A timeless tale. Gorgeously hand drawn landscapes. A tenderly sweet friendship. How lovely! And by the way, Studio Ghibli rocks! The Secret World of Arrietty will join the already awesome list of Ghibli films (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle,etc) and take its place among the classics.
I love old school, traditional animation. I sometimes worry that it may be a dying art form and we may have legendary Hayao Miyazaki to thank for it not disappearing completely, since Disney’s last effort was The Princess and The Frog (which was lovely) and they do not seem to planning another one. At least Disney is distributing Ghibli’s films and bringing the awesomeness to American shores.
Miyazaki is getting older and is starting to hand over the reigns to others. With Arrietty, he adapted Mary Norton‘s The Borrowers and created the storyboards and planned out the story, but he handed the directing chair to Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a long time animator at the studio. More so than Ponyo (which is my least favorite of his films), you can feel Miyazaki’s touch in this story. His style is present, but Yonebayashi does add his own spirit and unique pacing. It is a simple story of friendship and trust. And I loved everything about it. I think the studio’s future is in good hands. (It was the number one film in Japan last year!)
If you’re already a fan of Ghibli’s films, I do not have to say much because you know…if you do not know yet what you are missing, then start checking out ALL of their amazing films! You will not regret it and more than likely, you will join the Miyazaki fan club! (Which my daughter should be the president of–she is a Totoro collector–and even her car is named Mononoke–yes, I have raised her properly :))
So, go out there and catch Arrietty before it disappears from theaters!