ゲド戦記 (Tales From Earthsea)
Directed by 宮崎吾朗 (Goro Miyazaki) (2006)
jusco’s Rating: ★★
I honestly don’t know where to start. Despite my love for Studio Ghibli, Tales From Earthsea was a disaster. It’s true, Goro Miyazaki did have an unbelievable amount of pressure from the entire world just because he was the son of Hayao Miyazaki; but so, so disappointing. Based very loosely on the books by Ursula K. Le Guin (according to her, the plot was “entirely different”), it is a typical, generic fantasy film. Young and main hero who struggles with his own fears? Check. Wise wizard aka caring mentor? Check. Pretty and determined young lady who eventually helps the hero find his way? Check. Oh, don’t forget the dragons and magical sword.
To be fair, most fantasy stories are generic, but the problem was how it felt more like a random mix of disjointed elements than a well-blended, coherent film. Sad to say, I felt I was watching a lame fantasy film like Eragon, just with pretty animations. Even the animation felt sluggish at times, though I have to admit there were a few breathtaking scenes. It seemed as if Goro Miyazaki was trying so hard to find the balance between staying faithful to the books and forging an original, innovative film. It’s a pity he failed to please any side.
The biggest redeeming factor was the theme song, Therru’s Song (listen to it below). It is one of the most beautiful Ghibli songs and talks about the loneliness that plagues one’s heart. The film might have been a flop, but the message it brings across is an important one. Only when you finally accept the fact that you will die someday, will you then be able to live to the fullest.