An Earthsea Adventure
Adapted from the first four books in the Earthsea series by Ursula Le Guin, the film contains mysterious dragons and wizards and is about the balance of nature, the duality of existence, the force of beauty and the love of life. Not surprisingly, the film is animated with exquisite imagery that is bucolic as well as fantastical.
Unfortunately, Hayao was busy making Howl's Moving Castle, so producer Toshio Suzuki approached Goro, who impressed him with his design for the Studio Ghibli Museum. Although Goro had steered clear from a career in animation, he couldn't resist making Earthsea four years ago.
"I discovered the Earthsea books about 20 years ago when I was still in high school," Goro explains. "At the time, I was fascinated by the first and second books of this series, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan. In the first, I profoundly identified with the setbacks suffered by the proud Sparrowhawk. It came close to my personal experience. In the second volume, I felt both the joy and bitterness that Tenar experiences when she is freed from the dark tombs of Atuan."
"When I prepared this film, I buried myself in the entire series, and to my great surprise, the third, the fourth and the rest of the books pleased me even more," the director adds. "This is without a doubt a result of me getting older, but I also believe that social conditions in our current world are the real reason. The world in which we live at present much resembles Hort Town and Lorbanery, where the third book unfolds, The Farthest Shore. The entire world is overwhelmed, frenetically busy, always in movement, but all this seems lacking in meaning and purpose. We understand that people are pushed by the fear of losing everything, as if madness were spreading gradually in the spirit of men."