The Secret World of Arrietty is a Japanese animated movie adaptation from the British novel, The Borrowers. In Japan, this movie was released on July 17, 2010 and managed to become the highest grossing film of that year. Here are 10 interesting facts about this popular film:
1) More than 50 species were used as bioroids in this animation *
Production I.G was responsible for animating more than fifty species of borrowers in their work to retell a story from a children’s novel set in our world without any reference to reality. That is why you see weirdly shaped humans, people with funny-looking clothes and buildings that look normal enough for us to recognize them as part of our world, but somewhat alien-like at the same time.
2) It was thought that Miyazaki Hayao, who is well known as a master of anime, would work on this film
It was originally planned to be directed by Yoshifumi Kondou (Heaven’s Lost Property), and it looked like Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle), which had released many great works in the past years, was also going to produce this movie. However, they backed out because of lack of manpower. Some people are still unhappy about their decision not to take part in its production since it resulted in some bad reviews during the early screenings in Japan. After all they did say that Miyazaki Hayao (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) wanted to be involved in this film and directed it.
3) It was thought that Miyazaki Hayao would work on the sequel
After the screening at New York City in 2012, Studio Ghibli has announced that they will not do a sequel movie because their animators said that “the next movie could never be as good as Arrietty.” Apparently, they took up this project only because Mr. Miyazaki personally wished to direct it.
Unfortunately, we can no longer hope for a sequel since there is just no way that its quality will ever meet people’s expectations after such an excellent first story which is why Studio Ghibli has given up trying.
4) It is a movie that can be enjoyed by both children and adults
The Secret World of Arrietty is a great animation for all ages to enjoy. This film’s message is simple: “Don’t go borrowing without thinking about the consequences” and it can teach young viewers about moral values such as: respecting one another, taking care of the natural environment and doing your best in everything you do.
The reason why we can watch this film even though we are no longer children may have something to do with the fact that its director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (2010 Mary and Max, The Borrowers) used an interesting trick during production: he decided to avoid using a photorealistic style of animation, and instead he focused on the creation of a completely new world that only exists in our imagination or in fairy tales.
5) It is a story about “little” people
In this film, we can see how borrowers survive by borrowing from other humans while being careful not to be caught. In Japan, there is a common belief that you should never borrow any item without returning it because if you do so, eventually bad things will happen to you. Also, since borrowers are actually very small in size compared to regular people they have been viewed as mystical creatures who live hidden away from society.
For these reasons, Arrietty’s actions to survive may be easier to understand than the situation facing other borrowers who live in our modern society. This is probably one of the reasons why their story can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
6) Borrowers are tiny creatures who appear frequently in children’s books
You can find photos or drawings of borrowers on many types of children’s picture books. They were first introduced to the world via “The Borrowers” written by Mary Norton back in 1952, and since then they have become popular characters for storytelling throughout the world. Even though they look like humans, these tiny creatures actually don’t resemble humans at all!
It seems that borrowers seem to be more human-like or act more human-like in Hollywood’s version of The Borrowers movie. In fact, the director Hiromasa Yonebayashi said that he made a conscious decision to make them look more like “real life mice” instead of borrowing from Disney.
7) It was based on Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers”
In Japan, this film is called “Kari-gurashi no Arrietty,” which means “Arrietty, the Borrower.” This is because the Japanese title is actually a transliteration of its English name. However, while some characters have been borrowed from this book and put into this animation movie, many elements have been changed or were modified for reasons such as to make the movie easier for Japanese viewers to understand.
Also, some aspects of this animation are different in order to appeal to modern Japanese society; therefore, it became an “anime original story.” For example, instead of having one borrower family who lives together like in Mary Norton’s book, we can see that borrowers in Japan tend to live alone in isolated places (a bit like hermits).
8) A few words about its background
This film was first announced on July 9th at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival held in France. Since then Studio Ghibli has released several official articles related to Arrietty and its production team including Producer Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya), Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (2010 Mary and Max, The Borrowers), and Music Composer Cécile Corbet (The Illusionist).
This film was created by Studio Ghibli which is known for its unique animation style. As you may know, they are the number one animation studio in Japan with over twenty-seven full-length feature films that have charmed both children and adults alike. For many years Studio Ghibli has worked together with world-famous director Hayao Miyazaki until his recent retirement; however, this does not mean that this beloved production studio will stop making movies anytime soon.
9) Creatures appearing in Arrietty
There are two types of creatures in this animation. The first type is small, white borrowers who are about 4 cm tall (about 1.5 inches), and the second type is slightly larger with yellow-colored skin and looks like a spider. Some people may find these creatures rather cute looking because they do not look much different from regular humans except for their size; however, if you were to pick one up, you would notice that they do not feel like living things at all! They feel more like something hard made out of plastic or porcelain…
As an interesting side note, when the studio started researching materials needed to make models of borrowers’ faces, there was also some concern over which type of material would be best. Many thought that borrowers would have to have some kind of glistening surface, but it turns out this was not necessary at all because the final borrower models are completely matte for a more genuine look! Also, another interesting fact is that their eyeballs are made from plastic balls containing water instead of gelatin-covered marbles used in regular models.
10) How to pronounce Arrietty’s name
We cannot tell you how to pronounce her name outside of Japan because it is based on Japanese phonetics; however, we can give you an example using words or names that English speakers might know. This reminds me of the movie “Mary and Max” (2009), as there was a character with the first name “Reet.” This character was played by Toni Collette, an Australian actress who had to pronounce her own name very carefully because it is not common in the English language.
The Japanese people sometimes have a rather hard time pronouncing foreign words or names while some loanwords are actually written with the same characters as the Japanese equivalents instead of using their original spelling which makes them easier to read and remember. For example, “pari” (Paris) becomes “pa-ri,” but it can also be pronounced “pa-ri-su” since that is more natural for Japanese speakers. It’s really just a matter of familiarity! And this pretty much applies to all borrowers – if you are familiar with this world then you will find it easier to appreciate this fantastic creation from Studio Ghibli!