31 July 2011

Fishy's Film Reviews - Arrietty

I saw Arrietty today on a spur of the moment choice. Here’s my review
The version I saw had the UK voice cast

Certificate - U
Running time – 94 minutes
Cast –
Saoirse Ronan as Arrietty Clock
Mark Strong as Pod Clock
Olivia Colman as Homily Clock
Tom Holland as Shô

The plot
14-year-old Arrietty and the rest of the Clock family live in peaceful anonymity as they make their own home from items "borrowed" from the house's human inhabitants. However, life changes for the Clocks when a human boy discovers Arrietty

What's right with it?
The 2d animation is absolutely beautiful as always, I would expect nothing else from Studio Ghibli.

Like Honey I Shrunk the Kids and the Borrowers before it, the most magical thing is seeing the world in a whole new light and thinking just what are my walls hiding?

Sound also adds to the otherworldlyness with everything amplified up to 11 to make it feel that much more imposing to the little people

I really liked the use of everyday objects like nails and staples being turned into walkways and ladders, and fishing hooks and lines used as grappling equipment

What’s wrong with it?
As it is actually based on the story of the Borrowers, of which there has been many a film, tv series and cartoons influenced by the lives of miniature characters, I felt that I’d seen it all before

You never really get a sense of the main baddies motivations either, perhaps it’s just to show that humans are evil and don’t always have to make sense, as there is also a very mean spirited chat when the main human Shô speaks to Arrietty which just seems out of place

That is another problem with this film, Shô just seems to be withdrawn a lot and a bit of a douchebag, yes he’s been dealt a bad hand in life and if you see the film you’ll know the reason why but he never really clicked with me as a genuine character. Maybe it’s just because this is Tom Holland’s first film, and other than this he's only played Billy Elliot in the live musical version

Best Scene?
Probably the first time Arrietty goes borrowing, you can see the dangers of the house they borrow from and the cool gadgets and ways Pod uses everyday items

Bonus Trivia
The story takes place in 2010 in Western Tokyo's neighborhood of Koganei. Koganei is also where Studio Ghibli is located.

French singer Cécile Corbel, a big fan of Studio Ghibli's films, had sent the studio her second album as a gift back in 2009. Toshio Suzuki listened to it, was seduced and thus decided to hire her to compose the film's score.

Final Thoughts
I think the main problem with this is that it sticks to the main story of the Borrowers a little too much, and perhaps that is why Ponyo did a fare deal better with being only partially based on the Little Mermaid and they went their own way with it

Another thing is that Studio Ghibli movies, to me anyway, are all about the fantastical, the quaint and the strange. Pick anyone of their other movies and there are things you see that just stick with you forever.

In Spirited Away you have the amazing scene with the paper birds, or the little background scenes of the little bird trying to pick up the fat cat

In My Neighbour Totoro you had the cat bus

This doesn’t really have that

Ghibli films are kind of like Pixar in a way while some films aren’t as good as the others, they’re still worth seeing

It all depends on whether you’re a fan of these kind of films really

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