Tales From Earthsea (Gedo senki)

This 2006 Ghibli Studios adaptation of the Ursula K. Le Guin novels is the handiwork of first-timer Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao—and the lack of the master's poetic control shows. Miyazaki movies (Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away) are always bewitched by dream logic, but this cookie-cutter fantasy saga—a good wizard and bad wizard battle over the karmic "balance" of the titular kingdom, with a troubled prince caught in the middle—is slack and often incomprehensible, full of vague magical rules and eruptions of nonsense without explanation. There are dragons, but to no significant purpose, nightmares about tar, out-of-nowhere body/spirit schisms occurring only for plot convenience, and so on. Goro Miyazaki certainly lacks his father's charm and humor, though he obviously worked the studio's army of background painters to the bone creating yet another gorgeous medieval Euro-city. But despite the Willem Dafoe–whispered, androgynously evil mage and the incongruous presence of Cheech Marin dubbing the villain's head lackey, Earthsea seems to be a stupendously dull place. It would try the patience of any kid.

Credits

Director:

  • Goro Miyazaki

Cast:

  • Junichi Okada
  • Aoi Teshima
  • Bunta Sugawara
  • Yûko Tanaka
  • Teruyuki Kagawa
  • Jun Fubuki
  • Takashi Naitô
  • Mitsuko Baisho
  • Yui Natsukawa
  • Kaoru Kobayashi

Writers:

  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Goro Miyazaki

Producer:

  • Toshio Suzuki

Now Playing

Tales From Earthsea (Gedo senki) is not showing in any theaters in the area.

What others are saying

  • Now Playing

    By Film...

    By Theater...