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Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.
Chloë Grace Moretz,
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.
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 enter the world of humans. Due to all these bizarre events, Ged, a wandering wizard, is investigating the cause. During his journey, he meets Prince Arren, a young distraught teenage boy. While Arren may look like a shy young teen, he has a severe dark side, which grants him strength, hatred, ruthlessness and has no mercy, especially when it comes to protecting Teru. For the witch Kumo this is a perfect opportunity. She can use the boy's "fears" against the very one who would help him, Ged. Written by
Anime News Network
Although I am a fan of most Ghibli productions and Ursula Le Guinn's fantasy series, I could not help but feel disappointed at Ghibli's latest production.
Ghibli Studios has long been hailed as the Disney of the East, led by Miyazaki Hayao's leadership and captivating masterpieces (Totoro, Laputa, Nasuica, etc.). Even the more serious works by Takahata Isao had strong messages underlying every story (Pon Poko, Omoide Poro Poro, etc.). Miyazaki Goro's debut is a novice's work-in-progress and an apprentice's workshop exercise, at best.
The rearranging of Earthsea's storyline was interesting to figure out, but filled with flaws. The theme of Book 1 "A Wizard of Earthsea" was applied to a different character (Arren), whose prior mistake in life was not clarified well in terms of motive. Reference was made to Book 2 "The Tombs of Atuan" but without any hints that lend itself to proper character development (Tenar). Book 3 "The Farthest Shore" served as the drive for the main story but some major themes and fascinating western lands of the dragons were left out. Book 4 "Tehanu" serves a different purpose in the Earthsea series, especially for Ged, and so that theme was also not properly presented. In addition, the depiction and explanation of one of the main Book 4 characters, Therru, was lacking and so most audiences might be confused by the eventual ending of the Ghibli adaptation. However, Miyazaki Goro should be applauded at least for trying to adapt this legendary work into such a compact amalgamation.
Comparisons to the books aside, as an animated movie, the real problem with this production is that it fails to really capture the audience. Miyazaki Hayao had a sense of touch when it came to building mystery and creating curiosity among the audience regarding the storyline, while offering good pacing with action and character/story development. Even Takahata Isao's slower more serious stories had deep nostalgia built into his moralistic messages. Gedo Senki failed to capture the audience by building enough mystery, hence interest in the development of the story, or offering purposeful action scenes, or enriching the dialogue well enough to deliver a deep philosophical message behind the now already unoriginal existential questions for living. But, simply as a stand alone story, it falls flat. If these were done well, the story rearrangement from the original would add on to make Miyazaki Goro a genius.
Still, there is some value to this film. The music and song lyrics (Japanese version, at least) captured the essence of the original themes best. Fans of Earthsea and Ghibli, however, may get a kick from either trying to figure out the storyline rearrangement or identifying Ghibli icons that have shown up in past works. Other than that, it would seem like just a sub-par animated movie for TV.
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