Worlds of Wonder and Beauty – The Secret World of Arrietty

Studio Ghibli has once again translated a written adventure to the screen, with a fantastical visual and emotional journey as a result. This time, they have interpreted Mary Norton’s The Borrowers.

In The Secret World of Arrietty a young boy named Sho meets borrower Arrietty, a young girl of a tiny folk called “borrowers”, as they borrow (or steal) everything they need from ordinary people. Their seemingly innocent meeting, no more than a brief glance at first, results in the upheaval of their lives. Arrietty has to save her family from danger and Sho has to confront his attitude towards life.

The Secret World of Arrietty is a heart warming, beautiful story with most of the classical elements that I love about Studio Ghibli stories – strong female characters, picturesque sceneries, strange and lovable characters, comic relief, slow and comfortable pace leaving room for thought, and a general “feel good” quality. What I did miss was perhaps a stronger magical or surreal element and some fantastical creatures, but I guess there is not always room for such. All in all, a very good movie.

Before Studio Ghibli was Studio Ghibli there was…

… Miyazaki and Takahata and their separate carriers. At Tor.com there is an interesting article – Six Pre-Studio Ghibli Anime Films You Should Track Down – about some of the movies that were made before Studio Ghibli was officially formed. Great recommendations. I was not familiar with all titles, but will definitely check some of them out. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one of my all time favourite movies, all categories. The writer of the article mentioned above sums it up;

“the pair’s stunning gift for storytelling, with many of the themes of Ghibli’s output – environmental destruction, industrialisation, conflict and children facing up to their roles in the world”

I can’t wait to see The Secret World of Arrietty, I hope to get my hand on it soon.