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The Borrowers
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Borrowers More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Inventive And Real-Looking

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
25 April 2006

When this first came out, almost a decade ago, I thought it was the best job I had seen of making miniature people look real. This showed how far technology had come in films and now, of course, we see a lot more amazing special effects.

It was fun to view how these "borrowers" moved about, using ordinary household items to propel themselves around a normal-sized house. It's all pretty ingenious.

John Goodman plays a cartoon-like role, a role that is generally funny to watch. The cast has a mixture of American and English actors, with a setting of 1940s Britain. I first saw this on VHS and then later on DVD, which was improvement not only video-wise, but audio, too, as it somehow went from mono to surround sound. This might be considered a kids movie but a lot of the humor is more adult-oriented.

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A good film

Author: Witch Hazel from Utah
14 January 2001

I honestly don't understand all the bad reviews this show has gotten. I think it's a great flick. Their sets and props were amusing (i.e., using birthday cake candles for torches and credit cards for doors), and it was interesting to see the world from a little person's point of view. The plot was very good, as was the acting, and the Borrowers' accents just added to their charm. You really should give this film a try.

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A very fun film with a great look

Author: Gerard Collins ( from Los Angeles, CA, USA
4 July 2000

I was charmed by this movie and cannot understand the venom unleashed upon it by some of the other reviews. I don't have any kids, nor do I spend a whole lot of time watching movies geared towards them, but most "kiddie fare" seems so saccharine and preachy, with screeching soundtracks and day-glo color schemes all designed to work as commercials for happy meals and action figures that this one stands out because it's just plain fun. The production design and special effects are unique -- and purposefully so. Some reviews have complained that the film is not set in a readily identifiable time or place, but that's the charm; set in a kind of timeless anywhere that is both familiar and foreign, with the kind of hazy details and warm glow that suggest a fond childhood memory/fantasy. If you expect some Dizneefied, pre-fabbed, pre-digested offering that hits all of the right beats at the right moments with such predictability that you can set your watch to them, skip this. (Or watch "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut," because it sure mimics the form while subverting the content.) If you want something fun and imaginative, different from the usual, give this a try. And if the kids complain that it's boring, send them to bed and watch it yourself.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as others make out.

Author: DrWhoBob from Tucson, AZ
18 May 2002

I, for one, very much enjoyed this movie, so much so, that I even purchased it on DVD. Of course, I'm a big fan of British Comedy and Sci-Fi, and always enjoy any opportunity to see the work of Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams. This was the first time I'd seen anything with Jim Broadbent, but went on to watch some of his other work, and have grown to appreciate him, as well. Ruby Wax was charming, and I'd like to see more of Flora Newbigin, however, it appears she isn't doing much in the industry, except for an appearance in one episode "Holby City."

I find this movie charming in it's escapism. Sure, it mixes times and cities, making it impossible to identify where and when it takes place, but does it even have to be anywhere on Earth? It's fantasy, and I found it entertaining.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

i loved it

Author: J. L. Johnson from New York
10 November 2002

i adore this movie. it gives an entirely new perspective about the world. much the same effect as "honey i shrunk the kids" had only more every day life. tables, chairs, beds, clothes. it's great. what I love is the cast. I just keep recognizing people. "he was in jumanji!" "he was in stuart little!" "he is in the harry potter movies!" "he was in moulin rouge!" i loved it. actually, this movie is worth watching just for the hair styles! ^_^

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Good Fun with great effects.

Author: thegusman90
20 January 2001

I have to be honest, I was not looking forward to this movie. I never heard of it nor know anything about those in it, except for John Goodman. However, this selection was for my daughter and did not want to see a repeat of another cartoon-type movie. My wife and I found the movie to be good clean fun with some mild but acceptable violence and virtually no language. A good combo for a family film and for a child. My daughter said it was "good" and my wife and I thought it was cute. In this day and age, it can be hard to find good movies around. While this movie may not be a keeper in your own collection, it is worth renting. The behind-the-scenes on the DVD was good and the DVD also contained both letterboxed and Pan-and-scan versions.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Not just good special effects but superb ones!

Author: Ben Morgan ( from Bournemouth, England
3 February 1999

Reading some of the other reviews you get the impression that the Special Effects in the Borrowers are somewhat mediocre, well I feel I must stand up for them. The effects in this film are on the whole superb. The problem is that some of them are so good you just don't notice them unless they are pointed out to you. In my opinion the effects in the Borrowers are vastly superior to things like say Titanic, which rather unbelievably won an Oscar. Any effect which you're inclined to say "That's a good effect" too, is not a good effect, it is a poor one because you can tell it's an effect. The best effects go unnoticed, not only by the movie going public but also by the Academy it seems.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Nice adaptation, well worth watching

Author: Seanette from United States
12 May 1999

I loved the "Borrowers" books when I was a kid, and the movie is a quite good adaptation of the concept. There were a few minor bafflements [such as what time period the movie was supposed to be in, and where it was set], but those aren't major. Overall, quite enjoyable.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Okay but not nearly as good as the BBC TV series

Author: coolfemale from United Kingdom
5 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Borrowers movie is quirky, fun, and an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon with kids but it lacks the overall charm the books did. This was much better, and more accurately, captured by the 1992 BBC TV series than by this movie.

The plot of this story is okay but it only takes bear elements from the books, inventing new characters and altering the setting - I'm not sure why but I have to admit as a fan of the books I did feel somewhat alienated by this. I understand that books often don't match their on-screen adaptions exactly but this felt to me so drastically different that it was far more jarring than the excellent Harry Potter and Narnia adaptions.

Where did Peagreen come from? Arietty is not supposed to have a brother, let alone a one as whiny as Peagreen. Why to all the humans (save one or two) have American accents and all the Borrowers British? Why was this set in some werid quasi-'50s/'90s alternate reality rather than simply setting it in the original time of the books? (Although I admit there was some appeal in the quirkiness of this setting I did feel confused by it).

I did enjoy this movie but it isn't fantastic, it isn't horrible but I look to the BBC series as much more charming adaption.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not bad, not good

Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
1 July 2012

I've been interested in seeing this adaptation of Mary Norton's novels ever since I saw the Studio Ghibli adaptation, The Secret World of Arrietty, last February. As I expected, this is more of a comic adventure film, a pretty typical children's film for the time, as opposed to the serious and beautiful Ghibli version. I have no idea which is closer to the source material (I'd actually bet the 1997 version is; the other one is way too Ghibli-esque not to have been heavily changed). As it is, the 1997 version is a halfway decent children's films. Not good, not bad. If I were a kid, I think I'd enjoy it. It stars John Goodman and Jim Broadbent, so it at least has something going for it. The family is pretty similar to the Ghibli version, except for they also have a son (Tom Felton). Felton and Flora Newbigin (who plays Arrietty) get separated from their parents (Broadbent and Celia Imrie) when the house they live in is set to be bulldozed by evil land developer (is there any other kind?) John Goodman. There's no seriousness here. It's all just loud adventure type stuff as the borrower children outsmart Goodman at every turn (he could probably very easily defeat his nemeses here if he would just avoid those comic pauses every time they're about to get him). I'm surprised Newbigin didn't go onto anything better. She's a pretty good juvenile actress. I don't think this film was very successful. I don't ever remember it existing (I was in college at the time, so I wouldn't have had any interest). The special effects aren't too bad. The story was adapted just five years previous with Ian Holm starring in the Jim Broadbent role.

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