Review of 'The Secret World of Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arietti)'

arrietty.jpg Shô is a young boy who visits his aunt and rather suspicious maid in a large house in the county-side. He is very sick and while he relaxes he spots something a bit unusual - a small girl - very small, as in 4 inches tall. Arrietty lives with her parents under the floorboards of the house who live by “borrowing” items by making periodic foraging trips into the house. They appear to be the last of their kind as Arrietty befriends Shô when he saves her life from a crow attack (a rather funny sequence, it has to be said, in a fairly serious film).

The animation is what one would expect from the same studio of Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbour Totoro, Ponyo and Princess Mononoke - Hand drawn and with a meticulous eye for detail bringing the story to life. The beautiful gardens feature throughout as the Borrowers give us a completely different perspective to the world we live in. The characters are very sensitively portrayed in this slow-paced but beautiful (in every sense of the word) film. I also must admit I loved the ending which is not quite what you would see in a Disney film - Make no mistake, this is definitely not Disney and I have to wonder how many children would get bored when compared to the frenetic action present in most child films.


Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2011-07-31

Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Year: 2010

Length: 94 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Hiromasa Yonebayashi: