Gedo senki / Tales from the Earthsea (Miyazaki Goro, 2006)

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Jun-Dai
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Gedo senki / Tales from the Earthsea (Miyazaki Goro, 2006)

#1 Post by Jun-Dai » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:44 pm

I think there's enough information floating around about this film to fuel pages worth of speculation, so I thought I'd start a thread on it.

As mentioned in the "Films in Production" thread, Hayao Miyazaki's son, Goro Miyazaki, is going to direct Gedo senki (Tales from Earthsea) against his father's wishes. I guess this is going to be Ghibli's big film for 2006, as it has taken the main page at Studio Ghibli's Website.

On that site there's a production blog and a director's blog (both in Japanese).

Nausicaa.net has some details, including an aborted rough translation of the director's blog, courtesy of one Paul Barnier.

It will be interesting to see what Miyazaki does about the skin color of the characters. I'm also very curious to see what Ursula K. LeGuin's take on Miyazaki doing an adaptation. She links to it on her Website, and she apparently negotiated the arrangement (she was disappointed that Hayao isn't directing). The history of her reaction to the miniseries, which cast all white actors for the non-white lead characters, can be found here. Additionally, here's an essay by a fan on the subject, as well as a follow-up post, prompted by some responses.

I don't want to jump to premature conclusions, but some people seem to feel that the promo image for the film is not a good sign (the character definitely looks like a little white boy to my eyes).

GhibliWorld has a bunch of info, including a link to an interview with Suzuki (the producer), and a very rough translation (part one, part two).
Last edited by Jun-Dai on Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by Lino » Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:51 am

Like father, like son. Here is the trailer and it looks very promising. We'll see.

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#3 Post by King of Kong » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:11 am

I read The Wizard of Earthsea for a uni course recently. I would call it a kind of proto-Harry Potter (boy discovers he's a wizard and has adventures) only duller and without the humour. Perhaps the film can improve on that novel - assuming it's covered.

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#4 Post by Lino » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:41 am

Aren't you missing out on the main parts altogether? I haven't read it but from what I've been hearing these books are much more about finding our true selves and our role in the world we live in and the author uses a lot of psychological references (mainly from Jung regarding the Shadow and the need to come face to face with our mortality and making peace with all that) to tell her story. It seems this is quite out of the ordinary for a children's story and your post leaves me quite surprised at your bland take on it.

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#5 Post by Jun-Dai » Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:35 pm

Hmm. I bet Ursula's not going to be happy when she sees this trailer.

Which makes this post seem kind of interesting.

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#6 Post by King of Kong » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:05 pm

Annie Mall wrote:Aren't you missing out on the main parts altogether? I haven't read it but from what I've been hearing these books are much more about finding our true selves and our role in the world we live in and the author uses a lot of psychological references (mainly from Jung regarding the Shadow and the need to come face to face with our mortality and making peace with all that) to tell her story. It seems this is quite out of the ordinary for a children's story and your post leaves me quite surprised at your bland take on it.
I did notice some undertones of that sort, but that whole shadow thing felt superficial - it wasn't explored in the kind of detail I would've liked. The story was on the sketchy side too and character development minimal. I understand that they're kids' books - but other childrens' authors have tackled complex themes more successfully - i.e. Richard Adams, Michael Ende, etc.

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#7 Post by Lino » Fri Apr 14, 2006 3:44 am


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#8 Post by Steven H » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:53 pm

This film was released this past weekend in Japan and topped it's box office (905 million yen). Andrez Bergen from The Daily Yomiuri called it "'Sword in the Stone' meets 'Zatoichi'" while isn't as impressed Mark Schilling, at The Japan Times, and might be the only person in existence to notice the tendency in Japanese art (or any medium) to repeat itself.

Seriously though, I rarely agree with Schilling's assessments, and I'm sure I'm not alone, but I have to admit his words put me off a little. I'm antsy to see this one, and I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I'm definitely not expecting the adventure storytelling genius of Miyazaki, or the humanity and comedy of Takahata. I'm hoping for something new.

According to the Le Guin posting/standard author's statement of "book better than movie", due to legal rights issues no Legend of Earthsea in US until 2009? That's terrible news.

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#9 Post by Jun-Dai » Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:38 pm

I'm glad she tried as hard as she did to find things to like about in the film. It seemed unlikely that she would be satisfied with the result (I say this without having seen the film), and certainly it was worrying that the characters were not unambiguously non-white in the trailer (actually, they looked pretty unambiguously European, but hey, benefit of the doubt I guess).

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#10 Post by Lino » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:37 am

Steven H wrote:According to the Le Guin posting/standard author's statement of "book better than movie", due to legal rights issues no Legend of Earthsea in US until 2009? That's terrible news.
You can always order the DVD when it gets released. Studio Ghibli DVDs always come with english subs.

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#11 Post by Steven H » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:45 am

Seeing Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle in the theatre with friends and family was a joy. It's a real shame this Ghibli won't be playing here. And as much as I love the opportunity to buy english subtitled films from Japan, they're almost always twice as expensive as they would be here.

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#12 Post by Lino » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:38 pm

If you're curious to listen to the song on the film that Ms Le Guin raves about, here it is.

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#13 Post by Dear Catastrophe Totoro » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:08 pm

Steven H wrote:Seeing Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle in the theatre with friends and family was a joy. It's a real shame this Ghibli won't be playing here.

I second that. I saw Howl at the El Capitan for the West Coast premiere. I think most of the audience consisted of CalArts students, so needless to say, it was a thrill being with such an abnormally intelligent and reverent audience.

There is something about this film that is rubbing me the wrong way. From the trailer, it looks closer to a normal, non-Ghibli fantasy anime with some Miyazaki-inspired character designs. Of course, that says nothing for the story, but...

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#14 Post by manicsounds » Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:22 pm

I finally watched this movie yesterday, and I must say that it was a disappointment for me. Although I can praise it for a few things, especially Theru's Theme song, most of the movie was filled with too many holes.

Cramming that entire series into a 115 minute movie is the first problem.
(I'm not very sure about the running time, it seemed shorter than that.)
Many characters backstories were not explained, objectives, goals, reasons, rules, traditions, and society was not gone into detail enough to undstand what the hell "Earthsea" was.

The animation was not Ghibli's top notch, as a lot of the movie reminded me of Nausicaa from 1984 rather than their recent material, although there were a few very incredible segments, but paled in comparisson to their previous movies. It didn't break any new ground.

You know what though, I'll still probably will get the DVD when it comes out. Just to say, this is the first disappointment from Ghibli. But I don't blame it anywhere on Goro.

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#15 Post by Lino » Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:57 am


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#16 Post by Steven H » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:17 pm

This film will be out in HK DVD (tentatively) on 2/5, according to this listing at yesasia.com, with english subtitles.

Even with the decidedly unenthusiastic reviews, complaints from the novelist, and this film winning the number one spot on Japan's version of the Razzies (Bunshun Raspberry Awards), I'm still excited to see it (even if it's a misstep). Since the director has repeatedly said that the early Takahata/Miyazaki film Horus: Prince of the Sun was a heavy influence, I watched it to get a feel a couple of weeks ago, and though primitive and rushed (in comparison with other Ghibli efforts), it was still enjoyable. I hope for at least that in Tales from the Earthsea, the director's first film.

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#17 Post by Lino » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:21 pm

Steven H wrote:This film will be out in HK DVD (tentatively) on 2/5, according to this listing at yesasia.com, with english subtitles.
So soon? I was thinking I had to wait until the Summer for this one, at least! Thanks for the heads-up!

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#18 Post by Steven H » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:39 pm

It looks like the HK version is a bust, with a new release date of May 31st, but cdjapan is listing an official R2 version with english subs to be released on July 4th.

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#19 Post by patrick » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:23 pm

Even with the decidedly unenthusiastic reviews, complaints from the novelist, and this film winning the number one spot on Japan's version of the Razzies (Bunshun Raspberry Awards), I'm still excited to see it (even if it's a misstep). Since the director has repeatedly said that the early Takahata/Miyazaki film Horus: Prince of the Sun was a heavy influence, I watched it to get a feel a couple of weeks ago, and though primitive and rushed (in comparison with other Ghibli efforts), it was still enjoyable. I hope for at least that in Tales from the Earthsea, the director's first film.
Didn't Hayao himself get mad at his son for making this movie?

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#20 Post by Steven H » Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:53 pm

patrick wrote:Didn't Hayao himself get mad at his son for making this movie?
I don't know if it's specifically about Earthsea, or his career change in general, but yes, I believe he made a stink about it. For what it's worth, he's also admitted to being a lousy father.

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#21 Post by ghostargot » Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:00 pm

Steven H wrote:It looks like the HK version is a bust, with a new release date of May 31st, but cdjapan is listing an official R2 version with english subs to be released on July 4th.
YesAsia is now taking pre-orders for this in standard edition and a $73 (!) Special Edition.

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#22 Post by DDillaman » Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:42 am

or, for those looking for an excuse to visit New Zealand, it's playing at the NZ Film Festival. Auckland date is 14th July.

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#23 Post by soma » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:08 pm


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#24 Post by patrick » Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:38 pm

Our store got in one of the versions, I haven't taken a close look at it to know if it's the HK or Japanese version. I know there's supposedly rights issues preventing it from getting released in the US until the Sci-Fi channel no longer owns the rights to the property, but my boss is convinced that Disney is going to have a hard time selling this since, in his estimation, it could very likely get an R rating. I guess I should watch it to see for myself, but I'm having a hard time getting excited.


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