It’s always weird to me when movies I’ve known about for a while and have already seen start showing in theaters over here in the U.S. years later. Ever since I was little I’ve always liked animations, although of course my cultural background probably had a hand in influencing my taste. Though I’ll admit these days I’m not as into animation as I used to be—mostly because the quality of anime these days isn’t like it was in the past, at least I don’t think so—I feel like I’m still able to keep up with what comes out each year.
I think this is only the second time I’ve seen an anime movie become available for viewing in theaters. I could be wrong, but the only other time I think an anime was shown in theaters was Howl’s Moving Castle back in 2004 or something. I’m pretty sure I was still in high school.
Anyway, The Secret World of Arrietty is also a Hayao Miyazaki film. For anyone not familiar with animations or Miyazaki’s work, I highly recommend watching them. Most people who’ve heard of Miyazaki are probably most familiar with his more popular works like Princess Mononoke (1997) or Spirited Away (2001).
The Secret World of Arrietty is a decent anime to watch, but I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed it as much as some of Miyazaki’s earlier films.
This animation is based on Mary Norton’s children’s book, The Borrowers; however, there are definitely a lot of Miyazaki trademarks scattered throughout the film as well. Like the cat. I don’t know why, but Miyazaki seems to really like cats. I feel like there’s one in almost every single film he makes where he can fit one in. Then again, maybe it’s just me. Also, I think it’s safe to say that Miyazaki’s animation style is very distinct. Even without someone telling me who animated it, I already knew it was Miyazaki that was behind the project the minute I saw the artwork.
For anyone looking to take their kids to something, this is definitely one of the more family-friendly films Miyazaki’s made. I don’t think all his work completely falls under that category. It was definitely a fun story to watch, although there was just one character that really got on my nerves. Usually I don’t mind even Miyazaki’s antagonists, but the mean old lady in this one really annoyed the heck out of me in this film.
I can’t really remember if I originally watched this movie subbed or dubbed, so I’m just going to rate it without including the subtitle ratings.
Casting: N/A – Animation
Re-watch Factor: ***
FINAL VERDICT: B
It wasn’t bad, and I think I can see kids wanting to watch this over and over again if they’re really into Japanese animations. Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) will always be my favorite of his works though.
I think I got a little energy for a few more entries, so I’ll see if I can get those posted up by the end of today. See you all again in a bit, I think! Hahaha.
The main reason I’m holding off on this movie until the DVD release is because I would rather see the Japanese language version instead of the English dub. I saw Ponyo dubbed, and the dub was decent enough, but I remember a sloppy translation making Sousuke’s mother’s name Lisa when it should have been Risa. Risa is a Japanese name, but Lisa made it seem like she was the only non-Japanese person in a cast of Japanese characters.
You should note that Miyazaki wrote this film, but didn’t direct it. In general, it seems like Miyazaki hasn’t really directed anything since Ponyo, and as a result, I’m reading that Ghibli’s movies aren’t as good as they were in Miyazaki’s hayday.
I saw it in Japanese. I do agree, most of the time when foreign films get dubbed, it usually just sounds ridiculous. Very rarely do I prefer the dubs over the original. The two that I can think of right away off the top of my head that I didn’t mind was Kiki’s Delivery Service and the Get Backers series. (The Get Backers in particular, I actually preferred the dub over the original. Weird, I know.)
Thanks for pointing out that thing about Miyazaki. I think I might have seen that he didn’t direct it when I was looking at the IMDB profile or something, but I didn’t really keep it in mind for some reason, haha.
Thanks for showering your love on one of my older entries. 😀