In a long-ago war, humankind set off a devastating ecological disaster. Thriving industrial societies disappeared. Now, the earth is slowly submerging beneath the expanding Sea of Corruption, an enormous toxic forest that creates mutant insects and releases a miasma of poisonous spores into the air. At the periphery of the sea, tiny kingdoms are scattered on tiny parcels of land. Here lies the Valley of the Wind, a kingdom of barely 500 citizens; a nation given fragile protection from the decaying sea's poisons by the ocean breezes; and home to Nausicaä.
is one of Japan’s most beloved animation directors. His first feature, The Castle of Cagliostro
, was released in 1979. His film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
, based on his own manga, was released in 1984. In 1985, Miyazaki cofounded Studio Ghibli, through which he directed the box office smashes Princess Mononoke
(1997) and Spirited Away
(2001), which won the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. Howl’s Moving Castle
(2004) received the Osella Award for technical achievement at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival. In 2005, VIFF awarded Miyazaki the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement.
His other acclaimed films include My Neighbor Totoro
, Kiki’s Delivery Service
. Miyazaki’s essays, interviews and memoirs have been collected in Starting Point: 1979–1996
and Turning Point: 1997–2008
. His final film, The Wind Rises
, was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award®. In November 2014, Miyazaki received an honorary Academy Award® at the academy’s sixth annual Governor’s Awards. Presenter and Pixar head John Lassetter declared Miyazaki “the most original filmmaker to ever work in our medium.”