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Friday, February 17, 2012



What did RAMA think of THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY. Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

I love this movie! Fantastical, flawless, fun family film, wow, that’s a lot of Fs, but seriously it’s great to have Studio Ghibli back with their latest adaptation, since I wasn’t completely taken by Ponyo.
I think the American voice cast were great, I’m curious to know what may or may not have gotten lost in the translation and the adaptation though, since I’ve never read the children book series that it’s based on. The animation is all that you’d expect from Ghibli, I appreciate how they stay true to their style, they don’t need to go 3D CG just to blow us away. Traditional animation with a compelling story and heartwarming themes, that’s what THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY promises and delivers..

Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where
the smallest may stand tallest of all. From the legendary Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Ponyo) comes “The Secret
World of Arrietty,” an animated adventure based on Mary Norton’s acclaimed children’s book series “The Borrowers.”

The story, in a nutshell, is about Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), who’s part of this whole kind, if you will, called Borrowers, they’re tiny people living under your house and their job is to borrow the things they need to survive. Arrietty is about 14 years old and she lives with her dad (voice of Will Arnett) and her mom (voice of Amy Poehler).

You’ll be amused by Arnett’s constant grunts and sighs, that’s practically all he does, a man of few words, he has seen it all, and he’s exhausted but he would go distance for his wife and daughter. Poehler’s voice as the mom offers some of the funniest scenes in the film because Poehler understands that exaggerations are common in Japanese animation, by that I mean, when a character panics, he or she truly panics, their eyes get big, their mouth turns ridiculously small or got even unbelievably bigger than their eyes, the hair would stand up, Poehler would quickly shout or yell whenever she senses threat. Moms in general worry a lot, we all know that but this is worry to the nth degree, and she just looks comical doing it, she’s funny but she doesn’t know she’s funny, that’s what’s enjoyable about the mom.

Arrietty is curious which also makes her daring but cautious, she doesn’t quickly put her trust in a 12 year old human named Shawn (voice of David Henrie) but she doesn’t quickly dismiss him either.
The story has an antagonist, otherwise it wouldn’t be exciting. Shawn sees the tiny people as friends, but the nanny who wants to prove their existence once and for all, see them as pests

The film is about the friendship of Arrietty with Shawn, the film sorta takes us back to such tales as Gulliver’s Travels or Honey I Shrunk The Kids, but THE SECRET LIFE OF ARRIETTY mostly focuses on building that trust between Arrietty and Shawn.

Arrietty has been taught all her life that once you’re spotted by humans, you need to move on to other locations, Shawn is ill and he doesn’t know if he’d get better, feeling lonely and abandoned, he’s willing to open himself to any connection, anything that would take his mind away from his condition, he’s open to any potential new friend, be it human or tiny people.

I think families would love the fact that the film is irresistibly adorable, kids would giggle at the cat, they’d be amazed at the sight of something like ants or bugs being significantly and literally larger than themselves.
Both Arrietty and Shawn come to an acceptance, the movie doesn’t lead you to a life where they’d co-exist and live happily ever after, it’s more about life goes and that we are much stronger than we often give ourselves credit for.

GRADE: 5 out of 5

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