Wednesday, March 23, 2005

An Abomination of Earthsea

I just wasted $5.90 on a DVD rental of Legends of Earthsea, an alleged adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s books A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan. Unlike many readers, these books were not a part of my childhood. I read A Wizard of Earthsea while taking a Children’s Literature class at Douglas College. Nonetheless, I did form a connection to the books and I still read them from time to time.
While I realised that what would be made for the small screen could not follow the books exactly, I did hope it would follow the books at least so that they were telling the same approximate story. On my first attempt I got ten minutes in and shut it off. I then skipped the preliminary stuff and used that greatest of DVD functions, the fast scan. What a horrible piece of crap. It feels like they took a terrible stock-in-trade fantasy, sword and sorcerer script and used elements from Le Guin’s work in order to attract her readership.
I should have known better. I knew it was going to be bad, but my curiosity just got the better of me. Bad curiosity! What would it have cost to do the series properly? I can only imagine how horrified the people who grew up with the Earthsea books as a part of their childhood would have felt. I can imagine come to think of it – the same way I felt walking out of The Two Towers, another terrible adaptation. Then there was Disney’s take on Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron. My friend P.T.C has the DVD so I watched as much as I could stomach – which wasn’t a hell of a lot. They botched that up badly, and Alexander’s work is much more straightforward than the Earthsea series.
One to grow on I guess.

If so inclined, visit Ursula K. Le Guin’s Official website:


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