Tuesday, 29 May 2012

DVD Review - The Secret World of Arrietty

The Secret World of Arrietty is a 2010 animated Japanese film based on the award winning novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton. It was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and produced by Studio Ghibli. After a successful run in Japan, and winning the Animation of the Year Award at the 34 Japan Academy Price, it was released in the Untied States by Walt Disney Pictures in early 2012. Disney’s release had an American dub with the voices of Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Carol Burnett.

A boy named Shawn is sent to live with his great aunt Jessica’s, the same house his mother had grew up in. Shawn’s parents are busy with work and don’t have the time to take care him. He is going to have  heart in a few weeks and needs to rest. His mother told him about the little people who live in the walls, of course Shawn thinks it was just a story, but he was wrong.

 Shawn awakens one night to see two borrowers, Arrietty and her father, Pod. Scared at the Shawn seeing them, they run away and the sugar cube (which they borrowed) falls out of her bag. The next day Shawn leaves the cube and a note near an underground air vent. She tells her parents, whom tells her to not to touch it. Eventually, she decides to return the cube to Shawn. After an incident with a crow, Shawn and Arrietty become friends.

    The maid named Haru discovers that there are borrowers among them and decides to capture one of them, Arrietty’s mother, Homily. Then Shawn and Arrietty come up with a plan to save her.

    I grew up on The Littles television series based on the book by John Peterson, which was inspired by The Borrowers. After seeing The Secret World of Arreitty advertise on the Disney Channel, I planned on buying it when it came out on DVD. I don’t watch a lot of Japanese animation, but I liked the style of this film. From the colors to the sound, I felt like I was in a borrower’s world. There are some differences between the movie and the original book, but it didn’t disrupt me from loving it. Since the American version is released by Disney, two of the voice actors, Bridgit Mendler and David Henrie, are from shows on the Disney Channel. This is one of the great family movies of the year that both children and adults will cherish.

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