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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Beautiful anime with eco message and an amazing heroine.

What 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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • message true5

    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.

  • rolemodels true5

    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.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    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 false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: "Old hag" is as bad as it gets.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue