Arrietty (Standard Edition)

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Arrietty (Standard Edition)

Studio Ghibli Collection


General Audience

General Audience

Suitable for general audiences.

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars Based on 22 Customer Ratings

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"Ghibli = nuff said"
5 stars"

This is Japan's answer to Disney except 100 times better. Another Studio Ghibli film, it delivers in every way you know it can.

The pacing is perfectly matched with the character development leading to an overall satisfying experience. The sound is one of those elements that helps to bring out the magic of animation and as always the animation is amazing. This is a great film for both adults and children of a young age. It is playful and has a few scares but nothing to frightening for children. It is a wonderful story of little people and how they live in a world fraught with danger.

A fantastic film and one for the collection. Blu-ray as always makes this a much better experience.

I sincerely recommend.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
"Beautiful imagery"
4 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Absolutely stunning imagery. Very cute movie but not as humorous as other Ghibli works.

5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Studio Ghibli has to be the best there is. Beautiful animation and back drops make this a must have.


Arrietty, titled The Borrower Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arietti) in Japan and The Secret World of Arrietty in North America, is a 2010 Japanese animated fantasy film directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa.

This is a story of a family of “little” people.

ARRIETTY is a visually stunning animated film created by world-renowned Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli (SPIRITED AWAY, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, PONYO) and based on the much-loved children’s book The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

In this whimsical adventure, tiny 14-year-old Arrietty lives under the floorboards of a sprawling mansion set in a magical, overgrown garden with her father and mother. Arrietty and her family live by borrowing. Everything they have, they borrow or make from the things they have borrowed from the old lady who lives in the mansion.

Their peaceful life is dramatically changed when the ever-curious Arrietty accidentally allows herself to be seen by Sho, a lonely 12-year-old human boy. The two begin to confide in each other and, before long, a friendship begins to blossom…

From the Studio Ghibli Collection


  • Won Japanese Academy Award for: Best Animation Film (2011)
  • Won Tokyo Anime Awards for: Animation of the Year, Best Director (2011)
  • Won International Cinephile Society Award, Best Animated Film (2013)
  • Nominated MovieGuide Award, Best Film for Families (2013)

Arrietty Movie Review

"Studio Ghibli's latest confection is a magical adaptation of Mary Norton's oh-so-British kid-lit classic The Borrowers. For Hayao Miyazaki – the ‘Japanese Walt Disney’ – the film marks the realisation of a project he tried to get off the ground over 40 years ago, perhaps explaining its quaint nature and the absence of much of his later output's surreal quirkiness. It's also the directorial debut of animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the youngest person to have made a film for the company. While some fans of their more esoteric work – like Eighties faves Laputa and My Neighbour Totoro – will bemoan the relative simplicity of the narrative, patient viewers will find plenty to savour and all involved should be proud of their accomplishment.

Sho is a terminally ill teenager, on his way to stay with his kindly aunt Sadako. Their journey takes us from urban Tokyo out into the glorious green countryside, where the dense foliage holds a surprise for the observant youth; a miniature girl is slipping through the undergrowth. This is our heroine Arrietty, first glimpsed on the run from the family feline, narrowly escaping into her underground abode. There she lives with her mother Homily and father Pod, thinking they may well be the last of their kind, the ‘Borrowers’. These tiny beings are so named for their practice of taking what they need from ‘human beans’, so long as it's not something that'll be missed. The family's fearful dependency is established on one golden rule: they must never allow the humans to catch a glimpse of them. Arrietty's ca­relessness may result in her family having to leave their treasured home, but a curious Sho is determined to see more.

The first thing that will strike you about The Borrower Arrietty is how absolutely lush it is visually; the pastel landscape is utterly iridescent by day, and star-dusted luminous by night. The interior scenes are also gorgeously intricate, with reams of noteworthy mise-en-scene in every frame. Most of the screen may be filled with largely inanimate paintings, but every inch is awash with vibrant color and alive with joyful detail.

The relative restraint of the animation works in the film's favour; there's so much to take in that the action understandably takes a back-seat at times. Special mention must also be made of the score, its wistfully pastoral folk having been composed by unknown French musician and Gibhli devotee Cecile Corbel after she sent the studio a gushing fan letter. This speaks volumes about the personal touch that is evident all over; it's the sort of film you'll look forward to owning, just to soak up all of its old-fashioned finery.

Screenwriter Miyazaki is surprisingly respectful of Norton's original vision; the story references the books quite closely, subtly adapting several aspects for both the Eastern locale and the modern age. Part of the film's charm comes in its excellent evocation of scale; the use of perspective is outstanding, and the sporadic employment of twinkly lighting effects also adds to the atmosphere.

The way the little family uses our detritus – as well as the way they ingeniously negotiate our outsized domain – is wonderfully conveyed. Sugar cubes are their ultimate luxury; drops of water or soup are like boulders of liquid; stamps make for paintings and fairy lights become battery-powered lanterns. Arrietty's first Borrowing mission – under the shadowy cloak of night – is fabulously exciting, their exploration of our environment comparable to one of Indiana Jones' tomb raids. Scenes involving threat from gigantic animals are also brilliantly handled, being both funny and frantic, if perhaps a little less frequent than you'd expect and would maybe wish. This is perhaps the film's greatest weakness; it is relatively uneventful and only modestly humorous, especially given the potential for both peril and hi-jinks…

For all that though, there's a timeless quality to Arrietty's es­capades, and a gentle poignancy that is all the more affecting by being so unforced for the most part. Come the ending (don't miss the animation accompanying the credits), you'll be sad to leave this world, but happy to see the characters venturing out to find new adventures. Arrietty is possibly the most accessible and consistent film by the studio yet, for both children and adults, especially in the West. It'll probably bore the slightly older kids who would prefer the wackiness of its predecessor Ponyo, and it may fail to satisfy those enchanted by the wild fantasy of Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, but it's a hell of a lot better than the last time Studio Ghibli tried to appeal to a more mainstream crowd (with the wishy-washy Tales From Earthsea), and it stands as a wonderful testament to traditional storytelling values and animation techniques." 4.5 out of 5 stars

Release date NZ
June 14th, 2012
Movie Format
  • Blu-ray
Blu-ray Region
  • Region B
  • Standard Edition
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.78 : 1
English, Japanese
Length (Minutes)
  • Animation
Box Dimensions (mm)
Product ID


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