Hayao Miyazaki's millennial odyssey | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Hayao Miyazaki's millennial odyssey 

The Japanese animator's first major film creates a world after the fall of our own.

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Hayao Miyazaki's first major theatrical work (1984), adapted from a manga series he wrote, shows the Japanese animator in full command of his art. It takes place 1,000 years after the fall of industrial civilization, and Miyazaki and his team realize the fantasy world in intricate detail—each location seems to have its own topography and flora. The action sequences are as suspenseful as any in the director's career; the most impressive scenes, though, may be the slower ones, which consider how humanity might evolve after driving itself to near extinction. Miyazaki communicates a rather grown-up sense of ambivalence, expressing cynicism toward war and environmental devastation while taking a humane view of all the characters. Even the villains are depicted as capable of enlightened behavior.

What others are saying

  • Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

    We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

    Are you in?

      Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
      Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
      Reader Radical $15/month →  
      Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

    Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

     One-time donation  → 

    Film Details

    Comments

    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    Popular Stories