The Secret World of Arrietty (2010, Hiromasa Yonebayashi)

I didn’t catch the toy Totoro but made some other Ghibli connections. Arrietty stands on the boy’s shoulder like the fox-thing in Nausicaa. She’s a 13-yr-old girl making her first adventure into grown-up life (and making a mess of it) like Kiki’s. Also: too many songs with vocals. Adapted by Miyazaki from a novel that’s been filmed a bunch of times before. The title has been changed, but the miniature people, at least in the English version, are still called Borrowers.

The main rule, strictly obeyed for generations, is never to be seen by humans, but on her first night out to snatch a sugarcube with dad, Arrietty is spotted by a drowsy, sickly boy spending the summer with his aunts or whoever they are: a decent one and a horrible troll woman whose goal in life is to find and destroy the borrowers. So Arrietty’s family packs all their belongings to move away (aided by an awesome feral borrower named Spiller, while the boy tries to find Arrietty and be friends. Probably would’ve been cooler in theaters, but at home I kept finding myself wondering why I’d rented a kids’ movie and wasn’t watching Pola X instead.

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