This is a great movie! 
For those who aren’t familiar with the book (books?), the “Borrowers”
are little tiny people that “borrow” things from the big people (that’s us) in
whose homes they live.   It has been
ages since I read The Borrowers, but from what I recall, the movie gets its premise from the book, but doesn’t attempt to recreate it.

            Anyhow,
the
film is your basic children’s movie: potty humor, pie-in-face type
humor, predictable one-liners, funny scenes inserted largely for the
purpose of giving
grade school students something to repeat, ad nauseum, at every quiet
moment,
and so forth.  But good stuff.

            Kids may
not notice it, but adults will appreciate that the setting is a make-believe
world of no particular time or place, effectively signaling that this is all
pretend.  The film makes no effort to
convince children that Borrowers are real and ought to be believed in, a nice
break from the pseudo-spirituality that some make-believe films indulge.  (Though of course when something goes
missing it could be fun to joke about little “Borrowers” getting hold of the
item – presumably the origin of the concept.)

            The plot is
essentially one narrow escape after another, in the resolution of a very simple
good-guys-being-victimized-by-a-bad-guy formula.  The overall premise is uncomplicated, but has it’s own practical
lesson to teach. 

            While this
film contains the essential children’s adventure theme of little guys defeating
the big bad guy, it does not muck with the ridiculous dumb-adults/smart-kids
false dichotomy.  Instead we have not
only capable and determined children, but also helpful adults and a
sacrificially heroic father, who risks his own life to rescue his children more
than once.

            A useful
nuance is the morally ambivalent character of the pest-control man, a fellow
who vacillates between good guy and bad guy, and in the end chooses the right
team.  Great discussion point for
parents.  And who can beat the key
moment in the plot where asking nicely wins out over rudeness?

            Our
library’s version of the DVD comes with French and Spanish soundtracks, a
feature worth looking for if you are studying one of those languages.  It did not, however, offer subtitles, which
was a disappointment.

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