The Pitch

A lonely boy discovers a tiny someone living in his great aunt’s house. A girl, a Borrower, named Arrietty.

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 5+ Common Sense Media: 7+

Content Advisories

The human boy is ill and believes he may die. A Borrower is captured (but later rescued). A human destroys Arrietty’s family’s home. As in many Studio Ghibli films, the world of childhood includes sadness and not knowing.

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04.09.13

See it before they get hooked on Phineas and Ferb

This adaptation of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers is a terrific introduction for young children to the films of Studio Ghibli. Arrietty unfolds in long, gentle images that often feel like moving paintings. (Watch it on the biggest screen you have.) More than any other adaptation (or even the novels themselves), this film helps viewers feel the chasm of scale—of space, size, and even time—between the human and the Borrower worlds. Voice actors Will Arnett (as Arrietty’s steady father) and Amy Poehler (as her shrill, frightened mother) do their jobs, but sadly nothing more. —Chris Ereneta

Edited & designed by Chris Ereneta. Suggestions, feedback, and rants welcome at watchwiththekids@gmail.com, @WatchWithKids, or on Facebook. More about this site.