The Secret World of Arriety (Japan-2010, America- 2012)- Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Verdict: Watch it!
Arriety and her family of “little people” live under the floor of a house. They borrow small forgettable foodstuffs to survive, hence their species name: borrowers. When a young boy named Sho (or Shawn in America) with a rare heart disease comes to live in the house, Arriety’s world at once becomes a lot more interesting and dangerous.
As director Hiromasa’s Yonebayashi’s first film, he carries Studio Ghibli’s name well. While not quite as spectacular as Miyazakis best work, Arriety is better than some of it (Ponyo comes to mind here). Expect Studio Ghibli’s top of the line animation and fascinating characters, especially Haru the housemade.
One thing that sets Arriety apart from most of the Ghibli cannon, is its story. Perhaps now more than ever, Miyazaki as a writer has created a story that can break all national boundaries–no terrifying spirits or monsters–and audiences, while losing a little bit of the old magic, mostly benefits. Arriety is a film for young and old alike, and if you are willing to look past the sometimes awkward disnification of the audiotrack, everyone will have a great time. Watch it!