The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their teenage daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
Fourteen-year-old Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler, Saoirse Ronan, and Mirai Shida) and the rest of the Clock family live in peaceful anonymity as they make their own home from items that they borrow from the house's human inhabitants. However, life changes for the Clocks when a human boy discovers Arrietty.Written by
There are two English dubs. There is a British English dub distributed by StudioCanal released in 2011 in the United Kingdom and the Disney dub in the United States released in 2012. One year after the Japanese release and the StudioCanal dub is mostly recommended. See more »
The story takes place some where in western Tokyo. Domestic cars in Japan have their steering wheels on the right side, but Aunt Sadoko's Mercedes is a left hand drive, since it is an imported car. The housekeeper Haru's red car is a right hand drive, as it is a normal, domestic Japanese car. See more »
The American English dubbed version (under the title "The Secret World of Arrietty") features some extra narrated dialogue at the end of the film that is not in the Japanese or British English version, presumably to end the film on a more optimistic note. See more »
A "smaller-scale" Ghibli movie than what we're used to, but a good one. The Secret World of Arrietty is the story of a family of "borrowers" a tiny race of people who live within the homes of ordinary humans and who are supposed to stay hidden from them at all times.
It's visually as beautiful as you'd expect from Ghibli, with even simple backgrounds looking as lovely as a painting. Instead of the fantastical lands of most Ghibli films like Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle, The Secret World of Arrietty is set in an ordinary home. But the simple beauty of everything and seeing the lovingly-drawn detail in everyday items from the view of smaller eyes makes this one of the more memorable Ghibli movies from a visual standpoint, in my opinion.
As for the story, it's simple and effective, and deals with nothing more than the human occupants of a home, including a young boy with a heart condition, and the family of borrowers that also lives there unknown. Arrietty herself, the daughter of the family of tiny people, continues the tradition of fantastic female characters that comes from Studio Ghibli.
This isn't an action-packed movie with a grand climax or anything like that, but I found it satisfying and pleasantly watchable. Arrietty left me with good feelings and avoided being heavy-handed with messages as some Ghibli movies can tend to do. I liked it a lot (better than Howl's Moving Castle and Tales from Earthsea, if not quite as much as Ponyo), and I'll be happily seeing it again at the theater when it comes out in the U.S.
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