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Karigurashi no Arrietty

“Enchanting… has the grace, heart and ravishing visual style of Ghibli at its best.” — Lee Marshall, Screendaily

Year: 2010
Country: Japan
Running time: 94 mins
Censor Rating: G

Producer: Suzuki Toshio
Planning/Screenplay: Miyazaki Hayao
Screenplay: Niwa Keiko. Based on The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Music: Cécile Corbel

In Japanese with English subtitles

Voices: Shida Mirai (Arrietty), Kamiki Ryunosuke (Sho), Otake Shinobu (Homily), Takeshita Keiko (Sadako), Fujiwara Tatsuya (Spiller), Miura Tomokazu (Pod), Kiki Kirin (Haru)

Festivals: Rome 2010

Best Feature Film, Nippon Connection Film Festival 2011

Based on a classic of British children’s fantasy, Mary Norton’s 1952 novel The Borrowers, this animated feature is the latest source of delight from the estimable Studio Ghibli. It is directed by Yonebayashi Hiromasa, a longstanding Ghibli animator responsible for some of the breathtaking work on Ponyo.

It tells of the friendship between Sho, a young boy recuperating at his elderly aunt’s house in the country, and Arrietty, a little girl as big as your thumb who lives with her family under the floorboards. Arrietty accompanies her father Pod on ‘Borrower’ expeditions into the house to fetch supplies that the ‘human beans’ will never miss. Though a cat can look mighty fearsome when you’re four inches high, Arrietty’s excitements don’t pack the dark, animist charge of the Miyazaki films. But its exquisitely rendered design, the painterly botanical details of the garden, and the ageless story-book quality of the country house are all the proof anyone could wish for that the master lives on in his successor. — BG

“It is a simply told, beautifully animated delight that, like the best Ghibli films, speaks straight to the heart and imagination of the child in all of us… Yonebayashi and his team have created a world that is both gorgeously detailed and thrillingly realized from the perspective of its miniature protagonists. As Arrietty climbs vines to the roof, plunges on a thread from a kitchen table or performs other feats of derring-do, we have the heart-in-the-throat feeling of not only admiring her pluck, but being in her shoes.” — Mark Schilling, Japan Times