Help Identify a Vaguely Remembered Anime?

When I was but a wee lad, my parents bought me a cartoon. They’re not terribly sophisticated in the cartoon department, so they bought me anime. I didn’t know what it was, and this was way before it was mainstream cool. This is the first clue, because it would have been around the early '90s on VHS. I remember very little about it, so unless you’re a connoisseur of both anime and lost causes, I fear I might be wasting your time.

The illustration on the front of the case was mismatched to the story, but the text on the back accurately described the story as far as I could tell, and the screen caps on the back were right, too. The story involved a princess.

The anime opened with the aforementioned princess riding around on some kind of flying skateboard shooting at something. I don’t remember the whole storyline. There’s a gap, then a huge spaceship flies through something dangerous, is festooned with evil critters and crashes into a jungle. There is some sort of army on board the spaceship, led by a women wearing almost medieval armor and wearing a cape. They had tanks. They were trying to oppress the princess’ simple folks.

There was also a herd of grub-like creatures and an acidic lake. At one point, the army from the spaceship fires on the grub-like creatures, at another, the princess is trying to stop the creatures from going into the lake.

At some point, the plucky, mustachioed sidekick stages an attack on the evil spaceship in a small yellow fighter aircraft.

This is what you’re talking about, right?
http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/nausicaa/

You’re the best! I knew there would be someone who would recognize even my disjointed flashes of memory! I think it might have been titled simply Valley of the Wind on the copy I had, but that’s the one. Thanks!

Is it a commonly known film? I guess I’m not very well informed on anime.

Yup it’s Miyazaki’s Nausicaa. You probably saw the badly butchered US release called Warriors of the Wind which cut about 21 minutes.

That would explain the odd cover:
http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/video/nausicaa/#e-ntsc_vhs

“Is it a commonly known film?”
Yes. It was an early classic by Miyazaki who is the most famous anime filmmaker (his most recent film is Spirited Away which won the animated film Oscar ). There is also a four-volume graphic novel which extends Nausicaa’s story.

Kudos to you as well, Pundit for identifying even the box. I was under ten when I saw it, and it actually scared me a little bit. I probably got more entertainment wondering about the werd guys on the box front and why they weren’t in my version of the movie than I did from the movie itself. I suppose I was too young to know I was watching a cut version, but I had no idea what was going on anyway.