Making the Grades
If you, like me, spend time searching for your car keys, wallet, and other personal items, The Borrowers is a movie that may shed some light on where all those things go. Loosely based on books written in Britain by Mary Norton, this adaptation does an incredible job of recreating the tiny lives of the Clock family--little people that live in between the walls of a house owned by the late aunt of the Learner family.
The Learner's (full size people) have been told by their lawyer Ocious Potter (John Goodman) that their aunt's will doesn't exist, and without it the family cannot claim the house. We're not surprised when Goodman's sleazy character begins unveiling his plans to build a condo development on the site and that he knows where the will is and intends to destroy it. Fortunately the Borrowers overhear Potter's plans, and put their own plan to work so that they and the Learner's can have their home again.
The plot may sound simple, but the creators of this film didn't choose the easy road in bringing it to life. I marveled at the complex detailing of the sets and enjoyed the unique stylization of the entire film. Set in Britain, it's a mix of present day (Potter has a chrome plated cell phone) and 1950's (the Learner's son has a retro black and white television in his bedroom with a remote control). A sequence in a milk bottling plant was delightful and showed the expertise of the effects people to the fullest.
One minor profanity, a few tense moments, a flatulent dog who eats too much cheese, and some cartoon-like violence, are the only concerns for parents. Goodman's wonderful performance as the big bad giant and the astounding special effects put this movie head and shoulders above the Honey I Shrunk / Blew Up series, and should hold the attention of both the big and little people in your home.