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?