When I watch an adaptation, I always pay attention to the story. Are the underlying themes and plots of the book present in the movie? Even when things change, and they must in order to adapt to the big screen, is the story the writer worked so hard to tell, being told. In the case of Arrietty, my answer is yes.
At the end of the day, this is a story about friendship, trust, and family. The anime aspect of the picture gave it a reality feel animations sometimes can’t. The character of Pod is by far my favorite thing about the movie, and it’s a change from the book I actually like. They made the character this wise-old, zen kind of man, the strong silent type that you know when he speaks, he has something important to say.
What I didn’t get was the character of Spiller. He didn’t exist in the original story until the second book of the series. It feels like he was only added as a triangle love interest for our heroine Arrietty and the human boy Shawn. He really didn’t bring anything to this adaptation. It’s a character I think the movie could have done without.
Overall, I liked the adaptation. I felt that it stayed true to the story the writer wanted to tell.
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