There are far too many Miyazakis on my unseen list, so I’m glad David gave me the push to get to this one. Sometimes overtly environmentalist stuff bugs me, not because I’m anti-environment – just because it often comes across preachy. I knew this was likely to be heavily pro-environment, but it worked for me quite well because the message is really one of symbiosis.
In the film’s post-apocalyptic world, a toxic jungle filled with giant aggressive insects has developed, and is creeping closer and closer to the world’s few remaining human settlements, including the peaceful and fertile Valley of the Wind. Some of the other surviving kingdoms want to use an ancient Giant Warrior (one of the bioweapons that destroyed the world 1000 years ago, now lying dormant) to destroy the toxic jungle once and for all, but the Valley’s princess, Nausicaa, takes a much more pacifist approach, preferring to avoid or calm the insects rather than antagonize them, and definitely not in favor of razing the whole thing. Turns out she’s right, as the toxic jungle is actually cleaning the topsoil poisoned by the apocalyptic war and creating clean soil and water.