Tales From Earthsea


Studio Ghibli (aka the Disney/Pixar of the Far East) keeps it in the family as animation legend Hayao Miyazaki hands the reins to son Goro for this 2D adaptation of Ursula K Le Guin’s sprawling fantasy. Pitting a young boy and an enigmatic mage (Timothy Dalton) against an evil wizard (Willem Dafoe) who’s tearing the land of Earthsea apart in a quest for immortality, it honours several Ghibli standards: sweeping, meticulous landscapes, tortured lead characters and the requisite pop ditty. Despite the lacquered finish, there’s nothing here that can hold a wand to papa’s Spirited Away or the similarly solemn Nausicaa. For all its talk of death and destiny, Earthsea’s neither as epic or poetic as it thinks it is.


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