The Borrowers

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Adventure, Children's, Fantasy

Before there was MOUSE HUNT, before the Szalinski kids got shrunk, there were the Borrowers. Mary Norton's 1953 children's book about a family of little red-headed people who live beneath the floorboards of an old house and "borrow" the necessities of life from their unsuspecting human hosts won a slew of prizes and still has the power to enchant young...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Before there was MOUSE HUNT, before the Szalinski kids got shrunk, there were the Borrowers. Mary Norton's 1953 children's book about a family of little red-headed people who live beneath the floorboards of an old house and "borrow" the

necessities of life from their unsuspecting human hosts won a slew of prizes and still has the power to enchant young readers. The question is whether this sweetly old-fashioned movie can do the same. The teeny-tiny Clocks -- mother Homily (Celia Imrie), father Pod (Jim Broadbent), restless teen

Arietty (Flora Newbigin) and bothersome little brother Peagreen (Tom Felton) -- live in fear of being squished by the big people on whose unwitting largesse they depend. The full-size Lenders -- parents Joe and Victoria (Aden Gillett and Doon Mackichan) and son Pete (Bradley Pierce) -- have no

idea they're there, though young Pete has his suspicions. He eventually catches naughty Arietty creeping about his toy shelf, setting the stage for the Borrowers to do the unthinkable and team up with Pete to save their mutual home from unscrupulous lawyer Ocious P. Potter (John Goodman), who

wants to tear their house down and erect pricey apartments. Painstaking attention has been lavished on the film's INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN details: a meal consisting of a raisin and a couple of Cheerios, the weapons fashioned out of sewing pins, the birthday candle used as a torch. It's a shame,

though, that the characters are a bit sketchy; Goodman's larger than life sleazeball lawyer is probably the most vivid of the lot. Younger children should get a kick out of the fanciful action -- Peagreen's adventures in a milk-bottling factory are especially imaginative -- but older kids will

most likely rebel against the gentle tone and absence of flashy effects.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Before there was MOUSE HUNT, before the Szalinski kids got shrunk, there were the Borrowers. Mary Norton's 1953 children's book about a family of little red-headed people who live beneath the floorboards of an old house and "borrow" the necessities of lif… (more)

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