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Tales From Earthsea [DVD]

Goro Miyazaki    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
Price: £12.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Tales From Earthsea [DVD] + Ocean Waves [DVD] + Whisper of the Heart [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Goro Miyazaki
  • Producers: Steve Alpert, Javier Ponton, Toshio Suzuki
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jan 2008
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,348 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Adapted from Ursula K. Le Guin's beloved children's fantasy book series, this animated film from Studio Ghibli marks the directorial debut of Goro Miyazaki , the son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki ('Spirited Away', 'Howl's Moving Castle') . A strange force is disturbing the natural harmony in the land of Earthsea. Dragons are fighting, magic is dying out, and humanity is falling into chaos and disorder. Haunted by inner demons, Prince Arren stabs his father and absconds with the king's sword. He meets master wizard Ged and a strange young girl named Therru and finds friendship and protection. A dark shadow, however, continues to haunt Arren, drawing him closer to the evil sorcerer Cob whose quest for eternal life is destroying the balance between the realm of the living and the dead. To save Earthsea, Arren must stop Cob, but Arren himself is desending into darkness.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but not all bad 2 Feb 2008
Having read, and loved, the books on which this film was based, I had very high hopes for it. Unfortunately, I left the cinema feeling a little disappointed.

Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea is a grand and deeply moving epic, and none of this really came across in the film. Parts of it were brilliant, but I agree with the reviewer who said the end of the film doesn't live up to the promise of the beginning, with major themes and ideas left unexplored and questions left unanswered. The potential in the source material was squandered leaving me with a feeling of 'what might have been'. I really think that if they'd followed the book more closely they'd have ended up with a better film.

On the whole, I think it was a fair first effort for Goro. For me, the film was better than some of Ghibli's other works, and overall I do like it. It's certainly worth buying for any Ghibli fan, and shouldn't disappoint too badly (even my non-Ghibli-fan friend loved it). For those who haven't already done so, do read the books, they're fantastic!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The magic was missing.. 27 April 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an incredibly well animated film, just what you'd expect from Ghibli, but it just did not hold the same magic that most Ghibli films has done. I felt it was quite western in its storyline which may have something to do with it. The first Ghibli I saw was Princess Monoke, shortly followed by Spirited Away, and I was enchanted from the very start. I've seen several more and loved them all, but I just wasn't taken with this one. 3 stars for the usual quality but I probably won't watch it again.
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112 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a tale of two miyazaki's 13 Sep 2007
Expectations are doubtless high for this - the first Studio Ghibli release since 2005's Howl's Moving Castle; it is also the debuting directorial effort of Hayao Miyazaki's son, Goro - a decision which is known to have been the source of much tension between the pair during the film's production.

Tales from Earthsea concerns the plight of Prince Arren - a boy equipped with both shy humility and apoplectic rage as violent as it is ephemeral. Fleeing the palace after a brutal murder, the seemingly cursed Prince finds unlikely companionship in the wizard Sparrowhawk, whom he accompanies on his travels to discover the source of that which is unbalancing the world; disease, poverty and enslavement are proliferating at the hands of an esoteric force, which Sparrowhead will discover emanates from the pernicious machinations of one Lord Cob, who seeks immortality. The two male protagonists come to encounter and reacquaint themselves respectively with female companions, Therru and Tenar, who assist them in their ultimate battle against Lord Cob and his minions.

The film falls very much into the "epic" category of Ghibli's dichotomic catalogue, and allegedly forces the contents of at least three Earthsea books (which, regrettably, I have yet to read) into its duration - a decision which, I feel, results in disjointed pacing: the anti-climatic final battle yawns over a vast chasm of slight tedium, while the more intriguing opening scenes involving the King are danced over with quite unnecessary flourish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad... But Something's Missing... 16 Oct 2008
I've never read the books, so I was watching this with absolutely no expectations on that score. I got the impression it was about dragons and the decline of wizards and so on. However, it also became clear that for a film about a mystical world full of wonder, it sure kinda skimped on the magic. And plotline.

The main character totally reminded me of Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion. He had that whole Emo Boy routine going for him. It really annoyed me that the consequences of his crime was never really addressed. Gee, wouldn't there be like a WHOLE kingdom of people out looking for him? And why the heck did he do it in the first place? And what's with that weird berserker rage anyway?

This film left me with a whole lot of questions that it barely answered. Sparrowhawk, although intriguing also came over as a wee bit senile. "Yes, I'll just leave you alone with the rouge slavers running around the city while I pop back to the inn. See ya!" Yeah. Good one, Mr Archmage. The farm witch was all right and the girl was interesting, but their characters were never really developed much and as a result, the climax was more 'bwuh?' than stunning revelation. I would have seriously *killed* for some decent character story background exploration during this movie. (I'm very tempted to read the books now!)

I loved Cob though. He simply oozed with slinky malevolence. Then he just oozed. LOL! The Shadow was nice and creepy too, especially when it was chasing Emo Boy.

The animation was up to its usual excellent Ghibli standard. Stunning landscapes and beautifully rendered bustling cities abound in this feature. There's a pretty good atmospheric music score too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This dvd is lovely to watch so much so since ...
This dvd is lovely to watch so much so since buying it I have watched it 4 times so far
Published 4 days ago by Ms Cs Territt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My kids loves it
Published 10 days ago by evergreenyuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 16 days ago by Mr. Kenneth Otoole
3.0 out of 5 stars Ehh
Son of a genius made this one, it shows
Published 1 month ago by Joe Sloman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A little phallic imagery and some 'questionable' dialogue, but it's...
So first off I gotta say the whole opening was very, very base, and kinda not really needed.
That being said, the actual story was promising and for what it's worth, it's very... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kaleb
5.0 out of 5 stars exellent item
Great condition and i would buy from seller again, i would recommend this product to anyone, a great family friendly film for any age and taste in genre
Published 5 months ago by magpie
5.0 out of 5 stars great buy
This is Christmas gift for 10 year old boy he will love it also was such good value for money.
Published 10 months ago by glittersharts
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film
If you enjoy Japanese illustrations then you will find this film beautiful. It is not supposed to be a film exactly following any of the Earthsea books but is loosely based around... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alice
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Earthsea movie you're gonna see unless there comes some Le...
Le Guin's cycle is hard to film: slow paces, little action and a lot of philosophical dialogues. If Jackson's "LotR" is what it is (and it's better not to talk about his... Read more
Published 14 months ago by st
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Number in series 0 11 Aug 2010
Double disc 1 21 Feb 2008
doesnt work properly on PS3! 0 18 Feb 2008
Any connection to Ursula le guin's earthsea books??? 2 22 Dec 2007
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