Borrowers take only what they need.
Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Secret World of Arrietty – Arrietty is the latest animated film from Studio Ghibli, director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and Hayao Miyazaki of the greatest animators of our time and did not direct, but wrote the screenplay based on Mary Norton‘s novel The Borrowers (1952). Like Miyazaki’s other Oscar® winning animated features (Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle), Arrietty features a young female character with the personality that is most adventurous and teeming with curiosity.
Arrietty lived with her parents in the small spaces beneath the floors of a Japanese country home. During the day, Arrietty sneaks out to collect plants from the yard to decorate her tiny room–narrowly avoiding the large house cat and crow who are tirelessly trying to make a quick meal of her. Regardless of the concerns of her parents, she still would venture out and forages on her own.
Soon it came time for her first “official” expedition with her father as a borrower. Her task: find tissue paper and a cube of sugar that will last them for months. On this trip, she scores a dressmaker’s pin–the cube of sugar on the other hand, was lost due to her being spotted by Shô, a boy who arrived at the home earlier to rest for heart surgery.
Once a borrower has been seen, human curiosity cannot be stopped.
Naturally, Arriety and Shô become friends, but there is one human in the house that is not only suspicious of the little things that go missing in the home–Haru–but she eventually finds the place under the floor where the borrower family lived and stole away her mother, Homily, and placed her in a jar. Arriety asked her friend Shô to help rescue her mother. Eventually, their friendship became an unintentional risk to her family’s safety, causing them to leave the summer house for someplace where humans could no longer pose a danger to them. They went away in a teapot navigated by a borrower ‘wild child’ named Spiller, to continue with their future borrowing adventures.
Although there is the opportunity to view The Secret World of Arrietty in English–Disney hired a different voice cast for American audiences–using the voices of Amy Poehler (as Homily, Arriety’s mother), Bridgit Mendler as Arriety; Will Arnett as Pod; Moises Arias as Spiller; and Carol Burnett as the voice of Hara (Haru), I choose to watch the film in its original, Japanese language version of the film. I did not want to lose the uniqueness of watching a Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece–listening to the English voices ruined the film for me somehow. It just didn’t seem right to me.
Borrowers aren’t supposed to be seen.
This way, the film retained it’s overall tone and charm I remembered from watching Spirited Away for the first time, and I enjoyed the nanoscience of Arriety’s world–how the sugar cube measured against her small frame, and the world around her seemed so large and vast–even when she was navigating behind the walls and the large furniture of the house. More impressively, the tiny cups and saucers–how the tea lingered on the surface area or lip of the tiny tea pot and the droplets of water would hang on the leaves–those teeny tiny details are what made the film enjoyable. The only negative thing I can say about Arrietty is the film seemed a little short. I wanted to continue to marvel at the detail of Arriety’s world and animation that only Miyazaki can create.
Do not be seen by humans–it’s the law of children of the underfloor.
Source: The Secret World of Arrietty
- editor rating4
Latest posts by AIDY (see all)
- Secret Sunshine – Review Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Secret...
- Wallace and Gromit ‘World of Invention’ – Review ‘Mother nature as the ULTIMATE engineer!’ Wallace and Gromit are...
- Blu-ray Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a film directed by...
- ‘Zero’ by Zealous Creative – Review How can something, come from nothing?...