Saturday, March 10th, 2012
If you’re an avid fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle), then you will definitely love “The Secret World of Arietty”. Last week, a couple friends and I went to go see it, and I was under the impression that it would be a Japanese version of the Disney film, “The Borrowers”. In “Arietty”, the story follows the life of two key characters. Shawn is a boy with a heart condition who moves to the country to live with his aunt and her housekeeper, Hara. Arietty is a Borrower, a race of tiny people who run around “borrowing” from the humans only when they need supplies. Chief among the Borrower’s rules is that they are not to be seen by humans, or else they have to move on to another dwelling and start over. Coupled with an impressive soundtrack, excellent artwork, and visuals, “The Secret World of Arietty” does indeed have the feel of a Miyazaki film. After watching the movie, I was greatly impressed with the artwork and the feel of the movie. From the Borrowers perspective, the plants and grass of the backyard transform into a forest, and the house itself is a castle. It definitely has the look and aesthetic found in much of Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s artwork (Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and Spirited Away). Overall I like the story and its underlying meaning about fighting for what you want instead of rolling over and letting the world pass you by. While it might seem a bit out of place, its meaning is nonetheless important to the story and its outcome. Overall I’d give “The Secret World of Arietty” a four out of five, because it is quite enjoyable and I’d recommend it not only to Miyazaki fans but also to anyone looking for a good time.