DVD: Tales from Earthsea (Disney)


Tales from Earthsea

English DVD Title (Region 1)

Tales from Earthsea


Japanese (2.0 Stereo), English (2.0 Stereo)

Aspect Ratio:

English, French
115 minutes
1.85:1 Anamorphic


Tales from Earthsea



  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (23)
  • Trailers: The Incredibles (Blu-ray), Tangled (Blu-ray), Dumbo (Blu-ray), Tron: Legacy (Blu-ray)
  • Behind the Studio: Origins of Tales from Earthsea (4 minutes)
  • Enter the Lands: Studio Ghibli movie tour



By: Anthony Romero

It took Disney six years to release this production to DVD. This is odd considering Disney had previously been so quick to release new Studio Ghibli movies to home video in the states in the past. That said, this is nearing the end of the relationship between the two companies, plus Tales from Earthsea isn't exactly a critical darling the way other movies from Studio Ghibli have been.

Regardless, Disney gives a pretty solid effort to the 2006 movie here, giving it great video and audio quality although it does fall short in the extra department.

 Video: Star Rating

Disney has done an excellent job with the video track for this release. First and foremost is that the production appears sharp here, for standard definition, although does show minor signs of edge enhancement (a halo around finer details). Print damage is non-existent and the movie looks clear with low signs of grain. There is some minor noise on the video track due to compression, although it's hard to escape this on the DVD format. As for the colors, they are distinct but could be a little more vibrant in their array.

As is standard for the Studio Ghibli releases from Disney, the the opening and end credits differ based on the language selected under Setup. If Japanese is selected, the original opening and ending are maintained. If English is selected, these are replaced with on-screen text in English. Worth noting that in the case of this movie, the opening title is in English in both versions.

Tales from Earthsea is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio: Star Rating

There are two audio tracks found on this DVD release, both being presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. The first is the newly created English dub track that Disney produced. This features voice talents such as Timothy Dalton and Willem Dafoe. It's overall an excellent dub track, with the only complaint being that Dafoe doesn't quite throw his voice here and feels a little mismatched with the crazy, quaint wizard he plays. The other track is the original Japanese. In terms of the audio quality, both tracks sound flawless for the DVD format. This means good clarity in the dialogue and some good range in the sound effects, such as metal swords clanging against stone or the sound of the waves.

One is the original Japanese language track for the 1994 movie and the other is an English dub track that was created for this DVD release by Disney. As for the audio quality, both tracks sound crisp with good clarity in the dialogue. In addition, there are no discrepancies to speak of, like pops or crackles, although this isn't very surprising given the movie is barely 11 years old now.

The film can be accompanied by removable English or French subtitles. For English, there are two versions: one that subtitles the Japanese dialogue and another that is a closed caption track for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.


 Extras: Star Rating

The bonus effort on this DVD is notably below other Studio Ghibli titles that Disney has released.

First up is the "Behind the Scenes" bonus feature, which is the best one on the disc. It's a short 4 minute extra, with the meat happening in the first two minutes through an interview with producer Toshio Suzuki. In this he relates how the project was given the blessing of author Ursula K. Le Guin and how Goro Miyazaki became attached to the project. An interview with animation historian Charles Solomon is also spliced in the second half and is less interesting, as he's more about praise on the production rather than insight. The extra feature is in a mixture of Japanese and English. It features burned in subtitles for the Japanese dialogue.

Next is the "Enter the Lands" extra. It's a clickable map that lets the viewer explore each area that is based on a specific Studio Ghibli film by clicking around, which starts a short video. This feature has English narration for it.

Finally there are a collection of previews, but all for Disney Blu-ray releases and none related to Studio Ghibli releases.

Overall, an unimpressive collection of extras. The star rating here is probably too high, although there is a fair bit of content in the "Enter the Lands" extra, even though most won't find it particularly interesting.


 Overview: Star Rating

For a DVD release of the production, this 2011 edition is a great way to see the film. It's got excellent video and audio presentations, but does fall short in terms of extras. The latter is something the Blu-ray release stepped up for, offering a better selection of bonus material for fans of the production. That said, the "Behind the Scenes" bonus feature can only be found on the Disney releases, for those completests out there.