Movie: Karigurashi no Arrietty

The Secret World of Arrietty

Once upon a time, in a past life devoid of anime, my dad took me to the video store to pick out a movie. I wanted Looney Tunes, but he insisted that I tried something different. Then, out of the blue, he showed me the bright, happy cover of Totoro, which I immediately shoved away in disgust. That wasn’t Looney Tunes. Nothing could be better than Looney Tunes. To be fair, he said I could watch anything after giving Totoro a try. Little did either of us know that there would be no turning back. Now I’m an anime freak who reveres Miyazaki as a God. Thanks, Dad!

Here we are with Ghibli’s 17th movie, The Secret World of Arrietty. I saw it in theaters with my niece and anti-anime mom, who ended up enjoying it. It’s as charming and beautiful as any other Ghibli film, about the “little people,” aka “borrowers” who borrow things from humans that they won’t miss in order to survive. It’s a slice-of-life fantasy, as the fun comes from seeing how the borrowers live. How do they “borrow” everyday items and use them? How do they deal with insects? How do they keep themselves hidden? The answers can be pretty creative. The movie did a great job showing the world from their perspective: loud ticking clock, close-ups of human faces, and etc. But about this borrowing thing… Isn’t it actually called stealing? Just sayin.’

The central theme in this movie is about family/friendship. Arrietty befriends a human boy named Shou who moves in with his great Aunt because he’s suffering from a heart condition. I loved how they relied on each other’s strengths to escape the clutches of the sinister house maid. Arrietty’s family is fun, as her mother freaks out about every little thing possible. However, the characterization falls a bit weak, as we only get to know the characters on the surface. None of them leave a strong impression except for Arrietty, only because she’s a miniature human.

Soundtrack is gorgeous. Go listen to it. *poke poke*

So yeah, definitely check out this movie in theaters if you can for the best experience. It’s very enjoyable, even for the anti-anime moms out there. If you see it with kids, be sure to explain the difference between borrowing and stealing, and have a load of fun. =D

Mimi’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)

Dusk’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)

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