The Secret World of Arriety review

My preschooler and I headed to the theater for a pre-screening of The Secret World of Arrietty and had wonderful time. The illustration alone was well worth getting up bright and early to head out into the Colorado cold morning air to check out this new film. Not a detail was missed in the creation of the miniature world of this sweet girl.

Secret World of Arrietty - scene in the garden
Secret World of Arrietty - scene in the garden

The storyline is fairly simple and the dialog  as well. As a Japanese animation, voice overs were expected, but were not a distraction at all. The majority of the interest lies in the artwork of the scenes and the imagination to create the vision of this tale. Every visual detail was thought out and carefully rendered. Scenes focus in and out as though it were a real life camera. My preschooler was definitely interested in watching as crickets jumped by, Arrietty and her father climbed through the walls of the “beans” home and an array of landscapes filled the screen.

The lack of “big” adventure did play a toll on some kids. There’s a slow point right in the middle of the movie where many of the younger kids began to grow restless. There are no smashing cars or battling brawls to keep the attention span in this movie. However, the story picks up as the housemaid shows her “bad guy” side and the kids seemed interested again. This mid movie slowdown is the perfect time to whip out those M&Ms you hid in your bag before the show!

Secret world of Arrietty - mother captured in a jar
Secret world of Arrietty - mother captured in a jar

Although preschoolers will enjoy this movie, I think the prime age is more around 7+, I heard many absolutely loved the entire film. I was happy with the sweetness of the story and the lack of violent confrontation so often seen in animation recently. There were a few moments of full theater laughter as well some serious moments, a nice mix of emotion and entertainment.


Check out the Free Arrietty coloring pages and activities.

Movie details:


Genre: Animation/Adventure

Rating: G

Release Date: February 17, 2012

Voice Cast: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, Moises Arias

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Producer: Toshio Suzuki

Screenplay by : Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa

Based on “The Borrowers” by: Mary Norton

Director – English Language

Version: Gary Rydstrom

Executive Producers –

English Language Version: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall

English Language Screenplay by: Karey Kirkpatrick


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