The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their teenage daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
A 12-year-old girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with long, flowing blonde hair. As the friendship ... See full summary »
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Chloë Grace Moretz,
14-year-old Arrietty and the rest of the Clock family live in peaceful anonymity as they make their own home from items that they borrow from the house's human inhabitants. However, life changes for the Clocks when a human boy discovers Arrietty.Written by
The story takes place some where in western Tokyo. Domestic cars in Japan have their steering wheels on the right side, but Aunt Sadoko's Mercedes is a left hand drive, since it is an imported car. The housekeeper Haru's red car is a right hand drive, as it is a normal, domestic Japanese car. See more »
[North American version]
I never saw her again. But the following summer I returned and was happy to hear the people in the house down the road talking about how many things in their home had gone missing.
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This was stunning. I saw it just days after going to the Ghibli Museum in Japan, and it was breathtaking. I'm glad since I loathed the last Ghibli film I saw (Pom Poko). Arriety is the exact cure needed for such loud and obnoxious 3D CGI movies that come out every other week. It's quiet and full of soul. There are moments here that you wouldn't even get in a live action movie. Subtle moments of life and nature, that the animators could have saved time and money by not including them. Luckily for us, the details are all present. A shot lingers just long enough for a ladybird to take flight, or the mother to stir her tea after a conversation. What Ghibli understand, more than anyone, is that kids don't need bright/crass/non stop films. The quiet nature of Arriety is so relaxing, with gorgeous music from Cecile Corbel. First time director Yonebayashi shows that Ghibli has much more life and talent to give.
I was very familiar with The Borrowers, and was a bit disappointed I was getting something original from Ghibli. I'd already seen the excellent TV Mini-series and the over-the-top American film with Goodman. Ghibli have taken everything great about the story, and toned down the designs and motives, making this a realistic and engaging fantasy. The father is stoic and caring. Arriety is adventurous, but never annoying. Her heart is in the right place, but she doesn't get into a ridiculous amount of trouble. Being Ghibli we get a lovely little cat character, Niya. The designs are ace, and the world of the borrowers and the human beans merge beautifully.
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