Studio Ghibli’s 2010 adaptation of the British children’s book The Borrowers
pulses with Hayao Miyazaki’s feeling for childhood and nature (as usual, the intricate backgrounds invite you to marvel at every tree and flower), and it develops a surprising amount of suspense considering it all takes place around a single suburban home. The title character is a tiny girl who lives in secret behind the walls of said home with her doting parents, making do for food and goods by “borrowing” items from people. When a human boy discovers the family, the parents fear for their safety; but Arrietty senses his kind nature and cautiously accepts his offer of friendship. This is moving entertainment in the foolproof Ghibli tradition, suggesting a utopian world in which everyone acts compassionately and even a crawlspace can be a site of awesome mystery. The director is first-timer Hiromasa Yonebayahi; Miyazaki receives credit for “screenplay and planning.” The English language version includes Carol Burnett and Amy Poehler among the voice talent.