This Friday, The Secret World of Arriety, the latest animated film from Studio Ghibli and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, arrives in theaters. Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki are also behind the critically acclaimed films Ponyo and Spirited Away.
You may remember the popular children’s books “The Borrowers”, which is what The Secret World of Arriety is based on.
The Secret World of Arrietty is the story of an adventurous 14-year-old girl named Arrietty (voice by Bridgit Mendler), who lives with her mother and father (voices by Amy Poehler and Will Arnett). However, they are a family of tiny people who
live under the floor of an old house and survive by “borrowing” the things they need and will not be missed by human beings. They are smart and resourceful, knowing that they must not be seen by humans.
One day, Arrietty is seen by a 12 year old boy named Shawn (David Henrie), who lives in the house with his aunt. Arriety is afraid and knows that she needs to hide from him, but Shawn seeks her out, letting her know she shouldn’t be afraid.
The Secret World of Arriety is a magical film, full of wonder for any child. As the title says, it truly is a secret world and will have your little ones wondering if there are “Borrowers” living under the floorboards.
The animation of The Secret World of Arriety is Japanese Anime, so it may not be what your child is quite used to, but the the film is so pretty, it’s like you’re watching a moving painting. The music, from French singer/songwriter Cecile Corbel, is seamlessly played throughout the movie and fits each scene. The music was very soothing and I know it would be a great soundtrack to calm my son.
I loved the story, but most of all I loved the characters. Arriety is a great role model for children. She’s brave, kind, resourceful, funny and she knows the importance of friends and family.
The characters of Homily and Pod, her parents, are great additions to the story. Homily (voiced by Amy Poehler) provides great comic relief to the movie, always worrying about her family. Pod (voiced by Will Arnett) is the strong and silent Father, the backbone of the family. Shawn (voice by David Henrie) is recovering from an illness, but shows how strong he is and how important friendship is to him.
The Secret World of Arriety first debuted in Japan in 2010 and became the highest grossing film of the year and won the Animation of the Year Award. Recognizing the magic of this film, Walt Disney Studios teamed up with Studio Ghibli to bring it to North American viewers, carefully dubbing over the Japanese film with American actors.
I love this quote from Producer Kathleen Kennedy who said,
“It’s a modest, quiet, humble film. I enjoy the scaling differences between Arrietty’s tiny world and the one we’re familiar with. I think the message of the film is, whether you’re big or small, there is a beautiful world around us and we should all try to live together in peace and have an optimistic view of the world.
I’m so excited to bring you an EXCLUSIVE clip from The Secret World of Arriety which is only debuting on a select number of blogs today.
The Secret World of Arriety is in theaters on Friday, February 17th! Stay connected by liking the movie on Facebook!