OK for kids 7+
Deeply felt anime about loneliness and friendship.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Secret World of Arrietty is a charming and unexpectedly profound anime film from the Japanese studio responsible for movies like Ponyo, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle. It's full of heart but also has some sad moments and tackles some somber themes -- including illness (Arrietty befriends a child who is said to be dying) and estranged family relationships -- which may make it a little intense for the youngest moviegoers. There's a kidnapping, and a sick young boy's mother sends him away to stay with a relative for a while -- a separation that may upset some little kids. But overall the movie is very sweet, and there's no swearing, smoking, drinking, strong violence, or overly sexy content to worry about.
- Families can talk about why Shawn's mother sent him away to the country. How did that make you feel? Do you think it was a good decision?
- What do you think The Secret World of Arrietty is trying to teach audiences? Do all movies and TV shows for kids need to teach them something?
- Families who want to learn more about this kind of animation may want to watch other anime films together. How are they similar to each other, and how are they different from most American-made animated movies?
- Kids: If you've read the book this movie is based on, how does it compare? Which do you like better?
The good stuff
Educational value: Teaches kids about the importance of communication and the value of understanding other people's circumstances.
Messages: The movie's strongly positive message is to be brave and reach out to someone (even those you don't quite understand); chances are the world will embrace you, too.
Role models: Arrietty is a strong teen who's brimming with confidence, compassion, and a healthy sense of self. Though she does sometimes go against her parents' will, she never does it out of malice and is always acting out of the goodness of her own heart. On the other hand, the housekeeper shows a discomfiting mean streak, which is played for laughs.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: A human destroys the Borrowers' habitat. An important character is kidnapped but later rescued. The main character befriends a child who is said to be dying, which could upset some kids.
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: A few brand names are seen, including Ivory dish soap.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
A nice change to a lot of the stuff out there! by loonarossa
We saw Arrietty last night and we all liked it a lot. It is set at a slower pace than a lot of the other kids movies out there. Not a whole lot of violence and beat them up type stuff, but a nice wholesome family movie about friendship and being tolerant of others. The animation was wonderful and the story is great.
Good for all ages!
The Secret World of the small one's by punk_vampiregurl
The movie taught me a lesson, as do most of the Studio Ghibli films. Personally, I loved the movie. It was sweet and adventurous all at the same time. This really is a movie that anyone could see and pretty much understand. The animation was beautiful and the English voices actually were good and fitting for the movie. This turned out to be a sweet movie that in the end, gave us a lesson to learn from.
Animation for Adults by cpoint1
I noticed that all the previews preceding this movie were for little kid cartoons, and almost every adult in the theatre was there because he was dragging a kid along. But this beautiful movie should be marketed to adults, as it is a touching story gorgeously rendered.
The Secret World of Arrietty-Beautiful & Great Story by grammiej
I took my 7 yr old grandson on opening day. We both loved it! I had read all 5 of the
"Borrowers" series of books by Mary Norton as a child myself, so to see this story on the big screen was like coming full circle in my own life. Although somewhat modernized, the Japanese produced animation makes us feel like we are going back in time, to a quieter, simpler world. The beautiful animation and colors cannot be described in words, it must be seen. While not the action-packed rat-a-tat gimmicked type modern childrens' movie this 21st century seems to worship, an almost full theatre of all ages of kids and all ages of adults too, seemed to thoroughly enjoy the film. I thought a couple of little kids sitting in front of us might get restless or bored, but just the opposite happened. They were silently enthralled in the adventuresome parts & I heard childrens' laughter ripple through the theatre in some funny parts too. I am taking my 2 granddaughters, 7 & 5 next week! I can't wait!
ANother amazing film by Studio Ghibli by chambertlo
A beautiful animated film that deserves to be seen by any fan of animation, and great story telling in general. This movie screams quality, and is on par with anything Disney has released as a company. Recommended for everyone!
Secret world of arriety by angventura
A Sweet story, not really high tech or special effects included. Just a simple story with a simple message, My 9 year old daughter and her friend enjoyed the story.
The Secret World of Arriety by vivconnagal
May the rich, innocent, beautifully drawn work of Ghibli never end.
I wish they would re-release My Neighbor Totoro. This work is magical, but not in a fairy tale / Disney way. It's animation that harkens to the Chronicles of Narnia - Magical adventures, but for real children.
Lovely, diverting film. by jxbeirne
I took three 15-year-old boys (albeit slightly nerdy ones) to see this film about the adventures of a four-inch-tall girl and they had a great time. Arrietty is a suitable hero for anyone, and is nicely played in this version by Bridgit Mendler, believably alternating between shy and brave. It is not a full-blown Miyazaki masterpiece, but falls squarely in that second category of Studio Ghibli films that are still better than almost anything else out there. Some of the real-world physics (like the viscosity of water drops and an amazing soldering scene) are delightfully well-realized.
The same yet different by TamaraR
I noticed a lot of people who did not enjoy the film were people who did not associate Studio Ghibli with anime. In the movie trailer it says something along the lines of "Disney presents a Studio Ghibli film". The other times this has happened has been for "Spirited Away" and "Howl's Moving Castle" and, more recently, "Ponyo". They all have the name Hayao Miyazaki attached as writer and director. The people who recognize these things in the trailer know what to expect. This is for those who don't know.
For "Arrietty", it is not a fun, singing, dancing Disney film. It is like a living portrait. It is very quiet, but it builds tension because it is so easy to care for the character Arrietty, and once you care for her you appreciate how dangerous her world is. Whether or not children will enjoy it depends on the child. When I went, there was a girl of about 4 yrs old who loved it. For adults, if you've read the "Borrowers" series, this is definitely a great film for you.
The Secret World of Arrietty by llmills
I enjoyed the movie and I had my two grandchildren ages seven and four and they really enjoyed it. They were totally engaged in what was happening in this movie. Talked a lot about it after and if we were little people what it would be like..that make it fun..