Friday, January 4, 2013

Review: The Secret World of Arrietty

Disney's take on the classic children's book The Borrowers is fresh and charming. As a sort of summer love, coming of age adventure, fourteen year-old Arrietty learns many tough lessons. Taught to fear humans, she discovers that not everyone is bent on her destruction. Bravery and love overcome differences to build a timeless friendship.

Wonderfully illustrated in Japanese anime style, the characters are both cartoon-ish and amazingly life-like. We watched the US version which uses different voice actors. I especially liked Carol Burnett's portrayal of the demented Haru.

The film is another family classic from the world leader in animation. With no foul language or graphic scenes, it's safe for even the little ones to watch. Some impatient teens may feel the plot moves too slow. Often though, the lack of resolved tension is enough to hold everyone's emotional interest. Subtle moments were not lost on my fifteen year-old son.

In the US version, Arrietty is voiced by Bridgit Mendler, who also sings the background song Summertime. Mendler is probably best known for her role as Teddy on the Disney show Good Luck Charlie. The copy we viewed included the official music video, which kept the diminutive proportions presented in the movie.

Watch trailers on the official movie site.