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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous film!
Firstly, lets just get this out there, this is a beautiful film - Studio Ghibli's insistence on its artists drawing everything instead of relying on computers to do the work, really shines through. It gives the film a (typical for the studio) old school look, whilst compromising nothing in the quality of the animation. Colours are bright, textured and stunning from the...
Published on 15 Feb. 2012 by R. Keech

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, but underwhelming outing for Studio Ghibli...
From the perspective of someone who always looks forward to the release date of an upcoming Ghibli film and ends up appreciating every film in its own right and also as someone who enjoyed the BBC adaption of Mary Norton's Borrower books in the early 1990's, I felt `Arrietty' had incredible potential. Alas, while pleasant and often humorous this is generally a ponderous...
Published on 14 Jan. 2012 by Fantasy Lore


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous film!, 15 Feb. 2012
By 
R. Keech (Berwick upon Tweed, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Firstly, lets just get this out there, this is a beautiful film - Studio Ghibli's insistence on its artists drawing everything instead of relying on computers to do the work, really shines through. It gives the film a (typical for the studio) old school look, whilst compromising nothing in the quality of the animation. Colours are bright, textured and stunning from the foreground to backgrounds - just amazing!

Secondly, the film itself. Having been a long term fan of 'The Borrowers' (Mary Norton's book on which the film is based) and, more recently, a big fan of Studio Ghibli - I got to approach my viewing from two different angles.
'Arietty' is based upon only the first Borrowers book (although there are nods to subsequrnt novels 'The Borrowers afield' and 'The Borrowers afloat.) And whilst there are some subtle changes, the core of the story remains intact.
Arietty is the only daughter of Pod and Homliy Clock - who are Borrowers, tiny people living beneath the floor of a country house. They 'borrow' things from above the floorboards that the humans won't need or miss (aside from the odd sugar cube anyway). The story takes us through Arietty's first trips 'borrowing' with her father, Pod. During the borrowing, Arietty is seen by one of the big people, a small boy named Sho who has been sent to the country to recover from an illness (similar to the book). This prompts the Clock family to consider moving away as, once seen, the Borrowers feel they are in danger. However, Arietty doesn't quite see things in such a black and white way and secretly befriends the boy.

The story from here, which I won't spoil, follows very closely to the book though some things have been streamlined and the film does introduce another character who doesn't really feature until the second book - but all of this is done with care for the original stories and assists in creating a little more watchable drama for the Clock family.
I saw the dubbed Blu-Ray version and thought the voice acting was excellent, though a little jarring at first with pretty much all British voice talent (Olivia Colman is fantastic as Homily) - though there is also a US dubbed version that I was expecting - I was quite glad of the british accents once I got used to it. The voices also helped create an unusual blend of something that looked so Japanese whilst simultaneously being quintessentially English!

I also felt this film sits comfortably alongside other classics from the Studio (Spirited Away, Howl's moving castle, etc.) and was handled with a lot of due care and attention to fans of both the studio and the stories. A lot of the small changes have been made to keep the focus of the tale on Arietty, it is very much her adventure we experience (such as when she is seen early on by the boy, in Mary Norton's version it is actually Pod who gets seen). For this viewer - I thought it really made the narrative flow well and thus my enjoyment of the film increased! I'm sure some Mary Norton purists would disagree (although the few I know are lovely people and point out this is the tale of 'Arietty' not 'The Borrowers').
Highly recommended for Boys and Girls of all ages!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I was looking for!, 21 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I saw a preview for Arrietty ages ago and loved the voice cast! I was highly disappointed when the US decided to change the names of characters and use a different voice cast. So I bought this version from Amazon UK. It took a bit of work but i was able to make a backup of the DVD disc into a region free so I can no enjoy the superior voice cast and keep true to the characters. Eventually I'll figure out how to do the same for the blu-ray, cuz dayum are those colors fine!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly lovely film, 30 Mar. 2015
By 
Ms T (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
* About the story: The film, Arrietty, is named after the main character: a 14 year old girl who is thumbelina-sized. The story is about her and her family; it's about their lifestyle, and their relationship with life-sized human beings. My one little quibble with the story would be that the ending felt a little unfinished, but other than that I enjoyed the story.

* Artistry of film: The chief thing that really stood out for me in this film is how beautiful it is. There are lots of beautifully detailed, peaceful shots of nature, showing details like how the breeze moves the garden flowers - and this abundant breathing space for details like this literally feels as refreshing as being in a beautiful setting, breathing in fresh spring air yourself. It makes me feel like this movie celebrates the beauty of nature and really conveys the joy the artists had in painting and animating the scenes. I also really appreciated the thoughtfulness that went into imagining what the world would be like to little pixie-sized people - and how everyday objects can be repurposed when you're very small. More than once while watching this I found myself smiling at the sheer beauty of this film.

* Music: Composed by Cécile Corbel - I really enjoyed the music a lot. It's sort of a mix of Japanese and celtic / Irish in feel. It reminded me a lot of "The Path of the Wind" from My Neighbour Totoro by Joe Hisaishi.

* Overall: A truly lovely film :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to be considered classic Ghibli., 10 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Having watched Arrietty at my local cinema and now having savoured the Blu-ray, I'm going to go out on a limb and proclaim that the wonderful Studio Ghibli stable has finally found a *potential* successor to Hayao Miyazaki. Arrietty is an absolutely wonderful film, and it is gobsmacking to think that this is a directorial debut for Hiromasa Yonebayashi - who has already been proclaimed the studio's "best young animator" by the 70 year old veteran (Miyazaki) himself.

I won't spoil the story for you other than to give you the film's basic premise: Arrietty is based on Mary Norton's classic book, The Borrowers, and it more or less sticks to the book's narrative. It tells the tale of 14 year old Arrietty, a 'Borrower', or 'little person', and her family. She lives with her mother and father under the floorboards of a house in Western Tokyo. As 'Borrowers', they sneak out at night to "borrow", or rather take food and other essentials from the house's human occupants, but only enough as to live on. One of the humans in the house, or "human beans" as the borrowers hilariously call them, is a boy named Sho, who is of a similar age to Arrietty and is staying at the house to convalesce prior to an operation. One day he spots Arrietty, which is the worst thing possible to happen to a Borrower, as being seen by human beans traditionally spells trouble for these little folk. However, Sho is not your ordinary brash screen kid, he's a kind hearted and gentle soul and only wishes to befriend Arrietty. I will not delve further into the plot for fear of spoiling it for you, other than to say it is a simple tale and ask that you don't go looking for hidden metaphors or underlying subtext as you would with some other Ghibli films. Like Ponyo before it, this is an old fashioned simple tale of friendship and discovery. And herein lies its beauty. However, there are some subtle action scenes and plenty of humour, too. Most of all though, like the best Ghibli films, it oozes charm and warmth.

As regards the animation, well for me it is up there with the very best Ghibli films. Every single frame is so beautifully drawn that you'd want to hang each of them on your wall. The sense of scale is quite astonishing as these tiny people are offset against the background of the human bean world, containing (at least to them) enormous furniture and other everyday knick knacks. The sense of peril that things such as rats and insects pose to a Borrower is wonderfully translated to the viewer by the beautiful animation and its clever use of scale. It screams Hayao Miyazaki from every pore, and it is clear that, despite not being the director, the master had a HUGE influence on this production. The characters all look like they're from a Miyazaki film and all have that unmistakable Ghibli charm. They're not just Ghibli characters on a superficial/visual level either, you *care* for these people. Which is more than I can say for the characters from Goro Miyazaki's Tales from Earthsea, for example. This is why I feel Yonebayashi could be the future of the studio. I like many of the non-Miyazaki/non-Takahata Ghibli films, in fact The Cat Returns is one of my favourite Ghibli titles, but this is the first time I've sat there and realised that a rookie Ghibli director has truly been mentored by Miyazaki... truly *absorbed* some magic from him. But for all of its feel of a Miyazaki film, it also feels new and fresh, which is Yonebayashi's own personality and stamp. Just the way it should be.

As much as I adore the Joe Hisaishi compositions of past Ghibli films, Cecile Corbell's Bretton/Gallic haunting melodies are a match made in heaven for the images on the screen. Although it is set in Tokyo, it still has the western feel that The Borrowers always had, so for me the Western 'vibe' of the music is extremely well suited. Besides, some of Corbell's score sounds subtly influenced by Japanese folk anyway.

As for the technical details regarding the Blu-ray: Well I have watched the Blu-ray from start to finish and it is a wonderful transfer. Not the slightest hint of noise reduction or edge enhancement. It is as beautiful as when I saw it on the local cinema, and the rich palate just leaps off the screen. There is no sign of shimmering lines, blocks or any other compression based artefacts. The sound is also well presented, and we have DTS HD audio for both the Japanese and English tracks. I'm not sure if the Blu-ray seen here comes with a DVD copy of the film or not, as I bought the deluxe collector's edition Blu-ray and this does have a DVD with it, but if this does, too, then I have to tell you... the film doesn't look so great on DVD. The shimmery artefacting and blocky compression looked particularly bad. I don't remember seeing an Optimum Ghibli release look this bad on DVD since Spirited Away, which also suffered terrible and needless compression artefacts. The colour is OK, but if you have access to a HD screen and Blu-ray player, I urge you to spend wisely and buy this Blu-ray or the Deluxe Collector's Edition instead of the DVD.

As regards the English voice track, and just as it was for the UK cinema release, it is totally unique to the British market. By this I mean it uses different actors to the Disney track that will be added for the American market. This is a first for Ghibli releases in the UK. It is also why we managed to get the film so much sooner than our friends across the pond, both as regards cinematic release and home video, and it is something I hope to see more of in future. While I myself prefer to watch in the native Japanese, I do not think it is fair that we get American actors thrust down our ears at every opportunity when it comes to the dubbing of anime, so it's nice to see some Brits get a fair share of the work for once. And, as far as dubs go, the largely English voice cast suits Arrietty perfectly. Far more than a Hollywood cast would have.

Extras/special features: Well, they're pretty much run of the mill for an Optimum Releasing Studio Ghibli title. We get the now standard alternate angle 'storyboard' track, which allows us to watch the entire film in storyboard mode, the original Japanese trailer, a couple of TV spots and interviews with the cast and production team. Although the interviews are far more extensive than normal and run to about an hour in length. Miyazaki is as charming and candid as he always is, as he discusses his decision to award the director's job to Yonebayashi. Worryingly, more hints are made as to the long term survival of our beloved studio and, once again, he seems to be encouraging fans to adopt the young Ghibli directors - after all, Miyazaki won't be around forever. Yonebayashi seems a little shy and awkward in his interview, but what he has to say about his work on the film is extremely interesting, and he also takes us through some conceptual artwork of his. We also get interviews with the English voice cast, which was quite interesting to me even though I'm a fan of anime in the the native tongue. Finally, there's a video of Cécile Corbel & ensemble performing the wonderful 'Arrietty' theme song. I should also note that, again IF there is a DVD copy of the film included with this Blu-ray, the DVD only contains the alternative angle storyboard feature. Whether this is true or not for the standalone DVD, I do not know, but it is definitely the case for the deluxe edition I own, and will be for this, too, IF you get a DVD copy with it.

In summary, I have no qualms *whatsoever* in giving this wonderful anime 5 stars. It is a must see hand drawn classic amongst a sea of commercial guff and generic CGI animation. I urge you to buy it not only as the studio needs our support now more than ever, but also because it begs multiple viewings. A rental just wouldn't do it justice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The future of Ghibli is in good, 5 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Arriety is a Miyazaki's old wshislist film to be that was entrusted to a Ghibli's team member as a 1st directing role and the result was a good film that in no way is lacking in comparison to past Ghibli films.

Based on The Borrowers classic children's book the script couldn't go wrong. It goes a little beyond childish themes and gives you an unfinished ending that is already a king of trademark form the studios that leaves much to your imagination.

The animation is pure genious, the colours are simply wide, vivid and emotional and the actual drawing skill is top knotch.

On short, if you like the previous Ghibli movies this should be on you collection.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Everything's so huge!", 9 Jan. 2012
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Borrowers has been adapted several times into films and TV series, when I first heard that Studio Ghibli were going to create their own film version of the classic books I was intrigued as to how their own interpretation would differ. Ghibli's adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle was quite different to the Diana Wynne Jones book, but it was given a unique charm which could only have come from the Japanese Animation studio who manage to make everything feel extra magical. Arrietty retains the familiar premise - of little people living beneath our feet who 'borrow' from humans to provide for themselves - but the Ghibli treatment makes this the most visually lush spin on Mary Norton's fantasy adventures.

Though set in the modern day, there's an old fashioned feel to Arrietty thanks to the country house setting where the elderly Sadako lives. Her sick, young nephew Sho rests there. His parents may be distant but he's not quite so alone and he quickly becomes aware of young Arrietty, his housemate from under the floorboards - but friendship isn't easy when being spotted by a human puts your family in danger. We've come accustomed to strong female leads in Studio Ghibli films and Arrietty is no different. Plucky and ambitious, the pint-sized girl has a strength of spirit which drives the film and she's starting to realise there's much more to the world than her daily routine. Her inquisitiveness may be perilous, but it's also what makes her so entertaining and makes her easy to identify with, especially children who always want to explore what's out there.

Her world is a familiar one, it reflects a miniature version of the houses we humans build for ourselves and the objects within it are often human cast-offs or possessions which have been borrowed and assimilated into their own dwellings. A lot of thought has gone into ingenious solutions to their unique problems and a repeat viewing reveals much of what you may have missed the first time. The quality of animation in Studio Ghibli films has been setting benchmarks for years and here it is gloriously smooth, movement seems incredibly realistic. Simple things such as a car turning into a driveway may seem simple but they are quite tricky to hand-draw with geometric precision -here they are simply perfect and the level of detail is incredible. Light reflects from surfaces and shadows are cast with a realism which creates a tangible hand-crafted world, surfaces are textured by flaked paint or metal corrosion, the fantasy is brought to life. The audio too is immersive, the Celtic-style music adds a great whimsical feel, but it's the sound effects of everyday things such as raindrops which highlight how different the world sounds when you're a Borrower, things even sound bigger!

The Blu Ray is excellent, colours are bright and there doesn't seem to be any ugly compression of obvious banding - this is where High Definition really comes into its own, DVDs of such richly detail are fine when the image is more-or-less static, but when there are sweeping landscapes the detail is lost to blockyness and judders, none of that on the Blu-Ray. This is a visual marvel and those unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli works will be blown away whereas existing fans will be left amazed at how good things can get. I rarely watch a dubbed soundtrack and the native Japanese sounds excellent (as expected), with music and voices never competing and all voices matching the characters well. However, Ghibli films tend to get treated differently to other western releases of Japanese titles and a lot of effort is put into the English language dub, a great British cast (including the talents of Olivia Coleman) is a nice change from an American dub with the accents working well in scenery which could quite easily be in a country cottage (well, we have crows too!). There are storyboards and interviews with Ghibli Godfather Hayao Miyazaki (who co-wrote the screenplay) and director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the subject of the Yonebayashi's youth in a company which is steadily aging is addressed and the interviews feel like the passing of a torch to the next generation. Interviews with the British cast reveal an enthusiasm for Studio Ghibli and will enable some to put a face to a name.

In a nutshell: This is a magical story and I'm pleased that Studio Ghibli picked it up, it sometimes lacks pace and those used to constant action may find their attention drifting - but you will rarely find a film as beautiful as this. I would have given this 4.5 stars if I could, but on balance I've gone for 4 as it has less broad appeal beyond younger audiences, the story isn't as involved as many other Ghibli titles - but that doesn't mean that adults won't appreciate this. I'll enjoy watching this with my family and with Yonebayashi at the helm, the young director has shown that Studio Ghibli is in safe hands for many years to come, their films continue to be something to get exited about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This movie is amazing and it looks beautiful like any other Studio Ghibli i have watched. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to watch anime.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best from Ghibli, but a good watch, 25 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
It's missing something, not sure what it is, but compared to other Ghibli films it just didn't drag me in. Its still a great animated film, can't fault the art direction or the story in general, but yeah.. it needed just something else and it would have been amazing.

My middle lad did hope there would be a sequel however, so it caught his interest enough and I enjoyed to a degree that I feel it deserves four stars. Although I've not encountered a ghibli film yet I'd rate below four stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arrietty, 2 Oct. 2013
By 
Richard Mills (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a well drawn and produced version of familiar story line. The artwork is beautiful as always from the Ghibli studios. Great family viewing and a must for anime fans. The more you watch it the more you see in it, and art fans will love it too, the drawing is inspiring.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Borrower experience, 1 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
You can forget the Borrowers from 1997. Just stick with this film. It's so much better. With stunning animation, memorable characters, so much detail within every scene, a simple yet interesting story, a memorable music score (particular "Arrietty's song" which is a melody I absolutely love) and good chemistry between two of the main characters, Arrietty and Shawn, this really is a great Anime from Studio Ghibli and you really feel like you're with Arrietty and her family through their journey together. I highly recommend it.
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Arrietty [Blu-ray]
Arrietty [Blu-ray] by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Blu-ray - 2012)
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