The Borrower Arrietty Review — A-

Arrietty is a Borrower: a tiny person who lives in hiding in a house, and borrows things from the human beans that live there. When Arrietty goes on her first borrowing mission to acquire some sugar and a tissue, she is spotted by a human bean and her life is changed forever.

I love Miyazaki movies, and this one was no exception. Much of their appeal comes from the fantastic setting, and here Arrietty delivered. The human world from the perspective of little people is an amazing place. Danger lurks around every corner: from frogs, cats, insects, and from human beans themselves. The little people cannot even know if others like them exist, yet they maintain a high standard of living from the things they’ve borrowed. But their house can be destroyed with the swipe of a hand.

Arrietty is a character intimately familiar to viewers of Miyazaki’s movies: an independent girl growing into adulthood, the usual Miyazaki heroine. She’s no less lovable this time around, either. The one thing that bothered me initially about Arrietty was her voice. It’s fairly deep, and at first I thought it sounded more like a male. But then I realized that Arrietty’s voice wasn’t abnormal, but every other anime girl’s voice was ridiculously high. In the end I grew to love Arrietty’s voice. It makes her stand out.

The story itself was short, sweet and to the point. It has some brief excitement when the mother is taken prisoner, but its real strength lies in showcasing Arrietty’s growth as she learns to trust a single human bean.

And in case this wasn’t obvious, I love how they call the big people “human beans.”

  • Plot / Script – A – Tells a gripping story in a fascinating story with the Ghibli magic we have come to expect.
  • Characters – A – You’ll really get attached to Arrietty.
  • Production – A – What do you expect?
  • Overall – A-

Recommendations – Spirited Away, Laputa, Nausicaa

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