Ghibli's Arrietty Provisionally Scheduled for UK Cinemas this August
posted on by Andrew Osmond
The Studio Ghibli film Karigurashi no Arrietty, based on the British children's book The Borrowers, is provisionally scheduled for a UK cinema release on August 26, according to an official website.
The site, Launching Films, is run by Britain's Film Distributors Association. It lists the film's title as simply Arrietty (the Japanese title translates to The Borrower Arrietty). However, all dates and details on the site are subject to change.
Arrietty was released by Studio Ghibli in Japan in July last year. It was directed by the first-timer Hiromasa Yonebayashi, although Hayao Miyazaki was closely involved in the project. As well as co-writing the scenario, Miyazaki has a longtime interest in the source book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton.
Published in Britain in 1952, Norton's story involves a race of people a few inches high, who 'borrow' what they need from human beings. The Borrowers was very popular in postwar Japan (see this story) and won Britain's Carnegie Medal for children's writing.
Ghibli's version focuses on Arrietty, an adventurous 14 year-old Borrower girl, who meets a human boy. The film relocates the story from England to Tokyo's Koganei district, where Studio Ghibli itself is based.
The Launching Films site lists Optimum Releasing as Arrietty's UK distributor. Optimum has released all of Ghibli's films on British DVD up to Ponyo (including two not released in the US, Only Yesterday and Ocean Waves).
Previously, when Optimum released Ghibli films to cinemas, it distributed both American-dubbed and subtitled prints, though there is no confirmation yet about if this will be the case for Arrietty. The film's Japanese cast includes Ryunosuke Kamiki (Howl's Moving Castle, Summer Wars), as Arrietty's human friend. The forthcoming American dub features Bridgit Mendler (as Arrietty) and David Henrie.
Before Ghibli's anime version, The Borrowers and its sequels had been adapted several times in live-action. There was a 1973 American television film, a 1992 BBC serial, a follow-up serial in 1993, and a cinema version in 1997. The latter featured Flora Newbigin as Arrietty, along with John Goodman, Jim Broadbent, Celia Imrie and Tom Felton.
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