For the earliest Studio Ghibli movie to my knowledge, this is a heck of a way to begin.
Nausicaa is a very good movie, a truly excellent beginning to a world renowned studio that really set the mark in terms of story, character, and overall quality for decades to come. Original to boot as well, taking place on a world slowly being infected by a poisonous forest our young Princess Nausicaa lives her life trying to save as many people as she can and is a pacifist. But trouble brews beyond the forest as several different warring kingdoms comes to her peaceful valley and Nausicaa tries to resolve the issues peacefully before her people are utterly destroyed. Now this is such an interesting movie from every conceivable aspect. The designs are incredible for this world, I like the fact that they have airplanes but the design is not so much based on birds but more insects because that's the primary source of life beyond people, that alone is fascinating to warrant lengthy discussions but there's so much more. There's tons of different design origins, I like how each kingdom has a look, one has medieval knights with guns and others look like sand nomads that's really cool! But I can safely say in such a weird fantasy world such as this our main character is what keeps us in the movie, you want to see her win, you want to see how she can overcome these odds, and no small part of that can be contributed to Alison Lohman she is absolutely fantastic! Some people again like San says she's whiny and cries at the drop of a hat, but you know as a woman that takes action as much as she does, always has a plan, is respected and treasured in her kingdom far more than anybody, I have to take those claims with a grain of salt. I would follow her until the end, into the very fires of Mordor itself, she's really fantastic! And her supporting cast adds a lot, it gets you involved and connected to this world. One of her close friends is a swordmaster played by Patrick 'The Professor' Stewart, how can you not like that?? And this guy, who is like this smarmy, slimy, underling to a queen of another kingdom may just be my favorite character! And of course he's voiced by Chris Sarandon, he was like born for such roles like this movie and The Princess Bride, everytime he was on screen my joy and love for this character grew and grew, he just friggin' cracked me up everytime! Shia LaBeouf is in this movie, and he ain't actually that bad, he does quite well in the movie. I mean really the movie can do no wrong, you get tidbits of the history of this world and it does help acclimate us and you don't even really mind because the movie doesn't need that much context. Everything is either explained or is recognizable to the viewer, so you're not lost and desperately trying to get any form of bearings. And with a movie about a princess that flies on a hang glider trying to save her kingdom from rage filled bugs and hostile weirdos in costumes, I can safely say good job!
Oh my God this took forever to find though, Studio Ghibli or perhaps Disney does not want you to rent this movie at all. They want all your money's, but through perseverance and sevral ibuprofen I did manage to find this on a anime website. You can find it easily too if you just ditch the new browsing options and go back to good old Internet Explorer. Because if life has taught me anything it's that older always has the edge over the new.