While Shelley was out of town, I was very excited to be able to take Zoe for a Daddy/Zoe date to see a preview of The Secret World of Arrietty.
Now I am going to begin this review with a preface. The Secret World of Arietty, which opens today in theaters, although a very good movie may not be appropriate for smaller children as it more serious and has some emotionally intense content…You’ll see what I mean in a moment…
The story begins with Shawn, a small sickly boy, coming to his family’s house in the country to get the care that he needs. While there he discovers Arrietty, a borrower, on her first borrowing. Borrowers are tiny people who live under the floors and “borrow” the things they need to survive from the people where they live. They only take the things that won’t be missed, a cube of sugar, or a single tissue.
The story follows Shawn and Arietty’s friendship developing as they share the experiences and struggles of their lives. Through their adventures together they learn that fear cannot rule their lives and that there are things worth fighting for.
The story is sad and sweet, and has positive messages about courage and caring for others. The story does tackle some more serious issues that could bring up some uncomfortable conversations with your children if they are not ready. There is a lot of conversation and allusions to Shawn and Arietty’s mortality and the fear of death, but the story does end with a positive message about courage and fighting for what you care about.
The animation painted a beautiful landscape, and the story was complex and well developed while mixing in enough comic moments to keep the children involved. Although the story tackled some serious issues, it was surrounded by messages of hope, love and trust making for a wonderful time.
Overall it was a sweet story about friendship and love that ended on a very positive note, and I would recommend The Secret World of Arriety to both fans of the genre and casual movie goers.