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Arrietty cover 238x300 Review – The Secret World of Arrietty (Blu ray/DVD combo)Now available on Blu-ray/DVD combo packs is Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arrietty”.

Based on Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers” series of books, the story is about a family of little people who live under the floorboards of a house.  They borrow the things they need to survive (soap, sugar, tissue paper) from the “human beans” who live in the house above them.

Arrietty is the 14 year old daughter of Pod and Homily and is about to go on her first “borrowing” with her father.  Unfortunately, she is seen by a youg boy who is staying in the house they live in.  Pod and Arrietty return home from their borrowing safely, but Pod says they must move because they have been discovered.  “Once a Borrower has been seen, the human’s curiosity can’t be stopped” he says.  The boy is indeed curious and befriends Arrietty, much to her parents disapproval.  Eventually, the maid discovers the hiding place of the little people (whom she’s always believed in but never saw).  She captures Homily and tries to get the rest of them by calling in an exterminator.  The boy (and Arrietty) help free Homily and the exterminators think the maid is crazy when she finally mentiones the little people.

The story, with the exception of changing location, is fairly true to the books.  As with most Studio Ghibli films, there is a strong female lead (Arrietty) and there’s a pretty good emphasis on nature, mostly from the perspective of a 2 inch tall person.

Arrietty was released theatrically in Japan first in July of 2010, before making its way to the US.  There’s even some of the Japanese television spots and trailers for the film in the bonus beatures on the Blu-ray.

The picture and sound on the Blu-ray copy are flawless, and I personally like the use of a lot of natural sounds in the film (like falling rain) that help set the mood of the scene.

Overall, I give this film high marks and is ideal for kids of all ages, as well as fans of anime or other Studio Ghibli films.

BONUS FEATURES: 

2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack: (1 Blu-ray Disc + 1 DVD)

  •        Storyboard presentation of the film
  •        Original Japanese Trailers and Television Commercials
  •         “Summertime” Music Video – Performed by Bridgit Mendler, the speaking voice of Arrietty.
  •        The Making Of “Summertime” Behind the Scenes – Bridgit Mendler hosts a look at the making of the music video.
  •        “Arrietty’s Song” Music Video – Experience the movie’s theme song, performed by innovative singer and harpist Cécile Corbel, who also wrote the lyrics.

 

1-Disc DVD: (1 DVD)

  •        “Summertime” Music Video
  •         The Making Of “Summertime”