Studio Ghibli has long been synonymous with its co-founders, the famed Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies). Starting this summer, audiences will be introduced to Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a first time director, looking to make his own mark on the Ghibli name. His film, Karigurashi no Arrietty (lit. The Borrower Arrietty) is based off Mary Norton’s popular The Borrowers series of children’s books. For more on the new project, as well as the first teaser trailer, hit the jump.
Arrietty is a project roughly 40 years in the making. Miyazaki and Takahata had talked about making it for years but only recently decided to commit to the project. Though it is somewhat ironic that neither is directing the long-gestating film, Miyazaki defended his decision to defer to Yonebayashi citing the need for a youthful energy in filmmaking. Yonebayashi also cited the recent economic downturn as naturally highlighting the film’s themes. He said, “The age of mass consumption is ending and, at such a time, the idea of borrowing instead of buying becomes more prevalent.”
Arrietty will be a new, and decidedly John Goodman-less, interpretation on the Norton’s books. Moving the setting from 1950’s England to present day Japan, the story will focus on Arrietty, a 14-year old Borrower who lives with her family underneath the floorboards of an old house. They borrow what they need to survive and remain constantly vigilant against being seen by their human counterparts. Being only 10cm or so in height, they must also be wary of cockroaches and other diminutive dangers.
Karigurashi no Arrietty will premiere in Japan on July 17, 2010. An American release is sure to follow, probably in time for the 2010 holiday season. In the meantime, here is trailer. The Japanese translates as
“Do not be seen by humans.” That was the rule of the little people under the floor.