The Secret World of Arrietty


Action / Adventure / Animation / Family / Fantasy


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March 14, 2013 at 06:54 PM


Saoirse Ronan as Arrietty
Tom Holland as Shô
Amy Poehler as Homily
Mark Strong as Pod
720p 1080p
682.37 MB
24.000 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 3 / 9
1.30 GB
24.000 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 6 / 35

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Noah Oskow 10 / 10

Another Classic

Now, unless you live in Japan and actually made it to one of the opening showings, I'm probably the only person reading this who has watched Arrittey so far. As such, I'm going to try my best to review the movie without giving any real spoilers away. And the first thing I have to say is, I thought Arrietty the Borrower was a wonderful movie. The entire film had this amazing feeling of being both unique from other Ghibli movies while still maintaining the parts that make almost all of the Studio's films so great. On the one hand, it had the huge imagination and fully realized and fantastically detailed world of a Miyazaki movie. On the other hand, it had a unique feeling of bittersweet melancholy and wonderful character interactions somehow unlike most of the films that have come before it.

While Miyazaki's screen writing clearly had some great effects on the movie, I could really feel the new directorial style of Yonebashi shining through. And it was so hard to believe this was his first film; I often feel like I should give Miyazaki Goro some slack for Earthsea because it was his first movie, but Arrietty just seemed so well thought-out and put together comparatively. This really makes me beyond excited to see what Yonebashi does in the future. There are many aspects of the film that deserve mention for how damn well-done they were; the beautiful animation, the strong voice-work, the great characters, the fantastic music. What is easily one of the standout points of the movie was how incredibly immersive the tiny world of the Borrowers was. Every part of their home, located beneath a pile of unused bricks stored under the human house, is made of small everyday items we hardly think about forgot junk that the Borrowers used so well as tools, furniture, decoration, everything. The sheer size of everything in comparison to them is striking, creating a strange world of adventure and dangers that are really just the most common, ignored of things to us humans. Perhaps my favorite scene is one where, very mild spoilers here, Arrietty's father takes her borrowing for the first time. They walk nimbly across nails sticking out from the foundations of the building, use construction staples as ladders, bouldering over the (to them) boulder sized junk lost between the walls of the house. Far bellow a few mice, the size of lions, scurry in the gloom, their eyes burning red. When Arrietty and her father final exit from between the walls into the darkened kitchen at night, the sheer enormity of the room, the intense sound of the looming and massive refrigerator, the sheer walls that compromise the sides of cabinets, they all take the breath out of both Arrietty and the viewer. That entire scene, where they use ingeniously use tiny household items to scale the counters to raid for sugar cubes a third their size, is simply amazing to watch. So many magical scenes like this made up the entire movie, but that was perhaps the best of them all. The characters are for the most part wonderful as well, though in some ways more subdued than Miyazaki tends to make his own. Arrietty is another in the long line of string Ghibli heroines, but like all of them manages somehow to be unique and wonderful all by herself. She's a young girl who's confident, kind, and capable, but is still unsure of herself at time. Sho, the young human she meets and the other main character, is a very strong character as well, his weak body and strong spirit in conflict, with a air or both peace and melancholy about him (like much of the movie, really). Another one of my favorites was Arrietty's father, who was both strong and quite, but in his own gruff way very kind and a great father. The rest of the cast is very good, though not quite as memorable.

As for the music for by Cécile Corbel, I'll admit that at first I was a little skeptical, but in the end the music fit the movie incredibly well and became another fantastic Ghibli soundtrack (which says something when you're included in the ranks among Hisaishi Joe). I love Celtic music myself, but those without that bias (the other 10 people I went with) all thought the music was one of the high points in a movie with a lot of really good points to discuss.

This really was an amazing first outing for Yonebashi as a director, and really one hell of a movie. My only complaints are that perhaps at times it seemed to slow down during the second half, but in the end it turned out so well I can hardly fault it for that. The movie had a sort of bittersweet feel that I really can't think of another Ghibli movie to compare to. Sad, joyous, and beautiful, Arrietty the Borrower is the newest Ghibli classic.

Reviewed by arijanian 10 / 10

Hope and melancholy in the Japanese summer sunshine.

Sitting in the theater yesterday, I found myself peering up into the endless shadowy heights of a vast cavern, listening to the booming, deafening echo of a faraway...ticking clock.

The dark cavern was the bedroom of our supporting lead, Sho, a boy with a brave but rapidly failing heart; but at the moment, I was standing in the lovingly handmade boots of our heroine and main character, Arrietty the Borrower. It was her first time exploring a human habitation, no small task when you stand barely as tall as a child's finger, and it was impossible not to feel some of her sense of awe and wonder at the gigantic world unfolding around her.

This newest Ghibli film is filled with such tiny people, but nevertheless stands a cut above the studio's recent releases ("Howl's Moving Castle", "Tales from Earthsea", even "Ponyo"), delivering a warm and evocative experience that stays with the viewer long after leaving the theater.

Pacing and plot have been stumbling blocks for Ghibli in recent years, with their otherwise delightful films spinning wildly out of control in visually fascinating but bewildering finales. "Arrietty" thankfully breaks this pattern. The film is beautifully paced and stays true to the spirit of its source material, establishing an engaging world and then carrying the viewer through a well-crafted tale that twists here and there without flying off the tracks before coasting to an ending that borrows nicely from the original while adding a few touches that feel just right. No incomprehensible final act here, just satisfying storytelling.

However, what really makes the film a winner, in my opinion, is its masterful use of atmosphere. The sense of the balmy, lazy, sun- and rain-drenched Japanese summertime is beautifully conveyed and pervades every scene, helped along by Corbel's warm and wistful Celtic-styled soundtrack and gentle vocals, but just as memorable and far more unique is the sense of sheer scale.

Since the beginning of filmmaking, plenty of movies have tackled the special effects challenge of portraying tiny people in a human-sized world, but although they've integrated their miniature stars more and more skillfully into their surroundings, few have given such a sense of the sheer size of those surroundings from the heroes' vantage. There's no such disconnect here, and Ghibli uses the versatility of animation to their full advantage. The view as Arrietty peers over the edge of a kitchen cabinet is dizzying. Scenes of climbing inside the hollow wall joists feel as hazardous as a documentary on spelunking. Coming in from the rain, Arrietty impatiently brushes clinging water droplets as big as her hands from her hair and clothes. The rustling of Sho's clothing as he stands or sits is like the unfurling of a schooner's sail in the wind, and speaking human voices (although not pitched down to the uncomfortable point that full realism might require) are sometimes underscored with an unsettling rumble. I left the film with a heightened awareness of my own vast(?) size, scanning around me for spots where a Borrower might hide in the theater lobby or creep out to fetch stray popcorn kernels.

Inhabiting this gorgeous world are plenty of charming characters: brave and spirited Arrietty, who shinnies up curtains like a monkey and draws her borrowed pin to stare down danger with a sound like Errol Flynn unsheathing a blade; her hard-working and stoically affectionate father, Pod, and fretful but loving mother, Homily; the young human Sho who longs for a friend as he ponders the possibility of his own extinction as well as the Borrowers'; his gentle-spirited aunt and their grubby-fingered housekeeper, who both have their own reasons to wish to see a "tiny person"; and an unexpected visitor who brings startling news to Arrietty's family.

Fans of the book series will be delighted with the film's respectful and vivid adaptation of Norton's work--I know I was. (Without spoiling too much that hasn't been shown in the trailers, I have three words for those in the know: Spiller. Stream. Teapot.) And those unfamiliar with the material will find plenty to love in this version. It's hard to believe that this confident, solid work is the first film of a freshman director.

For the first time in several years, I feel real confidence in the ability of Studio Ghibli to live strongly beyond its celebrated founders' legacies. Here's hoping this little film is a huge success, as it so richly deserves to be.

Reviewed by SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain 9 / 10

Arrietty (2010)

This was stunning. I saw it just days after going to the Ghibli Museum in Japan, and it was breathtaking. I'm glad since I loathed the last Ghibli film I saw (Pom Poko). Arriety is the exact cure needed for such loud and obnoxious 3D CGI movies that come out every other week. It's quiet and full of soul. There are moments here that you wouldn't even get in a live action movie. Subtle moments of life and nature, that the animators could have saved time and money by not including them. Luckily for us, the details are all present. A shot lingers just long enough for a ladybird to take flight, or the mother to stir her tea after a conversation. What Ghibli understand, more than anyone, is that kids don't need bright/crass/non stop films. The quiet nature of Arriety is so relaxing, with gorgeous music from Cecile Corbel. First time director Yonebayashi shows that Ghibli has much more life and talent to give.

I was very familiar with The Borrowers, and was a bit disappointed I was getting something original from Ghibli. I'd already seen the excellent TV Mini-series and the over-the-top American film with Goodman. Ghibli have taken everything great about the story, and toned down the designs and motives, making this a realistic and engaging fantasy. The father is stoic and caring. Arriety is adventurous, but never annoying. Her heart is in the right place, but she doesn't get into a ridiculous amount of trouble. Being Ghibli we get a lovely little cat character, Niya. The designs are ace, and the world of the borrowers and the human beans merge beautifully.

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