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TALES FROM EARTHSEA - 4 stars

A lot of people don't like this film because it departs from the books tremendously.  And I agree that it does, but unlike HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE that devolved into a complete mess, this movie does tell a coherent story.Both HOWL and EARTHSEA went into production at the same time, with Hayao directing HOWL and his son, Goro directing EARTHSEA Hayao was very put out that the film was given to his son and not held for when he was free. He believed that his son did not have the experience for the job, and when Goro accepted the position refused to talk to his son until the film was over.  When it flopped in the box office he was by all accounts quiet smug.  I find it ironic that the complaints leveled against EARTHSEA are equally true of HOWL  and of the two films I find EARTHSEA to be better because at least it makes sense internal to itself. Miyazaki the younger, like his father can produce beautiful visuals that are a joy to watch.  My advice is go into the movie not expecting it to be EARTHSEA and you will enjoy it, but I can't give it the full 5 stars because it does depart from the books  a lot, I think the character names are the only things that stay the same.  4 stars