Monday, June 4, 2012

The Secret World of Arrietty (2011) 5/5


My heart is stronger! Now that you're in it.

 Everyone likes to blame video games, movies, television, and other pop culture for the downfall of western civilization. Everything from obesity to low scores in science and math are attributed to what kids are doing while sitting in front of screens. It's too bad that no one really wants to do anything about it. Thanks to Hayao Miyazaki and his contemporaries that formed Studio Ghibli, for the past thirty years Japanese children have been treated to entertainment that respects them as much as adults. Is it no coincidence that over the same time Japanese young people have consistently pulled away from the rest of the world in test scores? While Pixar has made great strides at closing this gap over the past decade, American children are still getting their mindless helpings of Spongebob, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Transformers. Don't get me wrong, I love children's fare as much as the next guy, but there is simply something about the magic of the Studio Ghibli films that maintain innocence for children and maturity of content.

 This film very loosely adapts the 1952 novel, "The Borrowers". It feels quite a bit like Miyazaki's earlier work "My Neighbor Totoro" and is probably the studio most accessible work ever. It tells a very simple story in an absolutely beautiful way. What more do you want from a film?

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