Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind may be the quintessential Hayao Miyazaki film—not necessarily his best, but the most comprehensive assortment of his characteristic themes and motifs.
The setting is a staggering feat of creative world-building and visual opulence. Characters include a strong young female protagonist, children, and old people; and while the villains may be more clearly evil than most Miyazaki antagonists, they don’t ultimately evoke hatred or vindictiveness.
There are flight sequences and stunning uses of water. Themes include pacifism and environmentalism. The story frankly acknowledges the sadness of loss and fears for possible future losses, but is subtly shot through with hope and grace.