Saturday, March 17, 2012
I will gladly join the chorus of praise for THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY. It's absolutely gorgeous. Easily one of the best films of 2010 (I saw the Japanese version so I can't even pretend like it's a 2012 film). And to take it even further, it is, along with WALL-E and RATATOUILLE, one of the best animated films of the past 10 years or more. It's just THAT uplifting, serene, and lovable. I can't think of a single bad thing about it. From the beautiful score (yes it's the same as the American version as all the songs are in English except for the final one) and stunning visuals to the wonderful heart at its core– it's thoroughly blissful.
Like Brandon, I too dreamed of being Arrietty's size as a kid. I might have read THE BORROWERS at some point during my childhood (I remember when the awful live action version came out in '97), but I know I was definitely into reading a series of BORROWER rip-off children's books called THE LITTLES as a lad. I can remember reading those religiously in second grade. To me there was nothing more exciting than the idea of being impossible small and having everything humdrum suddenly seem gargantuan and strange. I used to often dream about riding in a little raft down a stream with my toys like Arrietty's family in the kettle at the end of the movie. I still kinda wish I were Arrietty's size (never have to worry about food, every TV suddenly becomes an IMAX theater, etc.). I guess I'll have just have to wait until Rick Moranis adopts me....
Anyway, I only mention that to indicate how much ARRIETTY made me feel like a kid again and seemed to effortlessly tap into the depths of my imagination. Usually, only films from my childhood have the power to do that, but ARRIETTY felt akin to the animated movies I grew up on. "Instant classic" may be a lame buzz-phrase, but ARRIETTY sure feels like one.