Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
Mary Norton & Hayao Miyazaki
Hiromasa Yonebayashi & Gary Rydstrom
Arrietty, a tiny but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper. Like all little people, Arrietty 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, a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty's family from the home and straight into danger.
This is an awesome film, with old fashioned values and beautiful animation. The fourteen-year-old girl in this movie talks with respect to her parents and is a kind hearted girl. She and her parents are wary of the humans as they are much bigger than Arrietty and her family. This is because Arrietty and her family basically live in a land of giants, where everything is huge including crows, cats, and even the rats. Arrietty and her mother and father call themselves "borrowers" as they, like other small people, borrow what they need from the humans such as food. But, as her father points out, they only take what they need to survive. On one occasion as Arrietty is out with her father to forage sugar and tissue paper, she comes across a young man named Shawn who is staying with his aunt.
Shawn's parents have recently divorced and Shawn is also battling a health problem with his heart and is scheduled for surgery. The boy is lonely and takes to helping Arrietty when he sees her. Her father warns her to stay away from him but ultimately Arrietty sees the good in Shawn's heart and they look out for one another.
I screened this film with a lot of parents and their kids, including young children, and although there are a few scenes dealing with large animals and close calls for the little people, no child in the auditorium seemed scared. Since this film features solid themes such as helping others, friendship and respect, we are recommending this movie for all ages and we are more than happy to award it our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal in addition to our highest rating, five Doves. This is a wholesome and heartwarming movie you can share with the entire family.
Content Description: Sex: None Language: Idiots-1 Violence: A girl fends off a giant bug; a giant cat hisses at a girl; a giant woman kidnaps a small person and places her in a jar but she receives help to escape later on; a woman bops a crow in the head which is trying to get into the house through a screen window and she uses a slipper to hit the crow; a small person is seen with a cricket's leg; family of little people see a large menacing raccoon but it does not bother them. Drugs: Some wine is seen at a meal as is a wine rack; man seen drinking wine. Nudity: There is a very brief view of a girl's underwear when she suddenly jumps up. Other: There are a few jump scenes including the sudden appearance of a crow, and a very lould noise is heard when a small kitchen is placed in a house; a girl stays in touch with a young boy when she is told not to but she is almost always an obedient girl and this young giant boy helps the girl and her family; it's mentioned that a boy's mother and father divorced; death is briefly discussed and the fact that some things are beyond our control.