When I first saw the poster for this movie in the lobby of my local movie theatre, I was excited to see another Studio Ghilbi film. I went and saw the movie while I was home on Spring Break, and I was not dissapointed at all by The Secret World of Arriety.
I found that the story was quite interesting and for the most part it was able to keep my attention. The main plot is about this boy named Sho (Sean in the English dub), who is very sickly, so he goes out to the country to his mother's old house to get some rest before he has his surgery. Meanwhile there is a family of Borrowers living underneath the house that Sho is in. Sho befriends the teenage daughter of the family named Arrietty, but because the family has been seen by people, they must leave the house that they are in. There are many more aspects to the film, but I have put in enough spoilers already, and don't want to ruin the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it who is reading this review. While the story is compelling, there are times when the pacing is slow, and the film can seem kind of dull. Other than these moments, the story itself is quite good.
I loved the visuals in this film. You can tell that the animators put a lot of effort into this film. I especially loved the visuals dealing with liquids at the scale of the Arrietty and her parents. I love how the water bubbles up with surface tension, like the liquids would at that small scale. The backgrounds were quite detailed and they became more than backgrounds and became environments for the characters, and that is what backgrounds should be, environments for the characters to interact with.
The characters is what really makes this movie. This film was able to create vivid characters that the audience really cares about. I found both Sho and Arrietty to be quite relateable and interesting to watch. These characters were characters that I legitamently cared for while watching this film.
Studio Ghilbi strikes again with another wonderful film. If you are a fan of their work, then you will love this film, and even if you aren't, then watch it anyways. It is one of the few family films that anyone can enjoy.