- Awesome Music: Therru's Song is a sad, beautiful, and lonely melody. Hearing this amazing song made the watching the film worth it.
- Complete Monster: Lord Cob, left on the brink of death after a failed attempt to Take Over the World, began searching for Immortality to enable him to exact revenge. In the present, Cob, running a slave trade that deals in children, begins tampering with the forces of the planet in his quest for eternal life, throwing the world into chaos. After capturing Tenar, Sparrowhawk's Love Interest, Cob mind-controls his apprentice, Arren, into attacking Sparrowhawk. Cob then tries to kill Sparrowhawk and Tenar, and, when Arren thwarts this attempt, Cob takes Arren's friend, Therru, as a hostage, then strangles her to death before his eyes, mocking him all the way.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Sparrowhawk, especially in the English dub where Timothy Dalton towers over the rest of the cast.
- Faux Symbolism: Sparrowhawk has been compared to Jesus, Cob to Satan and Arren to mankind flaws and all.
- Foe Yay: Cob toward Sparrowhawk, especially when they finally meet in the castle.
- Harsher in Hindsight: A drug that provides an intense euphoria, but is highly addictive and usually kills those who use it after a few doses.
- Narm: No matter your opinion on the movie, the scene in which Cob's arm is dramatically cut off definitely qualifies as this.
- Therru's singing in the English dub, where it isn't that good and doesn't match the lip-flaps.
- Any time Arren gets angry. He comes off like an Emo Teen trying to look tough.
- So Okay, It's Average: What makes this so disappointing is the strength of the source material and that this is GHIBLI we are talking about. They just don't make mediocre material.
- Tear Jerker: Therru's song.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some world-building elements—such as slavery—are introduced but never touched upon in detail.
- Not only that, but many plot points introduced in the film's opening are dropped almost immediately after. Dragons returning, the murder of the king and the implications of a war on the horizon all seem like they'd be major plot points later but are never brought up again.
- Many Earthsea fans will tell you that the series has quite a few characters who deserve a movie more than Arren.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Cob. This became a very weird semi case of She's a Man in Japan in the German dub where Cob spoke with a very feminine voice but was still talked about as 'he' and 'the sorcerer'.
YMMV / Tales from Earthsea