Film: The Borrowers (1997)
is a 1997 movie loosely based on the book of the same name by Mary Norton
. It stars John Goodman (as the Borrowers' main human adversary), and also features a young Tom Felton
as one of the Borrowers.
The film takes a far more urban setup, overturns the idea that the Borrowers have a low population (the ending is rather like that of Toy Story
), and in general is not as faithful to the books as the original movies were. It at least avoided being In Name Only
by keeping the members of the Clock family more-or-less true to their book characterizations, although even there they recast Peagreen (a minor character in the books) as Arrietty's Annoying Younger Sibling
. It also pretty much dropped the original plot in favor of one centering around the scheme of Goodman's Amoral Attorney
villain to demolish the house where the Borrowers live.
This film has examples of:
- Amoral Attorney: The villain of the movie, John Goodman's character Mr. Potter.
- Amusing Injuries: All over the place, mostly inflicted on Ocious P. Potter.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Arrietty is given one, Peagreen, played by Tom Felton.
- Brick Joke: Peagreen hates milk.
- Butt Monkey / The Chew Toy: Ocious, oh so very much.
- Color Wash: Everything is orange, for no readily apparent reason.
- Cultural Translation: Fairly minimal. The human boy and the villain are both Americans, but everyone else is British.
- Deadpan Snarker: Peagreen, as part of his Bratty Half-Pint shtick, gets in a few really biting comments.
- The Determinator: Ocious. And he goes through hell too.
- Gilligan Cut: Pod: "No! No! No! It's not going to happen." Cut to Pete carrying the Clock family out to a moving truck.
- Humiliation Conga: Mr. Potter for the entirety of the movie.
- I Take Offense to That Last One:
Arrietty: Peagreen, try to understand, there won't be a "here" unless we get this will to Pete before that nasty, cheating, thieving, evil, greedy, vicious, ugly bean destroys our house.
Potter: Ugly? Who they calling ugly?
- Large Ham: John Goodman.
- MacGuffin: A Will which entitles the Lenders to the house and thus stands in the way of Potter's scheme to replace it with condos.
- Meaningful Name: The last name of the human family who owns the house where the Clock family lives? The Lenders.
- The Millstone: Peagreen's two main functions in the movie are to be sarcastic and to get into trouble so the others will need to rescue him.
- Named by the Adaptation: Pete Lender, the human boy who befriends the Clock family.
- Papa Wolf: Pod has his moments.
- People of Hair Color: All Borrowers have red hair.
- Punch Clock Villain: Exterminator Jeff is a rather nice, friendly man who's fascinated by the Borrowers and is only helping Potter because he's been hired as a pest exterminator.
- Red-Headed Hero: The whole Clock family, but prominently Arrietty.
- Retro Universe: Seems to be set in one, complete with Zeppelins from Another World visible in the sky.
- Scavenged Punk: The film, as with all version of this franchise, is an example. The live action sets, especially the Borrower's house gives some very cool examples of this.
- Shout-Out: The exterminator's appearance is not only a tribute to Ghostbusters, but also to Arachnophobia, which featured John Goodman as an exterminator.
- Villainous Breakdown: Mr. Potter's starts early, but it never ends. By the end of the film, he seems to care about nothing except killing those Borrowers at any cost.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The film's setting contains elements of the US and the UK with the use of both American and British actors adding to the ambiguity of it all.
- You Can't Miss It: John Goodman's character rudely asked a receptionist for directions to a room in the building and she replied by giving him a lot of complicated instructions, ending with "walk quickly". Later on, the Kid Hero politely asked for the same thing and this time she said "take the elevator to the top and walk straight ahead - You can't miss it".