Studio Ghibli’s latest is the film equivalent of a warm bath, a deep warm bath with bubbles, candles around the rim, all finished with a fluffy towel and a few yoga stretches.
I loved it. I tend to love Miyazaki anyway (he wrote the screenplay), but Arrietty charmed more than usual. The whole thing is charming and enchanting, beautiful, soothing, lovely and of good report. There’s a little less peril here than usual, and some of the fun eccentricities of Ghibli storytelling are missing, but in the context of this story — based on Mary Norton’s classic The Borrowers — Arietty is just perfect. Some of the usual Ghibli characters are there, however: The flawed parents, the brave heroine, the ethereal boy, and the hag.
I saw the British-English overdub with Saoirse Ronan voicing Arietty so I can’t comment on the American version. Obviously the animation is incredible, but so is the music, scored not by Miyazaki’s John Williams, Joe Hisaishi, but by Bretonne musician Cécile Corbel.
Wonderful in every way. See it now.