In a Land of Pure Imagination
(For some reason, the U.S. version Anglicized some of the characters’ names, but I’m going to use the Japanese names.)
Arrietty and her family are tiny people who secretly live in the walls and floors of a house, and they borrow items from their human landlords in order to survive. Even though she’s been taught all her life to avoid humans at all costs, Arrietty befriends the human boy named Sho.
So yeah, this is an adaptation of The Borrowers. Which I hadn’t clued into until I started watching, because ha ha I didn’t see how the cover plainly says “inspired by the beloved children’s novel The Borrowers.”
Adorable Child Alert
Lovable Anthropomorphic Sidekick
Sho’s cat, Niya, sure knows how to relax.
Errrr, did anyone else sense vibes between Arrietty and Sho? And speaking of, these beetles were totally scuttling off to mate, right?
There are actually two English dubs of this, each with their share of stars.
- Bridgit Mendler as Arrietty
- HRH Amy Poehler as Arrietty’s mom
- Will Arnett as Arrietty’s dad (so this was back in those days)
- Carol Burnett as Hara
Class Superlative: Most Familiar
While I found this to be a decent movie (and adaptation, once I realized what it was), I wouldn’t consider it a good Ghibli movie. When you’re at the top, you’re held to a different standard, y’know? This would be a good job, good effort for a smaller animation company, but for Ghibli? Nuh-uh.
Maybe the source material is to blame, but Arrietty is missing some of the nuances and subtlety that Ghibli usually excels at — as evident by the cartoonish villainy of Haru. Plus, I’ve already seen it done before (albeit in live action and with young Draco Malfoy) — and done better, or so nostalgia tells me.