I just watched this great movie last night, and I was wondering something.
Why did everyone stop attacking when they saw Nausicaa standing tall on her glider (or on the plane) with her hands held up in the air, forming a loose X with her body? Was that alluding to some mythical hero or goddess? Was it alluding to something else in the movie that I might have missed?
Other than being slightly skeptical of Nausicaa’s change of heart (she goes from homicidal rage to Ghandi-like state of non-violence extremely quickly), I was quite impressed by this 1984 (!) effort by Miyazaki. If you exclude other Studio Ghibli films, this would qualify as the best animated movie I’ve seen. Spectacularly-conceived world that just feels immense with the weight of history, fantastic visuals with classic soaring Miyazaki aerial scenes, and a bit of that moral ambiguity that would permeate Mononoke-- awesome flick.
I’m surprised that this movie didn’t make it State-side in any big way in the 1980’s. We do have a bias against animation as being a kids’ medium, but if this had been released circa 1984-1985, it would have been a critics’ darling of the time with a growing cult following, and probably would have paved the way for more serious animation in the USA much earlier.
Possibly of some interest for the fans of the film: Japanese artist Kazuhiko Hachiya built somewhat functional airplanes based on the design of the Nausicaa flyers. It was a cool project and an interesting exhibition. Of course the actual flights aren’t anywhere as acrobatic as anything you see in the movie, but reading about the whole project, it’s incredible they got off the ground at all.