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A tiny family named the Clocks lives secretly on the underground of another family and borrows the items they need in the house. One day, the 14 year-old daughter Arrietty is caught by an inhabitant of the house while doing the first borrowing trip in her life. The Clocks decides to move to another house before being captured by the human being.
Arrietty combines the bold, mature qualities of prior Ghibli fantasy outings like Spirited Away and Nausicaa with the droll humor of My Neighbor Totoro, resulting in a movie that is simultaneously thrilling and whimsically adorable.
What is so bewitching about the mostly static backgrounds in Arrietty is that they can be oxygenated at will by the smallest instance of judiciously placed movement, such as a single fluttering ladybird or a pair of jaunty butterflies in the foreground.
It's the kind of children's film that's easy to overrate, simply for not treating the younger contingent of its audience like ADD-addled freaks, but far easier to enjoy as the handiwork of a relaxed master filmmaker.
December 08, 2014
Yonebayashi gives Arrietty an excellent sense of balance, with the adventure aspects of the story, which feel legitimately dangerous providing well-paced contrast the film's more placid moments.