Film #25: Arrietty (2010)

aka: 借りぐらしのアリエッティ (Kari-gurashi no Arietti)
director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
language: Japanese
length: 94 minutes
watched on: 13 Aug

Studio Ghibli’s latest is an adaptation of the children’s story The Borrowers, which I think I read as a child, but I have no recollection of its story or really anything specific about it other than the fact that it’s about a family of tiny Lilliputians who hide out under the floorboards. I can no longer remember the specifics, but the main character Arrietty is accidentally spotted by a boy living in their house, who she ends up making friends with.

It’s pretty much standard Ghibli fare. It’s got all the basic archetypes: strong, independent female lead, male love interest, evil witch-like character. There’s very little I can really criticise it on other than this fact; it’s just not that original in terms of the other stories that Ghibli has produced. I think this was Yonebayashi’s first bash at being a director, so it’s quite possible that he was given something relatively typical of the kinds of films Ghibli produces, in order to ease him into the work or something.

Basically, I enjoyed it, but I much prefer some of Ghibli’s earlier work. But whenever I see the title, I start mentally singing the French (well, apparently it’s Quebecois, but it’s certainly in French) song Alouette, gentil alouette, perhaps with the heroine’s name substituted for the word ‘alouette’ (skylark, I believe). For that alone I find it annoying. It was a good film, however; I shouldn’t let my weird malapropisms put me off so.

Anyway, it’s come to my attention that I’m getting hits because people are doing a google search for “tintin” and coming across the very first post on this blog about the 1960s live action film (but with a rant thrown in about my negative anticipation of the new film). I’ve just watched the film today… so I should probably have a blog post up about it in, oh, two months or so. It should be a good impetus to get through my backlog, really.


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