In THE BORROWERS, a family of miniature people, who exist on borrowed knickknacks and live under the floorboards of the first floor of a boy’s house, come to the family’s rescue when an evil banker unjustly evicts them from their home. Pete (Bradley Pierce) discovers and befriends a whole family of miniature people, the Clocks (also called the Borrowers), who purloin household knickknacks temporarily, as they maintain their diminutive existence under the floorboards of the Lenders’ first floor, trying not to be squished. Through a series of comical misadventures, the Borrowers help to right the wrongs caused by the greedy lawyer and enable the Lender family to keep their house.
THE BORROWERS is a magical tale of innocent imagination with wholesome, delightful humor and family-friendly themes. Special effects enhance the story but don’t overwhelm it. For example, Pod Clock pulls himself up the side of the kitchen table with a miniature hook and needle. He teaches his children to obey the Borrowers Code of Rules: “Be quiet, cautious and inconspicuous. Never be seen, never heard and never be squished.” Funny, imaginative, wholesome and delightful, THE BORROWERS will bring joy and mirth to the whole family
(Ro, B, V) Romantic worldview of magical miniature people coming to the rescue of unjustly dispossessed homeowners with biblical elements of good overcoming evil; and, some fantasy violence truck runs over miniature boy who survives, termite gun accidentally turned on man, miniature boy & girl take acrobatic falls down drainpipes, kitchen appliances fall on man, & miniature girl falls into milk bottle.
What a joyous, magical, delightful, wholesome, funny movie! Viewers laughed out loud with hilarity and delight at John Goodman’s comic antics as the evil lawyer Mr. Ocious P. Potter as he suffers greater and greater humiliations in his quest to evict the Lender family from their home.
In THE BORROWERS, a young boy, Pete (Bradley Pierce), complains to his mother, Victoria Lender (Doon Mackichan), about all the things which get misplaced around the house. His father, Joe (Aden Gillett), has lost his watch. His mother discounts Pete’s worry, but he persists. Pete discovers and befriends a whole family of miniature people, the Clocks (also called the Borrowers), who purloin household knickknacks temporarily, as they maintain their diminutive existence under the floorboards of the Lenders’ first floor, trying not to be squished. He meets Arietty Clock (Flora Newbigin), and her younger brother, PeaGreen,(Tom Felton), and their parents, Pod (Jim Broadbent) and Homily Clock (Celia Imire).
Like many playful boys, Pete decides to keep his discovery a secret from his parents. Pete’s parents take him with them as they met their lawyer about renewing their lease. Regrettably, the lawyer, Ocious P. Potter (John Goodman), is an evil opportunist who has secret knowledge about the location of Joe Lender’s deceased aunt’s will. In the meeting, he tells Pete’s parents that they must evacuate within a week, so that he can demolish the house to build a 24-unit luxury apartment complex. Crestfallen, Pete and his family return to their house, where Joe and Victoria begin preparations to move. Pete tells the Borrowers about their predicament, and they agree to move with Pete to the new home.
As the truck pulls out of the driveway, the case in which Pete secretly placed the Borrowers spills, dumping out Arietty and Pea Green, who fall to the street and narrowly miss being crushed by the truck’s tires as it lurches over the sidewalk. Arietty and Pea Green run back to the house, where they take up residence in their miniature house under the first floor. Then comes Ocious P. Potter, who mocks his former client’s language as he seeks the secret safe in which she told him she kept her will. He finds it, but Arietty and PeaGreen steal it and make off with it through a transom in the ceiling, as Ocious watches, outraged. Ocious calls in Exterminator Jeff (Mark Williams),who sprays a viscous liquid into the wall boards to try to drive out the Borrowers. Ocious gets mad and demands he spray harder. Exterminator Jeff gives him a face full of the liquid, which etches off his mustache. Humiliated, he vows to get even with Arietty and Pea Green, who nimbly evade his grasp.
Running from the house, PeaGreen falls into a milk bottle, which the dairy truck collects on its way to the Double Dutch Dairy for refilling. In a series of comical misadventures in the milk bottling factory, Ocious P. Potter gets plummeted with cheese, as he seeks to kill Arietty and Pea Green and recover the will. He retrieves the precious document and goes to City Hall to foreclose on the house, but the Borrowers and thousands of their friends meet him in the movie’s climax in the City Hall supply room.
A cross between HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS and HOME ALONE, THE BORROWERS is a magical tale of innocent imagination run wild, with wholesome, delightful humor and family-friendly themes. Director Peter Hewitt, who directed 1991’s BILL AND TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY, used special effects to enhance the story, not to draw attention to the effects. He admits that it was tough initially shooting scenes with four inch people. He tried to set up their antics scientifically, but that made the movie boring. “So we abandoned science for instinct and intuition. Magic, not logic was our catch-phrase. If it felt right and it looked good, then we did it.”
The result is a movie in which Pod Clock pulls himself up the side of the kitchen table, with a miniature hook and needle, and carries a backpack of dental floss surmounted by an AAA battery. He teaches his children to obey the Borrowers Code of Rules: “Be quiet, cautious and inconspicuous. Never be seen, never heard and never be squished.” Of course, Arietty falls into the freezer, and Pod has to rescue her. After which, they all return to the Borrowers’ home under the floorboards of the first floor.
Goodman takes his artful comedy acting to new heights, following his acclaim as Fred Flintstone for Universal in 1993. Containing almost no offensive elements, THE BORROWERS will cheer and delight the entire family, with a clean, wholesome children’s fantasy. In fact, THE BORROWERS is certain to delight and to entertain audiences throughout the world.
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