I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of The Secret World of Arrietty last week. It came out in theatres yesterday, February 17th. This film, in its US English-language release, features the voices of Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, David Henrie (from Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place), Carol Burnett, and Bridgit Mendler (from Disney Channel's Good Luck, Charlie). Based on Mary Norton's children's novel The Borrowers, originally this film was made by the Japanese production company Studio Ghibli.
I am not typically a fan of Japanese anime. I know some people really enjoy this genre, but I haven't really had that much experience with it. There is definitely a style to it that is different from the Disney animation children would be used to today. It took a bit of getting used to myself, I have to be honest. However, it was a lovely film to watch. It was simple and bright, and told a lovely story about a moment in time for these characters.
As a child, I loved stories like The Borrowers and The Littles. I too wished there were tiny people living in the walls that would live in adorable little houses, with miniature versions of all of our appliances and furniture. What child wouldn't find that concept fascinating as they let their imagination run wild with it?
I think children would highly enjoy The Secret World of Arrietty. There are a few scenes that younger viewers may not completely understand, some of the emotion of the main boy being ill and needing care by his elderly aunt. I feel like the best age group for this film might be ages 8 - 12, though certainly children of all ages could enjoy it in some capacity. This film is not just a "children's film" by any means though, I do believe it's enjoyable for adult viewers, especially those of us who remember reading The Borrowers in elementary school.
Here are a couple of clips from the film:
"What are Borrowers?" clip
As I said, it hit theatres yesterday. If you do see it, I'd love to know what you thought! Come back and leave a comment!
*Disclosure: Ms. Key and a guest were able to attend a pre-screening of The Secret World of Arrietty, tickets provided by Walt Disney Motion Pictures Canada. There was no obligation to post a review, and all opinions are her own.