Tales from Earthsea (2010)

Tales from Earthsea (2010)

2010 | PG-13 | 115 Minutes

Adventure | Science Fiction | Fantasy | Animation

Something bizarre has come over the land. The kingdom is deteriorating. People are beginning to act strange... What's even more strange is that people are beginning to see dragons, which shouldn't...

Overall Rating

5 / 10
Verdict: So-So

User Review

  • Tales From Earthsea lacks narrative depth and grounded characters. Yet another epic fantasy that reeks of grandeur and adventure. The gentle imaginative breezes of life from 'Princess Mononoke' and the companionship and embrace of its protagonists from 'Laputa'. Yet Goro Miyazaki is unable to uphold an interesting plot and lacks the emotive storytelling that his father has perfected. Culminating in what is Ghibli's weakest and most forgettable animation. A young boy carrying a legendary sword comes across a roaming archmage who saves his life. Whilst looking after him, an evil wizard wants to kill the archmage and does so by corrupting the young boy. Oh, and there are dragons! Ploughing fields and other farming chores. Talking...lots and lots of uncharacterised dialogue. Hmmm, yes this is an absolute disappointment. The environment was there! A vast land that, could've been, filled with mythical creatures and exhilarating magic. But for some unknown reason Miyazaki instead settled for a tame drama set on a farm? Dabbling into lessons regarding life, immortality and the regression in consuming what I can only describe as "happy berries". Unusually slow for experienced Ghibli viewers and extremely dark for younger audiences, it's a story that just doesn't know what it wants to be. There are occasional glimpses of the studio's excellence, especially the final battle. But a ridiculously underdeveloped introductory scene leaves the protagonist to be unlikeable throughout the majority of the film's runtime. What also doesn't help is the host of one-dimensional supporting characters that make for unnecessary scenes. As always though, the animation studio have drawn beautiful landscapes that are populated with attentive detail and rich textures. The voice acting from the English dub, particularly from Dalton, was surprisingly fitting. Although Dafoe's sinister quiet voice didn't suit the antagonist and somewhat frustrated me. The third act does contain some excitement but it's all too late at that time. Earthsea has a worthwhile story somewhere, unfortunately this tale isn't it.