It may very well be that happily ever after narratives are no longer the right medicine, and that the stories American children are gravitating toward are the alternative fairytales that can help them cope with the shifting tides.
Why would a series set in 18th century France appeal so widely to Japanese and Western audiences in the 20th century? The answer is actually quite easy: Rose of Versailles is unprecedented in many ways among the manga and anime of that time.
I'm sure that Tales from Earthsea, taken from the science-fiction writing of Ursula LeGuin, will entertain undiscriminating young viewers and will probably thrill anime lovers. It left me bored and impatient.