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Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Produced in 2010
Main Language - Japanese / English with English subtitles
A lovingly-designed adaptation of the evergreen tale. With its painterly backgrounds and concern with visual detail, it's a triumph of traditional hand-painted animation, says Nick Riddle.
After a series of spectacular epics involving moving castles, spirit worlds, and marine monarchs, Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty is a beautiful, lovingly designed miniature. The basic idea (tiny people fending for themselves in a full-size world) has been used a thousand times, but this rendition stands apart for its fresh, imaginative approach.
The story, adapted by Hayao Miyazaki from Mary Norton’s The Borrowers but directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, nevertheless has the Ghibli master’s fingerprints all over it. The painterly backgrounds, the concern with visual detail, the strong female lead -- all are pure Miyazaki. Arrietty’s friendship with Shō, the sickly boy who discovers the family of tiny people in the home of his great aunt, is the kind of thing that could score high on mawkishness, but the distinctive Ghibli humour and sense of the bizarre combine with the leisurely pacing to give a reflectiveness to the story’s sentimentality.
Arrietty is, above all, gorgeous to look at, and a triumph of ‘traditional’, hand-painted animation. And for those concerned with such things, the UK release features voice work by a British cast including Saoirse Ronan, Phyllida Law and the wonderful Olivia Colman.
Nick Riddle on 8th December 2011
Author of 77 reviews
An animated feature from Studio Ghibli, Arrietty is based on Mary Norton's ever-popular 1952 children's book 'The Borrowers'.
The Clock family, each only a few centimetres tall, lives peacefully under the floorboards of a house in the Tokyo suburbs inhabited by the elderly Sadoko (voiced by Carol Burnett). In order to survive, the Clocks borrow everything they need from their human host in such tiny amounts that they go virtually unnoticed. But their existence comes under threat when fearless 14-year-old Arrietty Clock (Bridgit Mendler) is spotted by Sadoko's sickly 12-year-old nephew Sho (David Henrie).
Publisher: Studio Canal
Length: 94 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 9th January 2012
Cat No: OPTD2103
- Japanese trailers
- TV spots