GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Sheep Movie Review: The Secret World of Arriety | I Smell Sheep

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sheep Movie Review: The Secret World of Arriety

The Secret World of Arriety, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Gary Rydstrom, with screenwriters Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. Based on the book "The Borrowers" by Mary Norton.

A family of miniature people find their existence threatened due to a forbidden friendshipin this Studio Ghibli adaptation of author Mary Norton's beloved children's book The Borrowers. Headstrong and full of energy, 14-year-old Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler) is just like any other adolescent girl -- except for the fact that she's only a few inches tall. Arrietty and her family are Borrowers: a race of tiny people who live among the regular-size humans undetected, and only emerge to scrounge minuscule amounts of essential living supplies from well-stocked cupboards and cabinets. Contact with the Borrowers' normal-size counterparts is strictly forbidden, but when Arrietty attempts to help her father stock up on necessities and meets 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), the pair develop an unlikely bond. Shawn has come to live with his great aunt, and should she find out about the Borrowers, it would be disastrous for Arrietty and her family. But perhaps by working together, Shawn and Arrietty
can figure out a way for the Borrowers and humans to live together in harmony.

I am a big fan of Studio Ghibli so I had to go and see this. The movie takes place in Toyko, Japan, where we meet Shawn. He is brought to the house his mother grew up in to get away from the stress of the city. While Shawn's aunt goes into the house to talk to the housekeeper, Shawn sees the house cat staring intently at an overgrown patch of grass. Shawn heads over to see what is going on, and as he steps closer a crow comes out of nowhere to attack the cat. Shawn notices something moving through the grass from the corner of his eye and this is when he first sees Arriety.

Arriety returns home with a few leaves that she was able to get while on her outing, her mother Homily scolds Arriety for going out, until Homily notices that one of the leaves is a leaf of basil. That night, Pod (Arriety's Father) comes home and tells the family that a new "bean" has moved into the house. Homily is upset by this news, since their chances of being seen just went up and voices her thoughts on it, trying to keep Pod and Arriety from going out on Arrietys first night of "borrowing". However, Pod promises that he will keep Arriety safe and they leave.

From this point on in the movie, things pick up and the history of Borrowers and Beans unfolds. Arriety finds it hard to believe the "Old Wives Tales" that all beans are bad and no good will come from being seen.

There are no massive explosions, no CGI, no massive sound effects, no huge make-up effects, this is a simple animated film, not even in the PIXAR style. If you plan on seeing this and expect a "typical" Disney style artform, you are going to be disappointed. If the animation style is something you are willing to check out, I'm highly suggest you go and see this movie. Ghibli Studios does not disappoint when it comes to great story telling and using the art to help move the story along.

I'm ranking this one at a 4.5 sheep, this one is a great film to see, even if it is your first Ghibli movie



  1. I am a huge Studia Ghibli fan, Spirited Away is one of my favourite all time films, I can't wait to see this film!


  2. So going to see this with my little guy. See, I have a good cover story right there. hehehe :)

  3. Awesome!
    Hayao Miyazaki's current anime movie. Have been looking forward to a blog review for this. And glad you liked it. Can't wait to write a review on the home release of "The Secret World of Arietty".