Karigurashi no Arrietty (Japan 2010)
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Script: Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa
Production: Studio Ghibli
For quite a long time I’ve been looking forward to going to go to the Nippon Connection in Frankfurt, and now, probably after 4 years I’ve finally managed to actually go there to see the Germany premiere of Studio Ghibli’s brand new animation movie Karigurashi no Arrietty (Arrietty) which is based on Mary Norton’s novels about The Borrowers. Fortunately I had also won 2 tickets, so my friend Verena and I had the pleasure to watch this amazing anime for free.
When Sho, a boy with a heart condition, moves in to his aunt’s house to have some rest before his operation, he discovers 14-year-old Borrower Arrietty. She is shocked and doesn’t tell her parents Pod and Homily that he saw her, but becomes curious at the same time. Slowly, the boy gains her trust and when Haru, the sneaky housekeeper, discovers the small family under the floorboards, Arrietty learns that trusting a human being sometimes can save one’s life after all – and that she can save one, too.
As we all know, Ghibli has always been making wonderful, sometimes a bit crazy animation films. From Princess Mononoke to My Neighbour Totoro there was something for every one, every age and every taste. Each film has a specific poetic message and – not to mention – beautifully drawn pictures.
In this respect, Arrietty doesn’t disappoint at all – once you enter the tiny world of Arrietty’s family, you don’t know where to look first. Each room is stuffed with detailed equipment, from a fountain pen vase on the wall to button “pictures” and other bits and pieces from the human world. Arrietty’s room is a gorgeous place where everything’s green and in bloom. It’s obvious that Studio Ghibli’s passion lies in detailed drawings. Each garden scene is an impressionistic work of art. The characters are elaborate, funny and some of them – like in almost every Ghibli film – splendidly overdrawn.
This film is a graphic masterpiece, a witty and happy movie full of little wonders. I recommend to watch this film over and over again, until you capture all the details. Plus, it’s suitable for really everyone. Kids will love the colours, the music (which can seem a little misplaced to adult ears sometimes – we’re just not used to non-instrumental pop music in the middle of a film), while grown-ups will laugh at the clever conversions of everyday objects and the blithe humour.
The film will be officially released on the following dates (in France it has been in cinemas from January 12th 2011):
GERMANY: June 2nd 2011
UK: July 29th 2011
USA: February 12th 2012