While spending the summer at his aunt's house, the young but sickly Shou makes an amazing discovery: after following the house cat into the bushes, he gets a glimpse of a miniature girl about the size of his finger! Calling her kind "Borrowers," as they survive on tiny bits of human possessions, the girl introduces herself as Arrietty. As he discovers that she lives in the house basement with her parents, Pod and Homily, Shou becomes imaginably excited at the idea of such unique neighbors.
However, he fails to understand the adversities they face on a daily basis. In addition to keeping their existence hidden, they must also embark on perilous adventures into human territory, from the house to the outdoors, in order to make a living. Despite her parents' warnings, Arrietty befriends Shou, stirring up unexpected events that may change their lives forever.
Delighting the eye and conquering the heart, the breath-taking story of a friendship transcending the tensions between two different human kinds begins.
Karigurashi no Arrietty Review
Arrietty, a tiny teenager, lives with her parents in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknown to the owner and her housekeeper. Like all little people, Arrietty and her kith and kin, remain hidden from view but they are not thieves. They borrow simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when a human boy discovers Arrietty.
Coming from a Studio Ghibli film, ‘Karigurashi no Arrietty’ (or ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ as it is known in the west) takes the studio’s renowned charm and injects it into the simple world of a teenage borrower named Arrietty living with her parents under the floorboards of a house. It’s a simple plot at its core, but Ghibli’s storytelling makes it anything but boring.
Story & Characters
The story is slow-paced, with the obvious focal point being the relationship between Arrietty and a human boy named Sho. That said, there’s a lot of joy to be found in the small things, quite literally. We are often presented with scenes that show how Arrietty and her family adapt and overcome the challenges posed by a world not designed for them.
The characters are all very lovable and add their own touch to the film. Sho offers a view of a human who just wants a friend. Arrietty is a fearless adventurer, and her parents each offer differing views on the human world. The cast may be small, but each character is impactful.
Art & Animation
The Studio Ghibli magic is absolutely on display here. The animation is as effective as always, with beautiful, lush settings and fluid character movements. The level of detail in showing the perspective of a tiny borrower in a giant’s world is beyond amazing. You’ll find yourself enamored with the realization of what common objects look like from their point of view.
Sound Design & Music
Music does not let down either. Composed by French musician Cecile Corbel, the score offers a beautiful Celtic-inspired atmosphere that wonderfully fits the whimsical and gentle tone of the movie.
Karigurashi no Arrietty is a heartwarming take on a familiar story but told in a wonderfully different perspective. It’s beautiful, spectacularly animated, and populated with lovable characters. While it might be slower in pace than many mainstream anime, it’s a rewarding watch filled with charm.
So, should you rent, buy, or stream? Well, it’s certainly worth addition to your Ghibli collection, but even a rental or a streaming would provide an unforgettable movie night. So in all ways, it’s definitely a thumbs up for Karigurashi no Arrietty!
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