Search - Earthsea on DVD

Actors: Shawn Ashmore, Kristin Kreuk, Isabella Rossellini, Danny Glover, Sebastian Roché
Director: Robert Lieberman
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
UR     2005     2hr 52min

Based on Ursula K. Le Guin's multiple award-winning classic tale comes this richly imagined epic mini-series. In the magical world of EarthSea, the Amulet of Peace has ensured harmony between humans and dragons for c...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Shawn Ashmore, Kristin Kreuk, Isabella Rossellini, Danny Glover, Sebastian Roché
Director: Robert Lieberman
Creators: Dianna Oliva-Day, Kevin Kelly Brown, Lawrence Bender, Matthew O'Connor, Michael O'Connor, Gavin Scott, Ursula K. Le Guin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Television
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/08/2005
Original Release Date: 12/13/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 12/13/2004
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 52min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Christi B. from DENISON, TX
Reviewed on 4/13/2012...
from a person thats not read the book it was a really good movie all the bad reviews r just from people that read the book and dont like the fact thats the movie is dif from the book
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Peter Q. (Petequig)
Reviewed on 7/24/2010...
Great story and characters. Special effects as good as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

One of the Worst Adaptations--EVER
Andres R. Guevara | Aurora, CO United States | 03/31/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"First off, I am not a slave to the book when judging adaptations. I understand and appreciate that what often works in books doesn't always translate onto the big or little screen. BUT, having said that this is NOT an adaptation. Instead it feels more like the Ciff notes as written by someone who has never read the books. I know that movies have to leave out a lot of details, but "Earthsea" leaves out nearly every detail. Instead, it feels like a total strip down of the story; like Ms. Le Guin's discarded first draft.
As a fantasy by-the-books movie, I can recommend this only to people who are just looking to pass a few hours.
But, as has been expressed below by Ms Pamela Thomas, I am worried that people will see this and completely ignore the books. If I hadn't read the books and saw the movie my first reaction would be: "Oh boy, those Le Guin books sure are overrated." And that can't be further from the truth!
Skip the movie, read the book!"
Great Fantasy Potential Falls Flat...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 03/22/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Throughout the last two decades of the 20th century the fantasy genre gained a large number of followers, which initially might have been influenced by encounters with J.R.R. Tolkien's adventures or roll playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. This group of people has steadily grown through the help of computer games, books, and other media that brings the audience away from the reality of the human existence. Thus, the Sci-Fi Channel delivers the Legend of Earthsea to this growing fan base.

The televised miniseries Legend of Earthsea is an adventure that brings the audience away from reality to the world of Earthsea where the world consists of a vast number of islands. The author Ursula K. Le Guin created this world and she has a large number of dedicated readers. More can be found on her website,, in regards to her books and comments in regards to the TV series.

Legend of Earthsea opens in a small island village where the blacksmith's son, Ged (Shawn Ashmore) discovers that he has magical powers. Ged, a restless young man, saves the town from an attack through the use of magic, which brings forth the wizard Ogion (Danny Glover). Ogion requests that Ged becomes his student, but Ged's father initially rejects the request. Nonetheless, Ged becomes the pupil of Ogion, as he begins his journey on becoming a wizard.

On this journey the audience gets to follow how Ged is coming of age through foolish magical stunts and deadly encounters with dragons and other dangerous creatures. Ged builds lasting friendships and eventually discovers the wonder of love. Through many adventures with Ged the audience will experience both suspense and drama with some wisdom.

The mini-series seems to be based on a number of clichés from other fantasy films such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Willow (1988) among other films. This hurts the story, as does the visual experience through some CGI effects that come across with visual awkwardness. If one truly wants to experience the world of Earthsea the audience should reads Ursula K. Le Guin's books, which are far superior to this TV story.

Earthsea had great potential, as the books offer a solid foundation upon which a film can be made. However, it seems that this film shows the affects of too many chefs, which leaves the audience with a somewhat flat fantasy experience. There are interesting subplots and themes, but it never takes off and flies by itself. It merely remains standing on the ground displaying a monument without value, which in the end will leave most viewers disappointed. It might only be a rental recommendation to those hardcore fantasy enthusiasts that watch everything about an alternative reality.
Should be named something else altogether
trailsinger | Port Townsend, WA USA | 03/20/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I can't review this miniseries as an independent example of fantasy film-making. I am a huge fan of the books and can only judge it by how well it does as a cinematic adaptation.

It fails miserably.

It's not just that the writers fail to get anything right beyond the names, and sometimes not even that:
- "Ged" is the wizard's secret name, "Sparrowhawk" is his commonly used one
- Ged and the other Archipelagans are aboriginal peoples (LeGuin says they are like the Inuit), not white
- There are no girls at the school at Roke
- Tenar is recognized as the incarnation of Arha when she is 5 years old; she does not take a "test" to become the priestess
- Kossil is old and fat, not young & beautiful, and no men come near the temple
- Nemmerle dies after using up all his magic after Ged summons the gebbeth, not in battle
- the Kargads never attack Roke or go to war or come to Atuan during the story; the Kargad king is not in the story

That's only a part of how wrong the scriptwriters went. But more importantly, they didn't understand what the gebbeth represented. It was Ged's own shadow side; it represented the dark side of ourselves that we all need to learn how to deal with if we are to become whole. Because they didn't understand that, they fell back on a standard-issue good vs. evil plot. Nothing we haven't seen before. The uniqueness of LeGuin's story is lost.

It's a great shame that the Sci-fi folks fired the first screenwriter, Phillipa Boyens, who helped adapt "The Lord of the Rings" to the screen and is a LeGuin fan. We'll never know how good her script was.