Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind—Walt Disney/Studio Ghibli

Video: 4/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 3.5/5

After a global war, the seaside kingdom known as the Valley Of The Wind remains one of the last strongholds on Earth untouched by a poisonous jungle and the powerful insects that guard it. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley engage in an epic struggle to restore the bond between humanity and Earth.

This is only the second Studio Ghibli film to be released on Blu-ray from Walt Disney and I hope we see many more find their way to the format. The Blu-ray encode does the film justice though lacks some of the polish of the Disney restorations we’re seeing from their catalog titles. Fine film grain is still evident and the colors aren’t completely devoid of artifacts. Detail is still good though and definition isn’t lacking. The Blu-ray includes both the original Japanese dub plus an English dub. While I’m not typically a fan of English dubs for foreign films, I actually preferred it here. The Japanese track sounds a bit overly dramatic comparatively but the rest of the mix sounds identical to the English version. The animation also lends itself pretty well to a dub and doesn’t have any real issues with matching the lip movement of the characters.

Disney has included a DVD copy of the film in this new special edition plus gives you lots of insight into the world of Studio Ghibli. You get interviews with the director, lots of behind the scenes into the world of Ghibli and some features on the other films they’ve done. You also get a look at the voice talent that went into the English dub and a look at the original storyboards.

This has been a favorite of mine for years and was my introduction to Ghibli when I saw it as a child in theaters. Disney has done a good job with the HD presentation and I hope we see more from the studio soon. Highly recommended.