Studio Ghibli has once again translated a written adventure to the screen, with a fantastical visual and emotional journey as a result. This time, they have interpreted Mary Norton’s The Borrowers.
In The Secret World of Arrietty a young boy named Sho meets borrower Arrietty, a young girl of a tiny folk called “borrowers”, as they borrow (or steal) everything they need from ordinary people. Their seemingly innocent meeting, no more than a brief glance at first, results in the upheaval of their lives. Arrietty has to save her family from danger and Sho has to confront his attitude towards life.
The Secret World of Arrietty is a heart warming, beautiful story with most of the classical elements that I love about Studio Ghibli stories – strong female characters, picturesque sceneries, strange and lovable characters, comic relief, slow and comfortable pace leaving room for thought, and a general “feel good” quality. What I did miss was perhaps a stronger magical or surreal element and some fantastical creatures, but I guess there is not always room for such. All in all, a very good movie.