Film Review: Japanese Animation Arrietty

| 11 January , 2012 | Reply

Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Starring: Saorise Ronan, Tom Holland (UK English Language version)
Sassi\’s Star Rating: 4.5/5

This latest offering from famous Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli can be summed up in one word; enchanting.

Arrietty is based on Mary Norton\’s 1952 Carnegie medal winning book The Borrowers about a family of tiny people whom live under the floorboards of a house, borrowing what they need to survive from the people who live there. Arrietty (Saorise Ronan) is the adventurous teenager who lives with her borrower parents in secret, for humans aren\’t allowed to know that borrowers exist. When 12 year old human boy Sho (Tom Holland) comes to stay at the house while waiting for surgery, the bold Arrietty gets curious, and then she gets caught.

Sho promises not to tell anyone about Arrietty and her family and a sweet friendship blossoms between the pair in secrecy, however, not every human will be so kind to the borrowers when they find out where they are living.

Studio Ghibli are the champions of traditional hand drawn cell animation and this achingly beautiful film is a delightful break from the 3D/motion capture/CGI animation on offer this summer. The passion and heart that animators have poured into this film is almost tangible within every scene, yet the obvious hard work is not as Arrietty sweeps you up in its creator\’s wistful imaginations and plants you firmly within exquisite world of their making.

Unlike Spirited Away or Howl\’s Moving Castle, Arrietty has no scary business making it a fantastic film for even the littlest of children. Instead the tiny Arrietty is an action adventuress, moving through the trap laden gardens and kitchens with a stealth and curiosity akin to a (non sexual) Lara Croft. Strong and courageous Arrietty is a wonderful character for little girls to admire, as opposed to the Sleeping Beauty\’s that generations before were taught to emulate as kids.

Beautifully animated and imaginatively told this charming film is essential viewing for the young and the young at heart.

Arrietty is in cinemas now and will screen in both Japanese and English (UK) language versions. Check cinema session information for details.


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Category: Film & TV

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