Parent reviews for The Secret World of Arrietty

Common Sense says

Deeply felt anime about loneliness and friendship.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 41 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 31 reviews
Parent Written bymom2twogirls1boy February 19, 2012

FINALLY a "true" G movie that's great for the whole family

I don't tend to take my children (ages 6 and 4) to many movies anymore, because a G rating doesn't seem to be as innocent as it was in times past. That being said, this movie was different; it's a "true" G. There isn't any violence, there is no cursing or rudeness. In fact, the only negative word throughout the movie is "idiot" spoken in reference to some exterminators by a woman who is perceived to have lost her mind and in the midst of a breakdown. The "kidnapping" referenced is actually an abduction of the mother borrow and she's rescued unharmed by her daughter. This is a magnificent story of perserverence, determination, friendship, and love. It's a throw back to the purity and innocence of movies like Milo and Otis, The Aristocats, and Lady and the Tramp. Movies written FOR children, without explosions, violence, threats, killing, reference to murder, and other ludicrous innappropriate themes found in most G rated movies at present. VERY WELL DONE!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byPinkCloudVT February 18, 2012

Lovely movie...Studio Ghibli is the best

I took my 6 year old to this because our family loves Studio Ghibli. The landscape in the movie is breathtaking with the sounds of summer and colors of flowers in full bloom. There are no loud crashes or booms in this movie. I have one daughter who has to wear earphones at movies b/c they are too loud. This is a quiet, sensitive and lovely movie. We went on opening night and we were only 2 of about 10 people in the theater. I think it could have been a little longer to develop the characters more, but then again it's for kids.
Parent of a 9 year old Written byMiyazaki Maniac February 18, 2012

Amazing Movie!

A great movie! There are some suspenseful parts, such as when one of the characters was about to shoot someone with his bow and arrow (he never did) and when the mother was kidnapped. Other than that, it was fine for a younger kid.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byMamaRo January 12, 2014

Nothing scary, delightful story, good for age 5

My five year old is usually really sensitive about anything at all scary in movies. Sometimes even movies recommended for age 5 will have scary content that makes her upset, like Monsters Inc or Wall-E. But there was absolutely nothing in this movie that was upsetting for her. Minor suspense but nothing scary. No reason to hold off on watching this at age 5 or even age 4.
Adult Written byJWrobel March 18, 2012

Pretty movie, but not enough positive messages.

I've always struggled with the story of the Borrowers. Even as a young kid, I found it to be confusing. The Borrowers aren't "borrowing" anything; they're stealing it. The movie rationalizes the "borrowing" because the Borrowers are taking things the Human Beings don't really need or notice too much (a pin, sugar cubes, tissue). Also, in one scene, the Father tells his daughter to not mention an incident to her mother. The father thinks it will worry the mother too much. This is not a good message to send to children, in my opinion. Even my 6.5 year old said "That's lying!" I try to pick movies that send good messages to my kids, and this movie was skimpy on good messages. We only viewed it because the movie we wanted to see was not being shown that day at the cinema. I bought tickets to Arrietty as a back-up plan and I regret it.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent Written byCourtney W. July 7, 2013

A sensual feast which draws the viewer in vs. bombards

I love this movie. It is expansive. The creator uses simple elements like a breeze, raindrops, the flight of a ladybug, an expression, a pause, the sound of a bird, etc. to create a feeling for the viewer and give us the experience of what is happening onscreen. This movie engages the senses in a way that few animated (or non animated) films do. It is visually beautiful, we hear sounds, and quiet, we can imagine the touch of a raindrop or a breeze. We can imagine the feel of the breeze or the smell of herbs cooking. It's not hurried, a moment stretches out onscreen, and instead of becoming bored, we enjoy the space, and then start to anticipate what is coming. The themes are intense - including divorce, abandonment, mortality, possible extinction, etc. but these things are touched on in a way that I believe is not disturbing for kids. It really is a movie for all ages. A person will enjoy the beauty of the movie, and relate to the underlying themes commensurate with their life experience, in my opinion. If kids are used to fast moving, loud movies, they may find this one boring, but I'd say this one is hard not to appreciate. For a pleasant experience, rent or buy this movie!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bynduns February 17, 2012

Well worth seeing on opening night

Yeah, it came out on a Friday, the busiest night of all, and opening night is usually the worst time to see a film, but when it's an anime film, you know it's gonna go under people's radars upon its release, so I took my chances and it was well worth it. As is expected from Miyazaki, this film is gorgeous! So bright and colorful and it flows so delicately like a moving portrait! The story's very interesting too and it's intriguing to see Miyazaki do a book adaptation again since the only other one he's ever done is Howl's Moving Castle. What prevents this from being perfect is two characters who I don't feel have enough to them. Spiller only gets about 3-4 minutes of screen time tops and aside from him clearly having an attraction towards Arietty, there's no real development with him, and I was very interested to see where they'd go with him too. Also, Shawn is just a good role model and nothing more. The whole thing with him having a heart condition was interesting, but that's about it. Still, I'm nitpicking. This is a very beautiful film and I highly recommend checking it out.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 3 year old Written bysimplytaty May 13, 2016

Sweet and engaging

Watched with my very sensitive 3.5yo and she loved it. Mild and sweet, but with enough action to keep the kids engaged. The only part that could have been an issue is when the boy talks about the fact that everyone days someday, and that he might die because he has a surgery tomorrow. I was glad she seemed to have just let that statement go by her, but potentially terribly loaded lines for those dealing with sickness, surgeries or the loss of someone close. Strong young female character is a big bonus.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byOliviaReviewsIt January 11, 2016

Beautiful Story of Human and Borrower

The Secret World of Arrietty is the story of how the “little people” living under the house must try to survive by borrowing only the necessary things from the humans in order to survive. If the humans ever discover the little people, they will be forced to relocate. However, Arrietty meets a certain human boy that isn’t as dangerous as the others think. A beautiful friendship is born between the two and the story is full of suspense. There are a few perilous scenes for younger kids. *Spoiler* the borrower’s mini-house underground is ransacked and the mother is kidnapped by a crazy old lady. The movie is clean, the artwork and music are amazing, and the story is well written and moving. This is a movie that the whole family can enjoy. 5/5.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 6 and 10 year old Written bykaloren June 25, 2012

Excellent friendship story.

We loved this movie. My two daughters both wanted the story to keep going even after the credits started. Sweet story about bravery, friendship and trust. It does move slow in some parts and there is no talking in the beginning. But if my two fans of Phineas and Ferb loved it then it can capture any youngsters mind with it's tale. There is some scary scenes of Arriety being in peril, but my girls never covered their eyes and were on the edge of their seats the whole time.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMamaofboys April 22, 2012

Serious, somber, but lovely film

This is a lovely film, but very somber & serious tone. Not for kids under six. I took my 4 year old and 6 year old and they were both scared at times. The film portrays a nervous, anxious mother & cranky nanny....which was unfortunate. The young boy & Arrietty are adorable. Death is discussed and that all things must end. I was surprised at how serious this movie was.
Parent of a 4 year old Written byPine Tree February 26, 2012

Beautiful movie

We just saw this in the theatre and my 4 year old LOVED it! The animation is gorgeous. Arietty is a great role model -- independent, brave and caring. The kidnapping scene is not really that scary, my daughter who is often quite sensitive wasn't bothered by it at all. My four year old says it's her new favourite movie. If you liked the other movies by the same studio (Kiki's delivery service, My Neighbor Tortoro ) you'll love this movie. And if you liked The Borrowers books, you'll love this movie version.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byJ. Walt March 16, 2018

A beautifully animated classic

Arrietty is actually inspired by the classic children's story called, The Borrowers. But of course Studio Ghibli never disappoints. detailed animation, beautifully acted, gorgeous colors, and a sweet message. Perfect for ALL AGES!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Written byAnonymous January 2, 2017

Why can't they make ALL anime like this?!

No swearing, no porn, no wacky spiritual stuff, not too much violence... this is the best anime movie I've seen!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of an infant and 4 year old Written byletticepalmer September 16, 2012

Comparatively Gentle Film Is More Emotionally Intense Than Visually Intense

I am a huge fan of the "little people" genre. I loved "The Littles" as a child and am thrilled to see a high quality animated film made that captures the spirit of that genre of story. This one roughly follows the story of "The Borrowers." The film does an amazing job of illustrating the way a house looks to a 5 inch person. The film is very gentle and contains very little that will bother any child who has made it through "Toy Story." I ended up deciding the film was not appropriate for my very sensitive 4 year old. There are some moments in which characters appear to be in life-threatening peril, and my son would not have handled those scenes very well at all. The preschool set, however, is not the target audience for this film. The main relationship in the film reminded me a lot of the "impossible" friendship between ET and Elliott (ET), and Wilbur and Charlotte (Charlotte's Web). The film is really targeted at children who are able to fully grasp the bittersweet nature of that type of dramatic situation. There is a fairly slow part in the middle that would make a good bathroom break, but if your child is old enough to grasp the ramifications of all that is going on in the film, it is actually a fairly gripping tale with some scenes of suspense.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byRoosterFamily July 13, 2012

Two Thumbs Up

This was the first movie we took our daughters to in the theater at 5 and 7 yrs old. It was captivating, imaginative and thoroughly enjoyed - we also loved the book.
Adult Written byKatetherate July 13, 2012

Highly recommended, lovely film

Wonderful film, my kids and I were captivated. Beautifully animated, understated and interesting. There's suspense but nothing worryingly scary for young kids. Even the 'baddie' isn't too scary... I am so glad there are lovely films like this for kids nowadays, I will be recommending this to friends and keeping it in mind to show my kids again when they're older as it's a lovely story that can be appreciated by all ages on many levels.
Adult Written byJenniferA June 18, 2012

Great take on The Borrowers.

Another great Studio Ghibli film, this time of Mary Norton's The Borrowers. This movie is appropriate for any child old enough to pay attention to it. Nothing objectionable!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive role models
Adult Written byAwesomekid5 June 6, 2012

Love this movie!

Great Movie. Loved.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written bySally Fields April 6, 2012

A beautiful arthouse film

Brilliant! Does not present a happy clappy life with no emotional difficulties. A beautiful work of art like all the films from this stable. Also not like many animations that are cynical vehicles to get our children to buy products!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models

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