by Chris MaGee
It was just before the holiday break that we brought you news of the upcoming Studio Ghibli adaptation of Mary Norton's 1952 children's novel "The Borrowers". At that point pretty much all we knew was that Norton's story of a race of tiny people who lived under the floorboards of a 1950's English manor house and "borrowed" everyday objects from the human world was going to be updated by first time director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, retitled "Karigurashi no Arrietty", and reset in present day Japan. Over the next couple weeks Studio Ghibli (via the ever watchful folks at Ghibli World) revealed more and more details of the production which they are slating to release in Japanese theatres in this coming summer.
The broad strokes of what us Ghibli fans can expect from "Karigurashi no Arrietty" is this - the story will be set in contemporary metropolitan Tokyo, specifically Koganei City about 20 kilometres west of Shinjuku. Instead of the old English manor a family 10-centimetre tall people, which includes a 14-year-old daughter named Arrietty, who live under the kitchen floor of an old house. Eventually the family's forays into the human world lead Arrietty to meet a boy who lives in the house and the two form a bond. According to Ghibli World's report Yonebashi and the staff at Studio Ghibli "wish for this film is to comfort and encourage people who live in this chaotic and anxious time."
The official blog for "Karigurashi no Arrietty" has already gone live and is being regularly updated with reports on production (check it out in Japanese here), and if you follow the link to Ghibli World above you can check out a gallery of storyboard images from the film like the one above right. You can definitely count on us bringing you additional details for "Karigurashi no Arrietty" in the upcoming months.