Friends and Fans of Fantasy
A Lunch community for fantasy fans...
Tales From Earthsea

An anime film from Studio Ghibli

< read all 4 reviews

Miyazaki Jr. Attempts To Tell A Tale

  • Oct 5, 2010

Tales From Earthsea

Title: Tales From Earthsea
Director: Goro Miyazaki
Starring: Timothy Dalton, Willem DaFoe
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Genre(s): Fantasy





(For some violent images)    

Buy From DVD / BluRay / Soundtrack [IMPORT] / Novel

Studio Ghibli’s “Tales From Earthsea” has had a long and hectic road. Years ago Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki wanted to adapt the famous book series into an animated movie. The author said no. Years later Miyazaki became a household name and the author changed her mind and decided she wanted Miyazaki to direct. However at that point Miyazaki had directed “Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind” and “Castle In The Sky,” and had lost interest in adapting the books into a movie. Although Hayao wasn’t interested in making a movie adaptation anymore there was another Miyazaki who did want to adapt the series: Goro Miyazaki, Hayao’s son. Goro worked tirelessly on the film despite his father’s objections and released another hit for the studio.

As part of their contract The Walt Disney Company had to release this movie. However because of a mini-series that aired on the Sci-Fi Channel Disney could not release the film until this year, where it’s now in limited release. I discuss the difficulties of this film coming to America now because “Tales From Earthsea” has a reputation for being the worst Ghibli film in their impressive catalog. The dub premiered in Europe a couple years ago so many fans have already seen it and passed judgement. Writing a review seems pointless but it’s what I do. Finally I bring all this up because not much happens in “Tales From Earthsea.” The story revolves around Aaron, the prince of a kingdom out in one of these distant, fantasy worlds.

He’s run away from home because...well, I don’t know why he’s run away from home to be honest. It might be because he’s sustainable to serious mood swings but I’m not entirely sure. He ends up traveling with a wizard named Sparrowhawk, who takes him to a farm that is run by two ladies. The older one is named Cob and the younger one is named Therru. Unlike most animated films both these ladies prove to be love interests for the lead characters. I should mention at this point that all I’ve just discussed takes place within the first HOUR of the film! The animation in this film is gorgeous. The music wonderful. The acting very good. But while Goro may have his fathers eye he doesn’t have his natural storytelling ability.

This thing moves at a snails pace as we watch the character stare into the distance, plow the fields, walk through shopping just goes on and nothing seems to happen. At the midway point we meet the villain of the film, who looks so emo you might wonder if Ghibli is being serious at this point. During the final thirty minutes the film starts to pick up steam and moves a bit more. But it takes. Stinking. FOREVER! One of the main selling points to this movie have been the dragons. They are on the posters, in the previews, and so I was under the assumption that they would have a big role in the film. Turns out they are in less then five minutes overall. Their story is that they no longer mingle with humans because they choose freedom while men choose possessions.

I’m not sure what this has to do with the movie but it’s there. They show up long enough to get a cool poster for the film. Reportedly the movie is the combination of four of the books in this series. That there is four books worth of content crammed into this two hour film and it STILL feels like nothing happens is discouraging! Maybe Goro simply really wasn’t ready to handle such a big movie? After watching I have to admit that, yes, this is Studio Ghibli’s worst film. It’s not torturous to watch but it’s certainly boring. It’s pretty to look at, but so are many other animated films. Disney’s treatment of the film is as good as it can be but even they couldn’t make the film better. All they could do was dub it. It’s nice that we finally have “Tales From Earthsea” but I find it more of a curious viewing experience then a great one. Goro is already working on his next film. Hopefully he’ll have learned something about storytelling by then.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
April 01, 2013
This film reminded me a lot of Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa, not in story telling but in style. The character designs are very close to those two movies, and the clothing as well. The settings too look very much the same. Unfortunately, as you say the pacing is way off. I also found the main character to be extremely weak. Good write up
October 16, 2010
Too bad this film bombed. The graphics look nice, though.
October 06, 2010
ugh. I am a Miyazaki fan but I skipped this because it gave me odd vibes. Seems like I made the right decision. Thanks for the review!
More Tales From Earthsea reviews
review by . March 31, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
What a disjointed mess of a film this is. Studio Ghibli has made a handful of sub par films in the past, nothing bad just a few films that don't quite live up to their incredibly high standards. For a studio with such an outstanding track record its hard for me to fathom how this film was made. Did they think that just because they got the son of Hayao Miyazaki to direct it that it would turn out to be gold? The story is all over place, it takes forever to get going, and to top it off its main character …
review by . April 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****       Hayao Miyazaki has collaborated with Studio Ghibli and made some of the best animated features out there. "Spirited Away" is one of my favorite films, as well as one of the very best in the animated category. Now, his son has begun to direct. His name is Goro Miyazaki, and he continues his dad's legacy by working with the same Animation Studio, and of course, still working with Anime. But why wouldn't he? That's a question that does not need to …
review by . May 25, 2011
posted in ASIANatomy
Tales From Earthseais a film that is loosely based on a combination of plots and characters from the first four books in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series.  The film was directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of Hayao Miyazaki.      At the beginning of the film, drought and pestilence is spreading throughout the land.  The main character of the film is Arren, and he is the prince of the land.  Arren murders his father, takes his sword, and runs away.  …
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
First to Review
© 2015, LLC All Rights Reserved - Relevant reviews by real people.
Friends and Fans of Fantasy is part of the Network - Get this on your site
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since