The Secret World of Arietty [Blu-Ray] Hiromasa Yonebayashi

The Secret World of Arietty [Blu-Ray] Hiromasa Yonebayashi
The latest product of Japan's Studio Ghibli to hit North America, The Secret World of Arietty is an adaptation of children's classic The Borrowers, scripted by master of Japanimation Hayao Miyazaki and directed by first-timer Yonebayashi, a Ghibli animator. Set in modern-day Tokyo, the story concerns a sickly boy, Shawn, who is sent to live with relatives for his health. He encounters a family of Borrowers ― little people who lead a furtive existence under the floorboards and in the nooks and crannies of the homes of the big people they call "human beans." More particularly, he becomes entranced by the daughter in the Borrower family, Arietty. This tender coming-of-age story is given added urgency by the situation's impossibility ― Arietty's ever-present fear of capture and death mirrors Shawn's fatalistic acceptance of his heart condition as he awaits surgery. This movie has the lyrical beauty one associates with the Ghibli/Miyazaki brand, masterpieces of animation like My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke, and like the latter, is surprisingly adult in the deeper feelings it evokes. It has one of the most spellbinding scenes in any movie this year, animated or otherwise, when Arietty first sees Shawn awake and staring at her during her first Borrowing mission. The moment plays with eerie quiet, and a palpable sense of terror. The film is remarkably cohesive considering its Disney repackaging ― even the soundtrack presence of American voices like Amy Poehler and Will Arnett fails to jar. Everyone's work is beautifully integrated into the whole ― particular kudos should be extended to the voice work of Carol Burnett as scheming maid Hara. Extras consist of storyboards, trailers, video clips for the soundtrack songs and a "making of" featurette on one of those clips. (Disney)