Tuesday, July 10, 2012

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETY (2010): A Secret Worth Knowing

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETY (Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2010): Based on "The Borrowers" stories by Mary Norton, this film is about a family of tiny people who live in the floorboards of a large house. When young, adventurous Arriety is spotted by a little sick boy who comes to stay at the house, the family must find out how to survive in a world inhabited by giants.
I've never been a huge Anime fan, but I do love the work of director/producer Hayao Miyazaki. His films HOWLS MOVING CASTLE (2004) and SPIRITED AWAY (2001) are truly great works of art. The animation in ARRIETY is also beautiful. The adept use of sound and image to paint the story was really stunning. There's one shot in particular where it's raining, and the way the raindrops on the pavement are animated is really stunning.
My one complaint about the film is the voices. I'm really perturbed that they cast two sets of voices for the UK and American versions of the film. I mean, I like Carol Burnett and everything, but I couldn't take Hara seriously because I was laughing too hard! I would have much preferred to hear the great Geraldine McEwan or Phyllida Law.

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