Youthful folly and magic mix in wondrous Earthsea.
  • Review Date: November 29, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 172 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This film does include strong images of friendship, loyalty, and selflessness. It also includes characters (marked as evil) that kill and lie for personal gain.


Largely fantasy violence (evil shadow attacks, dragon fight). Also include instances of decapitation, stabbing, murder of a child, neck breaking.


One post-sex scene.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Just a bit of ale drinking.

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.

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?


The Sci-Fi Channel aired EARTHSEA as a two-part original miniseries based on the fantasy novels by award-winning Ursula K. Le Guin. 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.

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 [2002]), Kristin Kreuk (Smallville [2001]), and Allesandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica [2003-miniseries, 2005-series]). Earthsea also includes performances by high profile actors Danny Glover and Isabella Rossellini.

Families can talk 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.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 14, 2005
DVD release date:March 8, 2005
Cast:Isabella Rossellini, Kristin Kreuk, Shawn Ashmore
Director:Robert Lieberman
Run time:172 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:not rated.

This review of Earthsea was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byspacelingo October 29, 2013
age 13+

Jungian Union

I think this fantasy about magicians has more depth than Harry Potter, at least the unique treatment of the final union of the boy magician with the/*his* Shadow figure is nothing less than a Jungian union with one's darker side, one in which Ged finally faces and confronts his Shadow, opens himself up to it, and becomes one with it, resulting in his finding his full power as a magician and whole person.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byleakimberly January 27, 2011
age 13+


What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byJadenp March 3, 2011
age 12+
Suggested MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense violence, disturbing images, sexuality, brief partial nudity, and frightening scenes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex


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