When I was in LA last month I had the incredible honor of seeing the latest film by Studio Ghibli (“Spirited Away,” “Ponyo”), The Secret World of Arrietty. Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett).
Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But 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, a secret friendship blossoms. The English language version of “The Secret World of Arrietty” was executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, and directed by Gary Rydstrom. Arrietty is an almost 14-year-old borrower in Studio Ghibli's The Secret World of Arrietty. She is voiced by Bridgit Mendler in the United States dub, and Saoirse Ronan in the United Kingdom dub. Arrietty is extremely inquisitive, adventurous, and always willing to help, no matter the consequences or the risk. Arrietty's open-mindedness shows when she refuses to judge all humans by the few who are evil (like Haru); in her successful befriending of Shawn, she shows a theme of the movie.
A spirited and passionate sometimes-daredevil, Arrietty is all the more powerful because she is motivated by her high degree of familial loyalty and compassion. While she has a number of outfits, including several that are never worn, but are seen spread out on her bed (for example, there is a green jumpsuit with long pants and tons of pockets), Arrietty's favorites seem to be two comfortable red dresses, one with a turtleneck collar and long sleeves, and one with a nicked collar and short sleeves.
Arrietty and her family have to be very resourceful if they are to survive in their little unconnected world where goods are made only for "Beans" (humans).
This is Arrietty's weapon of choice, and not only is it a symbol of her ascension from "Daughter of Borrower" to "Borrower," but it's also very useful; she uses it to cut the seran wrap on top of the jar her mother is trapped in, and thus successfully complete the rescue mission. She is also seen using a green spoon (before she finds the pin) to ward off a cockroach larger than she. When Shawn is locked into his room by Haru, Arrietty displays her resourcefulness by getting out onto the roof, squeezing through the window to a different room, climbing up the curtain with human earrings as hooks, and pushing the window latch open, thus allowing both Shawn and herself to get into the rest of the house to find Homily. None of this intelligence, though, would be useful without Arrietty's adventurous nature and courage--she seeks a more interesting and fulfilling life and if it means competing with grasshoppers for nuts and flowers or risking the dangers of human interaction to save her mother, then so be it. When we last saw Bridgit Mendler (Juliet Van Heusen) and David Henrie (Justin Russo) together they were celebrating his being awarded a "family wizard" title and the chance to be the headmaster of Wiz Tech on the series finale of "The Wizards of Waverly Place." It also meant that this "vampire and wizard" couple could stay together, well as long as she didn't get too hungry. One night as Arietty sneaks into the kitchen to take a sugar cube, Shawn discovers her and they quickly become friends. Mendler and Henrie are not the only teen stars we can expect to see, or rather hear, as rising Disney teen star Moises Arias (of Hannah Montana, Bethoveen's Big Break, Phineas and Ferb, and Wizards of Waverly Place) also lends his vocal talents.
Want to continue the "fairy tale" of "The Secret World of Arrietty?" You can ‘Like’ THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY on Facebook and download free coloring and activity pages for the children to enjoy. Facebook live seance hosted by 'The Darkness' on Friday the 13thLooking for a little something extra to do for the upcoming Friday the 13th? In 1988 Miyazaki gave us My Name is Totoro, in the same year Isao Takahata gave us Grave of the Fireflies (GOTF).

The most recent film to grace western screens, The Wind Rises is supposedly Miyazaki’s last film. The film details the story of Jiro Horikoshi, a Japanese aircraft engineer during World War II. The film strikes one as a little overlong and drags slightly towards the middle, you feel as if the section where Jiro travels to Germany could be withdrawn without detriment to the film. Despite the stellar cast on show in the English dub of the film (Kate Blanchett, Matt Damon and Liam Neeson all star), the majority of the dialogue in Ponyo is quite poor and the conversations between characters often feel awkward.
A highlight of the film sees Ponyo, now in semi-human form, running across the top of enormous, enchanted waves as a huge storm ravages the town where Sosuke lives.
The film follows Porco Rosso (once named Marco Rousolini), an Italian pilot who has been cursed to look like a pig. Once again however, the English dub of the film (the form in which I have been watching all of the Ghibli films) is let down by a lacklustre script. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger. The owner and writer at Our Knight Life, Emily loves sharing her two adorable boys and journey through motherhood.
She's uncompromisingly courageous and eager to be a part of bigger things, both in the literal and figurative senses.
She befriends Shawn because she sees the traditional boundaries between their two worlds as conditional and outdated, and because she understands that associating with him is worth the (calculated) risk because he, being a human, can help her situation like no one else can. She uses a tiny red clothespin-like object to hold her chestnut hair back when she is adventuring, and after she finds her pin, she carries it everywhere, along with her lasso and satchel. So they use staples as ladder rungs and tape stickers as climbing devices, and when Arrietty finds a pin in the kitchen of Aunt Jessica's house, she immediately sees its potential as a sword. With four children,the teen scene is one that gets a great deal of notice by this writer's kids and family. There is also too much, rather dry, discussion about aeroplane design (Miyazaki is a well known plane enthusiast, and has included planes in some of his other films too) which I imagine will go over most people’s heads.
The film is an absolute feast for the eyes, the dream sequences in particular providing the viewer with numerous stunning scenes of clear blue skies filled with Jiro’s airborne creations. In this way humans and borrowers can live together harmoniously, but if a human were to discover the existence of their borrowers then these little people would be in danger and would likely have to leave. One day she wanders off and becomes trapped inside a bottle which floats onto the shore where it is discovered by a young boy named Sosuke.
This is a shame as the rest of the film is generally quite good but the script pulls the quality down substantially. Unfortunately, as with Ponyo, it falls way short of the kind of quality we have come to expect from the animation legend. Since his transformation he has patrolled the skies over the Adriatic Sea as a bounty hunter, rescuing people from the clutches of sky pirates. One of the finer scenes in the film arrives in the form of a flashback to Porco’s earlier life, before his transformation, where he recounts a near death experience he had while in the Italian air force.

When she is not borrowing or travelling, she wears a yellow dress with a copper top and copper shoes. After an air raid on their city destroys their home and kills their mother, the children are forced to move in with their aunt who resents having to look after them. It is surely Ghibli‘s most powerful production and the fact that they can produce two remarkably diverse films of such quality in the same year is a testament to the talent at that studio. Throughout the film there are a series of dream sequences where Jiro imagines he is with the famous aeronautical engineer Giovanni Battista Caproni, who is the first to encourage him to design planes. The relationship between Jiro and Nahoko is just as likely to warm your heart as it will break it, despite his slightly overbearing passion for his work. The Wind Rises is a grandiose spectacle and clearly a labour of love for its creator.
I liked both of the them, but neither are on the same level as those two all-inclusive films.
Despite these risks the young, bold Arietty befriends a sickly boy called Spud, putting her family in danger.
A good example of this is towards the start of the film where Arietty and her father go on a borrowing together but are spotted by the boy while sneaking through his bedroom. After his plane is shot down by the arrogant American pilot Curtis, Porco visits his mechanic Piccolo to have a new plane designed and built. Porco (then Marco) is seen flying just above a sea of butts while dead pilots and their planes ascend around him, joining an asteroid belt-like train consisting of thousands of planes orbiting above them. She also enjoys creating healthy recipes for her family and sharing family friendly product reviews.
Submit your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions to Lisa in comments or via email this address. It is a masterpiece and one of my favourite films, just make sure you know what you’re going in for before you see it.
After graduating in engineering, Jiro is hired by Mitsubishi and starts to design fighter planes for the Japanese military. If you go into the film expecting something along the lines of Spirited Away, you may come out disappointed. The loud, ominous ticking of the grandfather clock adds a huge amount of tension to this scene, as Arietty hides behind a tissue box hoping she hasn’t been seen. However, after being taken back to underwater by Fujimoto, Brunhilde (now Ponyo) declares her desire to become a human and escapes her father’s clutches to try and find Sosuke once again.
Later on in the film he meets Nahoko, a woman struggling with illness whom he met when she was a young girl nearly a decade earlier.

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