The Secret World of Arrietty | Chicago Reader

The Secret World of Arrietty

Adapted from the British children's book The Borrowers, this 2010 animation feature from Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro) pulses with feeling for childhood and nature and develops a surprising amount of suspense considering it takes place around a single suburban home. Arietty is a tiny girl who lives in secret behind the walls of the home with her doting parents, "borrowing" food and goods from the residents; when a human boy discovers the family, the parents fear for their safety, but Arrietty senses his kind nature and cautiously accepts his offer of friendship. Emotionally moving in the Ghibli tradition, the movie conjures a utopian world in which everyone acts with compassion and even a crawl space can be a site of awesome mystery. Hiromasa Yonebayahi directed, and Miyazaki is credited for “screenplay and planning”; the English-language dubbing features Carol Burnett and Amy Poehler.



  • Hiromasa Yonebayashi


  • Mirai Shida
  • Ryunosuke Kamiki
  • Shinobu Otake
  • Keiko Takeshita
  • Tatsuya Fujiwara
  • Tomokazu Miura
  • Kirin Kiki


  • Toshio Suzuki
  • Koji Hoshino

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