A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie mostly steers clear of sex, graphic language, and gruesome and/or realistic violence. It does include various scenes of fantasy violence, a hero in constant peril, and a battle between good and evil. Overall, parents can feel safe allowing their fantasy-obsessed kids to watch this movie.
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What's the story?
This fantasy-adventure follows the adventures of Ged (Shawn Ashmore), the mere son of a blacksmith but born to be the most powerful wizard in the mystical land of Earthsea. In his youthful folly, he squanders his magic and his training while inadvertently releasing one of the evil nameless ones into the world. The wizard must dedicate his life to defeating this evil gebbeth. Simultaneously, the magical rulers of Earthsea must resist the greed and villainy of King Tygath (Sebastian Roché), ruler of the Kargide Kingdom, and his cunning and deadly lover, Kossil (Jennifer Calvert). The nameless ones must remain cloistered, or the whole of Earthsea may see its downfall.
Is it any good?
Many fantasy fans may find this tale quite engaging. The effects range from average to goofy, though it was nominated for an Emmy for best effects in a television miniseries, movie, or special. The Sci-Fi Channel aired EARTHSEA as a two-part original miniseries based on the fantasy novels by award-winning Ursula K. Le Guin.
Those fond of contemporary fantasy television shows such as Xena (1995) or Hercules (1997) may find similarities in aesthetic and dialog. In the style of those shows, one expects that Ged and his loyal friend Vetch (Chris Gauthier) could say "dude, that's a gnarly gebbeth" at any moment. Fans of sci-fi and/or fantasy will also be pleased to see some familiar faces such as Ashmore (X-Men [2000, 2003, 2006]), Roché (Odyssey 5 ), Kristin Kreuk (Smallville ), and Allesandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica [2003-miniseries, 2005-series]). Earthsea also includes performances by high profile actors Danny Glover and Isabella Rossellini.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this movie's connection to other examples of the fantasy genre. If the kids read fantasy novels, discuss the transfer from page to screen? Do the special effects aid in bringing this fantasy world to life, or do the books allow the reader to create a fuller world? Why? This film was made for television. How might it have been better if made for the big screen? Do books, television shows, or films best articulate the fantasy genre.
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