“It’s all right; they have wings.”
Going into a movie expecting the worst can sometimes turn out in one’s favour: when a movie is not, in fact, terrible and can perhaps even be termed “entertaining”, this is a victory. Tales From Earthsea is one such movie.
The problem with being made by Ghibli is that a certain standard of excellence is expected. The problem with being made by Miyazaki Goro is that the film is forced to live in his father’s shadow. For my money, I enjoyed this movie infinitely more than I did Howl’s Moving Castle.
Tales from Earthsea probably sucks as an Earthsea movie – consultation with my mother reveals that an enormous amount of this movie makes no sense from an adaptation perspective, and Ursula K. Le Guin agrees with this – but otherwise it’s a perfectly engaging, albeit generic, Ghibli fantasy film.