Beneath the floorboards of a house out
in the Japanese countryside lives a tiny family of people known as Borrowers.
On her first Borrowing mission with her Dad into the house to borrow items the humans (aka beans) won’t notice,
little Arrietty is discovered by a sick human boy named Shawn (Sho in the Japanese version).
They start developing a friendship as Arriety’s parents make plans to move to get away from the humans again
since they believe humans can’t be trusted.
THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY is a new adaptation
of the popular children’s novel, THE BORROWERS. Studio Ghibli has
provided their own magical animation spin once again with this latest adaptation.
It isn’t my favorite work from the studio because I always think some of the earlier works are better despite
how the character development is great and yet the story feels small compared to some of the other adaptations like HOWL’S
MOVING CASTLE or PONYO. Still I love the old hand drawn animation
look and the design look is distinctive to a Studio Ghibli film down from how the characters and environments look to the
way those characters act.
The English language track is another
great work of dubbing for Disney. I haven’t watched it in Japanese yet,
but the subtitles show there is a different version of the film and the story was altered to fit the US
culture and customs a little.
The movie is also present in the original
storyboard track set to the audio track. The original Japanese trailers
and TV spots are included on the disc.
The other extras are ones generated for
the USA release of the film including two music videos (Arrietty’s
Song and Summertime) and the making of the Summertime music video.
FINAL ANALYSIS: THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY isn’t classic Studio Ghibli, but it still stands above many animated
films- it just not up to their classic standards like HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE or KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE. Ghibli has set the bar high. I wish Disney included
more extras related to the making of the film.
This review is (c)5-21-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.
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