27/10/2011. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Like many anime fans, I winced a little when I heard that the usually faultless Studio Ghibli's next project was The Secret World of Arriety. Mainly because Japan's history of translating Western novels into anime is spotty at best.
Errr, Earthsea, anyone? In this case, The Secret World of Arriety is based on Mary Norton's classic 1950s book, The Borrowers.
In the novel, there are little people about who live under people's houses and borrow things to live, all the time keeping their existence out of human eyes.
The film takes the idea loosely and runs with it... telling the tale of Arrietty, a young Borrower who lives under the floorboards of a house. She becomes secret chums with Sho, a child with a heart condition who is living with his great aunt Sadako.
When Sadako's maid Haru becomes suspicious of all her stuff disappearing (being borrowed, in the parlance of the book), Arrietty and her family must escape detection, even if it means leaving their home.
In Japan, Studio Ghibli released the movie as The Borrower Arrietty.
Stephen Hunt's novels - USA