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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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Unlike the superb BBC serialisation that was faithfully based on Mary Norton's book from the 50's, this film has been updated and an American TV star brought in. Unfortunately the script and plot isn't really quite as good as the original book and the out of place slapstick does reduce the tension somewhat. My son (9) and daughter (11) really liked this film, but I preferred the two BBC 'borrowers' series, first screened in 1993 and 1994 (make sure you get the two DVD set, series one and two - 6 hours of quality children's TV). The BBC series is far darker, being played straight with no slapstick and despite the Borrower's amusing antics and the witty script, it's got many quite tense moments and is all the better for it. The special effects in the film (and much of the BBC series) are actually very good - although a lot of the atmosphere in both is derived from the superb 'miniature' sets.

The BBC series scores though by being set in the original isolated 1920'ish shires countryside, about the time of Norton's childhood, in a period when children were more strictly brought up and would think nothing of keeping big secrets from the adults. This film is set in a UK town around 1956 and so seems quite modern in comparison. However, in any era the Borrower's worst fear, above even cats and rats, is to be 'seen' by a human, after which they know the human will spend all his time trying to find them again (so they will have leave and find a new home). The cast in the film are very good, although Jim Broadbent's character doesn't capture the sensitive and secretive nature of Borrower Pod as brilliantly as Ian Holm (BBC version). Also Penelope Wilson (BBC) just 'is' the timid house proud Homily. Likewise John Goodman doesn't hold a candle to the BBC's strict and rather sinister Sian Philips 'Mrs Driver', scourge of the human boy George unfortunate enough to be left in her care. It's not that the film's bad, far from it, its script and reliance on special effects just limits the actor's a little. In the films favour, it's so different it can easily be viewed as a sequel to the BBC series, and the film is certainly great fun (there's also a British A-list support cast and I particularly enjoyed Ruby Wax's cameo). The films break neck action sequences also make repeat viewing enjoyable.

If you can't decide whether to buy this film even at the knockdown price, try renting first, as the film is well worth a family view or two on a quiet winter's Sunday. Do also have a look at the BBC DVD set. Plus the original 'Borrowers' books are a good fairly easy read as for later preteens. Just a shame the BBC and the film industry didn't continue with a few more of the Borrower's books.
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on 18 January 2014
Really quirky - I love the fact that it doesn't attach itself to a particular era, and is a mixture of all eras. Loved the Morris Minors everywhere. It is great entertainment and so well acted. You can't help but be engrossed in it, whether you are 7 or 70.
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on 31 July 2014
in this hilariouse film to the follow up series,john goodman plays an evil lawyer keeping quiet about a will left to a family he is kicking out to make condominiums,and the borrowers get involved,a great laugh and a great film for the kids and all the family
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on 31 May 2012
I thoroughly love this movie! The newer version is good but nothing compares to this one. ITs funny, sweet and full of adventure! I watch it with my brothers, and all the family watched it together every Christmas. Reminds me of growing up :)
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on 27 May 2004
When i saw that this film was on in the holidays i decided that i would watch it, knowing how much attention 'The borrowers' had attracted back in 1998 when it was released. Although i don't usually like this type of film, with this it was different, and i quite enjoyed it.
Unfortunately i have never read the book so i don't know how accurate this film is, but it didn't really matter, becuase the supurb mixture of comedy, action/adventure and suspense, made it a really fun fil to watch.
The Clock family live in the walls and under the floor boards of an old aunt, however when she dies, and her will is stolen by a fat mean lawyer who wants to demolish the house for building land, the borrowers must escape before they are all squished. But saftey is a long way away and they need the help of a young boy when they venture into the outside world of cars, and 'big' people.
Overall a very fun and entertaining film, which kids are sure to love watching, as are the parents who watch it with them. I highly recommended movieif you want a few hours of good 'clean' family viewing.
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on 27 December 2012
With Jim Broadbent, Celia Imrie and John Goodman, it's incredible that such a dull, dreary adaptation of a classic was made. This relates to the books only by having little people living in a house. Quite honestly, it could have equaly well been called "Truckers", as it has about the same amount of similarity to that as it does Mary Norton's magical tales.

If you want to see "The Borrowers" come to life, then track down the marvellous BBC TV series, or try the Studio Ghibli animation, but give this a wide berth. only the fantastic cast gets this two stars. One star is severely tempting.
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on 27 November 2001
This film is hysterically funny and makes you look at everything from a differrent perspective!
It basically makes you want to be a borrower! Definately worth watching.
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on 19 December 2013
Very entertaining, great for all the family, young and old alike.
would recommend it to anyone.
very clever and funny had kids falling about laughing.
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on 2 June 2010
This movie is sooooo so good....epitome of Harry Potter movies prior. Staring Tom Felton (Draco), Jim Broadbent (slughorn) and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley). Ironically the bad guy is one Ocious Potter.
Such a cute movie, great for the kids.....the young perfomers are quite amazing.
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on 18 April 2014
classic film from my childhood. definitely one to be watched over and over again!! firm family favourite!! well worth watching!!
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