Studio Ghibli’s latest animated film, Arrietty (or The Borrowers), is based on Mary Norton’s book “The Borrowers”, the first in her five-book series about the adventures of a family who make their life underneath the floorboards of a large house by borrowing small items from the big people. It was released in Japan in 2010, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s, Ghibli’s youngest director, under the supervision of Hayao Miyazaki of course. It will be released in the UK in August and 2012 in North America.
The movie still entails the same concept as the book except that the location is in Japan instead of the UK. The movie stars Arrietty, a 14 year old “tiny person” who lives under the floorboards of a house in Tokyo with her father, Pod, and mother, Homily. Their life is changed when Arrietty is accidentally seen by Sho, a 12 year old boy who has come to live with his great Aunt until his heart surgery. The boy makes it clear to Arrietty that he saw her but has no intention of harming her. Just when Arrietty begins to form a friendship with Sho, her family decides to move. The decision is reinforced when the housekeeper, Haru, becomes aware of their existence and captures the mother and puts her in a jar.
It’s such a creative animation, the detailing of both worlds creates such a contrast between them. I did expect a little more theatrical touches especially when it’s a Ghibli movie but the movie was calm and reflected the book. The movie might not be as great as Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle, but it was still a refreshing movie, as it always is when watching a Ghibli Studio’s production.
I rate this movie 8/10.
The next Ghibli Studio film is set to be released on July 16, 2011, a movie called “Kokurikozaka Kara”, based on the manga of the same name, directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Gorō Miyazaki.