Australian Council on Children and the Media

Arrietty

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

Arrietty is a tiny 14 year old girl who lives with her parents.  The tiny people, known as the ‘borrowers’,  live in a secret world in the basement of a huge mansion occupied by an old lady and her housekeeper. The ‘borrowers’ borrow what they can from humans but only things that they won’t miss like sugar cubes. Sometimes Arrietty ventures out into the beautiful, magical garden but has to make sure she isn’t seen by humans because this will mean that the family will have to move.

Arrietty is seen though by 12 year old Shawn who comes to live with his aunt. Shawn is a sickly boy and has heard of the ‘little people’ from his mother, so he’s not surprised to see Arrietty . Arrietty is afraid at first but gradually comes to trust Shawn and the two become good friends.  Arrietty is then discovered though, by the mean housekeeper, who is determined to trap the little people. This causes much trouble for them and they are forced to move home.

What to look out for

There are some violent and scary scenes in this movie that might frighten younger kids such as:

  • A large crow flies at Shawn and then attacks Leo the cat.
  • Leo chases Arrietty and tries to grab her with his paws.
  • A crow flies at Arrietty and gets stuck in the flyscreen – it flaps and squawks and is very aggressive. The crow bites Shawn and the housekeeper bashes the crow with a slipper to release it.
  • The housekeeper picks up Arrietty’s mother by her shirt and pulls her arms and legs. She then places her in a jar and hides her on a shelf in the pantry.

Moral of the Story

The messages of the story are that friendship can help you cope with all sorts of dangers and sometimes the smallest people can be the bravest.

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