Saturday, August 14, 2010

Miyazaki Minus the Magic

TALES FROM EARTHSEA, Goro Miyazaki's adaptation of Oregon SF author Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea stories, is finally playing in the U.S., three years after its debut in Japan. (The reason for the delay: SyFy Channel had the exclusive U.S. rights to the Earthsea stories until this year.) And one of the five theaters in the U.S. showing the movie is the Landmark here in West L.A.

I wish I could recommend that you run out and see it if it's playing near you. Unfortunately, I can't. I saw the movie on a DVD I picked up during our 2007 Japan trip (thank you, Disney, for putting English subtitles on the Japanese DVDS of Studio Ghibli movies); and found it drained of most of the magic prevalent in the anime made by Goro's father, Hayao Miyazaki. I blogged about TALES OF EARTHSEA here (

It's great to see anime on a big screen. And EARTHSEA does boast character designs based on the elder Miyazaki's art. But EARTHSEA serves primarily as a reminder of everything extraordinary about Hayao Miyazaki's movies -- because all of that is missing from EARTHSEA.

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