JFF15: ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ Movie Review – Studio Ghibli’s pure brilliance!

Studio Ghibli is back with another masterpiece, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who worked behind the greats like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo.

‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ is based on Mary Norton’s book ‘The Borrowers’ which tells the story of Arrietty (voiced by Mirai Shida) and her family, known as the “Tiny People” in the human world – a myth passed down from generation to generation.  Arrietty , her dad and mom lives secretly beneath the floorboards in a suburban house in Tokyo, working as “borrowers” to survive who makes use of unwanted scraps left by humans, such as sugar, cookies, tissues and other objects.

Their  life was peaceful until a 12 year-old kid, Sho (voiced by Ryûnosuke Kamiki)  who has a heart disease, sees Arrietty and tries to help her with good intentions, raising the suspicions amongst housemaids who has been  hearing stories of the existence of the “Tiny people” for generations.

‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ is a beautiful and innocent movie, with characters created in the unique and iconic Studio Ghibli style in a story that everyone will love about family and friendship.

The animation is wonderful, presented in classic hand-drawn 2D, which made the time flew as we don’t normally get to see movies like this amongst the tons of 3D films released every week, far from the sensibility that lives in a film like ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ presented to the viewer.

The music, composed by Cécile Corbel is also fantastic, using lots of harp melodies, creating a wholesome general feeling of the film, with tones for every occasion, even for the comic scenes.

‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ is a great film to watch (especially if you choose to see it in Japanese) – a real testament that conventional animation and amazing storyline can still excel in a world full of 3D visual effects.