Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Secret World of Arrietty

Tonight I decided since I was going to be watching a friends nine year old daughter I would take the opportunity to see a movie that was more kid geared. So upon the request of said nine year old we adventured out to see a 7:35 showing of "The Secret World of Arrietty." Now let me be very clear when it comes to watching children's movies I really do prefer seeing them after they have come out on DVD or weeks after the release in order to avoid the small children who can't sit still or stop talking, so this was a big gamble for me. However, I was rather intrigued to see another movie by director Hiromasa Yonebayashi and writer Hayao Miyazaki. I rather enjoyed both "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Spirited Away."
So after going through the normal riga ma-roll of taking a nine year old to the movies, popcorn with just the right amount of butter and salt the extra napkins and a quick run to the bathroom we found our seats in a semi packed theatre. It wasn't one of the biggest theaters in the place but for it's size it was filling up nicely.
Shortly after about 7:38 the movie began and I settled in with the nine year old munching on her popcorn and waiting wide eyed for this fun movie. Now as I mentioned before I am a fan of Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Hayao Miyazaki, they were the reason I wanted to see this movie (besides it being a request from a friend), but I really did not know anything about this movie except it seemed very close to the 1997 John Goodman movie "The Borrowers." Upon looking into this movie I realized in fact the 1997 movie and this movie was based on the same story. I did not however, know this move and the one in '97 was based on the "Borrowers" book series by Mary Norton. I did not read this series so I am not going to even try to compare them. I did however see "The Borrowers" and I was never a fan.
This time around I have to say I honestly enjoyed this movie. Now I am not saying it was the greatest movie this director and writer have ever done but it was rather enjoyable. The story focuses around a family of borrowers who are about 4 inches tall maybe less and live under the floor boards of a house. We meet Shawn (David Henrie) who is going to stay with is Aunt at her house out in the country to get some rest and relaxation. Upon his arrival he notices something or rather someone in the bushes. As Arrietty (Bridget Mendler) rushes off back to her house the adventure begins. Arrietty's journey begins that evening as she heads out with her father Pod (Will Arnett) for her first Borrower experience, it's there she meets Shawn for the first time face to face. This interaction leads Shawn to seek out the little people living under the floor and forces Arrietty and her family to make tough decisions about their future.
When I walked out of the theatre there were a few things that hit me. One, the music in this movie was one of the best parts. It was beautiful and helped move the movie along. I thought to myself "I wouldn't mind downloading this soundtrack it would be great relaxation music." Second I was extremely impressed with the drawing and painting in every scene. As my little nine year old friend said, "Every scene looks like a portrait." I could not have agreed more with that statement! It was truly brilliantly illustrated, not that I'd expect anything less from Miyazaki and Yonebayashi. And the third thing that crossed my mind was wow for a kids movie that was rather long and it kind of felt long too.
So if you're a parent looking to take your kids to see this movie I suggest taking the older kids. Even my nine year old friend had issues towards the end, squirming in here seat. It is, however, a very family friendly movie and can be enjoyed by all. The shinning star award goes to Amy Poehler who voiced Arrietty's mother Homily. Her vocal expression and inflections were spot on. She made a cartoon very likable and relatable. In my opinion she truly stole the movie!

"The Secret World of Arrietty"
Run time: 1 hr. 35 min

Will Arnett
Bridget Mendler
David Henrie
Amy Peohler
Carol Burnett

In theaters everywhere, check your local listings for show times.

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