Tales From Earthsea

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Tales From Earthsea
Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki really want to forget the existence of this movie.
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Gorō Miyazaki
Produced By: Toshio Suzuki

Tomohiko Ishii

Written By: Keiko Niwa
Gorō Miyazaki
Starring: Junichi Okada
Bunta Sugawara
Aoi Teshima
Yūko Tanaka
Photography: Color
Release Date: July 29, 2006
Runtime: 115 Minutes
Country: Japan

Tales From Earthsea is a drama fantasy Japanese anime movie. It was directed by Gorō Miyazaki (the son of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki), written by Keiko Niwa and Gorō Miyazaki, edited by Takeshi Seyama, musically composed by Tamiya Terashima, distributed by Toho, produced by Toshio Suzuki, Tomohiko Ishii and Studio Ghibli, and starred Junichi Okada, Bunta Sugawara, Aoi Teshima and Yūko Tanaka. It's based on a series of fantasy books called Earthsea which were written by Ursula K Le Guin and one volume watercolor-illustrated graphic novel called The Journey of Shuna which was written by Hayao Miyazaki.  

Bad Qualities

  1. Unmemorable soundtrack.  
  2. The world in this movie, Earthsea, is unbelievably dull since it only consist of generic towns, castles and several plains.
  3. Sub-par animation, especially for Studio Ghibli´s standards.  
  4. False advertisng: Even though a dragon is on the cover of the movie, they contribute nothing in the movie since they only briefly appear in three occasions (and two of them are on the ending of the movie); they could have taken them away and the movie would be the same.
  5. Arren is a bland protagonist and arguable the worst character in the movie due to his motivations, because he killed his father (a king) for literally no reason (even he admits he was a great man), and it´s never explained why he wanted to escaped home.
    • Let´s remember that at the beginning of the movie the king was busy for the hard situation of the kingdom since the latter´s crisis, so the regicide affected severely the kingdom.
    • Also, why he didn´t tried to get the sword otherwise?
  6. The respective reasons why Therru hates Arren and later started liking him are absurd.
    • Therru tells Arren she hates him because "she hates men who doesn´t value life" despite he saved her without waiting nothing.
    • Therru started liking Arren just because he cried whe he listened her singing.
  7. Lord Cob is an generic villain, with your typical "i want eternal life", and really without any characterization.
  8. There's lots of Deus ex Machinas, such as during times when Sparrowhawk has to save the protagonist. 
  9. The character designs are uninspired.
  10. This movie was the directorial debut of Gorō Miyazaki, the son of Hayao Miyazaki, which tainted the legacy of the latter, and of Studio Ghibli in general.  
  11. Poorly drawn, uninspired backgrounds.  
  12. The story is incredibly unfocused, all over the place, and seems like it lacks direction, which would make sense because it was the director's first film.
  13. Shallow and generic ending.
  14. It is never explained neither how magic works, Arren's motivations, why the stolen sword couldn't unsheathe until the end of the movie, the reason why Therru was considered a witch by the soldiers nor about the "other" Arren.
  15. The fact Therru only used her powers at the final battle and not even a little before can be considered as both a Deus ex Machina and a Diabolus ex Machina.
  16. At the beginning of the movie, it is explained about the imbalance in the world, thing who is somewhat ignored with the running of the movie.
  17. The concept of Arren and Therru having real names it´s pointless and it´s just a desperate attempt to make a plot twist, and a forced plot twist is not the best of ideas...
  18. The Latin Spanish dub could be better.

Good Qualities

  1. Admittedly, Sparrowhawk is the only cool character in the movie.  
  2. Both Japanese and English dubbings are great.
  3. While most of the time the animation is sub-par by Studio Ghibli standards, there are a few moments when you see sparks of great animation.  
  4. The movie have a nice message about eternal life and how death give value to life, though it could been executed better.


  • Tales From Earthsea has a 41% "rotten" rating and a 46% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 2.9/5 on Letterboxd, a 6.5/10 on the International Movie Database (IMDB), a 7.12/10 on MyAnimeList, a 3.5/5 on AnimePlanet, and a 68.26% community approval rating on Kitsu. It was the lowest rated Ghibli film on Rotten Tomatoes and Letterboxd until Earwig and the Witch (also directed by Goro Miyazaki), which holds a 33% and a 2.1/5 on both sites respectively.


  • When first seeing it, Goro's father, Hayao Miyazaki, walked out of the theater out of disappointment later stating, "He's not a man yet".



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