When Goro Miyazaki, the son of Hayao Miyazaki, announced in 2006 that he would direct a new film through Studio Ghibli, there was lots of speculation and anticipation to see whether he could follow in his fathers footsteps. Adapted from the fantasy series by Ursula K. Le Guin, Tales From Earthsea (Gedo Senki) is a story about Archmage Sparrowhawk, a powerful and loyal wizard trying to find the reason for Earthseas decline in balance and its agricultural failure. He is joined by the young and troubled Prince Arren, who is a mysterious character throughout the entire film. Sparrowhawk and Arren go on a dangerous journey to restore the balance of Earthsea, by trying to discover what or who is the cause behind the lands downfall.
Arren and Sparrwohawk find themselves in Hort Town, a beautiful yet dark place, where slaves are sold and the evil wizard Cob resides. Within the town, Arren finds himself saving a young girl from Cobs henchmen, who instead of thanking him runs away. This leads Arren and Sparrowhawk to visit the Archmages old friend Tenar, for a place to stay. Which also happens to be the home of the young girl Arren previously saved (Therru).
During the film we see the characters reveal secrets and mysteries, which makes for a very good watch. Unlike any other Ghibli film, Tales from Earthsea is darker and more sinister, with it perhaps scaring younger audiences rather than enticing them. If you have seen any of Hayao Miyazakis films you will know that this is far from any film that he has directed. However, don’t look at it from this angle, if you compare, then you may have a negative view on Earthsea. As an over view, it still is an amazingly beautiful film. The idilic and perfect scenery of the towns and villages proves once again that it is a stunning Ghibli film (see poster below). Even though Goro isn’t as experienced as his father, he still makes an exceptional film in the shape of Earthsea. Don’t let anything put you off, as it is definatley a good choice for the Ghibli collection.