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The Secret of Arriety

Posted by admin on February 17, 2012

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Have you ever gotten the feeling that something in your home has either moved or gone missing without explanation? Like a missing sugar cube or maybe some extra tissues you had more of? Could be a coincidence, maybe a mouse. Or maybe it could be a bowerer.

The bowerers are group of tiny people that live in the hidden spaces in your home that only take what they need to survive.  There’s nothing to fear. There just like you and me. All they want is to go on with their lives without the interference of human beings.

The Secret of Arriety is the latest film from the brilliant Studio Gibli in Japan. They are known for such classics as Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke. If you haven’t heard of them, they are considered the Japanese Walt Disney Pictures. Living well up to its expectations, The Secret of Arriety is another classic to add to the library.

This movie focuses on Arriety, a fourteen-year-old girl who is the daughter of the possibly last bowerers. On her first scouting mission with her father, a human boy about the same age spots her. He’s staying at his aunt’s place due to an upcoming operation he’s having. The house itself has a colorful history about the past bowerers and the boy’s grandfather who also tried to interact with the world of the bowerers.

This movie, like any Studio Gibli film, has some of the best artwork anywhere. Here we get good old-fashioned hand drawn animation. It’s good to see some variety in animation. Being that Disney was in charge of the English dub, they have not given up on this beautiful traditional animation that so many other companies have. With the backgrounds in this garden environment looking so lush, it feels very relaxing watching this.

The voice work is phenomenal. Carol Burnett is great as the boy’s great aunt. Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are surprisingly affective as Arriety’s parents. But of course, Bridgit Mendler is excellent as Arriety.  Her voice has the perfect balance of innocence, but strong enough to bring life into this brave character.

I predict that this will be the best family film in theaters, but will not make much of an impact at the box office. I hope I’m wrong about this, because I want to see more films like this in theaters. 

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I'll give this Japanese masterpiece 5 found sugercubes out of 5. Please support these kinds of movies. You'll love it!

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