‘Arrietty’ impresses

‘Arrietty’  impresses

Provided by Filmofila.com

This still from “The Secert World of Arrietty” shows the film’s keen attention to detail.

Nestor Fernandez, Reporter

Something that I normally don’t do, but decided to give it a shot, is go watch a full-length animated fantasy at the Maya Theater in Downtown Bakersfield.

I had heard some good stuff about this cartoon, so I decided, “Hey, why not give it a shot?” It is the highest grossing Japanese movie of 2010, and was released for American audiences on Feb. 17, the day I attended. The movie is called “The Secret World of Arrietty,” and was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and written by Hayao Miyazaki. It is based on the novel “The Borrowers” by Mary Norton.

The star of the movie, voiced by Bridgit Mendler, is Arrietty, a tiny 14-year-old that lives in the crawl spaces below a suburban garden home with her parents, voiced by Will Arnett and Amy Poehler. The homeowner and her housekeeper, voiced by Carol Burnett, are unaware of their existence. Like all little people, Arrietty remains hidden from view except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies, like sugar cubes, from her human hosts. The little people describe themselves as “borrowers.”

When 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, the beginnings of a friendship soon follows. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and into danger.

But once Arrietty begins to trust Shawn, their bond takes them through adventures together, and when they have to part ways at the end, that bond is carried forever. I found the animation to have the distinct sense of being able to transport me into their world and, in the process, made it seem real and genuine.

The quality of the animation was excellent, and the detail in it made it seem believable. I was impressed not only with that, but also with the quality and nature of the story itself. Even though the film is based on make-believe, for me it became real, and it took me to their world.

For me, this film is a beautifully crafted, intimate adventure movie, and it got me thinking about a sequel. I really would like to see more. Whether you have kids or not doesn’t matter, go see it and you’ll probably enjoy it. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t watch cartoons.