View Poll Results: Rate and Comment - The Secret World of Arrietty

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  1. #21
    Neo Ultra Mike's Avatar
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    My review is rather long and rambly so I'm putting it in spoiler tags.

    Spoiler:
    I have to admit something: though I really do respect and understand the legacy and wonder of Hayao Miyazaki's work, I haven't really seen many of his films. I liked Spirited Away when I saw it on Toonami but I've never really caught any of his or even really any studio Ghibli films in studio. Either it was due to lack of exact interest in the story material or it was because the marketting made the finished product seem so "Disneyish" even when I knew they weren't disrespecting the team's work. I decided though to make an exception for that to see this movie, for a variety of reasons. To give more of his stuff a chance in theathres, to support 2D animation as much as I can (hey if Disney's not making a movie in 2D this year at least I'll see one they released in the U.S) and yeah I actually do like the idea of this story. You know the whole borrowers tale. Though I'm more familar with it in the Littles, one of those shows from the 80's that use to actually get a lot of play saturday mornings on WB before Kids WB. Well I remember the intro and outro and basic premise of that at least and thought "hey why not check out what the Studio Ghibli guys do with that?" So how was the experience then?

    Well let me get the positives out of the way. It was a very well animated movie. Yeah I know that seems kind of obvious from the team but it needs to be said. I really like how they were able to take just having an entire movie around a house and fill it with such wonder, mostly from how the borrowers move around through the walls, climbing up the roof and even adventure throughout the yard. I also really like the voice cast they picked. I really am not much of a fan of Wizards of Waverly Place and don't care at all for Good Luck Charlie, but David Henrie and Bridgit Mendler did a good job. I think it was much better then getting the very little siblings of famous disney stars for Ponyo though I still haven't seen that movie. And Arrietty herself was a good character: wanting to prove herself to be worthy of being a borrower but also wanting to strike up a friendship with Shawn seeing he wasn't a bad guy and the moment the two had at the end, though kind of overwritten was good. The family were also interesting. The gruff yet caring Pod who seemed to try and uphold the values of being a borrower but not to a ridicously annoying degree (potrayed with actual authorivness from Will Arnett that I wouldn't of expected from the guy) to Amy Pohler's more ditzy Homily mother character. Actually she had the funniest moments in the movie in the subtley yet fear of her preformence, from continuing to peak out at Arrietty to her panic at being trapped to even wanting to take everything from that built kitchen at the end. Trust me, if you have an overprotecting mother you would get her character. I also like how there was just a more relaxed tone of this movie and gave us plenty of breathing room. From the first borrowing trip and seeing how Arrietty and Pod viewed the world to the slow build up of Shawn and Arrietty meeting up again. And unlike a lot of those "we must keep hidden" storylines it does kind of make sense why they still have to be at the run on the end and though learn that not all humans are bad dosen't mean they can trust them all either. Not like there are really any truley rotten people in this movie either just saying.

    So what are the negatives of this one? Well like I said before I do appreciate the mood pacing of this story. Though sometimes it could get a little much as honestly the first two thirds of this movie were pretty dry and when you know that Arietty and Shawn are going to become friends, the whole waiting for that to happen can be a little much. Yeah it's part of the charm of Ghibli's movies but part of it is still filling it with something worth watching and expiereincing and the more the movie went on the less moments there were of that. And then there was Shawn's whole development. I can see how Ariettey was changed because of him and how she learned to trust humans, but how did Ariettey change him exactly? What by just proving they existed and weren't just stories? And have someone for him to watch over? I don't know if that's really a good character arc as he started out a nice kid whose growth kind of happened too quickly. All it took was a half speech by Arrietty to make him realize "oh maybe I shouldn't think I will die from surgery and be more open about it". Yeah I guess her actions too but that happened too much and he comes across to me like someone who was more of just a passerby in a weird way then a real character. Like yeah I can understand him being in such a place due to his situation but he didn't seem like well a weird kid. Either that was a dub change or a problem with the movie in the original version but that's how it came across. Also the entire climax... didn't work for me. Where Hara tries to prove that Borrowers are real and thinks their theives and then winds up just looking crazy thanks to Arrietty and Shawn. That felt kind of out of place here like this was a fairly realstic and more human story and she comes and overreacts and makes things a lot more zany then they should be. Maybe if she had been established more before trying to capture Homiley I'd buy it but this seemed more Candance of Phineas and Ferb then anything this movie should of tried going for. Also what exactly was the point of Spiller's character? Yeah I guess to show there were more Borrowers even though for all we know he's just the one and is such a simple native he might have just confused there being more. He just seemed kind of there for most of his scenes after the opening one and didn't have much of a point or really add anything to this movie. Also not much of a fan for some of the more pop ballad songs they tried inserting throughout the movie though the overall background music was solid enough. Also sometimes it seemed the actual lip flaps were a bit off. Like they weren't exactly being dubed at the right pace so the lines felt kind of un-natural. Maybe that was just me but it was something I noticed espiecally when you saw a character talk for a long stretch of time.

    So weighing the good and the bad I have to say this was a... decent movie. Probably far from the best of Studio Ghibli's but not a bad movie either. Just more of an okay movie. More of a good mood piece that I do wonder if children will be able to appreciate considering the normal type of kid movies they are subjected to as this does move rather slowly. Hopefully they'll get it though a young kid at my theathre just kept rambling through most of the movie about things not related to what was happening on screen. Overall though servicable but truthfully my least favorite movie of the year so far. Then again all I saw were this and Chronicle so at the end of 2012 I'll have to tally up and see where this one really falls.
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  2. #22
    D Dubbs's Avatar
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    It doesn't really matter to me that much, but I'm surprised Disney changed Sho's name to Shaun. Doesn't seem like something they'd do usually.

    I saw it yesterday with my girlfriend, and we both enjoyed it (and she's not an anime fan at all). I haven't seen the other Ghibli movies lately, so I don't want to compare, but I enjoyed this one a little more than Ponyo. In a one sentence review, I'd say it had lovely animation and details, great characters, and an average plot.
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  3. #23
    Dragnatek is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Dubbs View Post
    It doesn't really matter to me that much, but I'm surprised Disney changed Sho's name to Shaun. Doesn't seem like something they'd do usually.

    I saw it yesterday with my girlfriend, and we both enjoyed it (and she's not an anime fan at all). I haven't seen the other Ghibli movies lately, so I don't want to compare, but I enjoyed this one a little more than Ponyo. In a one sentence review, I'd say it had lovely animation and details, great characters, and an average plot.
    Of course why was "The boy" named Sho anyway he he just kidding two wrongs don't make a right.

  4. #24
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    Early weekend box office estimates are out. Arrietty made approximately about $6 million for Friday through Sunday:

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVileOne View Post
    Early weekend box office estimates are out. Arrietty made approximately about $6 million for Friday through Sunday:

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/
    Disappointing by regular box office standards, but passable by anime/2d animated movies standards. Right now it's on track to match last year's Winnie the Pooh 2d animated movie, which raked in 7.8 million on 2405 screens. Arrietty's opened on about 1000 less screens but has done better than Pooh per screen.


    Winnie the Pooh's eventual total was 26 million. Arrietty would need a lot of luck to flirt with 30 million total, but it's actually within striking distance provided it shows CONSIDERABLE if unspectacular staying power. 30 million would be HUGE. But 25 million total would be the more realistic expectation here.

  6. #26
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    I saw it in Essex, VT. An hour and a half from my house. ONLY an hour and a half from my house. THAT IS REVOLUTIONARY! Very nice to see it do so well. I think there were three other people in the fairly large theater room I saw it in. Not very surprising for an anime movie in this area, but I'm glad it played there, and that it apparently found much greater success elsewhere. I definitely appreciated getting to see it on the big screen, since such a big part of the experience of the movie is seeing everything in the world as such huge things. And since there were so few people, all adults, and the area I found to have the best view was far away from them, I didn't have to deal with the usual theater disruptions.
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  7. #27
    Dr. Daedalus's Avatar
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    Oh crap, I forgot this was out. Well, it's playing near me so I'll have to pencil in a time to see it in the next week or so.

  8. #28
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    Saw the movie today and loved it. I definitely enjoy the slow pace of Ghibli movies. The animation was gorgeous and even though the movie all took place at one house, it really felt like two entirely different worlds were being explored. It was a very beautiful movie and I'm so glad it had such a wide release. I expect it to be in the running for an academy award.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innagadadavida View Post
    I expect it to be in the running for an academy award.
    Too bad it's not eligible, since Disney waited too long from its Japanese release to get it in theatres.
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  10. #30
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    Saw this one on Saturday night with my girlfriend and highly enjoyed it. I think a lot of the people who came out of this movie disappointed thought it was going to have much more action, but I highly enjoyed the subdued, intimate focus it had because of the scale from the point of view of Arrietty and her family. The scope of the setting didn't need to be much more than the house and the surrounding nature and it worked.

    Arrietty herself was very charming, curious and inquisitive to tradition and the bigger world around her and makes for a great focal point to the story. Personally I was unfamiliar with Bridgit Mendler (for good reason with her previous Disney track record) but she provided a nice youthful energy to Arrietty's voice.

    The biggest moment to me was the scene where Arrietty has to tell Shawn (Shaun? Sean? There's no consensus on the spelling) that her family has to move from the house due to being spotted, but not for her part of the scene. It's the reveal of Shawn's condition which had been touched upon slightly beforehand: a potentially fatal heart problem. That moment significantly changed the tone of the rest of the movie, changing it from a simple account of a week's worth of time through the eyes of a boy to potentially the last week of the boy's life based on the outcome of his operation. Not a small task or easy thing to meld into a G-rated animated feature.

    In the end, Arrietty's family does have to leave their home, sailing away in a teapot, but not before our main characters have left a changing impression on one another. It's a bittersweet ending and in a way refreshing to see as much; even with the potential of the dollhouse in the room Shawn stayed in, it is not utilized outside of a few small matters and in any more standard ending would've resulted in our borrower family being able to stay and residing in it, as it was originally built to house them before they were even known to truly exist.

    The Secret World of Arrietty may not be as epic a tale as some of Studio Ghibli and Mr. Miyazaki's earlier works, but it is still beautifully crafted and differently subtle compared to most modern movies. I'd say that the purpose of Shawn's trip to that secluded house sums up the experience of the film: a peaceful retreat from the harshness of modern life with just a sprinkling of magical wonder.
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