Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Starring: Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias
MPAA Rating: G
Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Running Time: 94 minutes
Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
“The Secret World of Arrietty” is easily one of my favorite animated films. It might even be one of my favorite Studio Ghibli films as well. The more you watch this film the better it gets. It is such a simple film but it also so absolutely vibrant and enthralling that you can’t take your eyes off the screen. I love the hand-drawn animation, Hollywood doesn’t give them the respect that they deserve. My favorite part of this film is honestly the score. It is written and performed by the very talented French singer/songwriter, Cécile Corbel. It is one of my favorite scores, in recent times, if not ever.
The story tells the tale of a family of four-inch-tall people, called Borrowers, who live hidden about the humans or beans as they are called in the film. They survive by borrowing only what they need to survive and only items that will not be missed. On the first night that the young girl Arrietty (Mendler) goes borrowing with her father, they are spotted by a bean and their lives will never be the same. The human is a sick young boy named Shawn, that is very sweet and friendly. Unfortunately, his Great Aunt Hara does not have the same feeling and seeks to have them captured.
The Blu-ray presentation looks much better than it did in the theaters. The colors are more vibrant and the animation just pops right off the screen. The 1080p transfer looks so fantastic and crisp. The sound, like I mentioned, is just absolutely perfect with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. I wish Disney would have sprung though for the 7.1 track but it is still amazing. The special features are a bit disappointing for a Disney film. The best feature is a storyboard version of the film, definitely worth checking out for animation fans. There are the original Japanese trailers and TV commercials, worth checking out also. Lastly there are two music videos for “Summertime” by Bridgit Mendler and “Arrietty’s Song” by Cécile Corbe. I would have loved to see more production featurettes and commentary tracks included.