Tales from Earthsea is a new animated adventure from Walt Disney Studios and Studio Ghibli and is based on the series of books written by Ursula K. Le Guin. In many circles, this series is books is considered one of the greatest in fantasy literature.
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From famed Japanese animators Studio Ghibli comes “Tales from Earthsea,” a sweeping adventure set in a mythical world filled with magic and bewitchment. An epic tale of redemption and self-discovery, the story follows the journey of Lord Archmage Sparrowhawk (voice of Timothy Dalton), the master wizard, as he searches for the force behind a mysterious disturbance that has caused an imbalance in the land of Earthsea—suddenly crops and livestock are dwindling, dragons have reappeared and humanity is giving way to chaos. Along the way he rescues Arren (voice of Matt Levin), a troubled young prince who has fled his home and is being pursued by an enigmatic shadow. Arren joins Sparrowhawk on the quest and, moving closer to their intertwined destinies, they cross paths with Tenar (voice of Mariska Hargitay), a former priestess, and her disfigured adopted daughter, Therru. With Sparrowhawk’s magical powers dissipating, all of them must band together to defeat the evil Cob (voice of Willem Dafoe) and his henchman Hare (voice of Cheech Marin) before Cob’s mania to find immortality destroys Earthsea.
Director Goro Miyazaki’s father is Hayao Miyazaki who was inspired by Le Guin’s book series during his time working on the 1983 comic book Shuna’s Journey as well as popular film Princess Mononoke. Goro Miyazaki discovered the book series in high school and believes that modern audiences can learn life lessons from its story — mainly how mankind should treat the planet. Perhaps as an homage to Hayao Miyazaki, Tales from Earthsea maintains an aesthetic inspired by Shuna’s Journey.
U.S. audiences can expect to see Tales from Earthsea in theaters on August 13, 2010.