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Hayao Miyazaki’s Post-Apocalyptic NAUSICAA Returning to Theaters This Month

Have you been enjoying Ghibli Fest? The months-long chance to see the films of the great Hayao Miyazaki on the big screen, many not screened in theaters for decades? The theatrical festial has been rather successful for GKIDS and Fathom Events, and they’re gearing up for some of their biggest Studio Ghibli titles yet, with Spirited Away screening in October and Howl’s Moving Castle the month after. But for September, it’s something rather special: Miyazaki’s second feature, and the movie that led to the creation of Studio Ghibli in the first place, 1984’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Based on Miyazaki’s own 1982 manga, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind tells the story of a young princess in a desolate, post-apocalyptic version of Earth, in which her kingdom, the Valley of the Wind, is the only place not turned fully into a desert or overtaken by massive insectioid creatures. Nausicaä believes humanity has to learn to live in harmony with these big bugs and has to stand against a rival kingdom that means to wipe them out. Miyazaki’s first foray into environmentalism and joining nature rather than destroying it, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is truly a science fiction/fantasy work for the ages.

You have three chances to see this movie in theaters: on Sunday, Sept 24, and Wednesday Sept 27, you can see the film dubbed with an English cast including people like Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, and Edward James Olmos. Or, if you’re a traditionalist, you can go on Monday, Sept 25, to see the movie with the original Japanese voice track and English subtitles. Your choice, your rules. For more info and tickets, you can visit Fathom’s website right here.

Read the original post about Ghibli Fest below!
It’s been an emotional roller coast ride these past few years when it comes to Japan’s undisputed king of animation, Hayao Miyazaki. First we had to come to terms with the fact that he was retiring after his 2013 film The Wind Rises, then it was announced he wasn’t retiring but would only make short films instead, then that his short film was done but would only be shown at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan, and THEN we got the news that he’s actually coming back to feature films. Whew! We can’t keep up. What we CAN keep up with, though, is six of his classics returning to theaters this year.


GKIDS and Fathom Events is launching Ghibli Fest, in which a different movie by Miyazaki will be showcased in cinemas one two days, one a month, beginning in June. We would imagine, much like the Princess Mononoke screening recently, that one of the days will be the English language track and the other will be in Japanese. The films span a 20 year span in the director’s career and feature some of his finest heroines.


On Sunday, June 25 and Monday, June 26, you can see Miyazaki’s 1988 masterpiece, My Neighbor Totoro, the coming-of-age story about a little girl, her younger sister, and their friendly woodland beast pillow creature friend and his ability to summon a giant cat that’s also a bus.

Sunday, July 23 and Monday, July 24 sees Kiki’s Delivery Service from 1989 head back to screens. Another of Miyazaki’s excellent slice-of-life movies, this one finds a young witch moving to the big city to make her way in the world. One of the most pleasant movies of all time.


The next two months are the ones I’m most excited about as it represents two of Miyazaki’s oldest films. On Sunday, August 27 and Monday, August 28, you can watch the 1986 film Castle in the Sky, which was actually the very first film made under the Studio Ghibli banner. It’s the gorgeous, sumptuous steampunky tale of a princess from a lost airship city being pursued by a greedy royal and some ridiculous air pirates.

The following movie isn’t technically a Studio Ghibli movie because Studio Ghibli didn’t exist yet, but Sunday, September 24 and Monday, September 25 will have Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the post-apocalyptic adventure of a heroic young woman trying to save her small community from a neighboring warlike kingdom, and try to come to terms with the behemoth, poison-spewing insect things that live in the wasteland. A personal favorite of mine.


And finally, we end with arguably Miyazaki’s most commercially successful in the world. Just in time for Halloween, on Sunday, October 29 and Monday, October 30, we can see the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, the movie that seems like Miyazaki’s answer to Alice in Wonderland as well as being a comment on the mistreatment and exploitation of children throughout the world. Rough.

It all ends with Miyazaki’s 2004 fantasy epic Howl’s Moving Castle on Sunday, November 26 and Monday, November 27. It’s one of his more complex movies, but all you need to know is a girl gets turned into an old lady because a narcissistic wizard guy helps her and a witch gets jealous. Then the young old lady becomes a servant of the castle on legs. It’s crazy, but so great.

Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but you can sign up to get email notifications on the Ghibli Fest website. Which movie are you most excited to see in theaters? Let me know in the comments below!

Images: Studio Ghibli

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He’s the writer of Studio Ghibli retrospectives Miyazaki Masterclass, Takahata Textbook, and Ghibli Bits. Follow him on Twitter!

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