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REVIEW: The Secret World of Arrietty


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neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 1178
Location: Atlanta, GA
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:09 pm Reply with quote
Just got back from seeing this myself and I was surprised by how much I preferred the American dub to the UK one! Never thought I'd say that. The only minor gripe I had with the U.S. version was cutting short Cecile Corbel's ending theme to include Bridget Mendler's song, but the lyrics of that one made it pretty clear that she'd written it with this film in mind, so even that didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Didn't feel out of place.

The music is definitely my favorite thing about this film, it's probably my favorite Ghibli soundtrack since Spirited Away. I like how "different" this one feels from the rest of the Ghibli canon, it really was like spending a pleasant afternoon in a teahouse or something.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 7842
Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:13 pm Reply with quote
I kind of want to see this now, but I'll probably hold out until it's on Blu-Ray.
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 5264
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:20 pm Reply with quote
Good review, Zac. I also found the relationship between Sho / Shaun and Arrietty unconvincing, thus causing the ending to be less moving than it should have been.

I must try and see it with the American dub. Homily doesn't work in the English dub and the male voice actors come across as stilted. On the other hand, it's hard to imagine Saoirse Ronan being bettered in the title role. In any case, not being American, I fear American accents would sound all wrong for me.
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keikanna44



Joined: 12 Feb 2009
Posts: 155
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:45 pm Reply with quote
I agree with this review completely! I haven't seen the dub version yet but I did see Japanese version and by the end I couldn't believe I had seen a Miyazaki film. The animation was gorgeous as well as the basic concept but the characters and plot were forgettable. The movie didn't really build into a climax and by the final scene I didn't even care anymore. I would recommend this movie to any Miyazaki fan but sadly this isn't going down as one of his best movies such as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 7851
Location: IL
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:51 pm Reply with quote
keikanna44 wrote:
I would recommend this movie to any Miyazaki fan but sadly this isn't going down as one of his best movies such as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.

This isn't directed by Miyazaki. And considering it's the directorial debut for Yonebayashi, I'd say that it turned out really well.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2404
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:51 pm Reply with quote
Quite honestly I feel Studio Ghibli has not made a great film since Spirited Away.

All their films post Spirited have been good overall but I always feel like they could have been better.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 817
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:04 pm Reply with quote
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
Quite honestly I feel Studio Ghibli has not made a great film since Spirited Away.

All their films post Spirited have been good overall but I always feel like they could have been better.


I'm the opposite. I think Mononoke and Spirited Away--Ghibli's most celebrated films--were the weakest, though I do understand where the accolades come from. But quite frankly, Ghibli has always been better when they kept it simple. Their wonderful skills at character animation is showcased more, and the audience is better able to experience a more singular, focused world vision when it's not cutting between multiple plotlines, like in Princess Mononoke.

I know this isn't the majority thinking--most people think of Laputa, Nausicaa, Spirited Away and Mononoke when thinking Ghibli. But for me, those films all trail behind Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, Kiki, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso.

Everyone has their own "Ghibli" I guess.

Ponyo, for me, was the film that finally reached back into the freewheeling quality that hasn't been seen since Porco Rosso. I know this isn't a popular Miyazaki film with most anime fans these days, but I believe time will be redeem it as one of his best when all is said and done.
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jmfsilenthill



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 1863
Location: Chinese cartoons are srs biz
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:08 pm Reply with quote
Seeing this tomorrow night, can't wait! Smile
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Koji98



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 112
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:51 pm Reply with quote
I disagree in that I thought the story was fantastic. From what the movie showed I saw Hara as (spoiler just in case) spoiler[someone who has been trying to prove the existence of the borrowers for some time, only to be ridiculed and told "it's just a fairy tale". Every time something was misplaced or went missing the blame would fall onto her shoulders, as I heard a comment she made that alluded to it. When she discovered the Arietty's mom she didn't just find a robber but the source of a burden that has been plaguing her for some time. She finally had proof that she wasn't going crazy and wanted to reveal them, proving that she had been right this entire time. Her pride was at stake. Of course it gets foiled and she's given some "time off".]
Maybe I'm just over thinking it but I saw her as a much deeper character. Also, I enjoyed the fact that there wasn't some dramatic climax. Not every adventure is going to have twists and turns and be overly dramatic, and with the atmosphere I felt from the movie having a simple resolution worked well.

Then again, that's just what I got from watching the movie.
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Jrittmayer



Joined: 13 Oct 2009
Posts: 304
Location: New Jersey
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:57 pm Reply with quote
Loved it when I saw it in theatres two years ago, and really enjoyed the recently released on BD UK dub. The US dub, by comparison is quite weak.

And they changed Sho to Sean...lol
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9295
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:00 pm Reply with quote
I watched the fansub upon it's release in June, and generally liked the flow and story of the film. And while the Disney dub is almost the same, they rewrote a few parts, like when Arrietty and Sho have their serious life talk, it's serviceable enough. But I think the most annoying things were how "breathy" the voice acting for Shawn and Pod were, it sounded dull and unmotivated, like the actors weren't even directed, and the insert song at the end which completely does not fit the somber mood. It makes it seem like the film was about two best buds having a great time together when, when we all know how it's about they cannot possibly coexist in any manner... Most of the other voice cast were spot on for their roles. The renaming the characters doesn't really matter much.

As for that rewrite, Sho mentions something about extinction and how the environment is falling apart in the original, but it's not nearly as annoying or as driving as sentiments in the other Miyazaki films, it's more of a passing phrase he lets linger that Arrietty immediately rebukes.
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ManOfRust



Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 1935
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:13 pm Reply with quote
I'm hoping to go see this tomorrow.

One thought I had while reading Zac's criticism of the somewhat simplistic storytelling and lack of character development was that this is, after all, a movie made primarily for children. I think that, especially over the past 20 years or so, we've seen a good number of well written animated feature films that, while also aimed at children have had an additional level of complexity for the adults in the audience. Maybe those films have changed our expectations of what an animated film should be like.

It may be that this film was kept simple by design for its intended audience. That's not to say that some kids can't appreciate a more complex plot or subtle interactions between characters, but I think they'd also generally be less likely to be bothered when these qualities are missing.

Sometimes, a straight-forward story isn't necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing Arrietty. This is the second review I've read of it and both have had many more positive things to say than negative.
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doubleO7



Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 968
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:18 pm Reply with quote
Great review, I'll probably go see it this weekend.

I know they probably wont bother, but I kinda hope Disney includes the UK dub on the DVD/BD. I keep hearing good things about it and I would like to compare the two, but I dont have a region-free DVD player so I wouldn't be able to import it.


Last edited by doubleO7 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14082
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:19 pm Reply with quote
This movie is the perfect food for vegetarians. It has absolutely no meat whatsoever; no story, no themes, no character development. That said, it was a beautifully-drawn and well-animated movie that was pleasant to watch.
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chefneer
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Joined: 27 Aug 2009
Posts: 1540
Location: Wichita, Kansas
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:03 am Reply with quote
Just got back from the theater and I liked the movie a lot. The art, animation, and music were all gorgeous. True, there was very little backstory, but that's OK, it isn't really needed. It's a story about two people from very different worlds who become friends, nothing more. It is not necessary for every movie to be made to have a large sweeping plot and complex characters. Sometimes simpler is better. As for emotional effect, there were some tears in the theater at the end, from several people - it got me a bit too, but maybe I'm just sentimental.

So far, I haven't seen a Ghibli movie that I didn't like and I've added this one to my acquisition list. I'm also going to have to read the book now, I haven't done that yet.
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