Ghibli’s Arrietty the Borrower coming to US theaters in 2011


Since Disney seems to have given up after The Princess and the Frog didn’t set the world on fire, Japan’s Studio Ghibli may be the last stand for high quality 2D animation left. Their previous film, Ponyo, may not have been as great as some of their masterpieces like Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, but it was still jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The house of director Hayao Miyazaki creates films that feel more Disney-like than Disney itself these days.

Our sister site Japanator (and me) reports that the studio’s latest film, Karigurashi no Arietti, will be getting an American theatrical release later this year. Disney holds the license to all Ghibli films, partly because the head of Disney and Pixar’s animation branches John Lasseter is friend and great admirer of Miyazaki, so they’re continuing their distributing relationship in the US. Producer Frank Marshall, who also produced the American version of Ponyo, will be in charge of adapting the film, which is now known as Arrietty the Borrower.

The film is an adaptation of Mary Norton’s novel The Borrowers, a story about a tribe of tiny people that I always get confused with the similar book The Littles. It has received a few sequels and adaptations in the past, most recently 1997’s The Borrowers with John Goodman. Miyazaki did not direct this new adaptation, though he did write the script.

Frank Marshall also announced some of the English cast. Bridgit Mendler is voicing the lead role, with David Hernie voicing her human friend Sho and Carol Burnett voicing Sho’s great aunt Sadako. Most interestingly is the casting of married couple Will Arnett and Amy Poehler as Arrietty’s parents Pod and Homily. Yes, I mean Will Arnett.

Ghibli has always created wonderful films, but I’ll admit that I’ve never seen any of their films not directed by Miyazaki. Still, it warms my heart to see that there are some people in the world still committed to the 2D way of life in the face of all these 3D CG films.

[via Japanator]