Rated: G

Distributed By:

Walt Disney

Directed by:

Gary Rydstrom


Voices of Will Arnett as Pod; Bridgit Mendler as Arrietty; David Henrie as Shawn; Amy Poehler as Homily, Carol Burnett as Hara, Gracle Poletti as Aunt Jessica

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

The Secret World of Arrietty

From Arrietty's point of view, a "borrower's" life is pretty spectacular. After all, when you're about the size of a grasshopper, everything in the world of the "human beans" takes on a whole new scope. A leaf is big enough to be an umbrella, and a thimble can be a flower vase. Arrietty is ready to explore it all. Of course, her dad always reminds her that she has to be careful and stay out of sight. As long as they walk behind the walls and beneath the floors so the beans don't know they're there, everything will work out fine.  

The tiny borrowers just take little things from the beans' houses. Only the things they need to survive. A discarded cracker here, an insignificant sugar cube there. Recently Arrietty's father took her out on her first borrowing expedition, which was something of a disaster because she was spotted by a bean. It was the sickly boy named Shawn who laid eyes on her. He didn't act shocked at the sight of her. Even though this bean seems nice, kind and gentle, Arrietty may have just opened the door to disaster. 

Shawn has a "weak heart" condition and will soon have an operation that will hopefully cure his illness. But his current weakness helps him understand the fragile world and existence of his tiny new friend. "When I saw you," Shawn says. "I just wanted to find a way to protect you." On the other hand, illness has also left Shawn with a sense of hopelessness. Arrietty tells him, "Sometimes you have to stand up and fight for the things that are important."  

The film has some mildly violent scenes, including Arrietty being chased by a growling cat and a squawking crow, and her mother being imprisoned in a glass jar by a bean.  

The Secret World of Arrietty is based on a children's book called The Borrowers, originally published in 1952 by British author Mary Norton. Studio Ghibli—the creative force behind colorful Japanese movies such as Ponyo and Spirited Away—has created its own version of the tale, set in modern-day Japan rather than Victorian England. The film is packed with fun characters and stunning animation. Through the meeting of Arrietty and the boy, these friends teach us that life can be difficult and filled with disappointment. But it's also rich with friendship, adventure, family love and unexpected beauty. The characters teach that you can give in or be brave, cling to your loved ones and fight for what's important. Overall, it’s a sweet story of friendship with a big dash of wonder.

Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com