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The Secret World of Arrietty – Movie Review

secret world of arrietty


Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger. The English language version of “The Secret World of Arrietty” was executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, and directed by Gary Rydstrom. The film hits theaters Feb. 17, 2012.


Last Saturday, Z.E.N and I had the opportunity to attend a screening of The Secret World of Arrietty. This movie is based on Mary Norton’s classic story The Borrowers.  I haven’t read the book so I’m not sure how closely the movie follows the book.

In the movie, Shawn who is quite sickly is sent to stay with his great aunt before he undergoes major surgery.  This is the same house that his aunt and mother grew up in.  Shawn’s great aunt tells him the story of how his mother imagined that there were “little” people  living under the floorboards.  His mother believed that the “little” people were real and had an elaborate dollhouse built just for them.

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Arrietty Clock and her family are part of this miniscule race of people and happen to live under the floorboards of Shawn’s great aunt’s home.  In order to survive, they “borrow” stuff from the people who live in the house above.  They only borrow what they need, like a sugar cube here and there or tissue paper.

Arrietty, has never gone borrowing before and begs her father to let her join him.  Her parents finally agree to allow her to go borrowing.  When she goes on her first borrowing, she runs into Shawn and becomes so startled, she drops the cube of sugar that she just borrowed.

From that point on, a friendship ensues between Arrietty and Shawn.  However, Arrietty’s ever so cautious parents who realize that they have been discovered, decide that they need need to move because being discovered is much too dangerous.

The screenplay is by Hayao Miyazaki who is mostly known for Japanese Anime,  I’ve never really been a big fan on Anime, but really loved this movie.  The animation was vivid and detailed.  The scenery was just beautiful and the soundtrack was lovely.

The Secret World of Arrietty Movie clip–What are Borrowers

The Secret World of Arrietty opens in theaters on February 17th. For more information about the movie, check out their Facebook page.


Disney provided me with complimentary tickets for a special screening of this film. I received no compensation for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About the author

Diane Nassy

Diane is a New Jersey-based writer and blogger. She is a wife and the mom of a 9-year-old little boy. Through her blog, she wants to inspire moms to find Zen in their lives while offering practical tips and other valuable information to help families deal with everyday issues. Check out Diane's Google+ profile "

1 Comment

  • I would love to watch this with the kids. It sounds like a great movie. I was surprised to see Carol Burnett was one of the voices in the film. I loved watching her show as a kid.Thanks for sharing this review.