Back on June 23rd I wrote up the Studio Ghibli film Earthsea. The film has started playing around the country on a limited basis. If you can, you really need to see this on the big screen. I think it's a great film.
I know newspaper reviews have been mixed, but that shouldn't stop you from going. I think the fact that the film is almost nothing like any other Ghibli film or American animated film has people confused and disappointed because they want something they aren't getting. This is a serious adventure film not a humorous film (I think the New York Times took it to task for not being funny.) I think many people still haven't gotten that animation is just another way to tell a story.
Let go of your expectations and just see this film. This is a movie that is very much it's own animal and I'm guessing in five or six years down the road people will come to realize this isn't a bad film. Hell, even some of the Hayao Miyazaki's films were not well recieved upon their first go through theathers in the US (Howl's Moving Castle anyone?)
Go see it. Make up your own mind.
THREE THINGS NOT TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ABOUT THE FILM
1-The rude words between father and son. The public war of words between the elder Miyazaki Hayao(who started work on the film) and his son, Goro, (who finished film) has been sighted as a nail in the film's coffin. Of course no one takes into account that the pair has been icy for years and its basically a family squabble in the press.
2- Urusla LeGuin hates the film. I'm not sure she's seen it. But you have to remember she wanted the rights to the film back when Hayao stepped away from the project saying she only gave the rights if he directed it. Her unkind words started before a frame had been shot.
3- Summer Wars made more money than this film. Perhaps but since when is the amount of money indication of a films quality? Go take a look at the US box office chart and you'll see what I mean. Also keep in mind that talk that Summer Wars knocked this film off the box office chart while in theaters didn't happen since the films were made three years apart. One may have out grossed the other but one didn't replace the other as the weekly champion. (And Summer Wars is a damn fine film that I believe is getting a limited release this fall. I'm guessing the bashing of Earthsea is an out growth of publicity for that film)