Welcome to the week of Ghibli everyone! An entire week dedicating myself to watching different Ghibli films for seven days. This will be one of the easier projects I have had, particularly because I love and grew up with Ghibli and own every film but Ocean Waves…yet even then it will be mine in due time. The thing is I haven’t watched all the films, even some of the extremely acclaimed works like Princess Mononoke. So this week is to remind myself of the years of wonderment Ghibli has given me, and helping to culminate my passion for animation. Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, A Goofy Movie, and My Neighbour Totoro are all films that started me down the path of wanting to be in film some way or another and hopefully make it to animation someday (for writing because I can’t animate even if I wanted to). That’s why giving my fair and honest opinions on films I have yet to watch in their catalogue is one of the things I feel I need to do. Something that I as a fan of animation needs to do. So welcome to Ghibli Week on the blog and hopefully we can have a fun time.
The first film I decided to look at was the supposed “worst” title in the Ghibli catalogue by many fans. Tales from Earthsea was an adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series along with a manga created by Hayao Miyazaki. One would think the master himself would be the one directing something that is a classic fantasy series and one that took forever to get the rights for an adaptation as Le Guin was known to decline offers for adaptation. Instead the studio decided to give such a big job to Miyazaki’s son, Goro, someone Miyazaki has even been said to have declined originally for the role of director stating his inexperience. The inexperience of Goro shows again with Le Guin’s own personal take on the film after it was release, explaining how much of the film was nothing like her series and focused more on the violence and using the characters but none of the story. Creating a pseudo-adaptation of the Earthsea series, Goro Miyazaki’s Tales from Earthsea’s is known to be quite controversial. Is it as lackluster as many point it out to be, or is this a misunderstood gem that deserves a second chance at life?