The Secret World of Arrietty is the latest offering from legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, the modern master of hand-drawn animation. But while Miyazaki is best-known for his hands-on directing style, which has earned him international acclaim as well as Oscar attention, here he is credited solely with the screenplay and "planning." For Arrietty, the aging Miyazaki has handed the reins over to Studio Ghibli animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who steps up to the directing chair for the first time to helm this family-friendly animated adventure based on The Borrowers children's novel by Mary Norton. But Miyazaki devotees need not worry, as much of the animation auteur's influence can still be clearly felt in the recurring themes that surface within the poignant storytelling of Arrietty.
The film centers on a young girl who must leave behind her childish dependence on her parents and enter a world of adventure in the course of a magical coming-of-age tale. Here, the heroine is Arrietty, a young Borrower who has finally reached the point where she'll be taught to scavenge odds in ends from the giant "beans" who live above she and her family in a gigantic (to them) sun-dappled cottage. But shortly into her first excursion, she has an encounter that will change her life forever.
In the clip below courtesy of Yahoo, Arrietty breaks down what it means to be a borrower to her star-crossed crush Shô, a sickly human boy.
The Secret World of Arrietty marks Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Company's second co-production, following the beloved re-imagination of The Little Mermaid tale, Ponyo. (Notably, the companies' first collaboration came in 2004, when following the heralded debut of the Japanese-language original of Howl's Moving Castle at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, Disney bought the U.S. theatrical rights and created an English-language overdub for the release.) Hollywood sound designer/mixer/editor Gary Rydstrom, who has crafted soundscapes for such acclaimed animated efforts as Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. was brought on board to record English-speaking actors for Arrietty's American version. Disney kids Bridgit Mendler and David Henrie, kmown for Wizards of Waverly Place, co-star as Arrietty and Shô. Adding some cool cache for non-tween moviegoers are comedians Amy Pohler, Will Arnett, and Carol Burnett, who lend their voices to Arrietty's parents and a single-minded human housekeeper respectively.
The Secret World of Arrietty opens nationwide February 17th.
Staff writer at CinemaBlend.
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