The latest offering from Japan’s acclaimed animation company Studio Ghibli, takes it inspiration from Mary Nortons, The Borrowers.
The Scene – Secret world of Arrietty
Borrowers are extremely tiny people that hide amongst humans, borrowing things from them to survive. They only borrow things humans will not miss, and only what they need to survive.
The story follows Arrietty, a teenaged borrower, and her parents, Pod, and Homily. Out on a search for items in the outside world Arrietty is accidentally spotted by the newest member of the humans household, the sickly Shawn. Sent to live with his grandmother for some relaxations and quiet before a major surgery, he seeks friendship with Arrietty, unknowingly putting their existence in jeopardy.
The secret world of Arrietty is a visually beautiful film, as most Ghibli films are, and the attention to detail when dealing with the borrowers world is amazing. From the few droplets of tea it takes to fill their cups, to the scope of their environment when they travel beyond their small hidden home, it’s a beautiful sight.
The story is very slow and deliberate playing out more like “a day in the life of” story as opposed to a tale seeking to reach a fever pitch climax.
You get a good feeling for what it’s like to be a borrower living in a world of normal sized humans as they show you how they have repurposed items to traverse their surroundings, like using a fishing hook, as a hook to repel down counter tops the floor below. Things that come simple to us, like getting sugar or toilet tissue, become adventures to the borrowers, where taking set routes, and following rigid path can mean the difference between making it home safe, or being caught by “the beings”.
Fun and full of spirit, the secret world of Arrietty is a treat for the whole family, even though its slow pace and lack of explosive moments may leave more adrenaline harboring children seeking something with more bang.