The animated film,“The Secret World of Arrietty,” is one more in a long list of masterpieces created by Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and his animation team at Studio Ghibli. It is a vibrant, colorful work of art with three dimensional characters with unique personalities and quirks. More then you could say about a lot of films out there these days.
Based loosely on the novel The Borrowers, the film centers on adventurous Arrietty, a 14-year-old girl whose entire family are “borrowers.” Essentially what they do is take things that they need to survive from sugar cubes or tissue paper, which are things that humans, whom they call Beans, wouldn't normally miss.
On the night of her first “borrowing,” Arrietty is seen by a human boy named Sean who has come to the house where the little family is in order to rest and recuperate before a heart surgery that he’s very afraid of.
Since she's been seen, Arrietty is afraid that she and her family will have to move, but Sean is a gentle soul and just wants to protect Arrietty and be her friend. The two start a tentative friendship, but then things start to spiral out of control when the housekeeper begins to get curious and discovers the secret of the little family, and at one point actually kidnaps Arrietty's mother in order to prove that her belief in the little people isn't crazy after all.
Arrietty and Sean must team up to save her mother and to get the tiny family out of the house before any more destruction is caused.
The film offers quite a few laughs, especially when it comes to the housekeeper. It also offers a feast for the eyes with the elegant backgrounds and gorgeously-drawn characters. It has a few scary moments as well, one of them being when the housekeeper finds their nest and kidnaps the mother and then puts her in a jar. The look on her face is pure maniacal glee, which gave yours truly the chills. The film offers poignant moments too. Some of them actually brought tears to my eyes.
It is a genuine movie treat with heart, humor and beauty and definitely fit for family viewing. Don't miss this soon to be classic film.