Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animators best known for “Spirited Away,” return with “The Secret World of Arrietty,” a whimsical story about a race of tiny people called Borrowers.
The film, originally released in Japan in July 2010, has finally made it to the U.S. The movie stars an unexpected cast including Bridgit Mendler as Borrower Arrietty, Amy Poehler as Arrietty’s mother Homily, Carol Burnett as Hara and Will Arnett as Arrietty’s father Pod.
Poehler and Arnett’s characters are the highlights of the movie. Homily is comically neurotic and spastic, always worrying about whether Pod and Arrietty will come home safely. But together, Homily and Pod keep each other balanced.
The plot is simple and easy to follow with a few laughs and intense scenes. Arrietty is enjoyably sassy, but Shawn is unsettlingly cynical for a kid. The animation is elegantly drawn and each frame of action resembles a scene from an old picture book. The music, entirely composed by French musician Cecile Corbel, is enchanting and enhances the fantastical feel of the movie.
Overall, “The Secret World of Arrietty” is reminiscent of childhood imaginations with a feel-good message that audiences of all ages will enjoy.