Earthsea crossing the Pacific

Looks like Gedo Senki is finally being released in the US:

Disney has announced that it will theatrically release Studio Ghibli’s Tales from Earthsea (Gedo Senki) in the US on August 13th under its Touchstone Pictures banner. The movie, directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of revered anime director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro) several books from Ursula K. Le Guin’s series of novel. The feature premiered in Japan back in 2006, and hit other English speaking territories, such as the UK and Australia since then, but its US release has been delayed due to the Sci-Fi Channel’s now expiring hold on the Earthsea rights.

Cast for the English dub includes Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin and Mariska Hargitay.

Reviews of the movie weren’t especially positive, especially by the standards of the frequently lauded Studio Ghibli, and it is generally remembered a cause of friction between Hayao and Goro Miyazaki. Le Guin was likewise cold to the work.

Presumably, Disney will get the characters right on the box art! ๐Ÿ˜›

For what it was worth, I really enjoyed the movie, especially the visuals. Obviously, UKL is the authority on whether the movie was true to her vision or not, but as a reader I have equal claim to interpret it, and I frankly thought the movie evoked the spirit of the Earthsea universe well. Especially the dragons. They really, really got the dragons right. The reviewer at TOR was also positive, but restrained, so your mileage may vary – but I definitely recommend this, especially for watching with older kids.

enjoying Gedo Senki

I was pleasantly surprised, and not from low expectations either. I actually enjoyed this movie. In fact it reminded me in some ways of Princess Mononoke. It was a visual feast of course, but the key to its value was in realizing that this was just a tale within the Earthsea universe. You enter the world with its history intact, and that history is referenced but not fully detailed. Of course we see Ged and Tenar, but they are truly peripheral. The film engages you in the main characters, Arren and Therru. And even the villain has a motive that makes you at least partly pity him. And I certainly wasn’t expecting either of the two great shocking events, one at the start and the other at the end, to occur.

I dont know what else to say, other than I truly expected to hate this film but it’s certainly better than Howl’s Moving Castle. Guess I’ll setup that Gedo Senki category after all.

Some screenshots below the fold.

Continue reading “enjoying Gedo Senki”

new Earthsea trailer

Studio Ghibli has posted a new trailer for Gedo Senki online. Ged/Sparrow has a lot more screen time in this one. It’s wierd, but his boat is exactly like I imagined it. I still have no idea whether this is going to be a disaster or a masterpiece – possibly neither – but at least it is going to be pretty.

AICN also reports that a special preview of the film will be held July 7-9 in 17 selected cities. 20,000 fans will get invitations to the screening by lottery.

Earthsea synopsis via UKL

via Don, a synopsis of the upcoming anime adaptation of Tales of Earthsea by Studio Ghibli. LeGuin herself was given the synopsis by the director. She writes,

Studio Ghibli and Mr Goro Miyazaki recently sent me the synopsis of their forthcoming film, Gedo Senki (Tales of Ged), which is to be released in Japan in July 2006. I asked if I might post the translation on my website, and was kindly granted permission. Any inquiries should be directed to Studio Ghibli, please, not to me, as I have no further information concerning the film, and of course will not discuss it until I have seen it.

รขโ‚ฌโ€ UKL April 21, 2006.

The film will apparently not be a retelling of how Ged came to be the Lord Archmage, but takes place after he has already become the great wizard of his destiny. There are familiar faces from the early stories, though.

Gedo Senki: Legend of Earthsea

Studio Ghibli is producing an anime version of Ursula K. LeGuin’s classic science fiction series, The Legend of Earthsea. It is being directed by Moro Miyazaki, son of the legendary Hayao.

For a fan of science fiction alone, this would be incredibly exciting news. As a fledgling otaku my anticipation can now extend along the anime axis as well! Of course there is no guarantee that the junior Miyazaki is as talented as the father, nor is there any guarantee that a piece of literature will survive the transition to film. Bicentennial Man was a real stab in the heart for Asimov purists, and I’ve ranted on the H2G2 movie before. But there are successes – witness the glory that was Blade Runner (an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). I think that the anime format suits the subject matter far better than live-action and have high hopes indeed.

Most of those high hopes being fed by what I’ve already seen of the film, of course. You can view the trailer as a Flash movie at or at YouTube.

There’s also a production blog (translated by