Creator: Ursula K. LeGuin, directed by Goro Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Buena Vista/Disney
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Suggested Age: 10+
My Rating: 4/10
Summary: Based on the first four books in the Earthsea series, this movie tells the story of Sparrowhawk, a wizard seeks to undo the unbalance of nature in the land of Earthsea. He is accompanied by Arren, a young prince who is pursued by a shadow.
Review: Let me start by saying that if you haven’t read the Earthsea series, you are missing out on a wonderful story. Leguin is a very elegant writer and paints a beautiful story.
Now, what about the movie? I really am conflicted. The animation is beautiful, in typical Ghibli style, even with his son directing, and not Hayao. Arren is a likeable hero, and Sparrowhawk reminds me of Qui Con Ginn in The Phantom Menace.
And yet, here is where the movie suffers. There is so much potential lost here. So many things are touched upon and never fully discussed. Some seem brought up right out of the blue. What’s really sad is that if you haven’t read any of the Earthsea books, you will be really have difficulty following this story because so little is explained. In fact, the only reason I was able to follow it at all was because I had read the books. What’s really puzzling is why Goro decided to try to tell all six books’ stories in one movie. I really felt like this movie was trying to say something, but wasn’t sure what to say or how to say it. My advice: skip this one, even if you’re a die-hard Ghibli fan. It’s just not worth it.
Music/Score: Joe Hisashi’s score is pretty good, especially the finale piece.
Sub/Dub: The voice work is fine. Timothy Dalton is excellent as Sparrowhawk.
Violence: (4/10) Some pretty bloody moments.
Religion: (5/10) Magic is practically the breath of life in Earthsea. In fact, the misuse is what has thrown the land off balance.
Related Media: This is based on the series created by Ursula K. LeGuin.