I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for the longest time now but with the US release of Arrietty’s blu-ray coming soon it seems like a good time to finally review it. Kari-gurashi ( named The Secret World of Arrietty in the US ) is a Ghibli animated film based on Mary Norton’s novel The Borrowers and is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a veteran Ghibli animator.
As with all of Ghibli’s other “Art Of” books this volume is replete with gorgeous art work from character design and concept art, layout boards, and lots and lots of background art plates. There is also a digest version of this book that covers more interviews with cast and crew members but for pure art work this is the one to get.
The way the material is presented the book has changed though – in previous Ghibli “Art Of” books the content was categorized by the type of art work, for example character design sheets, background art, layout all have their own chapters but in this book they follow the chronological order of the film.
I’ve had quite a few friends complain about the how slow the film is ( read : boring ) but I found the pacing and mood perfect for the intimate and introspective nature of the piece. I also loved how the background artists and art director maximized the dramatic effect of the “giant” props found in Arrietty’s minature world, each background plate exploding in a brilliance of vivid colors and intricate patterns.
Note – The book I’ve reviewed above is the original Japanese version – there is also an English version with pretty much the same content.
“The Art of Kari-gurashi (Arrietty)” art book details :
– Dimensions – 11.6 x 8.3 x 0.9 inches
– Softcover, 253 pages
– Full color, in Japanese language
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