Photos - Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
Since we're discussing Miyazaki's Nausicaa film in depth, I thought it the perfect time to show off some excellent hi-res screenshots. Unless I'm mistaken, these photos coincided with the Ghibli DVD releases in Europe during the last few years. These are really spectacular high-resolution photos, that are really better suited to the inevitable Blu-Ray releases.
I really ought not to complain about the Nausicaa DVD. It looks quite excellent, and for fans, it was the first time most of us could see the movie in its full frame, or even its complete length (I'm looking at you, Warriors of the Wind). For many years, the only fan copies of Nausicaa floating around were worn out, burned down copies, with blackened pictures and almost non-existent colors.
I remember my first time seeing this movie, courtesy of internet peer sharing programs, back in 2002 0r 2003. You couldn't see anything in the darker scenes but faint shadows, and most of the backgrounds were washed out. These were copies of copies of copies of old videotapes, and it showed. When the Ghibli DVD was finally released in Japan (the last of Ghibli's major films to arrive), it was a revelation. The screen was big and bright! You could make out colors! And you could see what was going on.
It's a testament to how great this movie is, when I saw it in that earlier, crummy version and was instantly hooked. Here was a science-fiction film with brains, with ideas. It's themes and questions lumbered in my head for days. And to any Westerner only accustomed to Disney cartoons or "adult" schlock like Heavy Metal, Rock 'N Rule, and Ralph Bakshi, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind was a revolution. There still hasn't been an American movie of similar calibur. Isn't that bizarre? I guess if you want an intelligent, adult cartoon, there's always The Matrix, and that movie was wrecked by its lousy sequels.
And, of course, if you have sisters or daughters, Nausicaa is nothing less than the greatest movie ever made. Tired of the Stepford Wives fairy tale princesses? Try this.