Known in Japan as The Borrower Arrietty (借りぐらしのアリエッティ Kari-gurashi no Arietti?) and in the UK and Australia as Arrietty
It is a rare delight when I can catch an anime movie in the movie theater. It is even rarer for me to catch an anime movie both my daughter and I would enjoy. Well guess what? I went to see The Secret World of Arriety in the theater on 2/20/2012 with my daughter. A definite rare moment to cherish.
I was watched the subbed Japanese version in the summer of 2011. It was amazing. Figured it was time to break down and go to the theater for the release of The Secret World of Arriety.
Studio Ghibli’s films are always a must see for me. While Hayao Miyazaki did not direct, he was involved with the planning and with writing the screenplay. Miyazaki hired first time director, Hirosama Yonebashi, the youngest director with Studio Ghibli, to direct The Secret World of Arriety. I am beyond impressed with the work put into this film. I can see why it topped Japanese box offices the year of its release in Japan.
The Secret World of Arrietty is based on Mary Norton’s 1952 novel The Borrowers, about a family of 4-inch-tall people who live secretly beneath the floorboards of a house out in the country.
Arriety (voiced by Bridget Mendler), her father Pod and mother Homily (voiced by real life husband and wife Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) make up this family. They “borrow” stuff from the humans (which they call “beans”).
The movie starts out with the arrival of a sick boy named Shawn. Amidst father and daughter’s borrowing spree they are both seen by him. This eventually leads to a friendship between Arriety and Shawn. Pod, however, becomes worried that the friendship could lead to the boy alerting other beans to their existence under the floorboards. The nosey housekeeper Hara (voiced by Carol Burnett), knows the Borrowers exist and wishes to find them by any means. This leads the family to plan to move.
This is a very imaginative movie with lush animation. Electrical outlets are passage ways, Arriety finds a human sewing needle she wields as a sword, a tea kettle is a boat…the list goes on about what is used as what from the perspective of a little borrower.
I have constantly heard this is a slow and boring film. I extremely disagree. This is yet another Studio Ghibli (THANK YOU Disney!!!!) gem. I agree it could’ve been a little bit longer and the ending could have wrapped more up. Honestly those are my only complaints.
Oh and the soundtrack I must rave about! It is an absolute work of art. It is composed by Cécile Corbel. She is a very talented composer. I highly recommend getting the soundtrack. It created a stir of emotions within me. I can not explain but the musically truly was an experience. It fit right in with the beautiful animation.
I did sorta laugh out loud over the “Disneyfied” choices for a few of the voice actors (Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana and Good Luck Charlie). The Japanese version of the film is call The Borrowers Arriety. I guess I was disappointed with the name change too.
My daughter enjoyed the movie, I think almost as much as I did. Hara scared her a few times (hey she is a 7 year old lol) and the cat made her laugh. Another Studio Ghibli masterpiece.
This one gets 5/5! My complaints would not even lower how perfect of a movie this is. Looking forward to the next Studio Ghibli film and I hope it is directed by Miyazaki.