Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (Carol Burnett).
My family recently had the opportunity to preview The Secret World of Arrietty at the Ward 16 Theater Complex. This post was written for Walt Disney Studios who provided the complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest preview. A Hawaii Mommy Blogger since 2006 sharing product reviews, giveaways, local family friendly events, parenting resources, and her daily life as she raises 3 young girls in paradise. Reviewers at An Island Life are sent a complimentary item in exchange for their honest opinions and receiving a free product does not influence their review posts. Occasionally, the company provides a product to give away as well as monetary compensation. Shawn (voiced by David Henrie, TV's Wizards of Waverly Place) has been sent to his great aunt's house in order to get some rest before his heart operation; his mother, a busy businesswoman, is currently out of town.
Arrietty has just turned fourteen, and her dad takes her with him one night for her first "borrowing"; unfortunately, Shawn sees Arrietty, and becomes even more intrigued by the borrowers. The Secret World of Arrietty is in theaters today, February 17, and is rated G with a runtime of 94 minutes.
Based on the novel, The Borrowers, the movie shares a story of friendship, trust, and courage.
They were in Shaun’s room trying to get a piece of tissue when Shaun turns and spots them. Shaun even goes as far as removing the Borrower’s kitchen and replacing it with the one from the dollhouse. The scenery was beautifully colored and I felt like characters were living in a watercolor world.

She was always freaking out with worry whenever her husband left on a borrow and was convinced he would get squashed or eaten by a roach. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser for some features of this website to work correctly. His aunt and her housekeeper, Hara (voiced by Carol Burnett, TV's All My Children), tell him about the "little people" that live under the floorboards, and how his mother was always certain they existed but they never actually saw them. Arrietty's parents decide they must now move, since bad things always happen to borrowers when the "beings" see them, even though Arrietty assures them that Shawn is an ally, not an enemy. It was a little disconcerting at first when the words that the characters spoke didn't entirely line up with what their mouths were speaking, but you soon overlook that. I was surprised to find out that it's geared more towards older children (10+) and adults, rather than younger children, and since it doesn't have 3D, some of the younger ones may find themselves being bored during it. But when 12-year-old Shawn (David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. It begins when Shaun is sent to his aunt’s home to stay while he undergoes heart surgery. He tells her not to be afraid but she accidentally drops a cube a sugar she had borrowed and the pair quickly retreats. Arriety’s father finally decides that life under the floorboard is just too dangerous.
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Meanwhile, Arrietty (voiced by Bridgit Mendler, TV's Wizards of Waverly Place), one of these "little people," actually does live under the floorboards, with her parents (voiced by Amy Poehler, TV's Parks and Recreation, and her real-life husband, Will Arnett, 30 Rock), and they are "borrowers": they survive by borrowing little things that the "beings" (humans) won't miss, such as tissue paper and sugar cubes. The detailing in the film is great as well; when Arrietty sneaks outside during a rainstorm to collect some plants, you can see the raindrops sliding off of her body.

If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger.
He says that once the Beans (beings) know about the Borrowers their curiosity can’t help want to know more. Although the presence of Japanese writing on various boxes betrays the fact that the movie is set in Japan, the film has definitely been "Americanized": the main boy in the film is now named Shawn, although Arrietty's name has not been changed. The characters in the movie all have their own unique personalities as well, though I have to say that Arrietty's mom (voiced by Poehler) was a bit annoying, especially when she screeched. There was a movie done in 1997 called The Borrowers (with John Goodman) that was basically this movie on a real-life scale, however Arrietty puts in a new twist on the story by using anime and very detailed characters; I also really enjoyed the music throughout.
They decide that the best thing to do to ensure their survival is to leave and find a new home.
I also enjoyed the instrumental soundtrack which I could totally see myself listening to on a quiet Sunday afternoon – very soothing and serene. It's also one of those rare movies that is marketed towards younger children, but is actually more meant for adults and older kids; the younger kids in the screening I went to started getting restless throughout it, as you really need to listen to the dialogue to understand the film. Hara, the housekeeper, ends up having a bit of an evil side to her, though some may argue its just curiosity about the "little people" under the floors.

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