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Tales From Earthsea - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
No, this extremely loose adaptation of Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series is directed by Hayao Miyazaki's son, Goro Miyazaki. And it has the earmarks of a promising first effort -- the visuals are hauntingly lovely, the dialogue is sometimes beautiful, and there's raw passion in its making. But honestly, the story is often confusing, and fans of Le Guin's books will probably implode with rage over the story changes.
The archmage Sparrowhawk encounters a young boy named Prince Arren in the desert, and takes him under his wing. Arren is on the run from his own kingdom after committing a horrible crime, and Sparrowhawk is out to find out why magic seems to be draining out of the world, and darkness is creeping into people's hearts.
After some misadventures with slavers, they make their way to Sparrowhawk's friend/love interest Tenar, and her adopted daughter Therru. Unfortunately, the malevolent mage Cob has learned of Sparrowhawk's presence nearby, and plans to use Arren in his quest for eternal life and revenge againt Sparrowhawk... unless Therru can help her friend come to terms with his inner darkness.
Like most movies from Studio Ghibli, "Tales From Earthsea" is visually stunning almost beyond belief -- ivy-draped cities, azure seaports, dark looming castles against twilight skies, and long sweeping green fields dotted with trees in the morning sun. There's a genuine sense of magic and mystery to this world, and you can really feel the passion that Miyazaki had for his story and the way it's depicted.
However, the story itself is kind of mixed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Looks beautiful but the story isn't as engaging as other Ghibli films.Published 3 days ago by Paul J
My disk does not seem scratched up, and my PC is not at fault, but the DVD is stopping/skipping every few minutes and is making the movie unable to watch/enjoy, I've not had this... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kieran
As a Ghibli fan I loved it. I have not read the books so cannot comment from that perspective but I imagine some of the low ratings are because IT IS NOT PURELY BASED ON EARTHSEA,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dean
Probably the worst film from the Studio Ghibli collection.
I found it hard to enjoy and on a second attempt at viewing fast forwarded though large chunks.