Gedo senki (Tales from Earthsea) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gedo senki (Tales from Earthsea) Reviews

Page 2 of 86
February 7, 2016
The animation is everything you expect from a Ghibli film but the story is shallow and uninteresting. While many of the works that Ghibli has put out have very traditional and simple stories and structure, it is the manner in which they're told that make them refreshing and new. Tales from Earthsea completely falls flat there.

Certainly not a terrible movie by any means and quite creative at times, but it is very bland and doesn't deserve to be put in the same category as other ghibli movies. I agree with what Lewis C. said: This movie was growing pains for Goro Miyazaki.

Also, don't tease us with Ghibli animated dragons if there is only a collective three or so minutes of dragon footage.
½ February 1, 2016
You need to keep up with the plot and enjoy being adrift while the story unfolds, but it all comes together nicely at the end. Younger children might have a harder time with this but more mature kids will love the puzzle once it's solved.
½ January 24, 2016
I read Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea Trilogy so I was curious to see what this film adaptation was like. It turns out to be a Japanese anime film from Goro Miyazaki whose father is Hayao Miyazaki who is known for films like Nausicaa Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke. Like father like son, the styles are similar. The characters are the same as what is in the Earthsea trilogy but the story is entirely different. I wasn't really impressed it. I was disappointed because it wasn't as compelling as the books.
December 29, 2015
A bit more slow paced and on the nose than most of Studio Ghibli's work but still worth your time.
It can be a little confusing as far as the unexplained parts of magic and madness go, but this is more an emotional coming of age story than a narrative.

While not as powerful as Spirited Away, Tales from EarthSea does an admirable job about the conflicts boys go through when becoming men and the balance between life and death along with good and evil. While it may not explain everything, it doesn't have to.

A must see for growing boys.
½ December 14, 2015
Most of this movie I actually loved, the characters were cool and the visuals were just GORGEOUS. Unfortunetly, the film ends on a very disappointing climax and ending.
½ December 9, 2015
It starts off amazing. I couldn't believe the bad reviews - my brother and I kept turning to each other and exclaiming at how great it was. I'm also a fan of the book series and was very pleased with one of my fave characters, Sparrowhawk, brought to life to perfection. But the middle turns into on elong Tom Bombadil section and the ending...looses me. It just doesn't fit. But the beginning and parts of the middle are fantastic.
½ October 31, 2015
Such a promising movie with such an interesting premise, however it falls too hard due to its bad story telling
October 29, 2015
Thema: Erwachsen werden ist nicht einfach.
October 23, 2015
I made it halfway through before I realized it was never going to hold my attention. This is the first Studio Ghibli film that I had to give up on.
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2015
The apple has fallen far from the tree.
½ August 29, 2015
Boy, does Tales From Earthsea get crapped on a lot. Though many films from Studio Ghibli are acclaimed, this was the one film to receive rather mixed response from both critics and audiences, with many stating that the story and characters were quite bland, as well as fans of the book that this film is based on saying that it wasn't particularly faithful to the source material. Sure, I've never read the book that this film is based on, so I'm not doubting that it is unfaithful to the source material, but I'm not sure why so many people seem to hate this film. I thought that it was an engaging and gripping fantasy film, even if it did have some slight flaws. And sure, it's certainly not the best from Studio Ghibli. That being said, I still thought it was a great, underrated film.

The film opens up with a ship at sea during a storm, in which the crew members witness an unprecedented event of two dragons fighting each other, with one dragon killing the other, which is viewed as a bad omen of sorts.

Things take a worse turn when the King of Enland hears of this news, which is combined with the news of droughts, pestilence, people going insane, and that his own son, Prince Arren, has gone missing. With this news, it is feared that the world's balance is about to become imbalanced.

And as the king is wandering through one of the corridors the castle, he is inexplicably assassinated by his own son, Prince Arren, who then flees the scene, leaving his father to die.

Arren then spends his time wandering the land which is falling into disarray from these events that are occurring, until one day he is being pursued by wolves in the desert and is saved by Archmage Sparrowhawk, who takes him under his wing as a sort of apprentice.

As they journey together, they visit Hort Town, which also serves as a place of slave trade, and the two must remain low-key while in the area. However, Arren encounters slave traders trying to take a young girl named Therru, which causes him to unleash his dark side that doesn't care about life and can be quite terrifying, which manages to ward off the slave traders, but incenses the girl who doesn't like people who don't care about life.

Later, he is eventually captured by the same slave traders that he scared off, and then has to be rescued by Sparrowhawk, who takes him to a secluded farm owned by a woman named Tenar, who is taking care of the mysterious girl that Arren rescued. Arren and Sparrowhawk spend their time working on the farm, hiding from the slave traders who are after them, including the insidious Lord Cob (Who has a big stake in the slave trade) who wants them captured, especially Sparrowhawk since he is an old rival.

Soon, thanks to Lord Cob and his forces, Arren will be forced to save those he cares about, while being forced to confront his dark side which torments him so much, while also learning to appreciate his own life, regardless of the terrible mistakes he has made as he confronts a powerful evil.

The storyline I felt was rather interesting, even though I felt that at some points it could have done more to explore its characters, especially the troubled Arren who struggles with his dark side and how he doesn't seem to value his own life. Still, despite a few minor setbacks, I felt that it was a compelling fantasy world that was presented, especially with the characters that are center stage in this story. For the most part, the story does a good job of establishing their relationships, and laying out their conflicts, especially as they are tested in the face of such evil, and other strange things are revealed (Especially Therru's character). While the story doesn't always get around to explaining things, there's a lot going on in this story, which I felt was compelling and at times, even emotional when it spoke about the meanings of life and other topics.

The acting is also quite solid. Or, at least, for the Japanese voice track. I have not watched this film in English, because I'm a purist bastard who prefers films in their original, intended language. So therefore, I cannot comment on the quality of the all-star English voice cast. That being said, the Japanese voice-acting is top notch, and provided the necessary life and depth that I craved from the characters and their complex problems. The performances were believable and soulful, as well, making for an interesting, compelling, and emotional fantasy film that gripped me from start to finish.

As far as entertainment goes, I felt that this film had a lot to say about valuing one's life, while also creating an intriguing fantasy world that I was eager to learn more about thanks to the well developed and complex characters. I certainly don't agree with the detractors who say that the characters are bland and uninteresting. I thought they had a lot of interesting qualities, with each one feeling unique to each other, or how the plot played out the dynamics between Arren and Therru. Granted, the storyline does feel a tad condensed at times, and I wish that it had been given a longer running time to flesh out all its ideas and characters. But, despite any minor nitpicking, I found it to be an engaging, emotionally-charged, and beautiful fantasy film.

Tales From Earthsea does not deserve the bad reviews that it gets. It's much better than you've been led to believe. It's easily one of the most underrated films of the century, and I hope in future years it will get the appreciation it deserves. I can't guarantee that you'll like it, but I urge you to give it a fair chance before dismissing it. I think it's a fantastic, beautiful fantasy film.
July 21, 2015
An interesting film with fantastic animation. A few different plots that didn't meet very well nor seem to go anywhere in the end, which is a shame given the potential and the source material. Would have been great as the first in a series but that really isn't Ghibli's style so it's strange t me that they left so many loose ends.
June 17, 2015
I really loved this movie, I felt it had a beautiful message and a great plot. I really recommend it.
June 1, 2015
While definitely not the best film to come out of the Disney if Japan, tales from earth sea is beautiful, engaging and is horribly underrated, it's fair to say the Miyazaki legacy is certainly in worthy hands.
April 25, 2015
I can certainly understand why this film is one of the least popular of the Ghibli collection, but it's still worth seeing.
April 13, 2015
A very disappointing debut from Goro, Hayao Miyazaki's son.
March 15, 2015
The only Ghibli movie I"ve ever been disappointed in. Uneven pacing, poor character development, weak acting, ludicrous plot.
½ March 7, 2015
This is a terrible movie. It was worse when compared to other great movies by Studio Ghibli such as "Princess Mononoke" or "Castle In the Sky" or Any of the other Movies. It was even worse than the previously worst Studio Ghibli film that I had watched: "Pom Poko". So what is so bad about this movie? Everything except the animations.

Well, the plot is thin. It is about a kid and a wizard on a journey. This can be done well but it is not the case here. For being on a journey, there is no character development. Prince Arren, who is the main character had no incentive for the journey and was never given one. He went on it merely because he had nothing to do do after he kills his father 10 mins into the movie. There was never a good explanation why he did this and it makes you wonder how we were supposed to relate to him when the main thing he is shown to do was killing his father in cold blood. The wizard, Archmage Sparrowhawk, is also a character with nothing going for him. He is just on a journey because that is what he does. It is the only explanation given in the film. There was small points about magic failing and he needing to find something but none of that is ever explained so in all honesty, you might as well just accept that he is on a journey for the sake of walking around. The plot eventually introduces 2 female characters. They seem to be just there to be female to be honest because there is nothing going for them either. They exist simply to pair with the 2 male protagonists. They are only ever shown in distress or living their day to day lives. They could have been replaced with rocks for all the point they serve to bring the story along.

So the protagonists were paper thin but nothing is more paper thin than the antagonist. The big bad evil guy has nothing going for him besides the fact that he is evil. We don't learn anything more than that until near the end and even then, he was just evil but now he has an evil goal of trying to become immortal as part of his whole thing. He looks evil, he acts evil and he has evil henchmen. His plot isn't at all explained and what he is even doing isn't explained. His only real purpose was to be evil in the story to drive it forward and to give some conflict.

The movie had the theme of life and death and the struggle of existentialism in the second half to set an explanation for the actions of Arren and to drive forth some form of plot. It was delivered extremely slow and in terrible dialog. The basics of the circle of life and how you can't have life without death is then pushed forward. Evil guy doesn't buy this and wants to be immortal. It all comes down to the final conflict point. The good guys were pushing the whole life without death is meaningless and the evil guy was all against that. Well, it ends with the evil guy trying to kill one of the girls. She gets strangled and falls on the floor dead. Then with no explanation nor any sort of hint before hand it is relieved she is a dragon and immortal or something. So the whole speech about how life and death is importation might as well been a joke. The evil guy was right all along. You should just be immortal and them you don't have to worry about being strangled to death. Evil guy dies by the dragon fire and then its happily ever after.

The whole plot sucked. The delivery was slow at times and it was all over the place. Things would happen and you'd never get anything out of it. Nothing is explained and it just leaves you with nothing. Maybe you believe the whole schpeal about life being precious and you have to have death to have life but after the girl gets up after being strangled, she might as well have been immortal or something, I'd rather have that than being mortal and die from being strangled. Because of that the ending sucked for me as well.

Terrible movie. I feel worse for watching it. If I could asked for some of my precious time back I would. The whole idea of life being precious is a thing and this movie is a waste of my life, so to me, it feels like someone stole some of my life. I got more enjoyment out of writing this terrible review than I did for the entirety of the movie.
½ March 7, 2015
Tales From Earthsea was released by Studio Ghibli in 2006 and was directed by Goro Miyazaki, who is the son of the great Hayao Miyazaki. It was based upon a set of books and short stories in the "Earthsea" series by Ursula K. Le Guin. The film tells the story of young Arren, son of the king, who steals his father's sword, attempting to murder him, and running away from home. Along the way, he encounters a wizard named Sparrowhawk who takes him under his wing. During this time, dragons have been seen in the air fighting each other, signifying an unbalance in the world. Arren must confront his fears if he is going to be able to fight against this unbalance and help to restore it with the help of Sparrowhawk and a mysterious young girl. Tales From Earthsea, in all honesty, is a less than stellar title in the Studio Ghibli line-up. It's one of the only truly fantastical movies that the company has ever released that didn't have a deeper meaning to it. Movies like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle had much more depth to their characters and situations than this film, which is why I found to be a nearly total bore. I found myself yawning while watching it many times, waiting for something much more interesting to happen than standard fantasy fodder. I never really got that. The only character who comes close to having any depth is with the young girl Therru, and even her backstory is pretty standard for this type of story. As always in the Studio Ghibli films, Tales From Earthsea is beautiful to look at. The animation is some of the best that you're likely to find in any of their films, but the overall product feels hollow. It feels as if somebody was playing The Legend of Zelda or reading Eragon one day and decided to make an animated film in that vein. I can't say that for sure, of course, and it's very accusatory, but it certainly comes across that way to me. It's just another one of those epic fantasy films that feels pointlessly epic. There's no real threat to the characters at any time in the story. The only time it comes close to that is when Sparrowhawk leaves his home, leaving Arren, Therru, and Tenar exposed to Hare and the slavers. And, of course, that scene doesn't really go anywhere. Nothing happens, and everyone is perfectly fine. Poor dramatics will give me a reason to yawn every time. In the end, it's all a matter of preference really. Some people enjoy straight up fantasy without the need for standard dramatics, but not this person. I need a little more investment in the story to keep me interested. I need more from my characters than one dimensional dynamics. Sure it's lovely to look at, but there's got to be more to it than that. So Tales From Earthsea is a total miss for me. I love and adore nearly all of the films Studio Ghibli has released, but this falls at the bottom of the list for me. I felt nothing while watching it, which is the worst kind of movie to me.
February 2, 2015
Dark and gritty, yet bold and vibrant, it certainly has a lot of likable features. The setup is pretty solid and I don't mind a film that takes its time building up to its climax, but after all that, I was a tad disappointed by the ending. The theme was well-portrayed for the most part, but everything else just fell apart around it. And what was with all the dragon stuff?! Too many unanswered questions and not enough payoff. Great animation though.
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