Blu-ray Review The Secret World of Arrietty
Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi Cast: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Carol Burnett Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins Rating: G Due Out: May 22, 2012
PLOT: A four-inch-tall girl named Arrietty (Mendler) lives under a house with her parents (Arnett and Poehler). Their harmless life is threatened when they are discovered by a sick boy named Shawn.
WHO'S IT FOR? The typical enchantment of Arrietty won’t lose kids, but the slow pacing will. This one is for young ones who don’t even hesitate to opt for the apple slices when ordering fast food. With its detailed animation and a script co-written by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, it’ll likely satisfy animation nerds most of all.
Though Arrietty is beautiful to look at, its story simply doesn't have the same magic. The tale of the "Borrowers" has been done in various incarnations before, and though that number is low, Arietty only stands out from the bunch because its animation is so beautiful. Though it's certainly soft for kids, this one is definitely more for animation geeks than it is children looking for light entertainment.
As for the great animation, the movie's mini world flourishes with strong attention to tiny details. Similar to something we might see in a Toy Story movie, Arrietty shows off believable small-world gymnastics. The characters don’t just sit on some leaf and get blown around, they live within a tangible environment. The visuals of Arrietty shine best when they can show more depth than detail; moments outside will give animation fans the pleasing aesthetics they crave from a movie by Studio Ghibli.
With its dedicated visuals that labor intensely on the smallest details, Arrietty feels a little too typical with its characters and slow-moving story. Pretty imagery can only provide so much of an enchanting sense before the script stands on its own, and dully so. As the events of Arrietty crawl along, this labored rehashing can feel as overwrought as the rhetorical quip “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?”
MOVIE SCORE: 5/10
Original Japanese Storyboards "Arrietty's Song" Cecile Corbel Music Video Original Japanese Trailers & TV Spots "Summertime" Bridgit Mendler Music Video The Making of "Summertime" DVD Copy of the film