Warriors of the Wind is so far removed from the whole point of Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä that it's difficult to reconcile the differences. Any scene dealing with conservation and intelligent dialogue has been scrupulously axed. Several complete scenes of extreme importance to the original program are completely missing, but then, I think that's quite evident given the difference in length between the two. You can't chop off nearly ¼ of a movie and expect it to make much sense.

The animation that was so beautiful in Nausicaä has suddenly been hacked to tiny pieces dedicated solely to the battle scenes. Where Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä had occasionally been preachy about the environment and its importance to the world, Warriors of the Wind spoke of the war between the three different factions. The editing was so poorly done that it was obvious (where did the music go?!) and the scenes appeared like a mish-mash. The music which was so beautiful and grandiose in Nausicaä was scarcely present. The scenes were so badly hacked that the music just couldn't be kept intact so they just omitting it for parts. In others, they left it in and let it cut out suddenly. Forget about getting swept away by the beautiful soundtrack; you end up crashing a couple seconds later. Worse still, the new script is terrible and the voice acting even worse. All told, this thing goes beyond pathetic. And to kick a dead horse, they further insult the original by recording it in extended play mode. So much for the beautiful animation. My only consolation is now that the review's been completed, I will never have to look at this tape again. -JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: 5 stars N/A 1 star
Direction: 4 stars N/A turkey
Acting: 4 stars N/A 2 stars
Animation: 5 stars N/A 4 stars
Music: 5 stars N/A 1 star
Translation: N/A N/A 1 star
Overall Rating: 4 stars N/A turkey

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