During this pandemic, eyes have been opened on the impact we have had on the planet. Images are circulating of the City of Los Angeles before quarantine and after a few weeks of quarantine. The hazy smog over the city lifted after just a few weeks. This shows how resilient our planet is at clearing the mess we as humans have inflicted upon it. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is set in a post-apocalyptic earth, devastated by pollution. Princess Nausicaä is a pacifist who struggles to stop two warring kingdoms from destroying the planet along with themselves.
Despite knowing the consequences of taking her mask off, Princess Nausicaä (Allison Lohman) reflects on the beauty of the spores that float around her. Once she lifts the eye casing off the dead Ohm, she puts it over her head to continue watching the spores. The mask looks like an insect face in addition to keeping her safe from the toxic air. She is interrupted by the sound of someone in trouble. While investigating, she sees that an adult Ohm is chasing Lord Yupa (Patrick Stewart). The scene is complemented by excellent chase music. Nausicaä is calm and notices the beauty in the giant insect despite the dangerous situation they are in. Another scene Nausicaä lands on a group of insects and apologizes for disturbing them. She understands that while she can navigate their world in the forest; it is still their world while the Valley of the Wind is hers.
The Ohm’s eyes reflect their emotional state. When an Ohm is enraged and defensive, its eyes are red. Once the Ohm calms down, the eye color changes to the color of harmony and stability, greenish-blue. The villagers know this, stating in several scenes that the Ohm are blind with rage. When Nausicaä returns with the eye casing of the Ohm, the villagers get the rest of the creature; it is used as a resource for building and creating. The forest may be toxic, but they rely on the resources and warn the warring Tolmekian and Pejite against disrupting the delicate balance that they have with the toxic forest and its inhabitants.
Before the Tolmekian army takes Nausicaä, Lord Yupa finds her in a hidden garden below the castle. She brings samples when she explores the toxic forest and grows them in the castle. From her experiments, she learns they are no longer poisonous and the air in the castle remains clean. She tells Lord Yupa that she discovered the freshwater and soil from deep beneath the castle is what separates her plants from the ones in the forest. The topsoil is toxic, and the deep soil is not.
Nausicaä and Asbel (Shia LaBeouf) sink in the 80’s films number one natural enemy, quicksand. They fall deep beneath the toxic forest, and to their surprise, the air is clean. After investigating, Nausicaä concludes that the trees die, petrify, crumble, and turn into sand. It is the sand that filters and cleanses the earth, which is why the deep soil is not toxic. The area they fell into was formed from the trees dying fossilizing and turning into sand. Asbel notes that it would take centuries for the trees to purify and cleanse the entire earth due to all the pollution the humans have done. The insects protect forests from any more human intervention and are necessary for life to continue at all.
In her rage after the invading Tolmekian’s murder of her father, she kills some men to avenge her father’s death. After this, she is left feeling guilty and attempts to stop the killing, which nearly gets Nausicaä killed. A baby Ohm is used to bait an angry stampede of Ohm to come and destroy the Valley of the Wind to evoke a plan to destroy the toxic forest and the insects that live in it. She risks her life to take a stolen baby Ohm to a stampede of Ohm to save her village. When the Ohm lifts her into the air to heal her from her injuries, a section of Handel’s “Music for the funeral of Queen Mary” is playing, fitting for a princess.
Drenched in the blue blood of the Ohm, she is lifted by their gold glowing tentacles. This image of her solidifies to Nausicaä’s aunt, Obaba (Tress MacNeille), that she is the fulfillment of the prophecy to save the humans. With Nausicaä’s gentle leadership and demonstration to the onlookers of all the kingdoms, even the most volatile creature can be stopped by compassion and understanding. Once we can understand our monsters, they stop being monsters. When we stop seeing things as monsters, we can value life regardless of its form.