Genre: Animation, fantasy
Director/s: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Running Time: 94 mins
Budget: $23 million (US)
Released: 17 July 2010
Thought I’d try something new by introducing ‘Rapid-Fire Reviews’, these articles will not be replacing my standard film reviews, instead their purpose is to inform readers of films that caught my attention, but don’t necessarily require 1500 – 2000 words of explanation. I watch a lot of films and don’t always have enough time to write about them, thus Rapid-Fire Reviews will serve as an informative, fast-delivery platform that will inform readers in a speedily fashion whether or not I thought a film was particularly good, mediocre or just plain crapola. Anyway, so I don’t really watch that much anime anymore, but Studio Ghibli always has my attention due to the sheer quality and entertainment value of most of their films. And I say ‘most’ because not all of the studio’s films have Hayao Miyazaki behind the wheel – Miyazaki, one of the industry’s greatest directors a man whom the West have referred to as the Eastern Walt Disney. Moving on, The Secret World of Arrietty is an adaptation of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers (1952), focusing on a young borrower (a 4-inch tall human) named Arrietty who together with her father, embarks on her very first borrowing. Unfortunately for Arrietty, she is discovered by a young sickly human named Shō (Shawn for the US dub) who attempts to befriend her. However Arrietty’s father has made it clear that once a Borrower has been discovered they must move. Needless to say Arrietty and Shō form a friendship much to her parents disapproval and the film is somewhat predictable as a result, but it makes up for it in production value as the film is beautifully animated in the traditional Ghibli style. The animation alone makes the film well worth your time, however if you’re expecting something as imaginative as Howl’s Moving Castle or Spirited Away then you will be sorely disappointed.
Not the best that Ghibli has to offer as the story is predictable and rather unimaginative (compared to their usual work) but the animation alone makes The Secret World of Arrietty worth ninety minutes of your time.