Ghibli’s Tales from Earthsea gets US release

Disney has just announced that it will theatrically release Goro Miyazaki’s Tales from Earthsea (Gedo Senki) in the US on August 13th under its Touchstone Pictures banner. This marks the second fully animated feature to be released under that label — the first being Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, another Touchstone picture, was live-action/animated).

Hayao Miyazaki’s son, Goro directed this adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels in 2006. The film was held up from US distribution due to an existing non-compete arrangement with Sci-Fi Channel, over their live action mini-series based on the same material. The voice cast in Disney’s dub includes Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin and Mariska Hargitay.

(Thanks, Liam)


  • adangeus

    Now why aren’t US trailers like this? Such a peaceful vibe…..makes me want to see the movie even more. I am sick and tired of all those loud shrek trailers, give me something like this and I will be more interested in their movies.
    As a big fan of the earthsea books, I have high expectations for this. But I hear that it’s not that as good as other ghibli works? If anyone here has already seen the movie, can they comment on what it was like?

  • Robin

    Tales of the Earthsea is the weakest of Ghibli Studio’s work to date, and I don’t think it will do that well in this theatre release. I am not sure why they are still considering such a move when dvd was already out in the market for a while. The pace is really slow, editing can be alot better, the story is held back on many levels.

  • http://www.animationanomaly.com Charles K.

    Wow, I was wondering when this would get a US release. I bought my copy the last time I was home (Ireland) in 2008!

    It is definitely not the same as Hayao’s films and many people have come away disappointed having expected as much. I, on the other hand, was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it even more the second time around.

    A film well worth checking out if you’re looking for something a wee bit different :)

  • Kid

    Am I suppose to be impressed?

  • Steve R.

    I’ve already seen it and it didn’t leave a good impression on me eithe

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    According to LeGuin’s Web site, when she viewed the finished print she told Miyazaki: “This isn’t my book, this is your movie.” She meant it in a nice way, but it was one more indication of how troubled the film was. From everything I’ve heard about the film it could very well be the “Heaven’s Gate” of animation.

  • Christine

    Some background for those who forgot about the brouhaha this film caused:
    http://animatedfilms.suite101.com/article.cfm/miyazaki_family_feud_redux
    (this replaces the link from Amid in 2006 that doesn’t work anymore)

    Here’s LeGuin’s response to the film:
    http://www.ursulakleguin.com/GedoSenkiResponse.html
    In short, the movie is very loosely based on LeGuin’s novels. Like the Scifi series, she’s also peeved that they didn’t make the characters ‘people of color’.

    From the bootleg bits I’ve watched online, it looks a whole heck of a lot like every other Miyzazki movie in terms of character design, and the story is a little convoluted. I’d be interested to see how the dub sounds.

  • http://kellytindall.blogspot.com Kelly Tindall

    FINALLY.

    Jeez, four years is far, far too long to have to wait… Particularly due to a badly-reviewed t.v. movie. Can’t wait to see it, at long last.

  • VinceP

    Great!! I’m really looking forward to this. It looks wonderful. For me, anything from Ghibli or Pixar and I will probably enjoy it very much!

  • http://www.kohrtoons.com Robert Kohr

    I am a HUGE fan of Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibili to the extent that I was seriously considering learning Japanese and moving there and trying to work for them (or intern). I even made a pilgrimage to the Museum (which is freaking awesome), John Lasseter was there as well, it was cool to chat with him some where where no one knew who he was :P

    All that said. Tales of Earthsea had to be one of THE most boring films I ever saw. I fell asleep about 20 minutes in. The story was slow and it completely lacked any charm. Its Ghibili’s ‘Black Caldron’ if you ask me. Sorry Goro good luck next time.

  • NC

    Is anyone else disturbed that Disney had Cheech Marin in there? Really? Howl’s Moving Castle had one REAL voice actor in there (Crispin Freeman) and he had one line in the movie. Willem DaFoe I can see, he has a great voice. Seriously though, CHEECH? Cheech Marin in a Miyazaki film. It’s like putting Dane Cook in The Hurt Locker.

  • http://www.hipchickcomics.com Ashanti

    I hate to say this but the Studio Ghibli’s films are starting to look stale. Another deer riding hero and a Mononoke-type heroine. I don’t care if the setting is different, characters shouldn’t be rehashed for subsequent films.

  • Tedzey

    Wow… they totally ended that trailer on a downer note. The hero shackled with a chick telling him that he should appreciate life more. :P

  • Andrew Laubacher

    I wish I could see what the elder Miyazaki would have done with this story. I know that he was interested in the project, even though he was against his son directing it.

  • drunkenpandaren

    Even though this is considered as to be one of the weakest Ghibli film. It’s still pretty cool. It has dragons and shit!

  • Glindahl

    Why on earth are they showing the worst animated film in history. I got kicked out of my schools anime club for making fun of the dubbed version. The plot makes no sense, its boring, and half the time its just screen shots of countrysides.

  • NC

    I haven’t seen it but I’m sure that a bad Studio Ghibli film will still be pretty good cinema. Like Pixar, a bad Pixar film is still better than most studios in general (I’d watch Cars over Transformers any day). I think we’re so used to seeing A+ work from them that when they do A- or even B+ work we treat it like an F.

  • droosan

    Here’s hoping we’ll eventually see ONLY YESTERDAY get a north american release (though, it has been available in english on DVD in the UK for some time).

    It’s a slow — but beautiful — film, with an amazing finale sequence that never fails to elicit a tearful smile. Definitely my favorite of Takahata’s Ghibli movies.

  • http://sachiosavingsbank.blogspot.com/ Sachio

    This is a pretty bad ghibli movie. I went to see it with my sister when it came out in Japan and watching the trailer now reminds me of just how dull it was. It really bothered me how pathetic the main hero is, and I don’t mind a human protagonist with a bunch of flaws, but this one didn’t leave me sympathetic or inspired. The character designs are recycled from all over the place and plot is boring. The ending is unsatisfying.

    Also, I was really embarassed by the lack of subtlety! “I hate anyone who doesn’t value life” would never have been a line in nausicaa or grave of the fireflies. So is that what this movie is all about..

  • GhaleonQ

    And yet Summer Wars (and other better than or competitive with Ghibli flounder overseas). That’s why people take to piracy.

  • Jared Pettitt

    I really liked this movie, but I agree that the story was incredibly weak. It wasn’t due to a lack of attention, I just don’t think the film flowed well, the story was all over the place. I just really liked the tone, the melancholy of the movie. I’d never seen (and have yet to see) a fantasy movie that seemed presented it’s world so believably. This is ignoring the ending though, which is ridiculous and destroys any good qualities that the rest of the movie had.

    I’d love for Miyazaki Goro to continue to make movies, he obviously (to me, anyway) has a knack for setting up a world, he just needs a story supervisor or something.

  • TheVok

    Hey, Cheech has done some great, non-jokey work in recent years.

  • http://drunkduck.com/anecdote Marbles

    Haven’t seen the movie like some people have, but what struck me about this trailer is that the character designs and visuals in general look a couple of notches below Ghibli’s standard, to me. The characters look a llittle more typically “TV anime,” than their other films. (I hate to give vague-sounding generalities like that, but I don’t know any better way to describe what I mean). I don’t have anything against TV anime in itself, I just hate the staleness that dominates now, and how the current trend seems to be very hard-edged characters with no curves, and boiled-down recycled characteristics of far better-designed characters that came before.
    Incest and self-cannibalization, basically.
    Not saying Ghibli’s at that point, but I was surprised that some of that TV cheapness seems to have influenced the look of this film. I’m sure Goro Miyazaki would completely disagree, but what can I say? That was the lingering impression I was left with.

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    On the bright side, this proves Disney is fulfilling its obligation to release even the worst Ghibli film despite the fact none of them ever make any money… I guess that’s something.

  • Malodac

    Specifically, the movement is stilted, the plots are confusing, and the voice-over work is apparently done by stammering robots.

  • FigmentJedi

    There’s a reason Hayao was pissed his son decided he wanted to direct. He just doesn’t have the “make awesome animated movies” genes.

  • YO

    I actually enjoyed this movie. I dont quite understand why it is disliked so much, and I dont think it should have won a razzie award. I definitely do think that its not ghibli’s best, but most definitely not their worst.

  • sabrina

    this movie was ok but hayao miyazaki is still the best and always will be. i wish he wouldnt retire he makes amazing movies like howls moving castle.