The Secret World of Arrietty

Arrietty, aka The Secret World of Arrietty aka the Borrower
Arrietty aka a lot of French words on a poster.
"Do not be seen by humans. That's been the law of children of the underfloor."

Welcome to Thursday at The Tagline! Today I'm talking about Studio Ghibli's Arrietty, which has like three different names but I will refer to it just as Arrietty, because that is shorter. The most recent of Studio Ghibli's efforts and a film from the post-Miyazaki era, Arrietty follows a teeny tiny girl (named Arrietty) and her adventures. The film is based upon The Borrowers, a novel by English author Mary Norton, (and a book which previously received an American film adaptation in 1997... a bad one) and centers around the Clocks, a family of borrowers living underneath a small country home. These tiny folk are called borrowers because they take things from the house they live under (little things like a sugar cube or a tissue) of course 'borrowing' seems like a cute way of saying stealing here. I mean, I'm not saying I'd miss single tissues or anything, but I hope to god they don't give them back when they're done using them, that sounds pretty gross.

Naturally, if there are little people living under a house, there has to be someone trying to find them, catch them, and generally be not nice to them, for no conceivable reason. I note that no one seems to be working overly hard to catch the phalanxes of rats living under the damned house, but 3 tidy little people in a teeny tiny house? Let's catch them in a jar and pull on them to see if they stretch. At first I couldn't really figure out why the borrowers were hiding, I mean if tiny people lived under my house, I'd let them have some sugar and stuff, what the hell do I care? It quickly became apparent however that my live and let live attitude is apparently not shared by everyone, least of all the old lady who lives in the house where Shawn/Sho/whoever is staying while his parents are away (it's his great aunt). Shawn sees Arrietty and is cool with it, and tries to help her, but his aunt gets suspicious and there's trouble from there. Also this film goes to lengths to highlight that cats are vicious little murder machines.

This room has hoarder written all over it.
Like all Ghibli works, the movie is marked by the quality of its art and animation, by lush scenery and  moving musical scores, and by terrifying portrayals of cats that will keep you up at night WHY IS THAT CAT SO CRAZY. While this movie couldn't hope to muscle into my top 3 for Ghibli productions, it was still a nice little movie about a nice little girl, and her frankly terrifying little life. (It was also a hell of a lot better than the Earthsea movie) I felt like the plot was a bit lighter than I might have cared for it to be (it didn't thrill me like Spirited Away, or move me like Whisper of the Heart for instance) but it was still an enjoyable movie that I would watch again given the opportunity.

Look at that serious Ghibli face in the flowers.
The film received the widest release yet for a Ghibli film (the previous holder of that honor being Ponyo) and opened in over 1500 theaters. From this platform it grossed over 19 million in the U.S. and around 145 million worldwide, making it the 4th highest grossing 'anime' movie in the U.S. (the highest grossing being the first Pokemon movie, a film that I will admit I totally saw in theaters, and probably would 100% go see today, as a theoretical grown up). That's not too shabby, and hopefully Miyazaki's next movie will find its way to our theaters as well (it's slated for a July release in Japan I believe).

That's all for today folks! I'll see you all next week, with more exciting stuff I say.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Project Wonderful Ad