The popular children's books by Mary Norton have been filmed before, but never with as much imagination and ingenuity as you'll find on display in this delightful fantasy film released to critical praise in 1998. The "Borr... more »owers" of the title are a family of tiny people who live in the walls and under the floorboards in the homes of "normal-sized" humans; they earn their by "borrowing" the household items (string, food crumbs, buttons, etc.) needed to furnish their tiny hiding places and provide their meals. The little Clock family lives happily undisturbed in the home of an aged aunt, but when the aunt dies and her will is stolen by an unscrupulous lawyer (John Goodman), the Clocks face eviction and the frightening hazards of the outside world. Under the ingenious direction of Peter Hewitt, this simple, straightforward movie mixes comedy, adventure, and suspense with some of the cleverest special effects you've ever seen, taking full advantage of effects technologies to immerse you in the world of the tiny people. A climactic chase scene in a milk-bottling plant is a visual tour de force, and the movie's smart and dazzling enough to entertain parents and children alike. After its modest success in theaters, The Borrowers stands a good chance of becoming a home-video favorite. --Jeff Shannon« less
Kendra M. (KendraM) from NASHVILLE, TN Reviewed on 1/13/2008...
If you order this movie from swapadvd, please be certain you write the sender and specifically ask if this is the John Goodman version or the Eddie Albert version from 1973. I rec'd the Eddie Albert version instead of the John Goodman version which I wanted. Although the upc codes are completely different, this version comes up when entering the other code.
Both versions are very good-- the first one, with Eddie Albert is truer to Mary Norton's book. But, this one is funnier and the kids like it much more.
I've written the Help Desk, but the corrections to the site haven't been made as yet. Personally, I think the sender of the dvd has an obligation to inform the requester that they are sending a different version-- but you never know!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Fun Adaptation of Norton Classic
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 06/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just had the opportunity to see the film The Borrowers starring John Goodman as the evil Mr. Potter. Overall the movie is fun and entertaining and it has been so long since I read the books that I can't be sure the weak points originate in the movie (although I believe they do).The movie is based upon a series of books by Mary Norton about a race of small people who live in the cracks and walls of the world and are known for borrowing things from humans (or beings). The story centers around one borrower family who are the last of their kind in an old house. Their existence is threatened when the evil Mr. Potter sees to kicking out the being inhabitants in order to knock the house down. There then follows a series of adventures as borrowers and beings alike try to save the house from destruction.The weak points in the movie concern anachronisms. For the most part the movie is set decades ago as in the books. But annoying anachronisms pop up such as a cellular phone and an in-door ice maker. Considering the vintage of the vehicles on the street these items really stand out. But despite the anachronisms the movie remains entertaining with some very good performances from Goodman and the rest of the cast."
Not the Borrowers, but...
Laughing Gravy | Sacramento, CA United States | 12/24/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The only way to enjoy this film is if you haven't read the wonderful books by Mary Norton. The characters share the size, but few of the memorable traits of Pod, Homily, and Arrietty, the wonderful family that lives under the kitchen. This adaptation is more of a cross between MOUSE HUNT, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, and HOME ALONE than anything in THE BORROWERS books. I was very disappointed, and could not get involved in the story. For little kids only, although you should really read them the books and skip the film."
Good for the whole family
Sir Bowen | Houston, TX USA | 08/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a great one for everyone to watch together, as it can interest anyone, from very young kids to adults.The miniaturization effects didn't seem particularly advanced - I wasn't wowed by any technical advances I saw. But I would say that they were very imaginably used, making for some cute scenes that were refreshing. They were also carefully done, minimizing the "fakey" feel and letting you concentrate on the story.The DVD version has a cool "making of The Borrowers" featurette that shows how the special effects were done, which is fun to watch after you've seen the movie."
Dumbed-down version still offers tasty eye candy for dessert
Sir Bowen | 02/27/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have been fortunate to see all three adaptations of THE BORROWERS on video back to back. A pleasant experience I must say with each film having slightly different plot developments to keep me interested. The Eddie Albert TV version of the early 70's (four stars) had charm due to its modest budget (and uneven acting), and had it's stage-like dramatic moments. Today's children might squirm, but back then kids could really sit still for a good story. The Turner-BBC miniseries THE BORROWERS and BBC follow-up RETURN OF THE BORROWERS (both five stars) will always be the definitive and most believable work due to a stellar cast (including Sir Ian Holm as Pod Clock), faithful story-line (in what appeared to be on location to a tee), perfect camera work, no CDI effects, and about 7 hours or so to tell the entire epic saga with more adventures than a dozen movies rolled in together. The latest version (three and a half stars)...is too heavily influenced by "Home Alone" antics, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" peril, and "Toy Story" marketing (great films, but who wants to be reminded of other films?), and relies too much on computer effects over solid direction (the actors are great but are given very little room to act), has its moments (namely in set design, special effects, and aforementioned variations of other movies) but ultimately does not live up to the potential reached in earlier versions. Eye candy is just that. Mary Norton's novel (she also wrote 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks'), is full proof and adaptation safe so it is not a bad film at all, just that this film is best served as a tasty dessert to the other more-filling versions which offer great character devlopment, and teaches children and adults a thing or two about morality and mortality. The latest film just tries to WOW us. A true fan, of course, must have each course of this magical series of films. So seek them all and enjoy. Buy them, rent them, or better yet, borrow them as quickly as you can."
Old Gal | Midwest | 11/09/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I had read The Borrowers in a magazine installment with my Great Grandmother. Then, I could hardly wait for the next month's magazine installment to arrive. I then reread the books with my daughter [who is now 32 years old] when she was about 12 years old. We wanted to share this DVD of The Borrowers with her son, my 4 year old grandson. That is why I purchased this item. We FORCED ourselves to watch almost half of the DVD, and then we all said, "Yes, let's shut it off." And we haven't watched any more of it. This new version is very contrived, with not much connection to the original story! I would like to perhaps buy a copy of the old original version sometime, but this version has soured me for a while on The Borrowers."