The Secret World of Arrietty is once again one of those perfect little family films that Studio Ghibli and it's co-founder Hayao Miyazaki do so well.
Unlike all the previous Ghibli films, this one is actually based on a western novel by Mary Norton called "The Borrowers." You may have heard of it. And while this movie is based in Japan, it remains quite true to all the charm and spirt of the original story. Which is the every day lives of a secret folk called the Borrowers who are only five inches tall. It's a very charming little story.
Now it's not the best movie that Ghibli has produced. But it's certainly up there. Unlike the breathtaking underwater scenes of Ponyo, the magnificent animation of Spirited Away or the thrilling broom rides of Kiki's Delivery Service; this movie is darker and quieter. Not surprising considering that most of it takes place at night while creeping around and in the walls of an old house. But it does have it's moments.
The English dub is up to the usual high Disney standards and on the bluray is a full DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The japanese track is also a full DTS-HD 5.1 and there is a French 5.1 Dolby Digital (no HD) track as well. The audio is great but don't expect a lot of action as this is not that type of film. The 1080p video is also fine and much appreciated to show the fine detail as they creep around in the cranies of the old house.
Arrietty like Ponyo, Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service is a great little family movie if you want something that doesn't show violence (the most violence in Arrietty is the cat trying to eat her and even he comes around in the end). There's action in these movies but no real villains (the housekeeper is kinda a psuedo villain, not really bad) and no violence; so you can show them to children of all ages and unlike a lot of so-called "kid's films" these movies will be equally interesting and enjoyable to adults.
Highly recommended for the whole family.