The Secret World of Arrietty
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Discover THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY where imagination comes to life! The studio that brought you PONYO and the Academy Award(R)-winning SPIRITED AWAY (2002, Best Animated Feature) once again delivers a heartwarming tale of friendship and courage in beautiful animation! In a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people called Borrowers live quietly among us. But when tenacious and tiny Arrietty is discovered by Shawn, a human boy, their secret and forbidden friendship blossoms into an extraordinary adventure. Featuring the voices of Disney Channel's Bridgit Mendler and David Henrie and comedic all-stars Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Carol Burnett, and based on the award-winning novel THE BORROWERS -- THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY will delight families of all sizes!
The Secret World of Arrietty is a remake of the magical fairy tale The Borrowers, as seen through the keen, imaginative eye of Japanese writer Hayao Miyazaki. The American version of this delicately, richly animated film is that rarest of children's movies--one that is a deeply engaging experience for adults as well. The visuals and graphics are gasp-inducing, yet never over the top or too showy. And the actors dubbing Arrietty in English, including standouts Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, and Carol Burnett, are expressive and emotive. The Secret World of Arrietty tells the tale of a small family of "borrowers," tiny people who live underneath the homes of the "beans" (human beings). The borrowers must stealthily gather small bits of items they need--a sugar cube, a sheet of tissue, biscuits--from the upstairs without being discovered by the beans. Arrietty is a plucky teenager (voice by Bridgit Mendler) whose parents (Poehler and Arnett) think she's ready for her first "borrowing" excursion. But meanwhile, a young "bean" named Shawn has moved into the house above them, to rest and prepare for a heart operation, and to be cared for by the flighty Hara (Burnett). Shawn thinks he might have seen… something… moving in the meadow where he rests and reads. It's not giving away too much to say that Arrietty and Shawn brush against each other's lives--and neither's is the same afterward. For any fans of Miyazaki's other films, and anyone of any age seeking immersive family-friendly entertainment that's life-affirming, The Secret World of Arrietty is a winning experience. --A.T. Hurley
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As the boy strives to get better, Arietty and her parents must try to survive in a hostile environment.
Studio Ghibli is always wonderful, but this film is particularly lovely. The scenes and images are simply gorgeous. If you like Miyazaki movies and fantasy, this is a wonderful movie.
My only real "criticism" of this film is that, though it starts off as most of the films in Ghibli's catalog, it develops (to me) a little too quickly. It paces okay at the beginning but the adventure is sort of... cut short. It is a shorter film than "Princess Mononoke", "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind", "Howl's Moving Castle" or "Spirited Away" and even the aforementioned "Whisper...". Now before I have a bunch of you flaming me because you think I'm downing this film: I'm not. I just think they could have added about another 10 minutes or so to pace the more "exciting parts" and balance out the rest of the film better.
I recommend this all Studio Ghibli or Disney fans, this film is more in line with "Whisper of the Heart", "Ponyo" or "Kiki's Delivery Service" -none of the darker themes or violence of the above mentioned films. This film is still above par, looks fantastic and is well voiced and "acted" -I just feel the pacing could have been drawn out a bit to allow the film to breathe more instead of feeling rushed.
Again, I highly recommend this -the critique above is my opinion and should not deter you from seeing, or purchasing -this film.
When it comes to a Ghibli film, it generally goes without saying that there is some great animation. However, this film really stands out. It is really impressive the amount of detail they put into everything which includes the lush beauty of the gardens outside the house or even seeing everyday objects and places from the unique perspective of the tiny borrowers. Besides that, the movie works well overall. I thought the music was top-notch. The dubbing of the characters was well done by Disney.
As for bonus features, there is the original storyboards, the original Japanese soundtrack, and a couple of music videos.
All in all, this is a great family film that is sure to be enjoyed by those that like animation.