Rival wizards clash in a magical world as Studio Ghibli adapts the complex stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
Cult sci-fi and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin does not write books that are easy to adapt. But then, Studio Ghibli doesn’t make obvious adaptations.
So it is that we have this complex story of Sparrowhawk (Dalton), the most powerful wizard in Earthsea, and his attempts to protect a prince from the evil machinations of a rival wizard (Dafoe).
The film departs significantly from the book, bringing in the usual Ghibli themes of environmental balance, inner peace and struggle with one’s own dark side, but it still finds time for the magical set-pieces that set this studio’s work apart. On this evidence, director Goro Miyazaki (son of Hayao) is a chip off the old block and a talent to watch.
The set pieces make this well worth watching while director Goro Miyazaki shows he's truly his father's son.