Studio Ghibli is as synonymous with founder Hayao Miyazaki as it is with wistful explorations of the boundless animation genre. In the studio’s latest effort Karigurashi no Arrietty (Translation: The Borrowers) Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a Ghibli regular who’s worked previously on Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away, takes the Directorial reigns for the first time.
This of course, is a double edged sword. Miyazaki enlisted Yonebayashi, the youngest Ghibli Director ever, for new eyes and new blood. Historically however, the critical reception to Ghibli features not helmed by Hayao Miyazaki has been mixed (including Miyazaki’s own son Goro Miyazaki who released the underwhelming Tales From Earthsea in 2006). But judging from The Borrowers’ teaser, Yonebayashi will sacrifice none of the whimsy for which the studio is known while offering a decidedly Japanese twist on the source material, Mary Norton’s The Borrowers. Which, if you weren’t forced to read in middle school, is about little people who live under the floorboards and “borrow” your shit. It’s like a metaphor for poverty but viewed through a prism of whimsy!
If you like sparse teasers with slow pans over gardens and confusing Japanese titles you’ll LOVE this below fifty seconds. For everyone else (normal people) this will be frustratingly spartan.