[[quoteright:310: http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tales_from_earth_sea_xl_01--film-B.jpg ]]
[[caption-width-right:310:Don't let this fool you. The movie is NOT about dragons. ]]

A StudioGhibli animated film based on the first, third, and fourth novels in the ''[[Literature/EarthseaTrilogy Earthsea]]'' series by Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin. [=LeGuin's=] response to the film can be found [[http://www.ursulakleguin.com/GedoSenkiResponse.html here]]. In a nutshell, she thought the film suffered in comparison to her own novels and that is was overly violent and [[{{Anvilicious}} preachy]], and that the characters are too white (which is a serious issue for Le Guin), but that the movie was merely dissatisfying rather than outright bad. Given Le Guin's [[DisownedAdaptation vehemently negative opinions]] of all prior attempts at adapting her work to other media this can be interpreted as getting off lightly. (Critics broadly agreed with [=LeGuin=]. The movie scores 41% on RottenTomatoes, by far the worst score of all the Ghibli films.)

The film was directed by Creator/HayaoMiyazaki's son Goro, as Miyazaki had planned to retire. The elder Miyazaki's own reaction to the end product reportedly caused some friction between father and son, as well as some concern on the part of Studio Ghibli management over their ongoing lack of a new generation of directors capable of taking over for founding directors Miyazaki and Creator/IsaoTakahata.

While this film is covered under the Disney/Ghibli distribution deal, licensing issues with the {{SciFi Channel}} miniseries had prevented it from being released in North America. It finally hit US shores in August of 2010, with the dub cast featuring the likes of Willem Dafoe, Timothy Dalton, and Mariska Hargitay.


!!This film contains examples of:

* AdaptedOut: Orm Embar, Kalessin, the Children of the Sea and Therru's father.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness / InformedDeformity: Therru. In the original books she suffered from third-degree burns on her face. In the movie, the left side of it is somewhat redder than the rest of her skin. Interestingly, slave-traders still call her ugly.
* AdaptationDistillation: It's a mix of several of the books. Le Guin said what confused her most about the film was she kept expecting it to follow one of the original plots. If you really want to be specific it mixes the storyline of The Farthest Shore with some elements of Tehanu.
** AdaptationExplanationExtrication: Nonetheless, among other things, to know what Arren's shadow is, you have to have read the books.
* AnAesop: Don't fear death, it's what gives life its meaning.
** WhoWantsToLiveForever
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Tenar is disliked and distrusted [[BurnTheWitch for her magic]] by village women who [[{{Hypocrite}} still want free magic]].
* BrokenBird: Therru.
* ClimbingClimax: On to the top of a castle tower.
* ColorCodedPatrician: Arren's purple robe.
* CoolSword: Apparently, you need magic to draw it, so it gets one flashy action scene where the scabbard is enough, and another when it's ''not''. Otherwise, it has on conspicuous failure in the opening sequence, and is understandably mistaken for junk.
* DeusExMachina: [[spoiler:Therru being able to turn into a dragon.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The sword.
* {{Expy}}: Hare is the [[CaptainErsatz spitting image]] of Kurotowa from ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' and fulfills a similar role. Even his men resemble Torumekian soldiers.
** In fact, the film borrows heavily from several of Ghibli's previous films, which may or may not be intentional.
* FantasticDrug: Hazia. It takes away pain and worries, but is highly addictive.
* HorseOfADifferentColor: Arren rides what seems to resemble a fluffy, long-eared llama (which is still ''called'' a horse, for some reason). Riding beasts that resemble oxen also seem to be in use.
** Arren's mount is possibly in the noble line of Ghibli {{Expy}}s, a copy of [[Anime/PrincessMononoke Ashitaka's]] red elk Yakul.
* IKnowYourTrueName: The name is the thing, and the truename is the true thing. Know the truename, and you can control the thing.
* ILied: Cob, naturally. Hare also pulls this on two old ladies.
* ImmortalityImmorality: The main bad guy dreams of being immortal. This is said to be against the balance of the world, as one having eternal life will make everyone else's life a living Hell as a side-effect.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: When Therru tells Arren her true name. Also, [[spoiler:she defeats Cob by turning into a dragon after he strangles her to death. It's [[InexplicablyAwesome never really explained why]] she can do this.]]
** We are given two extremely small hints: Root (the king's wizard/advisor from the beginning) mentions that humans and dragons used to be the same race, and when Sparrowhawk first sees Therru he remarks that there's something strange about her.
* JamesBondage: Played straight with Ged, not so straight with Arren at the same time.
* KarmaHoudini: For all his repulsiveness, Hare gets away scot-free in the end.
* LoveIsAWeakness: Cob dismisses how Sparrowhawk comes into his stronghold to save Tenar as foolishness unbecoming of a mage.
* MadeASlave: Nearly happens twice.
* {{Mukokuseki}}: Le Guin, while acknowledging awareness that these characters look "stateless" to the Japanese, thought they looked too white. She was happy that there was variety to the tone and Tenar had Kargic/Nordic coloring.
* MythologyGag: Albeit more somber, Tenar mentions Atuan quite a few times.
* NotGoodWithPeople: Therru switches between painfully shy, when talking to someone named 'Sparrowhawk', but the first thing she says to Arren is "Did you come here to kill this lamb?"
** Although Therru and Arren's relationship is [[BelligerentSexualTension another trope]] entirely.
* NotHimself: Arren's surprisingly violent attempt to dispatch the slavers without once drawing his sword.
* OedipusComplex: Introduced then abandoned in the first 10 minutes.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: They look like traditional Western dragons mostly, are creatures that chose "air and fire" when humans chose "earth and sea" and seeing two of them fighting and the beginning of the film is a sign that bad times are there.
* PinkGirlBlueBoy: Therru and Arren. Therru's dress is a combination of pink and red, Arren has a blue tunic on for most of the movie.
* PluckyGirl: Therru, later in the film.
* PortentOfDoom: The sightings of dragons fighting is taken to be a sign that the balance of the world is greatly upset, perhaps irreparably.
* TheQuietOne: Arren.
* SaharanShipwreck: Opening scenes.
* SceneryPorn: It wouldn't be a Studio Ghibli movie without it!
* ShadowArchetype: Inverted. Throughout the movie, Arren is pursued by a shadow in his form. [[spoiler: As a matter of fact, the Arren we watch for most of the movie is actually Arren's shadow, and is fleeing in fear from the noble and courageous self he refuses to acknowledge, instead blaming it for all the violence and fear he's lived through]].
* ShrinkingViolet: Both Arren and Therru show aspects of this.
* SlipknotPonytail: Therru's hair-things come loose at the climax of the movie.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Arren's problem.
* TookALevelInBadass: Whenever Arren uses the sword.
** [[spoiler: Also, Therru becomes a dragon...somehow.]]
* TranquilFury: Arren/shadow/something. Non-lethally.
* {{Tsundere}}: Therru.
* VillainousBreakdown: Cob gets a lot less sane--and [[OneWingedAngel less human]]--once Arren starts fighting back.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: Cob is...not a threatening name for a wizard.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Subverted as when Hare fails (by losing the slaves) he reveals an opportunity for something far more important to his boss (a chance to capture Arren) and is spared.